Being stuck at home feeling a bit under the weather I asked what I should write about in this post. On that popped up was the question, ‘ what is the difference between a fighter and a swordswoman/man’?
I have mentioned in previous entries my dislike for the term ‘fighter’, evoking images of bare knuckle boxing and bad MMA. I have tried to use other terms in its stead: combatant, swordsman and knight are a few of the options.
Anyway, here is a bit of thinking about these two terms and how they may describe different approaches to the tournament arts
A fighter in one sense of the term is a person who seeks to gain victories on the field. The development of technique and skill is focused this very tangible outcome. The fighter works hard to develop game winning moves and becomes very good at what they do.
Traveling on a slightly different path is the swordsman. The Swordsman is studying the tournament arts to better themselves. Victory is an outcome of their training, not the focus of it. To shamelessly steal something from kendo-
The study of swordsmanship is:
to mold the mind and body,
to cultivate a vigorous spirit,
and through correct and rigid training,
to strive for improvement in the art of the sword.
To hold in esteem human courtesy and honour,
to associate with others with sincerity, and
and to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.
To relate this to my conversation about the Rowany Fighter Auction. I won that as a fighter. I need to now look to being a swordsman.
I feel that we can step from one road to another on our journey. One is not better than the other. They are just different approaches to what we do.
A small note. We will always have some struggle with gendered terminology. This is perhase where the term ‘fighter’ is useful. Anyway – I only use ‘swordsman’ as a short hand because writing swordsman/woman is clunky. I convey no appropriation of a gendered meaning to these words.