Thursday 23 February 2023

The Germanic Mannerbunde - Part Five


In these Cultic Warrior Brotherhoods we find the use of Ritual Dances, weapon-dances undertaken by the cultic-warriors led by a Fuhrer who represents Woden as the Leader of the Bund. We find such dances still alive today (just) in various parts of England, though some of the more martial forms have been watered down into 'Morris Dancing', though the staffs/clubs are still present. However, the meaning is lost and the energy and ecstatic power has been lost with it. It would be very difficult to get young people involved in this today, for obvious reasons.

However, there is a method that can be used to achieve the same ends - Kata or Form. Using the Japanese term to make it clear, and with the English 'form' with it to try to bring this into an English context, kata is a form of Martial Dance, and it can also be used with weapons. Kata is in essence a means to learn basic warrior-moves, fusing a number of moves into a full 'Form'. Some martial artists have dropped the idea of forms, but there is a very ancient meaning to these, and one that is important to a Warrior Cult. There are many uses for this -

  • This can be used as an individual training or group-training.
  • The best forms would be simple and easy to understand, and easy to learn, thus having only a few moves in the early stages. Unfortunately, many Karate Katas are very long and take time to get right. Better short and easy to learn, and to get right.
  • Each Kata is made up of an individual fighting-move, and putting them together creates a kind of Warrior-Dance. 
  • The forms need some form of self-control, motor-memory, and install self-discipline in the individual. When used in a group they bond together the individuals and create the 'Pack Instinct'. 
  • In doing a kata/form the individual has to visualise a 'living' opponent in order to attack-defend in the way it would be done with a 'real' opponent. 
  • There is even room to extend this use of movement by creating short attack-defend moves with one or more opponents, thus mimicking a real fight. This is done in some Martial Arts, but can be altered to suit a more ritual dance type of movement. 

The first Ar-Kan Form that I developed uses the 33-Runes, each rune made into a movement fitted into a sequence of moves. This is very long and not so easy to learn, but can be split into Four Forms using the Four AEttir. On looking back at this shorter forms would be better suited since they can be learned quickly and thus not become a chore to learn. 

I have done Karate Kata in the past, though I found this rather harder when I restarted training when older, due to the length of the katas. But some of these are invaluable to a Cultic-Warrior Order if we revive them in a form suited to the more esoteric side. The kata we learned for First Dan Black Belt was Tensho which is a very easy one to learn, and based wholly upon short easy moves linked to the rhythmic breath. Higher grades were much longer and harder to learn, and in line with a policy of trying to make things easy to learn, and thus ensure that can be perfected, it is best to stick to short ones. 

The essence of all forms is that the fighter is being attacked by more than one opponent, and has to defend against many, and attack against many. Thus the need for agility and flexibility, having to move, turn, twist etc. The 'Hollywood' style high kicks are of no use when fighting, but in these forms the leaps and jumps can be of use in the 'dance' that is the basis of such forms - depending on age of course (leave me out). 

Weapons Training can also be done with forms, and I have done training with staffs and other weapons some years ago. The best form of weapons-training that we could use for our Martial Arts is that of the Staff and the Twin-Sticks (two short sticks). These need not be bought, and the Folkish Wodenist would be best served making such a Staff and Sticks, of ash-wood usually. Remember, this is being done not as a 'sport' but as serious Spiritual Training. This type of practice must be of a ritual-religious-initiation nature and not for money nor sport, but for spiritual advancement. Runes can be carved or burnt into the Staff/Sticks. 

Allied to the Ritual Forms would be the group-training as done in a dojo (training hall); this means a lining-up of individuals doing a set routine, set moves, and thus working in harmony as group. Again, some martial artists avoid this type of training, but it is useful in building a group-consciousness and 'team-building'. At one time I started to feel that this was unnecessary today, but in retrospect this seems to be a thing needed to build up a 'team' that works together as the 'pack'. 

The one difference than using Japanese, Chinese, or Korean Martial Arts is that everything done in the Ar-Kan Rune-Lag is done in modern English, thus avoiding the need to learn a foreign tongue rather than concentrating upon the actual fighting techniques. Of course, although learning can be done through non-contact, some of the training must be done with semi-contact and then full-contact or it is useless in real life. 

This type of form-work and group-training can be started off through slow-motion moves, thus ensuring the right technique which should precede the right power and force needed. There is another advantage to this, since using a slow-motion type movement actually increases focus and concentration, and it can be allied to rhythmic breathing too. This has the advantage of training oneself to breath correctly and thus avoid the shortness of breath that most newcomers experience because they go in like a 'bull at a gate'. 

Another point to make here is that this is a Spiritual Training at an esoteric level, and a Physical Training at an exoteric level - both should be done together which is how it was in ancient times. Mind-Body-Spirit. There is also the ritual content involved in training, since in the martial arts this forms part of the whole. Starting with the opening of a form, using a ritual mudra (hand-sign) such as used in the Ar-Kan Rune-Lag (Right Hand in a ball, Left Hand clasped over the Right in an 'arch', symbolic of the Sun & The Moon - the Balance of Light and Darkness within the individual. Then there is the Breathing Exercise that follows after the Ritual Hand-Sign, which we need not go into here. The Eastern 'bow' is left out for obvious reasons, since the Hand-Sign can be used before a contest as an acknowledgement to the opponent. 

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