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8/9/04 Will Huggins: Strategy

Nigel wrote:

"A lot of today's batsmen have had their techniques ruined by using heavy bats. The obsession with heavier bats is inextricably linked with the high backlift, as batsmene strain for extra power. I had all my bats tailor-made at 2lb 5oz, the balance being most important in guaranteeing manoeuvrability. A batsman must be able to control the swing of the bat and it is nonsense to suppose that I could have used the same weight of bat as Botham, who is around a stone and a half heavier, or that a schoolboy could use one of my bats. The bat should feel like an extension of the arm rather than a plank and it should be used as a rapier, not as a cutlass." --Geoff Boycott in 'Boycott on Cricket'

Similarly, Miyamoto Musashi (the most famous of Japanese samurai who won 60 duels between 13 and 29 against the best swordsmen in Japan) had this to say concerning "edges" in the introduction to the "Wind" book in The Book of Five Rings, his treatise on winning...the parallels to those who rely on a single trading pattern is illuminating...if you don't have five or six game plans in your pocket, you're going to be wiped out when conditions move against you...Musashi spent the last half of his life teach people how to win regardless of circumstance, and painting...

"Since it is important to be acquainted with the paths of the various schools, I shall write about them in this chapter which is called "the Wind Book". Unless one is familiar with the other schools, my Niten Ichiryu school cannot be fully mastered"

"In investigating the other Heiho, I find some schools emphasizing the use of large long swords and placing particular importance merely on strength. On the other hand, there are some which specialize in the use of the kodachi (short sword). And other s have invented a large number of tachi (long swords), and teach in terms of how to take a stance, such as the omote (external appearance) and the oku (internal appearance) forms with the long sword."

"This chapter will show why all these are not the true path and will let the reader know of the good and the bad of these schools. The principles of my Niten Ichiryu school are special."

"Each of the other schools look up on Heiho (Musashi's "way") as one of the arts, and they wander off the true path in that they try to add polish in order to make theirs into merchandise which will sell since they look upon their work as a means of making a livelihood (the first "trading books"?). There is in this world, that which purports to be Heiho, which is limited to he practice of sword techniques; it attempts to find out how to win merely by practicing the swing of the long sword, by getting the body into good condition, and by polishing its techniques. In any case, such are not befitting of the true path"

http://www.samurai.com/5rings/wind/ (which has a different translation but you can save yourself $10 on the book)