Sunday, October 4, 2015
Long Sword and History.
Yesterday, I had my second German long sword class. I loved it, I can't wait to spar again. As Jeff said, " This is what I thought fencing was when I got into it."( Not that I don't like fencing the way it is. I do. This is just something to add on to it.) It seems to me that it is rather "epeeish". A plus. All of those "takes" that are so hard to do against younger,faster opponents come into a modified play here. I may be wrong about this. I do not have enough knowledge yet to form a meaningful opinion, but it seems to suit me. Upper body strength comes into play here and for a Vet 60 guy, I have some.
I know fencers that will "poo poo " getting into long sword. I have a dozen reasons to do so. I will not go into all of them, but here are a couple of the less personal ones. My training partner is all about training to compete. That is pretty much it. Me....I am interested in everything related to fencing. ( With the exception of sabre. If sabre is your thing, it is fine. It just does not suit me and my legs are not good enough for that type of dynamic foot work. I might want to dabble in foil, as they are both point weapons, but sabre is just to far removed from my beloved epee for me to get into it at this stage of life.) I digress.
I love history and I am very much interested in the history of fencing and more to the point, the history of fencing in the United States. There are no books written on this ( That I am aware of.) and it seems that the best people to write them will not be doing so.
Here is an example of what I mean. A coach was telling me about Peter Westbrook's coach. I have forgotten his name. ( See why these things need to be recorded.) It seems he was kind of a mean bastard. He use to punish students by hitting there legs hard with his sabre. Westbrook still carries scars on his legs. I was also told that other students of this mean coach tied magazines to their legs, under their knickers, as protection. I love these kinds of stories. They should be recorded and it bothers me that they will be lost. I hate it.
I often hear older coaches talk about the elder coaches they worked with or knew. Sometimes I remember the names from something I read, but know nothing about them. It is such a shame that these tales and this history will be lost.
So Jim......what the heck does all this love of history have to do with long sword. Well...not much really. If the opportunity presented itself, and it will not, I would love to take a 10 week class in rapier; small sword and then classical fencing. Just enough to get a taste of them all. Somehow, I feel the need to sample the history, not just read about it. It would just seem to me to be so much fun. Sometimes when you train, you are so serious about it, that you forget....the reason you fence is to have fun. This kind of stuff jars the memory for me.
( Editors Note: I just read back over this post, looking for errors. As usual, I will miss about a half dozen and slap it into my journal and move on. It is kind of a goofy and child like entry in the way it is expressed. I still did not get what I was trying to convey out. But...hell...it's close enough.)