View Full Version : trying to find source for "poem"

5th February 2002, 22:31
"you cut my skin,
* I cut your flesh,
you cut my flesh,
* I cut your bone,
you cut my bone,
* I take your limb,
you take my limb,
* I take your life"

Morbid, but one of the guys I train with told it to me. If I remember correctly, he couldn't remember where it came from, and I've been meaning to ask for a while now.

So, anybody know the source?

Take care,


6th February 2002, 02:31
If I remember correctly Yoshin ryu has a version of this poem in its teachings. I'm not sure if it was original to Yoshin ryu or just borrowed from an older source. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be able to help answer that question.

Best regards,
Rennis Buchner

19th February 2002, 10:40
I have seen this before as:

"You cut my skin,
I cut your flesh,
you cut my flesh,
I cut your bones,
you cut my bones,
I kill you."

It was explained to mean that the bushi was to be ready willing to escalate a conlict when need be, however I have never seen it attributed to any one person or clan.

Brently Keen
20th February 2002, 22:37
Not to argue with the honorable Draeger-san (I've no idea what he was actually talking about, or in what context he may have said that), but I always understood the proper maai to be where my opponent can't cut me at all. Daito-ryu techniques for example, don't leave any openings for the opponent, when they are done properly. So ideally I'm looking to create a relationship with my opponent in such a way that he's in a position where I can cut him, but he can't cut me.

Draeger's comment appears (to me) to be saying that if you've already screwed up enough to be where your opponent can cut your skin the only possible excuse for that would be if you did so in order to cut deeper - into his flesh. It could also be allowing for a sutemi (sacrafice) type of approach in which one sacrafices or gives a little in order to gain a greater advantage.

At any rate, the poem makes more sense to me in terms of an offensive mindset rather than maai. Because I much prefer to disable or kill my opponent before he cuts me at all, thus preserving maai own-self, if you know what I mean. ;)

Brently Keen

Jack B
21st February 2002, 18:25
"The bravery of being out of range" -- US war strategy since Desert Storm. And a darn good one!

Jack Bieler

M.W. Jones
22nd February 2002, 02:36

If my memory serves me, I think this morbid bit of verse might be attributed to Musashi. Now I'll have to stay up late scouring my translated copy of the Five Rings. Hmmmm... Normally this would be considered a pleasure, however the consequences assert themselves when the alarm screams at 5:30 am tommorow.

I could be wrong about the source, but maybe it will spark someones elses referential memory.

Anyway... good luck.

M.W. Jones