This kind of “making logic out of illogical-sounding contradictions” is very typical of martial arts and Eastern mysticism, and most of this type of stuff comes strait out of Taoist philosophy.
There are two phrases I found grammatically difficult to get past, the first being 处于劣势, or as the text has it, 处于一种劣势. “处于” chǔ yú means to “be in a state of…”, or “to be in a position of…”. 劣势 liè shì means “inferior”. Put together, this translates into English as “to be at a disadvantage”, or in the case of 处于一种劣势, “to be at some kind of disadvantage”.
The second and more difficult phrase is found in the third paragraph: 以剑招之长补兵器之短. The thing that makes this sentence difficult is all the accursed nebulous words that have many meanings – we’ve got 以, 之, and 补 all smooshed together, and these words are the keys to unlocking the meaning of this sentence. So let’s break this down word by word and see if all the definitions together don’t give us a clue:
以 – yǐ – The definition of 以 that’s being used here is “by means of” or “by way of”
剑招 – jiàn zhāo – Swordsmanship maneuvers
之 – zhī – of
长 – cháng – length
补 – bǔ – “to make up for”
兵器 – bīng qì – Weapon
之 – zhī – of
短 – duǎn – shortness
Ah hah! Though this is still a little convoluted, once we know the meaning of 以 and 补 in this instance, this now becomes much simpler to read. It says: “By means of the ‘length’ of [my] swordsmanship maneuvers, [I] make up for the shortness of [my] weapon.” We can see here that “length” doesn’t really mean how “long” something is – “length” here means a high level of skill. The word “length” is just being used to juxtapose against the word “short”.
You’ll enjoy this if you’re an upper-intermediate or advanced reader, and are interested in some specialized vocabulary.