What does it mean to fight and what are you fighting for?

Syllabus – Fall 2011

The lens through which we will encounter performance is what it means to create, sustain, and carry forward a “fight” – within yourself, or to share with others. What are you fighting for? What elements of approach to artistry align with that of the warrior? Friends in East Africa tell me that too often in the U.S. we are taught to walk on eggshells, to speak around what it is we want, for ourselves and the world around us. Our senses are deadened by a media or lifestyle that distracts us from, or can even vaporize our dreams. Through this organizing question – what does it mean to fight, and what is it that you are fighting for – how can performance help you materialize (an image of) what you really want?

principals of a fight (a few):


– what do I need to do to ready myself?

– what is the environment I am entering into?

– why am I fighting?


– create an understanding of purpose, and of strength

– take in all of your surroundings

– proceed with awareness, and direction


– do not go against brute force

– find the open space, go there

– move with an ease which remembers the skills you walked in with, and uses materials, resources you are given in the moment


– where did your “spear” land?

– what will you do now to take care of what you have won?

(gathered, cultivated, or created, for your self, family, society)

– how will you walk away?



77. Precision

The Tao is like the bending of a bow.

The top is bent downward; the bottom is bent up.

If the cord is too long, it is shortened;

if it is too short, it is lengthened.

The policy of the Tao is to take from those who have too much

and give to those who have too little.

But that is not the human practice.

We take from those who have too little

and give to those who have too much.

Who is it that has more than enough

and gives his surplus to those in need?

Only the follower of the Tao.

The follower of the Tao acts without hope of gain,

accomplishes but takes no credit,

does not wish to lord it over others.


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