One of the stories of the writing of the Tao Te Ching – The Book of the Way – is that Lao Tzu was on his way out out town and was asked if he could write down his thoughts on the Tao by a worker.
Lao Tzu directly set about writing the Tao Te Ching, finished it, gave it to the man, and then left the village without pretense.
It’s a cool story, one of many, I’m sure about the origin of Taoism and the Tao Te Ching (pronounced daodejing).
Disc Dog Freestyle as Martial Art
Last year, while putting together the Laws of Flatwork, I spent several months studying combat sports – Youtube, training manuals, websites, as I noticed a direct connection between disc dog stances and pressure and the similarities to fighting sports. It wasn’t long until I started to started to see the dog as a sparring partner, and the jam as sparring.
I had recently picked up new copies of Bruce Lee’s books, the Tao of Jeet Kun Do and Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, two books that had great impact on me as a kid, something I’d learn about in spades in revisiting the books 30 years later. So much influence on my ideas of movement and athleticism and a bunch of familiar personal philosophy.
Working out with Adrian Stoica who came to train with us a few weeks ago kind of brought this whole thought process to a head. He mentioned that he is a jujitsu practitioner, and from that point on much of our discussion was had through martial arts metaphor.
It felt easy to communicate complex ideas of teamwork, and over the course of a few days all the ideas flying around over the last year became one single idea, an old idea for me: Time to write the Tao of disc dog freestyle.
Writing in Flow
The Tao of K9Disc was written in just over 14 days in the Jolly Collie at an undisclosed location, almost stream of consciousness style – definitely stream of coffee style – as something of an homage to Lao Tzu.
My recollection of the story, his ease at sitting down and writing about the Tao, simply because he was asked, knowing damn well that any Tao that can be explained in words is not the true Tao, but writing it down anyway, because words and ideas have value even if they can’t fully explain the Way… pretty inspiring.
It’s the only way this book gets written, in hindsight. I don’t think I would have had the courage to sit down and intend to write this book.
It’s got all the coherence of a bunch of short blog posts that are about nothing much at all; a rambling discussion about what it is we’re actually doing out there. To talk about the way of things and the many ways of things all but requires lack of structure. Such is the way of the Tao.