The meaning of water in relation to life is flexibility. Water demonstrates natural flexibility as it changes to conform with the boundaries which contain it, seeking the most efficient and productive path. So also should one possess the ability to change in accordance with one’s own situation to easily shift between disciplines, methods, and options when presented with new information. A person should master many aspects of life allowing them to possess both balance and flexibility.
In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm.
This balance refers to what could be thought of as yin and yang within yourself. The idea is that a perfectly balanced spirit is also a perfectly balanced physical presence, and neither creates weakness nor reveals it to your enemy. During battle, the spirituality and balance is something that you should take advantage of. Since small people know the spirituality of big people, they can thus note differences and weaknesses between each other. This is something which seems easy, but it is said to change when you are on the battlefield, as then you must know to both adjust your spiritual balance according to what is around you, and to perceive the balance of those around you to take advantage accordingly. Just as your spirit should be balanced, your various techniques be honed to a perfectly balanced demeanour.
Adopt a stance with the head erect, neither hanging down, nor looking up, nor twisted.
In regards to the gaze of someone, a person must be able to perceive that which is all around him without moving their eyeballs noticeably, which is said to be a skill which takes an enormous amount of practice to perfect. He notes that this is again one of the most important parts of strategy, as well as being able to see things which are close to you, such as the technique of an enemy. It is also used to perceive things far away, such as arriving troops or enemies, as that is the precursor to battle. You can then change your actions according to what you see.
- Right Side
- Left Side
The five attitudes are referred to as the five classifications of areas for attack on the human body. These are areas which are noted for their advantages when striking at an enemy, and the strategist is said to think of them when in situations where, for any reason, you should not be able to strike them. Then his mind should adjust accordingly.
Your attitude should be large or small according to the situation. Upper, Lower and Middle attitudes are decisive. Left Side and Right Side attitudes are fluid. Left and Right attitudes should be used if there is an obstruction overhead or to one side. The decision to use Left or Right depends on the place.
As each is thought of as an attitude means to practice with each “attitude” so that you do not become over-reliant upon one, something notes as being worse than bad technique.
“No Attitude” refers to those strategists who do not go with the use of the “Five Attitudes” and prefer to simply go without the attitudes of the long sword to focus entirely on technique, as opposed to focusing on both technique and the five attitudes. This is similar to taking chances as opposed to making chances.
The attitude of “Existing – Non Existing”, mixes the Five Attitudes with the Attitude of “No Attitude”, meaning that the user of the longsword uses the techniques and principles of both at whichever moment he or she finds most opportune.
“In-One Timing” refers to the technique of biding your time until you can find a suitable gap in the enemies’ defense, to which you will deliver one fatal blow to the enemy. Although this is said to be difficult, masters of this technique are usually masters of the five attitudes because they must be perceptive of weaknesses.
“Abdomen Timing of Two” refers to feinting an attack, then striking an enemy as they are retreating from the attack, hitting them in the abdomen with the correct timing of either two moves or two seconds. Although the technique seems relatively simple, this is one of the hardest techniques to time correctly.