The Righteous and the Wicked.

May 30, 2014

A righteous warrior set up camp 25 meters off of the roadside. Exhausted from his long journey, he immediately began gathering and processing wood for a fire. Using a short sword, he began chopping branches of dead wood up into sections and then splitting them lengthwise by hitting the spine of the blade with smaller limbs set aside as tools before they were then processed as kindling. It was tedious work which could’ve been easily been handled with an ax but as I mentioned earlier, this was a warrior, not a barbarian. And this warrior’s journey was long so his short sword would have to suffice. Hours pass and the fire was finally self-sustaining. Our righteous warrior could now relax and cook a delicious rabbit he had caught earlier that day.

In the distance, he sees someone walking up the road. A warrior. Our hero could clearly tell by the large spear held in his right hand. He was also dressed in (heavily damaged) armor. What our hero couldn’t see that this warrior was not a righteous one. THIS warrior was a thief, a trickster and an overall bastard. For the sake of expediting the story, we’ll just call him “The Bastard.” Our righteous warrior feared no one. He was deadly with any weapon (including his mitts if necessary) and could clearly see that The Bastard needed help. Our hero invited The Bastard to camp. Shared some of his kill and before long, the two were sharing boisterous (probably) true stories as expected of warriors like themselves.

Comfortably full and safe from dying on the highway, The Bastard once again resumed his bastardly ways that had brought him to his current station in life. He was a warrior, sure. But he was also a coward and not as capable with close range weapons which is why his weapon of choice was a spear (when he wasn’t stabbing people in the back with his dagger). However our villain couldn’t take his beady weasel eyes off of the short sword that apparently caught dinner and started this fire that the pair was enjoying. “I’ve got to get my bastard hands on that short sword. I’m sick of going to bed cold and hungry.” So The Bastard did what a bastard does and came up with a plan to get himself a brand new short sword. He challenged our hero to a (practice) duel. Branches the approximate length of a short sword would be the contested event. If he won, The bastard would win the short sword. If our righteous hero won, he would claim ownership of his opponent’s spear. Our hero, being righteous (and possibly a little overconfident) promised to even give the challenger some lessons in fighting techniques since he had the clear advantage.

So the two began practicing. The righteous warrior was as good of a teacher as he was a fighter and soon his opponent began to pick up a few of the intermediate techniques including the deadly “triple decapitation” attack and the “double knee break.” But The Bastard had a trick up his sleeve; a simple, yet effective distraction that he used time and time again to con opponents of higher skill levels. The Bastard simply said,

“You have phenomenal skill with the triple decapitation and double knee break. I think I’ve picked up the basics, but it would be really helpful if you could tell me how YOU do it. Tell me about the finest details of your arm swing. Do you angle the blade completely horizontal or at a slight angle? What about your grip? Is your index finger fixed tightly on the choil or is more pressure put on the sub-hilt?”

The warrior was confused. He never thought about it like that before. He was a talented teacher and deadly with those techniques; never absent minded during training. But it had been so long since he began his training, when our hero, performed the double knee break on his unlucky opponent, he just performed a double knee break. He had no time for the finer details because his technique was already set after 15 years of training.

“I don’t really see the benefit. But sure, I’ll do my best to explain MY technique.”

The two practiced though the night. at dawn, the two dueled. Our hero lost.

The end?

The above story is fake.  But paralysis by analysis is a real thing.  Want to know how to mess with a tennis player?  Ask him about his backswing mid-match.  Want to mess with a weightlifter?  Draw his attention to a minute detail of a lift at 90% or more or in a competition setting.  There is a time and place for analysis.  The competitive environment is not it.  

One Response to “The Righteous and the Wicked.”

  1. Tom said

    Awesome.

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