Seven Forms Master

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Seven Forms Master

Postby Padaxes » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:42 pm

Padaxes is a Master of the Seven Forms now. But everything he learnt was from Master Wren, the foremost practitioner of the art. It just so happened I found a cached version of one of his posts hidden away and thought I would post it here for posterity.

The soft sounds of water over smoothed stones flowed into the room. The water was pumped silently to the top of the small fountain in the corner, where it then traveled down a small smooth cliff to a small pool, then from the pool over a shallow simulated stream along the wall, to another pool, populated with Matar native fresh water fish, where the water was then recycled back to the fountain. Sand was used to fill in the rest of the water garden, as well as a few lichen covered rocks, straight from the Sebiestor steppes. The opposite wall was transparent silicon glass, which allowed the view of Pator to shine light into the room. This light also played along the metal of the bladed weapons hanging on the other two walls, and was further enhanced by symmetrically placed candle sconces. The floor not used by the garden was covered in synthetic foam pads, with thick organic material covers.

Wren was also in the room, kneeling almost motionless in the middle of the room. His feet were under his thighs, toes curled against the mat. His hands rested softly on his knees, his back arched slightly, head bowed, eyes closed. The only movement was the slow rocking of his body as he breathed, slow and steady.

In his mind's eye, Wren pictured a small candle with a bright yellow flame. Any intruding thoughts were fed to the flame, which briefly burned an intense blue. In this way, he cleared his mind, preparing himself for the ritual ahead.

Slowly, a string of movements formed. Wren took special care to not feed this into his imaginary flame, and instead let other movements attach themselves to the front and back. Quickly, like magnetic building blocks, the individual movements linked themselves together in his mind. Wren continued to feed thoughts other than this chain into his flame. After a short time, his custom Seven Forms mantra for this ritual was complete. Wren rolled back and then up to the balls of his feet, and immediately began.

His right fist snaked out in a lightning fast punch, as he feet slid to the left, staring the ritual from the Winding Stream form, then turning to face his right he flicked out his left knee, and as he performed each act he could see it fall away from the front of the chain of movements in his mind. Attack and block, steps and rolls, each movement was performed with practice perfect form. Wren's bare chest soon began to shimmer with a thin layer of perspiration; this made the combinations of tattoos, ritual scaring, and tribal branding covering his shoulders and arms seem to come alive. The activity also brought up his war tattoos on his face, the bright red jagged lines around his right eye slowly grew black thorns and wicked spikes, and these moved to cover his forehead and left cheek. Wren launched himself into the air, a ruthless snap kick with his left foot, and then he landed, and came down with his right fist into the mat, carrying the momentum of the jump in a couple of moves from the Coiled Lightning form. The forms linked and flowed together, forming an almost mesmerizing and complex dance and display of martial arts.

Each movement served to focus his spiritual energies for the day's work, and perhaps move him one step closer to a state of perfect mind, body and soul harmony. It was this perfect balance that was the goal of the Seven Forms, however, Wren had only come close to that state twice, and neither of those times was in the recent past. Though he was a true Master, his recent duties conflicted with his ritualistic off duty time.

Wren's fists flashed out in every direction as he performed several punches from the Furious Star form, and then he moved to a bizarre side-to-side series of misdirection blocks and strikes from the Hidden Shadow form. This form was used in almost every one of Wren's rituals, and played a large role in his spiritual self.

The ritual was lasting well over half an hour, but now he was cooling down with some slow arm movements and relaxed limbs that were sure tell signs of the Swaying Tree form. Just as suddenly as the ritual began, Wren fell into the kneeling again. It was during this time that the Oracle would speak to someone who was in perfect alignment, but this also allowed someone to reflect on the series of movements, and try to discern patterns from recent Seven Forms rituals. Wren's breathing slowly returned to deep steady breaths as his body recovered from the constant use.

The Oracle didn't speak to him again this time, but Wren was not surprised, and let himself fall slowly back to the mats and stare at the ceiling for a bit. A mural of Matar with beams from the sun covered the entire area there. After a few minutes, Wren rolled up to his feet and walked to each candle and blew it out, then walked out of the room towards the showers.

A meeting awaited him, they always did.
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Re: Seven Forms Master

Postby Padaxes » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:29 am

L5r - to enhance wisdom by broadening one's knowledge
Respekt - to show respect to others
Linje - to strengthen the body with exercise and training
Sannhet - to be truthful at all times
Fred - to live in and seek peace
cre - to honor your clan mates and tribe
Lojalitet - to show loyalty to one's leader

Teachings of Seven Forms Masters:

...One must perceive the world as a dark room. We must bring light to this room by opening the door, even if it is just a minute opening. Our light must be strong enough that even a small beam will illuminate that room, even penetrating through curtains, furniture, and any objects that might hinder the light...

