Posted in Fencing, Life

Friday Fun: Fencing!

Fencing is fun, have I mentioned that? Oh, yes, I have. It’s awesome, too. And one of the great things about fencing is that we keep learning new stuff.

For example, this year I’ve started learning the sword and cloak combo. The cloak (not a real cloak, though they do have the weight of a real one) can make you feel glamorous, or silly, or both, and it’s fun; plus it’s enough to learn just a bit to be able to use it. Of course, the more you know, the more fun you have.

Here’s what it looks like:

And that’s not all! I’ve also tried learning how to use a two-handed sword. It’s fun, too! Take a look!

Unfortunately, it turned out to be too heavy for me. I could train with it for a while, and I thought I was doing well and getting stronger. Well, I did get stronger, but my left wrist and my tendons disagree with this practice, so it will be back to sword and cloak (and, perhaps, sword and dagger from time to time).

It’s back to good stuff, so I’m not complaining. It’s still fun, and it’s still learning, and it’s still enjoying.

P.S. There I was, writing this post, sort of regretting not being able to continue with two-handed sword…and last night, I continued with it anyway. It looks like I don’t have to give up on it completely, I just need to train with it less often, and in the meantime, have fun with a sword (and, hopefully, a cloak) that’s not as heavy.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Zen of Fencing

kittenswordIt can get exhausting, but you have to stay focused, otherwise you risk being hit with 3-4 pounds of steel, or poked with a dagger, or both.

You have to try to do it right, both for yourself, and so that your partner can do their part properly. It’s fine if you make a mistake, everybody does, and you’re learning. Just keep trying to do it right.

You have to listen to the teacher telling you what to do. If the teacher is telling your partner what to do, you have to be observant of your partner, and respond properly.

You and your partner are like dancing partners. You have to respond to each other’s moves, to adjust, to dance around each other, to create beauty together. Even if it’s often a clumsy kind of beauty.

During a fencing lesson, nothing else exists. There are no outside worries. There’s no room for them. There’s no breath to spare.

There’s only fencing.

Pure zen.

Posted in Uncategorized

The New Fencing Mask

My new fencing mask
My new fencing mask

I finally got my own fencing mask. If you’re taking fencing lessons, it’s perfectly fine if you use the school equipment, but it’s still recommended to purchase your own mask, for obvious reasons.

Before I got this one (that is, before the last night), I was using the school mask. What a difference!

If this mask looks bulky, it’s because it is — it’s certainly bulkier than the school mask. And heavier, too; SO tells me it’s heavier than a construction site helmet. Yikes! The wire on the mesh is more dense than on the school mask, making it harder to see properly, at least until you get used to it; last night, I was seeing double sometimes. The combination of the dense wire and the smell of the new made me a bit sick, too, which didn’t exactly help me train; I was more clumsy than my normal self, and managed to scare my partner a few times. The teacher tells me it’s all a normal reaction, I’ll just need a bit of time to get used to it. I hope I get used to it soon!

A few other people purchased new masks too, so we were comparing reactions; one girl told me she found it difficult to hear the teacher properly. Not much of a surprise, since the mask covers the ears, too. The teacher knows about it, of course, he’s been doing this for 30 years, so he speaks loudly when instructing us.

All in all, it’s an interesting new experience — a single change, and yet so many reactions coming from it.