Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tactics of Regard

Arising from this anima: in stillness, is wisdom – in activity, is potency and influence.

At first, through preparation, conditioning, and skill development; competence in combat rooted in force is established. Then, ever so slowly - an increasing competence with tactics rooted in regard emerges. By employing Tactics of Regard the opponent’s will to fight is decimated – but body remains intact. He yields without battle through one of two general ways. The first and most desirable - his attention has been diverted from his uncompromising position. He finds the concerns and desires which founded his position are understood and satiated (this is most desirable because it produces an ally where there had been an adversary). The second: In a state of dissonance, confusion and bewilderment (Kuzushi - or broken balance) he unequivocally submits.

These are Tactics of Regard because they are only realized by having unconditional respect and regard for the humanity of your opponent; understand him as a person and as an individual. Then, wisely utilize this understanding (intelligence) to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion (he is treated with dignity and respect, he is not embarrassed or injured and justice is served).

It may be helpful to consider this from a more traditional paradigm. Retired CA State Trooper, attorney and risk management expert Gordon Graham likes to paraphrase his favorite risk management guru Archand Zeller:

…During the period of recorded history, there is little evidence to indicate that man has changed in any major respect. Because the man does not change, the kinds of errors he commits remain constant. The errors that he will make can be predicted from the errors he has made.[1]

Here lies a great paradox. An individual’s private memories, fears, prejudices and schemas make their response to spontaneous situations unpredictable. But at the same time, to those with astute regard for the humanity of others - there arises an intensely comprehensive strategic awareness. Now, the Complacency, Hubris, Avarice, Fear, Self centeredness, Bias, Attention limits, Distractibility (CHAFSBAD) of the opponent - make the errors he will make while acting out his unpredictability well – predictable!

One more way of seeing this: The anima warrior’s placid wisdom allows him to understand the opponents CHAFSBAD without reacting and being emotionally swamped by his own CHAFSBAD. The anima warrior will intuitively know when the opponent’s mental balance (kuzushi) has been broken. At this point, a wisely placed strategic twist (Nage-waza) combined with the opponent’s mental/emotional momentum makes one of the two previously described outcomes easily attainable.

[1] Interagency Helicopter Managers Workshop: Continued Professional Training. March 14, 2003 Speaker Gordon Graham. http://www.wildfirelessons.net/documents/GG_OrgRM.pdf Accessed 15 August, 2009.