...You must become one with your adversary. You must become a guide and if your opponent intends to pull, you must anticipate and direct such a pull. When a true master of the forms, you will sense immediately what the opponent lacks and fulfill it; that is, you must perceive the openings in your opponent's position and apply a technique there. In this way you can guide your opponent in a direction and then down him in that direction...

...Always imagine yourself in the most dangerous battlefield beset by the fiercest attack. Train in this set of mind. Do not be tempted however to forgo the basic forms in favor of more advanced ones. When beset by one foe, regard him as many. When attacked by a host, perceive them as one. Continuously train in the physical world, but also train your mind and spirit. A spirit so trained with a body so trained can save us in the most perilous of times...

...Imagine yourself as the center of a sphere. In every direction from the center lies a direction of movement. Breaking the balance of the center is the key to the Seven Forms. One must learn to safely move in any direction from that center point. In this way, you will have confidence and be able to break this balance. However, the center must always be regained...

...The master helmsman, drawing on many years of experience, realizes that with the correct preparation he does not need force to achieve his goal. The novice however, is forced into coercing the vessel to make up for his lack of knowledge. To the observer, the helmsman has the easier path, but only because of years of toil. It takes a surprisingly huge amount of effort to achieve the calmness of spirit required to master the Seven Forms...

...Hands, feet, hips, mind, spirit. All must be used in perfect harmony, centered and functioning as one. Without this harmony, we can not protect the mind, spirit, or body. The skies are nothing without the earth. So it is with practice and performance. When the time comes to use the Seven Forms, you will fail if you do not practice the seven principles at every opportunity...

...Enlightenment of the soul and mind are purchased by the currency of sweat and blood. Only through vigorous and relentless physical training may we unfetter the spirit. Only an unfettered spirit can hope to gain insight to the harmony of the universe, yet also ponder. Each man is a universe...

...Hate not your enemy. For the most important thing is this: You must know him as you know yourself. Hate only clouds the perceptions you will need to perfectly mesh with your opponent. It is this complete and perfect meeting which will bring about your victory...

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Re: Seven Forms Master

Postby Padaxes » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:29 am

Still Mountain - The goal of the Still Mountain forms is not the defeat of others, but instead the defeat of the negative characteristics which inhabit one's own mind and inhibit its functioning. The form's purpose is to resolve situations in the most non-damaging way for both the attacker and the attacked. In this way, the attacker's energy is redirected using the least amount of energy from the attacked. The practitioner of the Still Mountain truly appears to remain still, moving only when attacks are directed at him, and then only moving what is needed to redirect the attack. There is an emphasis on focus without tension.

Relentless Ocean - This form uses the hands in constant up and down motion to confuse and misdirect the adversary. This form has the most movement, and is one of the most aesthetically pleasing techniques of the Seven Forms. The hands are used in a loose open manner. These 'whip-like' hand attacks are combined with many medium and long-range kicks. Another prominent feature of the Relentless Ocean form is the constant forward and backward footwork, to both enter and exit striking distance with the adversary. The footwork combined with the smooth yet heavy attacks and defenses is what gives the form its name.

Hidden Shadow - This form concentrates on misdirection and deception. Attacks are seemingly disjointed and disconnected, and delivered with a total disregard of rhythm. This gives the appearance that blows and strikes land accidentally. Great effort must be used in the footwork and body movements which further confuses the enemy. Execution of the Hidden Shadow form demands great flexibility. When a strike is delivered, power must be maximized to give the greatest effect, but also with enough flexibility that the awkward angle in which the blows are delivered will not injure the user. This style has been described as 'booster withdrawal boxing'.

Winding Stream - The practitioner of the Winding Stream form heavily depends on geometry. Lines of angles in attacks are the most important aspect of this form. This is done to provide the maximum amount of leverage as possible. This leverage is applied in various holds, grapples, kicks, head butts, and short-range punches or elbow blows, either from a standing position or from the ground. Elbow, shoulders, knees, ankles, and neck holds are the most commonly used moves, as well as takedowns and sweeps. Masters of the Winding Stream pride themselves in the ability to have hands and feet doing multiple independent actions simultaneously.

Coiled Lightning - Coiled Lighting receives its name based upon the way a practitioner generates energy using his hips and legs to generate force. This places a great emphasis on footwork. The energy gathered is then released in various medium to short range hand techniques. This makes the strikes both powerful as well as fast. The goal is to end conflict in the least amount of blows as possible. Another key to the form is the 'center line'. This center-line is protected with a 'pushing hand'. This hand is extended towards the adversary, where he wastes energy. Kicks in the Coiled Lightning form are used to disrupt the enemy's footwork and to lower his confidence, and are usually directed below the waist.

