Monday, December 15, 2008

Reply for Kevin

The word verification feature for Kevin's blog isn't working, so I can't reply to his post about why everything is so quiet on the sword front these days. So here's the reply, as it's relevant to this blog, too :)

Heh, well, having a life certainly does reduce the time you get to spend on swordy things. Um, shouldn't that sentence end "...on work"? Or is it, "Work certainly does reduce the time you get to spend on life"? Oh, heck, I don't know :)

Anyway, I try not to update my blog when I have nothing worthwhile to say, so if nothing interesting occurs to me during training, I don't report the training because that's just boring to read. But usually the fact is that I come home from the salle exhausted, read my e-mails, by which time it's eleven pm, so I yawn and go to bed. Then the next morning the kids wake me up -> no screen time to type up training notes. By evening I've forgotten what I wanted to write... So yes, life, lots of it. Now work, too.

People are supposed to be able to semi-hibernate during winter, anyway, conserving energy, sitting quietly by the fireside knitting and doing little odd jobs put off during the hectic summer months... Why do we moderns schedule our most hectic time in winter and vacation in summer?!?

Blade relationship

(No, the title is not a reference to our School's tendency to act as an extraordinary matchmaking office.)

In rapier class today, I grokked how to use your forte to find your partner's debole while using your own debole to attack. Yay me! It's just a question of using the forte as a shield and twisting your mind a bit so that you remember you're holding both a shield and a point in the same hand.

Guy just pointed out that after seven years of doing rapier, it's about time. Somehow it seems he gives meaner comments when teaching rapier. Whine whine. Feel bad. Whine.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Two years of blogging!

Wow, this blog passed its second birthday quite unnoticed. That was the day I wore an Intermediate shirt to class for the first time. Two years ago I was angsting over whether I would ever lead classes again, and anxiously awaiting word that I could travel to China for my second daughter. Where did the years go? :-O

Smoked out

Rapier and me, we get on like a house on fire... Especially when the fire in question, located immediately next to the salle building, cuts short the rapier lesson and sends us out into the night not quite coughing but at least holding our breath. Yuck. A fire of old tyres and stuff gives off a truly noxious smell. About half of Jakomäki seemed to be enjoying the show, however, as they had gathered round the block, downwind, perhaps under the impression that a new mega disco had moved into the neighbourhood.

The left leg that I once fractured, you know, the drunken brawling injury, has recently given off annoying twinges, and really got into the irritating act with rapier. When I leaned my weight on it, it hurt like the devil. Ilkka, who sometimes seems like an avatar of Guy, commented: "Well, do it so that it doesn't hurt. I can't tell you how, though."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Feeling blue, a.k.a. The T-Shirt Thing, Take II

Auri: "Are we out of size M t-shirts?"
Ilkka: "We've ordered more."
Guy: "Auri, why are you getting a t-shirt with black text? You should be getting a blue one. You're entitled!"
Auri: "I'm entitled?"
Guy: "Yes! You've passed the Basic level, you're an Intermediate. That's what blue means."
Auri: "Ok, good. 'Cause we've got size M in blue. ... I wore a blue-printed one to class yesterday and hoped no one would notice, but that's just because the cats pissed on all the other ones..."

Keep breathing

Breathing exercises today. We didn't just do the expected crane and Assorted Breathing Stuff; we examined breath patterns, both our partners' and our own, and tried to vary our attacks accordingly. I'm not sure what this was supposed to accomplish, as the success of the dagger attacks or the lack of same depended only on things other than the breath cycles of the parties, at least as far as I could see - I could detect no correlation whatsoever.

We also did drills so that a single execution of the drill lasted the length of a single breath by the attacking party, first the outbreath and then the inbreath. For me, the inbreath produced a surprising improvement in technique and execution, which was cool.

According to Guy, the most important thing about breathing in martial arts is to keep doing it; not stopping, not changing (not unwittingly, at least), but just remembering to breathe continuously and naturally.