I bought a new longsword (after breaking the last one twice). And of course I had to test it, so I took a basic-level Fiore class for the first time in ages.
What keeps surprising me is that I learn nothing new in basic-level classes, even though it's been over a year (or two... or three...) since I attended even semi-semi-regularly. The drills are not exactly the same, but because the basics are embedded in my spine, I get everything on an intellectual level. Certainly execution lags behind reason, both because I'm out of shape and because yes, it's been a while, but I'm not learning anything as I understand learning.
I have two Big Learning Things in my life that I can't seem to shake and that I keep wanting to learn more of: swordsmanship and English. The way I now learn English is to make it work for me. I write in English, I work in English, I read in English, and every now and then I learn a new tidbit about how English works. This all keeps me interested.
With swords, I have no way of making it work for me. Going to classes is like taking beginner-level courses in a language for the fifth time, never advancing. But I also can't take more advanced Fiore classes, because they assume an intimate familiarity with set drills and exercises that I no longer have (which is a real handicap as I truly suck at remembering and executing specific series of movements). This annoys me. Yes, I could start German style longsword, but that would be like taking the Chinese basic level class for the third time - only marginally less boring.
So how to make swordsmanship work for me? I can't teach it. I can't enlist in a 15th century mercenary army. What to do?
Anyone want to start a Sword Fight Club with me in Espoo? We could just do freeplay, at whatever speed is good for the parties concerned. We'd need an experienced arbitrator (like Guy or Ilkka or someone).