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The Zen of Soaking

"A painter is is not defined by his palette; a Water Warrior is not defined by his equipment." - Z.o.S.

The Water Warrior is not defined by his water weaponry, his equipment, his tactical knowledge, nor even by his strength, speed or agility. The Water Warrior uses his mind to tune his body and equipment towards their full potential, creating strengths out of weaknesses. Though attunement of mind, body, and equipment will allow of the attainment of even higher abilities, the Water Warrior also has the wisdom to identify his limitations, the creativity to overcome them, and the patience to know that it takes time to develop his skills. From this section onwards, we shall explore some of the methods which can be used to gain deeper insight into the Art of Soaking. Proceed with patience, interest, and willingness to expand one's mind.


It is easy to say one has experience with using any given blaster, but most use blasters simply as tools. It is simply to think that by carrying an additional 2L bottle of water, that one will be able to refill easily away from base. Often, reality proves things can be more complex with shots missed, water wasted when refilling in a rush, and one finding one's blaster does not perform as well as one thought it would. To prevent this, one must know oneself and one's equipment.

The best way to start is alone or with a friend in a non-combat situation. One should wear the clothing one would typically wear in a water fight, carry the equipment one wants, and have the filled blaster(s) of choice on hand. Once dressed and mentally ready, stand still, feet shoulder-width apart, head facing forward, eyes closed, hands at either side, one hand holding the blaster. Pause a moment to feel the weight of all the objects one plans to carry. Count to sixty while feeling the weight. If it begins to feel too heavy, you are attempting to carry more than one can use comfortably. This will hinder your performance on the field and it is best to attempt to lighten one's load before proceeding.

Additional equipment and blaster should not significantly weigh one down.

Freedom of Movement:

If all feels comfortable when standing, with eyes closed, raise the blaster, take it into both hands, and enter a firing stance (i.e. dominant foot forward). Open your eyes and look about. Feet still in their position, try facing all the way to the right, then all the way to the left. Bring your feet back to shoulder-width apart, then try crouching. Afterwards, try jumping in the spot. Then, try kneeling. All motions should be simple and comfortable to do while wearing one's equipment and holding one's blaster. If any part of one's normal range of motion is being inhibited by one's equipment, something is not right. The last thing one wants is one's equipment preventing a speedy escape or a silent approach.

Hip/fanny packs should wrap snugly, but not too tightly around one's waist. Backpacks should be snug against the back, not loose such that it hits one's back when jumping. If the blaster has a shoulder strap, it should be adjusted such that the blaster rests nicely on one's shoulder at the height that feels comfortable to grip the trigger and pump.

Identify Limitations:

To maximize water use, one should have an innate feeling about the distance one can accurately send water to a target. The following exercise is a good way to get used to the distance limitations of one's blaster.

In an open area, place a target (a plastic lid on a stick or something similar) on the ground. The target height should be 1 meter/3- 4 feet off the ground. With a fully loaded blaster in hand, take five paces away, turn, and shoot quick bursts at the target until you score a direct hit. From there, take 5 more paces away, turn, and shoot. Repeat this until one is either out of water or out of range.

This practices both one's aim as well as one's ability to distance a target and compensate for distances. Water arcs downwards due to gravity. Thus, the farther one is away from a target, the higher one must aim for the target to be hit. However, the longer the stream must travel, the more the stream tends to break apart. Optimal attacking range is within the range in which the stream remains coherent.

Extend Abilities:

As the old adage goes, "Practice makes perfect." To improve one's abilities, one needs to practice doing the action on wants to improve.

For example, if one wants to improve aim, setting up a firing range with differing sized targets at different distances is a good way to practice. To improve one's stamina, running while carrying one's loaded blaster is good for training. See how far one can run before getting tired, then each day try going a little further the next time.

Learning is a journey composed of little steps. Take each step slowly but with certainty. Those who attempt to jump before their time often end up falling on their face. Remember, water, with patience, will carve into stone. The Grand Canyon began merely as a trickle through some mud and stone.

To further one's skills, one can delve into the Practices section to learn of other exercises to train one's body and mind.

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