Monday, July 14, 2008

"Respect the Mud"

"When the rainy season starts, respect the mud. They build four-storey buildings out of it that last for three thousand years. Don't think for a second you can just scrape it off your boots."

Had to share that one.

Got to box and submission wrestle with a pair of young soldiers. It was fun, and they had good heart, but they were playing. Good kids having fun and maybe learning a little.

This is a strange environment. There's a thing called "pinging the radar" sort of a modern version of zanshen. Certain types of people walk into certain places and recognize each other--they 'ping'. They give a slight nod and either say "Hi" (rarely) or choose to leave each other alone.

This is the richest radar environment I have ever seen. There are kids, sure, and a few wannabes, but this is the highest concentration of truly dangerous men that I have ever seen. Very polite, very professional. Not a speck (that I have seen) of hatred or racism or cultural disdain... just some supremely skilled, supremely fit warriors here to do a job. Lots of good guys, some who have gone partially native, friendly and smart. But they don't ping the radar the same way.

This will sound weird, but I have to be careful to put some yin in my aura when I am dealing with people. Americans are often oblivious to the radar. Not so here.

So, respect the mud and tune down the aura. Good lessons for the week.


Anonymous said...

"tone down the aura"... Wow. Good luck with that.

I wanted to drop a line and say I enjoyed the book. I posted a review here:

Keep them safe (as can be).


Kami said...

I like 'respect the mud.' It makes me think about what I dismiss.

Steve Perry said...

I like the yin in the aura. Wise, since some of the really bad guys have that zen samurai attitude about life and death ...

Rothlisberger said...

Good to hear from you. Seems like a different world there, but one that you've already known somehow. It's just a matter of tweeking the little things. Adapt, improvise, and overcome. Later!


Dave Chesser said...

"Tone down the aura" is excellent advice, especially for power-obsessed American martial artists.

I once got told by a much higher level martial artist than me that I was too strong. He said he could see it in my every movement -- my aura, as it were. He said that such obvious strength would work against me and that I should learn to hide my strength. He suggested taichichuan and I've been obsessed with it ever since.