About the Game


How the Game is Played
Mission of Flowing Dragon Swords


The Connection/Birth

  1. The two Opponent/Teachers (O/T’s) face each other with Swords in a neutral position; they begin by grasping the “Bokken” *(see glossary) with one hand just below the “Tsuba”* (see glossary) and the other hand supporting the blade, or the lower part of the “hilt”(long handle), whichever is more comfortable.
  2. The O/Ts then step into an engaging stance which involves placing one foot – at least one foot length (their own foot length) – behind the other at about shoulder-width apart.The O/Ts then bow to show their respect for each other and to honor their training.  The Swords are then carefully offered to one another with the idea of “opening” to one another, while simultaneously “reaching” for the other, and each O/T should start to hold this intention in their Sword, Body and Soul.
  3. The idea now is to contact the O/T’s sword at a single still point, or as some people prefer, a slow drawing movement, like gently placing the bow on violin strings – the outcome must be, however; that the swords contact only once and do not “Tap-tap”.  As per the agreements of our game, “a tap with a second tap” would mean there was a disconnect; however small, and it would be considered a time to repeat part “2” entirely.
  4. The O/Ts now offer their EYES to one another, holding {the intention of “Reaching and Opening to the [Other]”} The O/Ts are now attempting to maintain full and complete eye contact {as much as possible}, reaching for 99.0% (as there are some movements while turning which make eye contact impossible).
  5. This “reaching” is also an offering and an invitation to more than eye-contact; it is offering one of the deepest connections possible, while simultaneously Opening to the “Other”.  As we do this,the mid-16th century proverb is held in our “Heart –Mind” :
    “The Eyes are the Window of the Soul.”

The Game has truly begun.

  1. The connection now made fully, if the two O/T’s “Game” results in movement, which comes from that mutually-inspired organic realm which only they can co-create together, they are then encouraged to flow on this path.  Likewise, “Flow” can come from just the deep inner well – and can contain (for whatever reason) very little external movement at all.  However, if this comes from that same organic realm, it can bring the same truths and depths as even the most physically active examples of our Practice.
  2. If one O/T moves their physical location, the other must follow. This is true of the movement initiated from either O/T, and both must fully give over when this occurs.  Both lead, both follow, always the two O/Ts
    have = equal = responsibility and power,
    and this is realized only in their unique, co-created play.

The Disconnection/Death

Disconnection; in our Game, is not losing:

  • It is not cause for concern,
  • It is not the mark of inability,
  • It is not a bad or unfortunate thing.

It is:  the first step toward an awareness, which we are all
reaching for in this world and it, begins with
**Acknowledgment** (see glossary)

It is considered a great and powerful Honor to say,
“I’m the one who has died” {disconnected};
As it is a direct reference to a “Dragon”-
(The impediments in our ego, actually
Termed “High” or “Low Dragons”).
Because in dying, to the inflated or the unloved self, we have the opportunity to move forward, to Learn and Live with ourselves in a new understanding. It is a way of balancing those parts of our egos which do not serve us, in FDS practicewe call this “Slaying our Dragons”.

“Our Demons / Dragons are
Our own limitations,
Which cut us off from the Ubiquity of the Spirit.”

Joseph Campbell

This is the place where we know we have disconnected:

  • from ourselves,
  • each other,
  • and the world around us.

We want and need this place, so we can begin to understand where and when we are present with each other, while not placing ourselves above or below one another, and moving toward acceptance of self and all others.

That is why the extraordinary quote from the
Sioux warriors riding into the hail of Custer’s bullets fits our renewed understandings in Flowing Dragon Swords so well:

“It is a Good Day to Die!!!”

In dying to our small selves we live in a greater understanding of this
Phenomenal Life.

“In the beginning of our Game, we are only here to witness for one
another the act of Acknowledgment and allow ourselves the chance to
learn about our own movement or stillness and the body which we are
blessed with, while in communion with our “opponent/teacher”.

Richard Squeri

With Flowing Dragon Swords there is no winning or losing. There is no blame or expectation. However, these learned behaviors arise in each of us. As they do, the budding peace warrior within us reaches out first to slay these Dragons and then to blend with them in harmony. FDS’s play has a soothing effect on the emotions and psyches of all who choose to play. It is a healing communion between people who wish to open themselves to its power.

