Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Profit by Assessing Strategically: Assessing the Quality of a Sword

(updated at 5:55 hr.)

How do you assess an certain object in an uncertain setting?

While studying the video of a displayed sword or an actual sword at an auction, you wanted to know if it is an actual antique sword or a well-made replica.  

Lets say that you have decided to purchase a jian (a Chinese double-edged sword). Based on your "sword collecting" experience and some sword play training experience, you have already known that it is the lightest of the Chinese medium-sized weapons and requires a great "intent-driven" skill to manipulate.  

Purchasing a Sword
As the blade was being slid from the sheath, you noticed the color of the blade as a glow of light that was reflected on it.

You were quietly impressed by the opulence and the elegance of the sword. After a few moments, you decided to seriously assess this exotic sword. 

The first step was the estimating of the weight, the length of the sword and the width of the blade in a New York second. 

The next step is the visual inspection of the pommel, the tang, the slab, the cross guard and the blade.

While estimating the thickness of the handle, you are also studying the design of the hilt.  Because of your expertise, you understood the origin of the design, the possible quality of metal from hilt to blade and the weight of the blade.

Beside on some of the earlier points, you have concluded that the hilt of the sword could be heavier than the blade.

Assessing the Sword By Physical Swordplay
Some novices or ranked amateurs would occasionally grab the bladed implement, look at it with a glance, feel the weight and the blade and started to "sling and fling" the blade geometrically a few times before stopping and deciding whether to procure it or not. Others just visually assess the blade, and concluded the possible quality of the sword before ever touching it or bargaining for it.

/// # We preferred to methodically and mindfully assess  any quality item that is exotic, exclusive and esoteric.  Beside evaluating the sharpness and the weight of the blade, we have always examine whether the sword is properly balanced by checking whether the pommel supports the rear of the hand, is able to counterbalance the blade's weight while also inspecting the quality of the scab that covers the tang.   # /// 

Before handling the sword, you were already warned about its extreme sharpness. The risk consequence of playing with this implement is quite obvious.

Your deep training in most categories of swords and the act of unifying your mind-body, qi and spirit gave you the skill to mindfully manipulate this sword with zero effort by carefully holding the sword in stillness while focusing on the outpoint of the sword, before any physical motion begins.  (You could read more on this subject matter by visiting our friends at Cook Ding's Kitchen. They have a stronger internal martial art background than we do. ... They are the specialists. We are just the martial arts newbies. )  ... 

There is more to this particular category of Chinese sword play than the action of drawing, cutting/thrusting and sheathing the bladeThe constant practice of this "mindful aware-driven" exercise has enabled you to implement purposeful movements in your sword play and motion were not wasted. 

After a period of experimenting, you began to compare the experience of playing with this sword with the previous experiences of playing with the other similar swords. That requires a unique skill.   Those who have tangible martial art skills and experience, know what we are discussing. 

Mindful Practice
While some result-driven sword players are lucky that they are able to mindfully concentrate on their breathing, their balance and their rhythm, we preferred to focus our attention to the following five quality principles (or factors) while doing anything relevant:   
  • Centering the body; 
  • Relaxing the body; 
  • Connecting the whole body to the ground;
  • Calming the body; and 
  • Feeling the body in a "whole/complete" perspective.
Whether you are assessing the quality of the sword or the quality of food, comparing and contrasting the various factors from each experience is how one profits in our information economy.  ... This is a deep psychological practice that requires many hours of continuous preparation. 

Back to the topic of sword, you might ask the following question, "whether the quality of this experience matches the value of this exotic sword?"

Side Notes 
After that experience of 120 seconds of swordplay, you have realized that this sword by itself dominates nothing. It only comes alive through your skillful manipulation.  . . .  Playing with a sword or any object does not build character.  It reveals the essence of the swordplayer.  ... In some instances, each action is an unified extension of the mind, the body and the spirit. . . . Mastery of real skills requires a sound and solid direction and many quiet sessions of mindful and insightful practices.

By watching the second video, one realized that good sword play with the jian is about being strong while being supple. 

The best swordplay in any chaotic situation is not to remove it from the sheath

In my case, i usually preferred the utilization of an exotic pen over a sword in certain situations.  Our other associates preferred the balance of both implements. 

Comment From The Compass Desk 
So how do you profit from this post? ... 

Because of the speed of the technology and the basic emotional behavior pattern to decide immediately, some members of the masses have a tendency to be deceived by obvious frauds.  ...  Whether you are assessing the purchase of a sword, an automobile or a sandwich, do you realistically assess the quality of any items before buying it?  ... The extra step could de-accelerate the act of immediate gratification. Ensuring that the deception has a hidden negative affect. That might have a value price of lost time and lost resources.  ... So, who do you trust?  Trust yourself.  ... Assess, Position and Influence.  ...

Look at the act of strategic assessment as one ounce of prevention.  

"One ounce of prevention is equal to one pound of cure."

"A snitch of time saves nine."

The constant saving of time and financial resources creates a gradual profit gain.

The avoidance of many "trial and error" sessions and the possibility of macro negative risk-consequences could occur by being strategically mindful in one's decision to assess.  

Playing the game of constant upgrade is something that we could not avoid, Getting constantly deceived is a game that one wants to avoid. From our own experience, learn the practice of assessing is quite beneficial in understanding the certainty of a scenario..  ... But it takes time to do it.  ... This view does not correspond with those ADD people who have the need for immediate gratification.

One only assesses when he/she cares about their own current situation and do not trust the projected certainty of their grand situation. (Compass Rule 101)... Think about it.  ... 

Psychology is Strategy  
One's psychological view of a situation determines their strategic objective and their approach.  The possession of the means and the quality of the modes are two factors  that determine whether the person has the essential substance to solve the objective is the tangible challenge. 

Macro Assessment Pointers 
  • Reading and recognizing the criticalness of one's grand situation and beyond. 
  • Knowing the configuration and the connectivity of the situation before deciding on the factors that influence the situation.
  • Performing various degrees of scenario modeling before deciding.
If the current situation is insignificant and stable, pointer #2 and pointer #3 become immaterial.

Theoretically, it is that simple.  ...  Tactically, the mastery of those three pointers usually required a large range of concentration and practice.  Do you have it?   If so, are you willing to improve on those skills?

Do you really display a serious sense of care and concern on your daily habits and tasks or any relevant task/objective?. ... 

Assessing anything relevant means that one must be methodical by style while being mindfully aware of the influences that affected him or her, the terrain and whatever is beyond those points. 

We do not expected anyone to immediately understand this post and those three mentioned pointers. Because of the velocity and the veracity that are affecting our society, some people might be harshly influenced to mindfully understand the essence of this material one day. 

Think about it.  .. .Good luck. ... 

# # # 

Side note: There are more specific steps to assessing a Chinese double edged sword. We will publish it in our future "Strategic Assessment" book.   For more information on learning the basics of swords, please visit sword forum.  It is a great place to learn about swords.  ... Some of us are occasional visitors of that informative site. 

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