Furious Star - The Furious Star form is the most functionally oriented form within the Seven Forms. This form focuses on concise physical and mental aspects of fighting multiple opponents. Most training is done with a minimum of three opponents in mind, then building up to five, and eventually seven opponents. Most of the form is dominated by loose grapples and short range hitting. Much of the training is the dissolving of holds against the practitioner, in order to engage another assailant. The philosophy is to strike or unbalance one adversary, and then disengage cleanly to then engage another opponent as fast and safely as possible. The stance is low, almost crouching. Once an assailant is temporarily disabled, an 'overkill' type of attack is used to ensure that the assailant will not be able to rejoin the fray. Most of these finishing moves are intended to be deadly.

Swaying Tree - This form is perhaps the most beautiful of the Seven Forms to watch. Each movement is executed with a precision and concentration born of relaxed confidence. Each movement is directed away from the center, in various concentric circles around the user. Before and after each attack there is movement which will allow the next attack or defense to flow from it seamlessly. Most of these movements come from the arms and hands. The body moves to join one hand or foot while the other hand or foot moves away from the body. This gives the appearance of rhythmic swaying. Great care is used to maintain a certain mind set, which is essential in maintaining the constant relaxed state of the muscles not currently being used
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Re: Seven Forms Master

Postby Padaxes » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:30 am

Battle Mantra of the Seven Forms Master

My spirit is hard as the Still Mountain.
My energy flows like the Winding Stream.
My motives are like a Hidden Shadow.
My righteousness burns like a Furious Star.
My strikes are fast as Coiled Lightning.
My soul is eternal as the Relentless Ocean.
My resilience is like the Swaying Tree.

I am the Seven embodied in one.

There is no self.
There is no emotion.
There is no form.

There is only harmony.
The Seven Forms: A breakdown.

The Seven Forms represent spiritual refinement and enlightenment through rigorous and structured physical movement. Each movement and gesture is a precise and meditated exercise to focus and shape mental and spiritual energies. Some equate the Seven Forms to a forge of the soul, where an individual is sharpened and tempered into a true master of his own mind and energy.

Each division of the Seven Forms represents different styles of martial arts, from graceful and aesthetic to practical and functional. Each form has little or no similarities with the others. This in itself is proof that they are a collection of unrelated martial arts.

No one knows who gathered all of these forms together under one discipline and centered the education upon spiritual improvement; however, recent research has placed the first school several decades before the Day of Darkness on Pator. Inevitably, there has had to been modifications and alterations to the individual forms and movements throughout this time. The total banning of written or drawn instructions for any movements or forms supports this conclusion. It is entirely possible that the Seven Forms that we know today could be completely different than that of the first Seven Forms. These changes however probably happened very slowly as the forms slowly evolved into their present state. Some research shows that historians have mistaken other martial arts forms as part of the Seven Forms, and some have even listed them with names reminiscent of the Seven Forms, such as Harmonious Wind. The occupation of the Amarrians and their destruction of much of the written and preserved Minmatar historical records and customs makes research difficult. The practitioners of the Seven Forms practice indoors, away from the public. They observe their ritualistic practices as a religion, and practice it behind closed doors, individually or in very small groups. This has also made study of the actual movements difficult.

If there is a mystery about the physical side of the Seven Forms, the Seven Forms practitioners can and do speak freely about the spiritual and mental aspects of the discipline. They claim to have greater stores of energy, more focused minds, greater retention of information, and improved memory recall. This is attributed to the organization of thoughts and emotions taught to them during their training. It also appears to enhance response time, hand-eye coordination, and hone reflexes. They also claim to possess an inner peace and tranquility attributed to their newfound spiritual refinement.

However, most Masters advise that the Seven Forms is not for everyone. Practitioners must devote their life to strict adherence to a schedule of practices and performance of the Seven Forms, if they ever hope to become true masters. There can be no half-hearted attempts, or you damage the essence of the Forms. It is also not for the physically weak or lazy. Practices and rituals involving the Seven Forms are physically grueling, lasting as long as two hours of nonstop movement, most of it high impact.

Currently, only one company has the Seven Forms integrated into their corporate philosophy. That company is Oracle. Oracle also employs roughly half of the known Seven Forms Masters in the Minmatar Republic.

For more information on the Seven Forms or Oracle, visit your local skill pack station and ask for these titles.

Classical Seven Forms - A Study of the Self
Seven Forms Masters - 204 biographies of Seven Forms Masters in the Last Century
Martial Arts Religions Volume 5: Seven Forms
Oracle: Minmatar Ingenuity
The Tribe Known as Oracle
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