Fifth Lesson: Back Pain

This lesson was okay. Well, actually, it was a ton of fun despite the scariness of the falling exercise and the difficulty of the second drill counter-remedy. It would’ve been a great experience overall if it wasn’t for the back pain.

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How Not to Keep Your Balance

This lesson is all about balance again. After a warm-up we are paired up and told to do an exercise similar to the one we began our first ever lesson with. We face each other and try to get the other off-balance.

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Third Lesson: Don’t Get Stuck With the Pointy End

The third lesson was a huge success. Not because I succeeded at everything (I didn’t), or because it was less difficult than what I’d feared it to be (it wasn’t), but because I managed to keep to the rules. I did my best not to focus so much on myself, which helped a ton in not being embarrassed about fumbling at exercises. Because I wasn’t thinking “oh noes, whatever do people think of me for that blunder”, I could concentrate on how to correct my mistakes. As far as the self-confidence issue is concerned, this lesson was a triumph.

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Second Lesson: A Look Back

There’s one thing I haven’t talked about yet concerning this lesson: swords. The bad news? What we do is mostly repetition of last week’s exercise, the Fendente Mandritto. Oh, it’s great to get a chance to practice and refine it more, it just doesn’t make a very interesting blog post to end this week with. I might write something in the future about the specifics and quirks of the fendente blows (that’s the fancy term for iconic slashes with a sword), but I don’t feel ready for that yet.

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The Falling Exercise & Nervousness

Status

I’ve been practicing falling today. It’s beginning to look less like an unenthusiastic attempt at the exercise, and more like a bug trying to get off its back. Still having problems with some bones hitting the floor pretty hard, as well as with getting up, but I think (or hope) that I’m slowly making progress.

Awaiting tomorrow’s lesson with both excitement and dread. What if we have the falling exercise in pairs, or something as bad? Actually, the thought of any exercise in pairs makes me a bit nervous, as I tend to think of failures as humiliations. PE classes coupled with bad self-confidence can do that to you. I know that my fears are completely baseless (there’s no way anybody on the course would laugh at someone’s struggles), but it’s difficult to get out of this mindset.

First Lesson: Stick Them With the Pointy End

Sword fighting is totally awesome.

I returned from my first class on medieval swordsmanship alive, happy and totally overwhelmed. My head was bursting at the seams, overflowing with information. Let’s get right down to it. What did my first lesson include?

The answer: enough things for them to be way too much for a single post.

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Falling and Balance

Why Should You Care About How to Fall?

After all, the main point is not to fall, right? Well, yes, that’s true. In a real fight falling would equal death. Thankfully we’re not really in the Middle Ages, so that’s not the case, but we will be floored in more advanced exercises. Because of that, it’s important to learn how to land safely and how to get up.

That’s easier said than done, of course. The teacher’s assistant is thrown down a few times to show us that learning this is possible, but I’m still doubtful. Landing safely from a standing position? Eek. Can’t we at least do this on a soft surface?

No. Falling in real life is not going to happen on a comfortably padded surface, so there’s little point in us learning how to fall on anything but concrete. This makes sense, but it does nothing to cheer me up.

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