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#1 2006-04-07 10:21:38

Adam Adrian Crown
Maître d'Armes
From: Ithaca, New York
Registered: 2006-04-04

Some people call it a sling-blade...

Some people call it the Tao.
Ch’i, ki, prana.
Life force or life energy. 
The Source.
Whatever it is, whatever it’s called, it’s the glue of creation, the thing that makes sense, that makes other things make sense,  the thing that makes everything happen and determines how it happens, the thing that connects everything that is to everything else that is.
Sometimes, you can act in perfect harmony with it. When you do, there’s an ineffable sense of “rightness” about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. People talk about going with the flow, of being in the zone, in my ex-hometown“being in the groove,” being centered or focused, being in-synch with or connected to or “one” with someone or something.
It’s epiphany, enlightenment, a vision,  revelation, “getting it”, getting with the program, the religious experience, the peak experience, a state of grace. It’s the place where there’s no difference between the action and the actor, between the arrow and the target, the fighter and the opponent. It’s where the fencer becomes the swordsman, man and sword indistinguishable and inseparable from each other. It’s the place beyond limitations, where all things are possible, where paradox is the highest form of truth. Where there are no mistakes because you can do no wrong.
It is all these things --- and none of them.

For how do you describe what is not describable?
How do you explain the color red to one who was born blind?
How do you describe an orgasm to someone who’s never had one?
How do you explain honor to someone who doesn’t have any?

As Louis Armstrong is said to have commented about jazz, “If you have to ask what it is, you won’t understand the answer.”
Zen trumpet master.

I have my students do some seemingly goofy things.
It’s to make them feel, to experience, to get your head out of your cerebrum, Mrs. Robinson, and stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.

If you just do what I tell you because I tell you, if you just take my ipse dixit for it, then you can never become a swordsman – and not much of a fencer, either. Probably not much of anything else.

Somebody once said “Experience is the best teacher.”
I think experience is the ONLY teacher.
The rest is just advice. And the worst vice in the world is ad-vice.
When you experience the truth for yourself, you’re not borrowing it from me any more.
It belongs to you. And once it belongs to you, it’s yours forever. Like honor, you can give it up, but no one can take it from you.
My job is to put you into a situation where you’ll experience it.
And sometimes, on a good day, I succeed.
When I’m in the groove.




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