Dogged Delays

The warehouse I work part time at has been moving to a new location the last few days, and we’ll be spending all of today getting operations back up and running. This means one more day of full time work, and likely one more tomorrow. Sadly, it does mean no interesting blog posts til probably Monday. A few days of full time pay is nice, but it does kill my ability to write a proper daily post. Or eat properly, for that matter. I do not miss having a heavy labour job, I must say. Classes are going well.  Numbers are a bit down, but there is renewed interest coming in from potential students. Should balance out. The pioneer students are ready for their first level exam, which should happen soon-ish. I just have to work the schedule and look over the exam to see if there is anything I…

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Warts and All

No time for a blog post today or tomorrow, so I put this video together last night to make up for it. I fought all the students last night, one after the other, and put it up for your review. I slowed it down to half-speed, because that seems to be the speed that best represents what the fights actually felt like. I’m not interested in critique at all, but if you feel like playing a game, you can see if you guess what my strategy was in each bout, and why it worked or didn’t. If I get the chance tonight, I’ll write up what I was actually thinking. Bouts in order are me against: Aaron, Worf, Robin, Gunslinger, She-Hulk (My Darling Wife Who Refused to Let Me Win. Pout.), and Tao. The last fight was against Squeak, but since she was running the camera, it’s on another clip.…

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Pain, Skill and the Double Kill

Had one of those nice embarrassing teacher moments last class. I scolded a student for doing something a few of the students are prone to do…speeding up a shot to take advantage of a random opening. In this case, the scolding was because it resulted in a blistering shot to the top of my mask. Way above the level of acceptable impact. Being an experienced martial artist, the student apologized. I had no more worries, I knew he would be able to recalibrate with no issues…he just needed some feedback on force. So two passes later, I’m facing the same student. This time I’m working with cloak and rapier. I spoil his shot by dropping my cloak on his blade mid thrust, the weight of it pulling his tip just below his intended target and resulting in a clean miss. I counter with a sneaky quick little shot up into…

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Summer and Longswords

Summer is coming. Looking out the window today I see the Zelkova trees are filling up nicely with green, and the maples have shed their flowers, the first leaves are showing nicely. Down the road the Deodar has blown the top halves of it’s cones. The wind is blowing swift, so it’s not as warm as it looks. But it’s bright, and sunny. It’s coming up on longsword season. Rapier always fit better as a nighttime weapon for me. It’s the kind of thing best suited for hours of study late into the darkest hours, preferably with a friend and a glass of something agreeable. Longsword just feels natural under the sun, in the lazy warmth outdoors. One of my favourite memories is practicing on the beach with Courtney on a blustery day…the wind was blowing so strong that our blades were humming and shaking when the wind hit them…

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Risk of Death

Risk of death. It’s on the waiver. Always has been. You can die while practicing our art. It’s not even remotely likely, but it’s still a risk everyone of my students has to accept when they train. It’s more likely that you could flip a penny once a day for the rest of your life, and have it comes up heads every single day. Actually a lot more likely. If I flip a penny right now and it comes up heads, what are the odds it will be heads next time? Fifty percent. Same odds every single time I flip it. Those odds never change. But the more we flip the coin and get heads, the more we come to expect tails. We expect life to be fair and balanced. Safety is something you can’t take for granted. You always minimize the risk of injury. Common sense has it’s place.…

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