Friday, 11 July 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination Part 2

This week we look at Crossing at a Ford taken from the Fire Book. This is an important part of the book as it is something that Musashi states, happens to must of us from one time to another in our lives.

“Crossing at a ford means, for example, crossing the sea at a strait, or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at a crossing place. I believe this "crossing at a ford" occurs often in man's lifetime. It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbor, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favor of the day. When all the conditions are met, and there is perhaps a favorable wind, or a tailwind, then set sail. If the wind changes within a few miles of your destination, you must row across the remaining distance without sail.
If you attain this spirit, it applies to everyday life. You must always think of crossing at a ford.
In strategy also it is important to "cross at a ford". Discern the enemy's capability and, knowing your own strong points, "cross the ford" at the advantageous place, as a good captain crosses a sea route. If you succeed in crossing at the best place, you may take your ease. To cross at a ford means to attack the enemy's weak point, and to put yourself in an advantageous position. This is how to win large-scale strategy. The spirit of crossing at a ford is necessary in both large- and small-scale strategy. You must research this well.”

“To cross at a ford means to attack the enemy's weak point, and to put yourself in an advantageous position”. When it comes to sparring, or fighting you must always be on the look out for your opponent’s weak points. There are things that you may notice about your opponent that maybe can work to your advantage. For example, he/she may always have there front leg in a position that is perfect for a low shin kick, or they may not pull there punching hand back to a ready position quick enough after striking, leaving you a great opportunity to counter attack. Musashi clearly knew that the best way to defeat an enemy is to attack his weak points which everybody has.

I especially think that this text is something of great importance because it is something that happens to all of us. In the martial arts especially, unfortunately there are some who “put others down” in some sort of way. Comments like “don’t take that fight you will never win” or “your crazy to even think you will get your black belt one day” are given always. Without a strong sense of faith in your own abilities it is very easy to believe such people when they provide negativity and to not give challenges a go. Musashi states about Crossing at the Ford, “It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbor, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favor of the day”. I take this to mean that sometimes you must forget about other people's opinions, but keep in mind what you are capable of, have a picture of the goal you want to achieve and the work required to achieve it. Work hard for it trying to block out thoughts of failure and you will achieve what you set out to do, be it becoming a pro fighter, winning an upcoming event or reaching a new level of fitness.


Marks

Related Articles...
Introduction
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just my take, but it has to do with mitigating risk and having the aptitude to identify "acceptable risk".

it also pertains to having a proper mindest where you don't let the fear of failure prevent you from trying.

This also relates to how people view problems in their life. Some only see problems or failure when confronted with difficulty where others see options, alternatives and solutions to said difficulties.

Isnt't this the crux of training? Overcoming the limits and barriers we inflict upon ourselves?

john

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