Saturday, 27 April 2013

Focus – The 5 Strategies of Mis-direction 
My research has resulted in defining 5 key types of strategy which I term FLITE which is an acronym of the elemental laws that they respond to being: Focus, Leverage, Invulnerability, Timing and Expectation and this month I want to share what I’ve learned about the 5 strategies of FOCUS.
I mentioned last month that I would cover the 5 Key strategies in my next article so here they are. FOCUS – the combat law of focus says ‘what you focus on becomes your reality’. This means that you can only focus in one direction at a time and whatever you focus on becomes all you can see. The philosopher and scientist Abraham Maslow once said ‘give a child a hammer and the whole world suddenly looks like a nail’.
Focus strategies deal with controlling an opponent’s gaze that is, seeking to control what he looks at with a view to making that thing seem more important than anything else at that moment. Conjurors do it all the time with their illusions, making us believe one thing when in fact something quite different is the truth. If we can control where our opponent sets his gaze then it’s pretty sure you can claim his entire attention if only for a moment, as long as it is long enough for you to achieve your purpose.
There are 5 focus based strategies and it may be worth explaining here how come I batch things into 5’s such as the 25 elemental laws and the 25 strategies, well it’s not on purpose it’s just that in life and especially martial arts the number 5 does tend to appear a lot. Musashi’s ‘Book of 5 Rings, the number 5 appears frequently in the number of guard positions, stances and of course the 5 Rings that make up his chapters. Yagyu Munenori, Musashi’s contemporary and sword master to 3 Shoguns in feudal Japan also details numerous references to the number 5 in terms of stances and guards and the most famous of them all – Sun Tzu in ‘The Art of War’ contains many references and lists numbering 5. So often has the number occurred in my own study and teaching that I use the number a lot, not on purpose necessarily but because it appears so often that I now look for it. However  I want to stress that I only use it when it fits well. My study of strategy came naturally to 5 because that’s as many as I could discover. Traditionally Chinese strategy details 36 stratagems and I studied these but found that several were just variations on the same strategy, what I would call techniques rather than true strategies. True strategies are based on elemental laws as we’ll find out next. Read on tomorrow ;)

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