Splinter In the Mind’s Eye

When I’m bored, I get in fights. I do it all the time. Riding the skytrain to work or to class, killing time in lineups, sitting on the beach..anytime is a good time for a fight. At any given time I carry around a number of opponents in my head. Everyone I’ve ever fought or watched fight is in my head, and I can pull them out for a fight at any given moment. I’m able to visualize them perfectly, and place them in front of me as if they actually exist. I can watch them move, plan an attack, and observe how they react to it. There is one guy I know that I would say is the best rapier fighter there is, currently. The first time I fought him was the day I got my White Scarf, an award for excellence in rapier fighting in the SCA. After…

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Kick In the Ribs

Valkyrie WMA had it’s first all-sparring class last night. No workout, no  lessons, just fighting, all night long. It was a blast. With our recent heat wave, the school was baking hot. The door was kicked open for breeze, and we had a huge industrial floor fan blasting fresh outside air in, but the wooden dance floor was still hot to the touch through the entire class. It was kind of a nice touch. The wrestling mats got dragged out first, with the boxing gear piled up on the side. Knife trainers made an appearance. We got some solid fights in. The pace was tight…competitive but fun. We all got a chance to see where we were now, what our new benchmark was for performance. We spar every class, but that’s after the workout, drills and lessons. This was us fresh and strong. During the rapier bouting, Squeak and I…

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Longing and the Art of Swordplay

I sat down [facing a sleeping] couple. Between the man and the woman a child had hollowed himself out a place and fallen asleep. He turned in his slumber, and in the dim lamplight I saw his face. What an adorable face! A golden fruit had been born of these two peasants….. This is a musician’s face, I told myself. This is the child Mozart. This is a life full of beautiful promise. Little princes in legends are not different from this. Protected, sheltered, cultivated, what could not this child become? When by mutation a new rose is born in a garden, all gardeners rejoice. They isolate the rose, tend it, foster it. But there is no gardener for men. This little Mozart will be shaped like the rest by the common stamping machine…. This little Mozart is condemned. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “A Sense of Life: En Route to the…

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