“A swordsman is at his most natural state when he thinks of nothing at all. Thoughtlessness is the natural state of things, and thinking is probably the biggest mistake of amateurs. By completely disavowing use of that pesky organ in your skull all that is left is the hard and old nerves in the body that think about deep and consequential things such as survival. They know exactly what to do, and they are smarter than you. You become a completely naturalistic and comfortable animal, who’s only motivation is the killing impulse.

To give you an example, I once spent the better part of a summer afternoon killing thirty five men from the Kagen Amat school who had been sent to execute me, returned home, and I had made most of supper before I came back to myself. I remember the incident poorly but several of the men were almost certainly master swordsmen who had studied the blade for most of their lives, and I unfortunately was still an idiot at that time and had taken no weapon with me. I ended up using a piece of driftwood I picked out of the surf. It was quite pleasant and not difficult at all.

Some people think my story an exaggeration and that I had a hidden blade on me or had used perfidious tricks such as poison or several of my friends hidden in ambush. I tell you no such thing is true. I started my afternoon out taking a shit on the beach and I ended up decapitating fifteen men. I had clams for dinner.”

– Meti ten Ryo