Everybody keeps face.
I think the concept of 'maintaining face' is one of the most important lessons I have learned from naginata, and one which I think will probably help me the most in my future life. I have become an mediation ninja, able to couch my true feelings and goals in such terms so that everyone is content and no one seems to be disadvantaged. I should really become involved in talks for hostile takeovers of companies or something, because I get the sneaking suspicion that I would be damn good at it.
I am more sneaky and conniving than most people realise.
Speaking of new found discoveries, a little while ago morsla and I discovered that we have almost exactly the same body size - our arms, legs and torsos are almost identical in length. I'm just bigger, in that I am a squishy girl and not skin and bone. This means that should my life ever depend on learning Mantis Style, I will be quite good at it.
I have also started to learn koryu naginata, old old school naginata. It uses a much shorter weapon, a bit like a lighter, smaller, more finely honed zenichi. Like zenichi, it is only used for kata, but UNLIKE zenichi, it is actually designed for use with a tanto. The naorei stance, the basic posture, has us put our left hand on our waistband and tuck our thumbs into the himo - as Mrs N demonstrated, however, this is where we should rest our hand on the hilt of the tanto.
It's a very cool little whippy weapon and it moves very fast, but I must say that as an enormous white woman I much prefer the stopping power of the zenichi. A zenichi is a sweeping weapon relying on pivoting momentum - a koryu naginata is a weapon which I suspect would rely more on strength of arm (simply because it has not as much mass behind it). Maybe I will warm more to koryu (and don't misunderstand, I do like it a whole lot), but for the moment I think I am happier with zenichi.
And on somethng not related to martial arts, I've been thinking about that game I may or may not run at Unicon 2005. My theory is that if I can get the majority of the planning done by the time the blurbs are due, then I'll go for it. In any case, I'm thinking I will use the new RPG "Blue Rose" as the basis for the game, or at least for the feel invoked. Much as I love 'Changeling: the Dreaming', it has become pretty outdated recently, particularly since most of the folk going to Unicon would have been exposed to 'Exalted' fairly recently... old White Wolf just doesn't seem to cut it anymore, and I think it'll be a while before we can have a retro-styled revival of it. I thought about using 'Dark Ages: Fae', but I think the plot ideas I have developed would work better with Blue Rose.
All that remains now is to bash out a session plan and some plot notes (which I may be able to do tonight), and to have a chat with bishi_wannabe and mousebane about if we are actually going ahead with these plans.
Also, there is someone out there who shall remain nameless for the time being who has been taking some very questionable actions lately. I like this person, so I will give them fair and anonymous warning; if you keep doing silly things, I will personally find you and slap you until you see reason. I have no problems playing the bad cop to everybody-else's good cop, because I am a mean-spirited cow with good intentions.
Tough love, coming your way. So behave.