If you practiced martial arts or zen, perhaps you recognize these Chinese characters. The first one, Mu is a negative and can mean among a vast array of meanings, nothing, not, no, nothingness and more. The second and third characters are a pair, pronounced Tachi, meaning just that, a Tachi is a type of curved sword usually worn hung at the waist blade down that was used during the warring periods in Asia.
This year in our martial arts training we are exploring movement while wielding a Tsurugi, another type of double edged sword that predates the Tachi. But notice the emphasis is on movement and not on the using the tsurugi itself. This is a very important point. Perhaps related to another recent post, Mu Tou Dori, you will enjoy this pun (which was originally painted by Hatsumi Sensei but I did not photograph it. So you must suffer my brush!). It is a simple pun but made thru the use of three different languages! The characters are Chinese, the expression itself is a Japanese expression based but based on the English language!
At first glance it looks like Nothing Tachi. But when we change the Nothing to No, it becomes “No Tachi”. Pronounced this way in the Japanese accent it becomes English, “No Touch”! This Japanese expression is use for situations that are perhaps dangerous, so “No Touch”, or maybe we distance ourselves from them. Perhaps it can imply a lightness of approach. What does it mean to you? If you have been training for a long time or even just beginning your journey, may this pun, in conjunction with the prior post, Mu Tou Dori, inspire and enlighten.
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