This post is inspired by man who is a student and teacher of Japanese and Okinawan martial arts and puts them into practice. Not too many years ago most martial arts differed in little and had much in common. The why to that is simple. They had to work.
A man raises his forearm and brings it down.
This is the simple mechanic description of a movement but it is who you are and not what you are that determine the effect of the movement. You choose in each breath what to do and you have thoughts coming and going but it is who you are that determines what your actions affect.
A man who thinks himself brave might try to grab the arm with the knife and be cut before he is stabbed. A man who thinks himself afraid will try to block the knife from reaching him with the same affect. The reason is due to the shallow perception of such words. Brave as well as coward is a mask we wear and not who we are. We act in different ways and pretend to be this or that but we avoid delving into who we are due to the emotional and perception shift it will bring.
This is also why in training we achieve so little when we are working mask against mask instead of working on removing our masks and this gaining our true sight and freedom.
How to solve this?
Work on your breathing. hold your breath and work and soon your true self will surface. Stay in a static push up on your fists for ten minutes and listen to your thoughts without letting them affect you and your true self will surface. Work slowly but moving with true intention with honest partners and your true self will rise. Do this with diligence every day of your life with yourself and with others and you will be free.
One raises his arm to block in reaction. Another raises his arm in a strike to injure or direct another. The man moves himself and not others and he the one who is free.
A note: being free guarantees nothing. It is it’s own reward. Pay attention and it pays for itself.