War has been defined by many people throughout the ages. Cicero, Roman philosopher and political theorist, defines war as “a contention by force.” Some continue, that it is an all pervasive phenomenon of the universe. I believe it is the result of natural friction; when two or more elements who move in the same relative space, come into contact, converting energy into heat. This heat then alters and deforms all objects, creating the necessary “ new.” Scholars dispute the date of the first recorded war. Some say it occurred at the battle of Zhyolu about 2500 BC. Others contend it took place in Sumer, which is modern Iraq and Elam which is part of Iran in 2700 BC. Every culture has produced a warrior model, whether it be passive or aggressive. Those who engaged in the competition often belonged to warrior societies and were trained according to cultural edicts. Different warrior stances have been passed down through the generations but collectively, body language and expressions of all peoples are the same.
Combat Science is unique to every society. Posturing is very important. Old Prussia was famous for the “Goose Step” where lines of jack booted soldiers trained to point their toes upward at every cadence beat, raising their legs to a high horizontal position to keep their balance. They leaned forward and swung their arms while holding their chins in a jutting position. The music was slow and they marched grimly with a deliberate air of menace. The stance told the enemy that they were a super human regiment. Kali the gentle mother and fierce goddess of the Hindu was always sculpted with furrowed brows, sharpened teeth and a fierce look posed for combat. She was proud and powerful with her saber drawn. She was most often depicted riding a raging lion. Chinese martial artists believe that the power of combat resides in the “Qi,” a place within the body where one must harmonize their internal processes to produce extreme external action. The heart holds the desire to champion, the intent is the vital energy and the strength is the blow. They believe that this action resides in the shoulders, the knees, the hands and the feet. Fierce Yoga posturing within Indian disciplines works in much the same way. Muscles are strengthened throughTai Chi and other yoga venues to produce extreme energies. Today the African Warrior Experience teaches street combat through warrior dance movements. Kupigana Ngumi is a system of fitness, confidence, self-esteem and spiritual energy. Schools of dance and fashion teach “cat walk” power stances to improve posture and self esteem to beat the competition. Even the Tango is filled with combative moves and strides. Combat occurs every day throughout the world. Not only in military settings but in face to face interaction between people too.
Offensive posturing is not unique to humans. Cats and dogs face off. Fish run territories. Plants invade other species. Even plate techtonics is a friction for territory. Humans are both offensive and defensive. Most of human offensive posturing is bluff. People posture confidence through our hair styles, our clothing and personal belongings. We square off our shoulders when confronted, raise our brows and focus our eyes. With spread legs we often point our finger in the opponents face. We try to posture confidence in this fierce stance. Often refusing to move when poked or shoved. We remember “the eye of the tiger” and prevail. The most important thing to remember during confrontation if you are trying to go hard, is to relax. Just Breathe. Pay attention during the posturing, listen. You may hear more information about yourself or your opponent. But stay brave, sudden and quick.
Defensive posturing takes place mostly in the face of humans. We cross our arms and roll our eyes. We sigh or yawn and scratch our heads. We repeat words the offensive person has said with sarcasm and goad them into restating their arguments to catch them in a slip. We laugh and call them names. We try to make ourselves bigger. Being attacked is not fun, but keep your cool. Do not give eye contact until you are both ready to change positions.
During the first round, the offensive will grind against the defensive, causing verbal heat. The defensive will listen, toy with, then attack the offensive until the rolls have changed. The same body language and verbal attacks will even the score. This activity will continue until one side gets tired or “sees the light.” The pecking order, on a particular issue will be established. Sometimes the established offensive will prevail, other times the defensive will stomp them. Either way, a new way of relating, both in communication and results will occur.
Most all cultures believe that power resides within to combat “the others.” I believe it is a universal law that the universe moves as a result of friction. Yue Fei of the Sung Dynasty said it clearly. That we harmonize internal processes with external movement to be powerful. That the reason we pose is to strengthen our core. A good growl here and there doesn’t hurt either.