Thursday, January 06, 2011

Zen and the Art of Pillow Fighting

The pillow fight is an ancient, venerable form of combat that stretches back millennia.  The earliest accounts come from ancient Greece where young Hectorus of Nod is said to have first picked up a pillow and struck his brother, Boger the Nosy, as retribution for being wronged.  But while we have this deep seated tradition that is passed on from generation to generation, few of us receive any formal training in the pillow fighting arts and it is that egregious oversight that this guide hopes to overcome.

Know your opponent
 Appearance is the first offense of the pillow fighter.  Their reliance on a carefully cultivated look of both innocence and defenselessness is a time-honored first attack that is designed to get you to relax and drop your guard.  Do Not Fall For This Ruse!
 For in reality, this innocent is a highly trained, highly skilled adept of the combat arts whose favorite weapon is whatever is closest to hand!

Exploit the weakness of the Offense

The classic opening attack

The typical opening salvo of the 4 year old, classically trained pillow fighter will be pure offense: an overhead blow designed to strike the head of the opponent and calculated to leave them momentarily dazed and confused.  This leaves the opponent open to the more devastating side blow attack which can and will inflict maximum damage.

The side blow (or Roundhouse) sequence in 3 shots

But let us note the weakness of this offensive posture: the knees.  At the opening of each attack, the knees and lower legs of the attacker are clearly undefended.  Confident of their training and intoxicated by the knowledge that their training has given them, the typical 4 year old pillow fighting adept forgets to protect their foundation and concentrates solely on the attack itself.  As the pillow fighting master, it is incumbent upon you to show the young adept the error of his or her ways.

At the beginning of the attacker's power phase (or the windup), a well placed low powered blow to the soft spot just behind the knee will send your opponent crumpling in a heap to the ground and leave the open to a fast and merciful final blow.  Thus will end the pillow fight.  Dispatching your opponent without regard to their age, size or attempts to use laughter, giggling or feigned outcries of love and affection for you will only make the pillow fighter into a pillow warrior, ultimately saving their lives in times of battle.  Teach your children well for the Pillow Wars of old may one day yet revisit us...
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