Swordsman from Japan often supported the idea or concept of “one cut” or “one stroke.” They believed that they could develop traits such as speed, timing, accuracy and total commitment that they could end the confrontation with one cut if done correctly, through a very serious commitment to the art of the sword. That is one blow to ending the fight.
Few swords in history have embraced this ideal more than Tsukahara Bokuden. This guy fought in over 30 battles, as well as going somewhere between 20 to 30 duels, depending on the books you read. What truly describes the concept of “one cut” is the idea that you wait until the last possible minute of your opponent’s attacks, and with a blown speed, you launch your counter-attack and beat your opponent to punch. Complicating things is the notion that your opponent’s sword would make you buy less than an inch. Your commitment and energy are full of attack, not to avoid the onslaught of enemies. Now this is a 100% commitment to your self defense.
So how can we use this concept, and “absorb what is useful?” A quick online search can reveal fight videos in which the fight seemed to be over almost before it started; as in a previous article in which we discussed fights ending with just a stiff job for example. This is entirely achievable. Incorporating the mindset moving towards the modern samurai, train each technique as if that one technique was enough to end the fight.
There are usually many movements in our self-defense layers that are strung together in a cleverly designed way and for one goal that cannot be overcome once we take the initiative. Train these movements with the mindset of the samurai centuries ago. Train with the hitotsu-tachi idea. Train with the understanding that even if you are faking or skinning our opponent, you just make the move out there while trying to make a half-ass. You show a complete start to the move; the drive, it’s very serious until it’s pulled back at the last possible moment and your next technique gets a full-blown blow.
Training with a 100% commitment to all techniques will develop the ability to end the confrontation with one stroke, one cut, one blow.
Yes, there are almost always different techniques in our defensive sequence and when you are training with the above mindset; when you make a 100% commitment to your self-defense, you will find that you never get the end of the sequence. Your attacker is crumbled before you reach your last move. This is, of course, our ultimate goal.
Clear your mind. Train with 100% commitment. Count all actions, and be 100% committed to the actions you have chosen when they are released.
The Modern Samurai Society – Standing United We Pack Punch