Terms of enrampagement

I was sparring with a guy who’d been training about a year in the art of rapier. I was enjoying a rare moment of acting my experience, and pretty much landing whatever shot I wanted. My less-than endeared opponent was not sharing my sense of achievement. If I didn’t know better I’d think he was getting grumpy about being trounced by the old guy. Especially when said old guy had been easy pickings for him six months earlier. What can I say? I took a few years off from fencing and it took a while to shake the ring rust off. Not my fault he expected me to not get better. To get to the point of the story though, I pulled off one of my favourite cheap shots from Marozzo: a seemingly pointless falso to the opponents blade followed by a gathering step. With his blade forcefully moved off-line,…

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Take it easy with the extremes

Since I started to bike to work, I’ve run across some characters. The grinning professional cyclist. The intense young woman jogging with her dog. The puffing overweight guy on his bike who moved with incredible speed. The crew-cut older man who looks like a marine recruiting poster. In two months, I’ve seen these people on my six am return home. Sometimes once, but usually two or three times…and never again. Six in the morning is a brutal time to get up an exercise. That’s not why I never see them again, though. They are all repeating a pattern that I’ve seen again and again, and done myself. When we decide to get in shape, it’s with full confidence that this time is the time. No excuses, no mistakes! No cheating, no holding back. We know the only difference between us and the people we envy is commitment. We’re gonna do…

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Gonna take my sword and fix hollywood…eventually

I’ve always loved movies. One of my earliest memories is going to a drive-in double feature of “Enter the Dragon” and “Three Musketeers.” My dad was a theatre projectionist for many years. Every moment I could I spent hanging out in the projection booth, watching the magic happen. I love movies, but I hate what they do to swordplay. It drives me just nuts. Swordplay is such a visually dynamic art and sport, but the moment it gets on screen it turns into mush. The public perception of swordplay is completely skewed as a result. Why does Hollywood do this? Who is to blame? You are. At least partially. The Hollywood movie engine is an incredible thing, and it’s all focused on making you happy. A happy you makes money for a film, and that’s important. There is a simple rule that drives the movie business: If your movie makes…

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Solo and Partner practice forms for rapier

Dredging up some old drills from the Nova Spada days… Two solo forms, each consisting of eight movements. The first form is mostly performed from the guard of Terza. It’s very simple. Good for beginners. Lunge Leg cut Lunge Face cut Lunge Lunge Lunge Lunge Lunge, roverso cut, lunge, roverso cut, and four lunges to finish. Second form is mostly performed from the guard of Quarta. It’s not quite as simple, and therefore a little more fun to perform. I’ll add a little more explanation. It’s easier performed than explained. Lunge Void (pull the right leg back) Seize (make a pass with the left leg, rolling the sword to seconda and stretch out the left hand to accompany the sword, just under the hilt. Drop (lift sword hand high while lunging, letting the tip drop low) Pass (Deep passing lunge with the left leg, sword to seconda) Press (like Seize,…

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