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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Blocking a Mandritto Fendente with a Sword

This is what we have to do: one of us will stand in place, while the other steps forward and attacks with a mandritto fendente, stopping it just above the pair’s shoulder (in the posta longa position). No masks are necessary.

It takes a while to digest this. The class is silent.

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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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First Impressions

Looking Around

The entire school is actually one hall, which includes the training area, a nook for coats and changing rooms, and a kitchen. Racks holding swords and daggers line the room. An icon hangs on one wall and below it there’s a leather-bound book on a stand. A suit of armour made by my father hangs in a corner.

Even though I arrive about 30 minutes early, there are already a lot of people waiting for the class to start, all dressed in white shirts and black trousers. Once I’ve changed, I spend my time copying what everybody else is doing: standing and staring at the concrete floor.

As more people continue to trickle inside from the biting cold, I distract myself from my growing fears by listening in on a discussion. I catch a valuable piece of information: the teacher’s clock runs five minutes fast, making sure that those who arrive last-minute are always late. Won’t be making that mistake.

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