Stop waiting for someone to teach you something to increase your worth. “ I am willing to learn” is a weak statement. Stop waiting for a teacher. For the greatest time to learn is when no one is teaching. Observe while someone is doing. You know when you should be paying attention. Most True teachers will not speak the truth anyways. They will act the truth. Learn when not being taught. Learn in defeat. For that is when others teach you the most. Understand the natural rhythm of life. Weights are to always shift plates, yet never less weight. Observation is the greatest way to learn. Observe your own failures. Why did you fail. The truth, is often, one has chosen to cast you down, and you allowed it. A double fault on you. Always remember. The moment is forever lost, when actions are not chosen… What of the learning in silent study. Words from others are of others. Words from self are of others understood by self. Self is ego and True animal. Animal being a beautiful, misunderstood word, for what emotion does this lend? Ego being far more complex than ones “ego”. For ego is often animal given outside guidance what to feed base instinct towards, or how to destroy this instinct, losing natural rhythm in self. Welcome to society little fucker… Perhaps combined, ego and animal, we call this human spirit. Yet no spirit is pure, for all are affected by ego as humans, in death and life. Only nothing is pure. And how can nothing be categorized as such? An ever present force we can be, each unique, flowing in the cycle of the universe. Or perhaps a dry husk choosing not to live we can be, never knowing we have choice. Whose ancestors weep of failure, as they weep of themselves.
Amongst such a pantheon stand the Trio of Warriors. The lords of battle. Deep personal beliefs matter little when it comes to speaking of things. Sometimes it is best to speak in simple terms. That is: simply view these entities as embodiments of nature as I write, embodiments of self. Or perhaps Ancestral spirits fed immense amounts of energy. Perhaps psychic conscious embedded into blood. Perhaps psychological elements of our psyches. Expressions of a culture. Gods who bless. What one believes means little. One must always speak in a tangible way if anything is to be true. Amongst such a pantheon are three aspects of the warrior. Three aspects that in whole obtain great power. Norse mythology is simply a branch of a much greater tree. One may think as they wish, apply concepts as they wish. No man is truly original. Every man lives within a mythology. Whether one chosen, or one created around them. Whether one of deep spirituality and study, to one of simple atheism and television. Both create a world around you that will affect every view you see…
Norse mythology was not created over a few hundred years in nordic lands. It was simply a final expression in a particular land of something much greater. One must look beyond one culture, one name. It is more than symbols recorded.
Thus the three are written of simply:
Thor is the guardian of the weak. The great champion.The destroyer of obstacles. Containing as much compassion as anger. The Healer of the wounded. The host of the poor. He is strength openly seen. The echoing roar. He is pure masculinity, all and consuming. Nothing hidden.
Tyr is the lord of duels. The art of battle. Tactics executed with perfection. Strength that knows to bend as to not break. Honour given divine voice. The Judge of broken promises. The Strength gifted to speakers of true oaths. The loyalty of the keystone.
Odin is the shadowed and distant enigma. Odin is not relatable to the common. Odin is the lord of lords. He is the personal deity of kings and great leaders. He is the lord of Berserkers. The one of magical frenzy. The possessed poet. He is the guardian of the dead, Guider of ways. High priest of all magic. Eye of the storm. Master of the Wild Hunt. Odin brings wholeness to fragmented aspects. He is the near monotheism of paganism. His path will lead to truth and balance. The master of runes, knower of the deepest secrets. The viewer of time. The dagger of the sacrifice. The heavy branched tree.
Nearly all men who walk a “martial path” look to the warriors of old for inspiration. A common thing. Found on t-shirts, badges, slogans, uniforms, websites, commercial locations, behavioral ways, fighting styles, nationalistic beliefs, on and on. Whether government employees, martial artists, or sports practitioners. Too much, I see the Spartan myth as inspiration. I understand this. Yet despise such ways. Propaganda does not work here. It is simple to see why modern military establishments, as well as many martial “cults” relate to such a culture. To speak in a generalized manner. One must break down the “agoge”, that is “the upbringing” also used when referencing cattle. The spartan male begins his training in early youth. Even before seven he would be instilled with ideals and bravery. During his youth and teens, he will be handed over to an older male as a trainer. He will be trained martially and sexually by this man. Spartans were known by other Greeks as “man-breakers”. This boy will be raped at the elder’s pleasure, or perhaps both’s pleasure eventually. There are many greek words for different vibes of sex. This is a common practice amongst greeks and the rest of the Mediterranean, the homosexual pedophilia. Yet, for the Spartans it is beyond personal interest, it is institutionalized by law. “Man-breakers”, a unifying experience they all underwent. Then this “well-cultured” young man will be able to do the same to a younger in a few years. Maybe join the gang used to murder the alpha males of their slave population. Eventually marry, birth children, hold household, and be considered a full citizen. Spartan men were meant to have individualism destroyed. To be the tool of commanders, such are the ways of any military regime. With the exception of the aristocracy, they did not undergo the “agoge”. Their training would have been to rule, think slightly creatively, and command the “herd”. Yet, in any military, individualism must be balanced with discipline. Modern militaries understand exactly what “it” is creating when breaking a man. Thus depending upon role and place, decides what is broken and what is strengthened. This is common information to any who are interested, yet few ever seek what they seek. Scholars have little understanding of “martial men”, and the way they act. They are typically selfish, rude, bully, assholes, who don’t give-a-flying-fuck-what-you-think. From a “Samurai’s” perspective this is called a “low-class spearmen”. Yet a Samurai will act the same way if they feel like it, and constantly do. True? So if you have respect for the Lacedaemion males upbringing, have fun. I despise it. It stands against everything I believe in. I will keep my inspirations, and trust me, there are many flaws. As every martial, often aristocratic, upbringing has it’s dark side. Thus when studying mankind, seek to understand mankind. Greek phalanx fighting typically had the more experienced men in the back, pushing the younger forward. Thus full circle for Spartans…
