Once a swordsman has practiced the movements enough that they become natural, he is able to mentally “step back” from a fight to observe his opponent, see patterns and plan ahead. We call this becoming a “thinking fighter”. Advanced students are in the process of making this transition, and their fighting becomes faster and smarter. Physical skills and precision continue refinement and students will increasingly fine-tune and individualize their technique. They become better able to assess the effects of sword blows and begin to specify which muscle groups, tendons or bones are affected and how disabling the injury would be.
More new weapons styles are introduced, including:
Students become more skilled in group tactics and more coherent as a team as they continue to work with their classmates and other students. By this point they are becoming increasingly aware of their own competence and the results of their hard work, making them more confident as fighters and as people.