"The sword is a simple tool, but in the hands of a master it becomes the most versatile of weapons. And just as the imagination is limitless, so too are the possibilities of the sword."
Essential concepts Edit
One of the most important parts of swordsmanship is being creative, both on the battlefield and in everyday life. Piandao told Sokka that in order to master the sword, he had to be creative, because on the battlefield one needs to find every advantage that can possibly be found. Sokka showed much creativity when dueling Piandao, using his superior agility and fighting on the high ground to have an advantage against the master.
To be an excellent sword-wielder, versatility is another essential skill for one to possess. Using the sword means that one must constantly shift from offensive move to a defensive move with ease. This is shown mostly when a sword-wielder attempts to strike an opponent with the sword while also remaining on the defensive by using the sword to block any attack.
Universal methods Edit
Piandao stated that when one fights on the battlefield, he/she stamps their identity on the battlefield; to practice that, they must learn to stamp their identity on paper, too. He usually practiced calligraphy to further perfect his technique. Sokka utilized creativity by literally stamping his identity on paper by smearing ink on his face and then proceeding to put his face on the page where he was instructed to stamp his identity.
Landscaping, according to Piandao, can help heighten a warrior's senses while fighting. He said that in battle, one only has an instant to see every single detail of the battlefield. He made Sokka practice observing and analyzing his surroundings in seconds by having him look at a beautiful waterfall for only five seconds before turning him around and making him paint it. This practice is meant to improve a warrior's memory, as it will let them take in many details instantly.
Sword duels Edit
In many cases, warriors duel each other for practice in order to test each other's skill and strength in swordplay. It also lets both contestants reflect on their improvement and indicates aspects that need to be improved. The sparring usually ends when one of the contestants is immobilized or defeated, depending on the duel that takes place.
Sokka participated in at least three duels against Piandao's butler, Fat, in order to help him learn about utilizing the sword in combat. He lost fairly quickly the first two times, but managed to defeat him the third time, showing that he improved greatly. He also dueled Piandao himself after he confessed he was from the Southern Water Tribe; he sparred evenly against him for a while, but was eventually defeated, although spared.
Rock gardening Edit
As quoted by Piandao himself, rock gardening teaches the warrior to manipulate his surroundings and use them to his advantage. By using the various elements found in nature, one can easily alternate the battlefield ambiance to gain the upper hand, or to handicap their opponents. Sokka applied this teaching by putting together a huge boulder and a sheet of moss to form a comfortable chair under the shade to rest. He further demonstrated his knowledge by slicing bamboo stalks along his escape route, causing them to tumble onto Piandao and delaying him from catching up to Sokka.