The Arts of Mars must constantly develop a sense of style. A visual representation, a way of movement that is distinct. Similar appearance regardless of tool. There should not be the gap that currently exists between rapier and longsword fighting. Gap, referring to the sense that ones “style” changes between the two tools. It should not. The rapier is born of the longsword, the cut and thrust overlapping both in a sense. While in some places the cut and thrust and/or broadsword did not become replaced by the rapier. I write ‘and/or’, because I cannot wrap my head around using the broadsword intelligently and deadly as anything but a cut and thrust, I would say the same of a viking sword, or a roman cavalrymen’s sword. Regardless, the rapier texts offer more in comprehension of combat, and so we must view them as such. Study the trunk, regardless of the branch. All tools within the Arts of Mars will appear the same in body movements and “art”. The tools change, as the use of the sword in war declines, lack of armour (“sword-ringen”), the fact that everyone quickly understood to go buy a gun as primary defense. Of the rapier, as well as the cut and thrust sword, this is not modern or semi historical fencing. The rapier is a large ‘nail’, capable of stiff binding as one attacks, unlike sportsmanship blades. The cut and thrust, allows cutting. This binding or perhaps sliding, being the core of the Arts of Mars. Yet only the strength of a one handed bind, extremely weakened for second hand use. When wielding a longsword, you will move the same as a rapier. Yet you will have greater ability to cut, greater range. The bind will be stronger because of two hands. For proper defense is not defense, it is offense while one is defended… Else you will quickly die. This is also the same for the great two hander, even greater range. It is a massive cut and thrust. The rapier and c/t texts are more artistically inclined, the science and art deeper. The high sense of intelligence simply seen. It can be applied to all, it is born of it. When viewing the use of the European longsword, zweihander, cut and thrust, rapier, the art will appear the same in general form. Time offered a rapid development of tools, upon a platform over a few hundred years. Thus, the heart of the arts appearance. Just as various cultural styles will maintain the heart of their appearance throughout all tools, the way we immediately identify the art. That is Kung Fu, That is Karate, etc. Most art styles will be branches that all appear as the trunk for the most part. Do I believe all practitioners of the Arts of Mars moved this way throughout the centuries? The answer is a resounding yes, they tried. Did all European warriors study the Arts of Mars? The answer is an extreme no. Only an extremely extremely small percentage studied the true art. The Arts of Mars created Fight Masters. Most men would have not fell far from what the art appears this day, or is trying to appear as. Men who are too caught up with the awkwardness of the strike, because that makes the animal feel strong. Animals are to be hunted in combat… Many past fighters, just as today, would have undeveloped artistic movement, or proper movement within imagination. Men who will quickly die. The Arts of Mars were not common in their time. It was ket secret from most. Handed down through few. In the early sixteenth century some men, would move in a way others could not understand, others could not easily mimic, movements that inspired awe. This is true in any culture. No form, flowered of perfect artistic scientifically solid form and movement, thus creating what is a form to the eye, while still being instinct. The heart of what a martial art is. The heart of Mars moves as a bullet. A cone, an hourglass of solid and smooth elements. A needle weaving a death vortex with what appears a single movement. Ringen is thus no different, something immediately applicable and needed in modern war forms…
Within the ‘Hema community’ too many wish to express the Arts of Mars as a sport. Community is a shallow word. Many, as in various groups who study fragmented arts. ‘Many’ wish to capture the sword fight under rules. I cannot express the impossibility of this. Regardless of style or sword structure. For the sword fight is the pinnacle of fighting. Every single breath is decided by the sword fight. It is the greatest achievement mankind has created to kill in hand to hand combat without ballistics. Art and instinct. The pinnacle of the violence of martial arts. The pinnacle of the here and now. The creator of platforms. Close and far. All other techniques are born of it… The greatest gap within swordsmanship is the inability to psychologically connect a deep cut with a result. For the opponent to stop acting aggressive. For cuts one inch and deeper have great effect immediately, for the most part. It is within swordsmanship, that this effect is the core of art and technique. This result. For you find when in sparring, which is what any sport ultimately is, many opponents act with great ego and belligerence. Paying no heed for blows. And no, fingers can not be sowed back on. Thus you have strange tactics, that do not express the art. This is true in all combat sports. Perhaps the closest way without blood, to express death strikes, is for the sword to function as a not so powerful, yet still strong, electrical shock of some sort, like the defense tools. A shock that is sudden and threatening, yet not crippling or grounding. Not simply for the strikes, but more importantly for the pinches and cuts. Pinching should be the most feared word in martial arts. While electricity would still be far from equality to reality, in lasting effect of infection fear or bleeding out. It is the closest thing, that seems somewhat rational. Such pain upon the opponent, would cause “Hema” tournaments to fall apart, in the way one approaches each other. If you add in strikes to the legs from stomp/kicks, as well as true Ringen overall. The Art has thus become entirely different from what is expressed by “many”, seeking a pinnacle. This can be said of any art that has lost it’s Way. The Arts are to be expressed through the perspective of a fighting guild. In that men will live and die from their training. Light to heavy sparring is great. Every day can be sports day, it does have many benefits, just separate it. I support Hema tournaments in the fullest. It tests the sword, it shows truth, yet equally shows falsehood. Simply understand the differnce. The Arts of Mars must not lose their Way, before it truly has one. Do not fall prey to theatrics or sports fighting, as a martial art. Understand that this is a sword fight, and this is a sporting sword fight. Understand the difference. The sports have taken many victims. The Arts of Mars are not to be of them.