The feeling you get when you watch a fight is different than the feeling of performing it.

When we watch a fight as an audience, we tend to remember the image of the end points (completion of the attack and the parry), and the experience of the pathway. As a performer, when we observe our choreography, we must remember the points AND the pathways. When we perform them, we must mindfully perform all parts of the fight. A novice actor/fighter might still be thinking like an audience member, focussing only on the end points. As performer, we have to think differently: we must mindfully perform each moment of the fight, which includes the pathways as well as the points.

In practice, this means that we don’t stop and hold at a point (a parry, or the end of an attack) unless we have specifically been choreographed to do so. We take the opportunity of the pathway to be present, allowing our character choices to express themselves: What do I perceive will happen next (success or failure)? What do I want to happen next? What do I think or how do I feel about that? … intentions, obstacles, tactics, stakes.