Of lights and bones

Another wet and cold morning. It’s like I live in Vancouver, or something. The constant disappointment of no snow yet again is only matched by the narrow comfort of avoiding, once again, true Vancouver hell: The special treat of a night of heavy snow followed by a day of heavy rain. Soaked, freezing feet and the constant hammer of ice water on your head. Man, am I glad my job no longer entails hours of trudging through that, with no way to warm up between patrols… Endurance is part of the martial arts lifestyle, one shared with other lifestyles, like dance. You see clear images all around you of what you are supposed to attain, but it seems like the gap is made of quantum leaps across giant spans. The path seems to only contain impossible steps. And the only tools you are given to try and take those steps…

Continue reading

Ring of Silver Moon

Spent the morning today out in the shop, instead of writing a blog post. It was brutally cold…just a smidge above zero, with hints of snow showing up amongst the wind and rain. Chris and I headed out nice and early, fortified with enough to coffee to get started. He was working on preparing some sword blades for fitting, and I was going to do some overdue jewelry work. I’d been planning to make new wedding rings for Courtney and I, but time had been hard to come by. It didn’t take long for the cold to really seep in with the garage door open. You don’t notice so much while you’re working, things just get a little harder to hold on to, and you get a little clumsy. I was sawing away at a tiny little sliver of silver, and blowing the powder off every few moments as I…

Continue reading

That didn’t take long

Second class and I remembered how I used to get classes moving at a quick pace…dedicated clock watching. It also helped that we had even numbers, so I got to be a student instead of just trying to do the drills off to the side with no partner. I kept the pace cracking, and our workout was over right on time, and we did more exercises than last time. The 2×2 and 5×5 drill I kept to a similar pace, and we wrapped with an easy hour left for rapier work. The first class it took us almost an hour to go through 4 of the 5×5’s. Last night it took us fifteen minutes to do all the 5×5’s, plus the twenty-five “favourite” run through at the end. Each person did 150 attacks, and 150 defenses in that time. With little or no instruction in how to do the drill,…

Continue reading

Wee mousie

Arriving at work, the musty smell was noticeable. We’d been noticing the signs of a potential mouse issue for a few days…droppings here and there… We’d put out traps, but no luck. Obviously, the next best approach was a thorough cleaning. Clean all the surfaces, remove any comfy mouse hiding or bedding areas, and just make the place as inhospitable as we could. I swept, shuffled boxes around, and tidied. One of the last tasks was taking the garbage out. I reached down to pull the garbage bag out of the small garbage pail, but noticed the plastic looked…chewed. And the garbage smelled pretty strong. Obviously mousies had discovered yesterday’s stash of snack leftovers and rampaged through the garbage. I decided I didn’t want to pull the bag up only to have it burst and spray garbage around the floor, so I got a second bag and started to carefully…

Continue reading

Damp the fire

After the first class we took off to a local pub to soothe our soon-to-be aches with a cold pint or two. And maybe some protein heavy munchies… To me the after-class socialization is an important part of the class. It has nothing to do with being better fighters, or more fit…but your martial art comrades should be part of your social circle. You spend hours sweating with them, challenging them and being challenged by them. You’ll form a bond whether you want to or not. And class is a physically and emotionally stressful thing. Especially mine. You do things you are not used to. The energy output is very high. You risk physical harm, you push your own limits and strain your brain’s comfort limits. I try to make every class a heavy learning session. You need to de-stress after that. You need a period of debriefing in a…

Continue reading

Back in the saddle again!

Fantastic first class. It’s a crazy feeling, starting out a new martial school and being in the black from day one. Our host location is fantastic, making us feel very welcome. It was great having a raft of new students to introduce the material too, and having enough old hands around to make things go a little more smoothly than they could have. It took a little longer than I expected to get the run-through done, and we didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped. I did plan for a lot of catchup in the first two classes, and we did indeed do a lot. Most of our time was spent working out and covering the 5×5 drill. We used to do it in 10 minutes, and it took us 45 last night…but Tyler reminded me that the first time I tried to teach it, it took almost 2…

Continue reading