Great night at Academie Duello’s Friday Fight Night last night. Another stellar turn-out, and I got some truly great fights in. Not enough, as usual…my sword started to wobble in the guard so I had to call it quits for the night. Should be an easy repair, but not something I wanted to tackle at the time. But I had my fun, so it’s all good. And we got to make the first showing for Valkyrie WMA.

I’m looking forward to building up our competitive strengths. I’m not generally a fan of competition, but I’ve experienced what it can be at it’s best, and that can be a very good thing indeed. Devon has built a good school with a strong group of fighters that can consistently bring that sense of fun to a fight. They also have a solid “house” style.

What we will be building in our Valkyrie WMA rapier program should be a complimentary fighting style…different, but bouting between our styles should be only serve to reinforce what is learned at each school. It’s a lesson I learned years ago in Nanaimo. I trained in Shotokan, my friend in Wing Chun. Weekends were spent sparring and swapping things learned with each other. It made each of us stronger fighters in general, and gave us new ways of looking at our mother styles.

I enjoyed watching my students fight last night…for some of them it was familiar grounds, for others, it was brand new territory. Unique challenges for everyone. Our first challenge as a group was trying to fight after the week’s training. Sore and tired muscles make for slow and difficult fights. I had to give up at one point and fight my opponent at just a little above slow work speed. It sort of worked because he was still expecting the fast actions, and wound up getting tangled in my blades…and I was able to maneuver him where I wanted while he tried to free himself. That was a game I haven’t played in while.

I know everyone had fun, though. And we really look forward to coming back in better condition, and with more of us. I really do want to do so in a more formal way, as well. Devon and I were part of some truly great brainstorming sessions on community building in rapier through competition, and I think we can finally start to follow up on some of those ideas. Good single malts should absolutely be a part of it…