Statements of the Practice

  1. The Swords come together, they don’t come apart; there is no hacking, stabbing, or slashing, no aggressive movement of any kind.
  2. There is No Winning or Losing.  There is No Winning or Losing.
  3. There is only Life, Death and Learning
    …And Finally just Life & Learning

Notable Reminders to the Game of
“Flowing Dragon Swords”
Basic Rules of Play

  • Honor the history and mythology of the Game
  • Always treat your sword with respect (others will if you do)
  • Show care and patience to all who would share the game and honor you with their cooperative-“opponent/teacher” participation.
  • Take common sense care to avoid the face, throat and lower soft vital areas, and if these places are threatened, you probably need further explanation and training before proceeding, so please seek this out
  • The Game is to be practiced slowly, and is to be presented slowly.  Advanced play and advanced variations are to be explored under an advanced instructor only. 
  • Wherever possible give and maintain 99.0% eye-contact, as The Eyes are the Window of the Soul.  {As well as “Reaching with” & “Opening” your “Heart-Mind/your Soul” }
  • Flowing Dragon Swords is played as a “deep breath,” not a “gasp”
  • There is no winning or losing
  • Invest in the “death”; “in loss”;  enjoy your own learning and journey, pursue balance
  • Relinquish the burdens of the spirit through the release of your “Dragons”.


Intermediate Rule Reminders
with all the Basics understood and experience

  • Honor the history and mythology of the Game
  • Always treat your sword with respect (others will if you do) 
  • The swords touch (primary contact), they do not come apart
  • It is considered a great honor to acknowledge that you have died (in dying in the Game, {the Sword’s physical-disconnection} we live again, having learned)
  • During Play if the sword of one O/T should run into the “Retaining ring” of the “Tsuba” (the hand-guard on a Bokken), of the other, it may simply “Bump” it, and can feel like a disconnect. This is not truly coming off; and is referred to as a “Tsuba Bump”, and can be declared as a reassurance during play to help the game continue.
  • Your sword may be grasped anywhere during play, {by your own}, one or two hands. “The entire sword is the blade; the entire sword is the handle.”  
  • Take common sense care to avoid the face, throat and lower soft vital areas, and if these places are threatened, you probably need further explanation and training before proceeding, so please seek this out
  • There are only “pauses” in the Game, once play starts (the Game, like life’s learning, goes on forever)
  • We are All each others cooperative -“Opponent/Teachers”.

If there are any questions, comments or clarification needed, or if you would like to find out about advanced play, please contact:
Richard Squeri Phone/Fax (707)-793-1086
Email: richard@flowingdragonswords.com

Notable Reminders of Advanced Play of
“Flowing Dragon Swords” Begins with this review

  • Honor the history and mythology of the Game
  • Always treat your sword with respect (others will if you do)
  • Show care and patience to all who would share the game and honor you with their cooperative-opponent/teaching.

Agreements of Advanced Play for students of Flowing Dragon Swords

  • Wherever possible give and maintain 99.9% eye-contact, as The Eyes are the Window of the Soul.  {As you practice “Reaching with” & “Opening” your Soul}
  • The principle of “Kokyu or Kokyuing”*(see glossary), is used in our practice as a physical reminder of “being present”. With this intention, we reach for manifesting this “Breath power” in the whole body, while emphasizing “circulating this breath” thru the two arms, and flowing thru the hands as with; “Ki” or “Chi”.The use of this “unbendable arm” practice helps us reach for the ideal, of “arms filled with breath”. In our practice, these breath filled arms may ebb and flow with our O/T’s Sword and assist in supporting us when we are connected with the other in the Game.
  • Your sword may be grasped anywhere during play, {by your own}, one or two hands.
  •  Secondary contact / “Reminder Death”, (made with blade or hilt); can only happen while sustaining primary, (sword) contact
  •  Death of our dragons is caused by losing primary (sword) contact, or in advanced play, in our O/T; by touching them anywhere on the body, except between the neutral area of the hand and elbow.
  • After a “touch”/ “Reminder Death” has been made and acknowledged, while the players are in neutral positions, they face each other, bow, and continue the Game.
  • The Study of Different Weapons Training is to be done only under advanced supervision.
  • The additional engagement of the three other “appendage weapons”* (see glossary).  of the body, must be a mutual understanding and added gradually.Prudent use and understanding of the “appendage weapons”, comes from “empty step /empty hand”-training from additional practices such as; Tai Chi, Qui Gong, Aikido, or Unique life experience
  • The Hand or Foot maybe placed, with respect, on the body of the opponent/teacher, and only then filled with energy, never forced.
    {Re: “Flowing Dragon Swords” is played as a “deep breath,” not a “gasp”}.
  • Maintaining primary contact, (In this advanced stage, Primary contact has changed from the sword to the eyes).Awareness of your place in time and space, while blending with your opponent/teacher, is essential as you reach beyond these principles.

Four Essentials for Advanced Play;

  • Maintaining Primary Contact with an Open Heart-Mind
  • Awareness of where you are in time and space
  • Blending with your Opponent/Teacher
  • Reaching beyond these Principles to include All yet allowing them to fall away from your “thinking mind.”

abt-game-44…There does not seem to be a limit to the depth of this game; it has this in common with other art forms. One grows by playing it and this is true on many levels. It is physical, mental and spiritual. It inspires philosophical thinking and heartfelt discussion. It is a way to practice generosity. It teaches one about oneself and about others. Though a martial art, it is a way to practice Peace.


One thought on “About the Game

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