Lazy Saturday Morning

This morning is lazy, but only by special arrangement. The day is packed. I knew it would be, so I woke myself up a few hours early. I like to have an hour to myself in the morning, to eat my cereal and indulge in reading. Since it’s often my only real time for myself in a day, I’m willing to go to great lengths to reserve it. Health-wise, I know it’s better to get a full allotment of sleep, but I often wind up shorting my sleep just so I can enjoy this time. It’s been a busy week and I haven’t really planned to make any weekend posts. However, watching the stats on the website shows me that you think I should have something new here, so…here I am. Roland Cooper sent me a link to Christopher Holzman’s “Art of the Duelling Sabre” this morning. On a whim…

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Self defense, minus the ninja attacks

The best self-defense lesson I ever learned was from a woman who asked me to teach her a few things. She lived in a sketchy part of a sketchy city. We had a few days together, and she knew my background. Her background was in medicine. She said she’d had some bad run-ins, and would love to learn a few martial arts things. Things that might help her out if problems came up again. I said sure, I could do that. Might help if she told me about some of the problems she had run into before. She related her most recent episode. She was driving along when some guy in apparent distress flagged her down. She stopped and rolled her window down. The guy punched her, reached through the window and grabbed her. She grabbed one of the knives she kept handy in her car and stabbed the guy…

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Sixty pound cupcake

I ate a cupcake today. And even thought I’m overweight and a nutrition coach, I felt no guilt. We were up the hill at a small local farmers market, and someone was selling baked goods. I saw cupcakes with sprinkles on top. They were real, old-fashioned home-made cupcakes, not those crappy abominations they sell at cupcake stores these days. I wanted to taste one, so I did. It was good. Yummy, like how I remembered them as a child. It was weird, because it was not the end of my world. I did not feel immediate remorse. I did not instantly bemoan the disaster I had made of my diet, and decide that today was an “off day” and binge out. I’m not currently obsessing about other treats either. It seems crazy, but I just ate the cupcake, bought some berries and hand-churned butter, and walked home. Taught some sabre…

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Is Chivalry dead? Sexism and Swordplay

My morning routine was starting nicely. I woke up just after 3pm (I work graveyards,) had breakfast, made coffee, planned to do some housework and prep dinner for when my fiancée got home. I give myself a free hour everyday to catch up on the interwebs. Things went sideways. I was reading an Academie Duello blog post, and watched the attached video about the recent Canada Day parade. Twenty two minutes in, disaster strikes. Two students are fencing in protective gear, at an easy pace. Male and female. The male student gains an advantage on the female student, and leans in to land his shot. The announcer seems surprised by this. The quote: “…goin in for the kill! I mean, is chivalry dead?…” The announcers female counterpart, after a slight pause, makes a comment that it might be about equality. I’m just stunned by this. Honestly, I just took a…

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Science of Swordplay: Broken Posture

Proving I was right in my beliefs was always a tricky process. In a pool of competitive people, I was at a disadvantage. At thirty years of age, I no longer had any interest in proving I was better than other people. I understood the desire everyone else had, since I used to share it. My late teens and early twenties were all about going into other martial arts clubs and measuring myself against the best they had. We didn’t have the UFC in those days, but we sometimes acted like we did. Some people punch and kick their way to the top of the heap, find they still feel empty…some people get to the top and find a comfort. Job’s done, time to see what else you can do with the skills. I didn’t mind that everyone I was sparring with was still in that phase for the most…

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One day in the desert

I was in the desert when I first heard the name “Marozzo.” It was about the third day of fighting in the dust. I was making the rounds of all the name fighters, getting in a few bouts with all of them. I did a few enjoyable passes with a guy from Saskatchewan, and asked for some feedback when we stopped. He said “I see you are using Marozzo. Where did you learn that?” As far as I knew, I hadn’t. The local group of fighters taught two styles of fighting: Presented was fighting with the sword-side foot forward, Refused was fighting with the opposite foot forward. Most people were fighting in refused at the time. It had the advantage of offering a strong defense, and keeping the sword safe from attempts to control the blade. One of the local bigwigs had shown me a trick where I could take…

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