In the celebrated movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, two warriors face each other in a closed courtyard whose walls are lined with a fantastic array of martial-arts weaponry, including iron rods, knives, spears and swords.
The older, more experienced warrior grabs one instrument after another from the arsenal and battles energetically and fluidly with them. But one after another, the weapons prove useless. Each, in turn, is broken or thrown aside, the shards of an era that can hold little contest against a young, triumphant, upstart warrior who has learned not only the old ways but some that are new.
This article was originally published with the title Behind Enemy Lines.