Returning to base stance. How saber combat can help us with managing emotion.

  • Kai
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29 Apr 2022 20:04 #367795 by Kai
I had an interesting epiphany earlier today. Some foolish soul on the internet upset me very badly over something quite petty. I spent a couple hours steaming over it, upset and angry, trying to figure out what could cause this person to be so petty and cruel. Eventually I decided this persons threats and ignorance were no danger to me, and that I was wasting my own time and energy worrying about it. I decided I would simply meditate for a bit to clear my mind, and that's when the thought came to me. Return to base. Just as you do in saber combat, or any martial art really.

When you train in lightsaber combat, you always begin in a basic starting stance. This stance is often an indicator of what form you favor, but there is a deeper purpose for it. Every attack, every defense, and every parry is practiced from this beginning position. It is nigh impossible to practice or account for every minute situation that could possibly come up in combat. It would be a waste of time to try as the possibilities are endless. If you swing your saber, or your fists with wild abandon you will, inevitably come across a position where you cannot figure out how to defend in time, and you will fall.

However, the swordsman trains to always return to his base stance. Every attack, or parry, can easily be returned to this base form, or close to it. even if its only for a split second while still in motion, a swordsman returns to his base stance with every motion. This is the position you train from. This is the position where you can figure out instantly how to deal with any situation that comes up. When you return to base stance, you are in control of how you handle and understand the battle, nothing is a mystery to you when your body and mind is in its home base. If you lose track of this, it is only a matter of time before you make a fatal error.

It is the exact same way when we are battling with our thoughts and emotions, but we often do not pay it the same heed. When you find yourself angry or confused do not attempt to attack the problem. Return to your base stance. Meditate, empty your mind, let go of your emotions. Return to the pure, untainted state of mind that you begin with in the morning. We cannot be mindful of ourselves unless we return to our internal harmony first. To speak or act out of emotion is no different than swinging a saber with no knowledge of form or footwork. You may get lucky and come out of it alive. But it is not a wise decision to make, and certainly not a behavior to live by.

Within the Jedi code there are two lines that say "There is no emotion, there is peace" and "there is no passion, there is serenity". Now, this is not to say that these things literally do not exist. As this is obviously untrue. But for a Jedi, we should strive to seek peace and serenity by not allowing passion and emotion to be a factor in how we deal with life. When you return to an empty state of mind, your thoughts can be pure again. Even an open minded person can suffer from biases that arise from the situation itself. Do not be so foolish as to believe you will always know the right thing to do without meditating on it first, no matter how wise and experienced you think you may be.

A master of the sword will always begin from and return to his base stance. And a master of the mind will always return to a state of mental clarity before using it. Whether your battles be of the flesh or of the mind, train yourself to return to base automatically. In either situation this is the only path to victory and safety.

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