A Tale of Two Fights

I`m taking classes again.  Sword classes.  It`s good to be on the receiving end of lessons once more and I`m having a blast.  And remember kids, any instructor who can`t see the value of being a student as well should be avoided at all costs.  At the end of last class we had an open sparring session and even though I had more than a few great passes, two fights in particular stood out as being particularly excellent. Continue reading

Victorian Day

“There are those who affect to ridicule the study of obsolete weapons, alleging that it is of no practical use; everything, however, is useful to the Art of Fence which tends to create an interest in it, and certain it is that such contests as Rapier and Dagger, Two hand Sword, or Broadsword and Handbuckler, are a very great embellishment to the somewhat monotonous proceedings of the ordinary assault of arms.”
-Alfred Hutton, 1892

Happy Victoria Day everyone.  It seems fitting that on this day celebrating the reign of Queen Victoria I share a celebration of a Victorian gentleman of great import to the Western Martial Arts world.  One Alfred Hutton. Continue reading

Of Katas and Curios

Katas are somewhat lacking in Western Martial Arts.  Although pretty much universal in Asian Martial Arts, these sequences of movement are an excellent training tool that I think we need to bring to the Western practice.  If nothing else, katas mean that solo practice becomes more engaging.  After all, there are only so many times you can practice basic motions before wanting more.  Katas provide a way of linking these motions together in a set form.  Historically, only a few Masters wrote down anything that can be accurately be described as a kata, but we can build a few more from context within some manuals. Continue reading