Martial Arts as War (MAW) and Martial Arts as Sport (MAS)—these are the two paradigms that, by and large, define the contemporary universe of the martial arts. Or so I have argued in previous essays. Now, it’s true, of course, that—as my own Master-Instructor observed to me in one of our countless conversations over this […]
In a previous essay, I delineated and explained some of the fundamental principles that constitute the training modality of Warrior Flow Combatives. Here, we will delve further into this most unique of combat systems.
In keeping with the identity of the human person as an indissoluble unity of body and mind, the combative principles of Warrior Flow—Equilibrium-Control, Subtle Muscle-Control, Perceptual Awareness, Dynamic Coordination, and Creativity—supplies to students both and at once the physical and mental conditioning in the absence of which martial development is impossible.
Mastery of these five principles is tantamount to perfection of the three inseparable cardinal mental habits of Perfect Clarity, Moral Certainty, and Ruthless Intention. These traits, it’s critical to note, are indeed psychological in nature. Yet they aren’t only psychological. They are as well intellectual.
The psyche consists of the totality of mental phenomena pleasant and unpleasant, good and bad, rational, irrational, and even neurotic. The psyche is what it is. Its condition, in other words, is descriptive. The intellect, in contrast, is normative, for the coin in which it trades is reason. The intellect, that is, is supposed to be governed by logical, and not illogical, considerations. It always aspires to think at it ought, as it should.
In theory, the psychological and the intellectual are separate provinces of the mind. Indeed, in practice, for most people, the two remain distinct. Within Warrior Flow, however, the psychological and the intellectual fuse into one seamless mind. More accurately, they fuse into one seamless will, the Warrior’s will.
And the Warrior’s will is nothing more or less than the considered determination to obliterate, at a microsecond’s notice and without a scintilla of guilt or regret, anyone who preys upon innocents—whether himself, his loved ones and neighbors, or others—that are within the Warrior’s presence.
Notice, the Warrior’s will is not the function of impulse, instinct, or raw passion (like fear or rage). It is a considered determination. The Warrior’s will is the product of education, of training. Warrior Flow students are not only taught to always bear in mind that there are human beings in the world who are bigger, stronger, faster, more agile, more athletic, younger, and more dangerous than themselves. Their training is predicated upon the operational assumption that anyone and everyone against whom they may battle has every one of these physical advantages over them. The reason for this is simple:
When it is assumed that any and all potential adversaries are superior in every conceivable respect to oneself, then one trains so as to neutralize these advantages before they can materialize.
And Warrior Flow students train to neutralize the enemy not by focusing upon the mastery of any specific set of techniques, but by immersing themselves in the combative principles of the art.
The distinction within the context of self-protection between “techniques” and “principles” is essentially the same distinction between “plans” and “planning” that General Eisenhower once drew. “In preparing for battle,” Ike remarked, “I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
The techniques of other species of combatives are plans. The principles of Warrior Flow constitute planning.
(Now, and with all due respect to their practitioners, I do not mean to suggest that the techniques of these combatives programs are “useless,” as Eisenhower described plans. But, ultimately, training in principles is superior, for principles, transcending as they do all techniques, enable students to avail themselves, at a moment’s notice, of possibilities for action to which a person limited to the techniques in which he has been trained must remain oblivious. The person who trains in principles, though, is ceaselessly planning).
In other words, in glaring contrast to other real-world combatives “systems,” Warrior Flow’s is—imagine that!—a system, a genuine system.
It is not a combination, a buffet of combative techniques (that are, by and large, common to all self-styled combative “systems”) conjoined with a method by which practitioners can condition their psyches for battle. There is nothing systematic about a salad—even though, between its ingredients, there may be a “family resemblance,” to borrow the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s term for things that, while similar, are not related by any common denominator.
Warrior Flow is not a Many that remain a Many in reality, but is only made to seem like a One via clever labeling.
Warrior Flow is a Many that is really One, a single, unified martial system. Its combative principles are conceptually or theoretically distinct but, in practice, essentially one and the same. Students don’t—and can’t—focus on anyone of the five combative principles while failing to master the other four, and since the movement that they are always seeking to refine through immersion in these principles is movement designed to decimate, with ruthless efficiency, those who would victimize innocents, it is equally impossible for them to engage in physical training without also developing the mental virtues of Perfect Clarity, Moral Certainty, and Ruthless Intention.
Warrior Flow is like an organism, not a machine, a constitution, not a collection. Unlike many other styles, it recognizes that since the numerous members of one’s body are continually operating in a virtually simultaneous fashion, so too do these members continue to operate the same when they are engaged for the purposes of battle. Thus, Warrior Flow’s training modality, as by now should be clear, is purposed for the sake of training students how to crush the enemy within “the Quantum Sphere,” a spatial-temporal order comprised of dimensions—not sequentially or chronologically-layered events or levels—between which students are trained to “tunnel” or “teleport” and all with an eye toward destroying the enemy.
These dimensions are the three that human beings occupy in space, those of Length, Width, and Height. Yet they also include Time, The Future, Anticipation, and Creativity.
Time: A physical confrontation between two or more people doesn’t occur only within space. We must remember that it as well occurs over time. And since time is relative to the observer, this means that victory over the enemy demands, necessarily, that the victor manipulate, i.e. assume control of, the enemy’s temporal orientation, his perception of time, no less than the enemy’s space-in-time.
For this reason, Warrior Flow students learn, through mastery of the five combative principles, how to always move deceptively. Deception, after all, is the basis of all warfare, as Sun Tzu declared. In moving with maximal economy, Warrior Flow students conceal their intention(s) from the enemy and, in so doing, radically upset his timing.
Through continual refinement of their subtle muscle-control and perceptual awareness, students learn not just how and when to accelerate, but, critically, how and when to decelerate. Via the development of the latter skill, Warrior Flow students become capable of both “stopping time” and “slowing down time” within microseconds—just long enough to send the enemy off to his eternal deserts.
The Future: “Fighting in the Future,” to be more exact. “In battle, if you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.” So remarked the legendary and undefeated 17th century Samurai warrior, Miyamoto Musashi. Warrior Flow students capitalize on this pearl of wisdom by figuring out quickly that in putting the enemy on the defensive, they force a response from him. What this in turn means is that in going on the offensive, they will lead the enemy to that future location at which they are already waiting, that juncture in time at which the enemy hasn’t yet arrived but to which he is inexorably moving and at which his fate will be sealed.
It doesn’t take any training for anyone to realize that by making any kind of movement toward another person, the person who initiates the movement makes the second move in turn. Effortlessly and without intention, we both provoke reactions from and react to the movements of strangers on a virtually daily basis (whenever and wherever we have to navigate space-time vis-à-vis other human beings). This being the case, through training Warrior Flow students learn how to provoke the kinds of reactions from the enemy that are designed to lead him to his own demise.
Anticipation: This is anticipation of possibilities and probabilities, of potential futures, potential ways within which Warrior Flow practitioners defeat the enemy.
In moving deceptively—i.e. with maximal efficiency, meaning no more and no less than one needs to move—Warrior Flow students upset the enemy’s timing. What this means is that with each passing microsecond students dramatically narrow the enemy’s range of possible courses of action while dramatically expanding the range of possibilities for themselves.
And this, of course, is all due to the fact that Warrior Flow students train to “fight in the future,” that place along the space-time continuum where all of the possibilities of which they can avail themselves already exist and whose actualization they can bring about at a millisecond’s notice if only they choose to do so.
Moreover, because they are in the future awaiting the arrival of the enemy with all of the patience—and eagerness—with which a batter awaits the arrival of the ball that he plans upon smashing, whichever possible future Warrior Flow students decide to realize is correct: Critical injury, maiming, and killing—whichever fate Warrior Flow students choose to allot to the enemy are in the cards for him, for the enemy is too far behind in time to do anything to thwart his own demise.
Creativity: It was mentioned above that Warrior Flow training simultaneously develops both body and mind (for the two are one), and that the mental aspect is psychological, yes, but as well intellectual. Here we should note that the intellect always involves imagination. Indeed, the imagination is integral to the intellect (even though the contemporary fetishizing of “Science” and the poverty of imagination of those who do the fetishizing have led many astray into thinking otherwise).
Warrior Flow training expands its students’ imaginative capacities. It expands their conceptual horizons, revealing a virtual cosmos of possibilities and probabilities from which to choose in visiting destruction upon the enemy. By now it should be clear that Warrior Flow training equips students with this insight by enabling them to time their movement so as to teleport to the future—their future(s), the future(s) of their choosing—ahead of the enemy.
These are the seven dimensions of combat. Warrior Flow students train to battle in the Quantum Sphere. In so doing, they are always making themselves both unavailable and unavoidable with respect to the enemy. Moving, as they do, ahead of the enemy’s movement, they are unavailable. However, they are also now unavoidable to him, for, being in the future, there is virtually nothing that he can do to escape the brutality to which he will be subjected.
More coming on this unique art.