I'm learning how to sword-fight, European style! I joined a club in my area recently, the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, which is a group that studies and practices the actual training and fighting techniques described in Fiore dei Liberi's book Fior di Battaglia, or "Flower of Battle".
I'm calling this "research" for my books, though in truth I'm having enough fun that I would have signed up without the research excuse anyway.
The class just started 3 weeks ago (we meet on Sundays), so I can't say I've learned a lot yet, but so far it's been quite a bit of fun. I've been interested in sword fighting ever since I was a kid, when my friends and I used to take hockey sticks, break the blades off them, and use the long shaft as a two-handed sword. Then we would fight each other out in the woods near our homes. We even allowed ourselves four "hit points" (D&D style), so we were allowed to take four hits from our opponent before being declared dead.
Later, in high school, I fenced competitively with both foil and epee. I never took it beyond high school, but thoroughly enjoyed it for those few years. And made some good friendships that lasted through the college years (none of us continued our fencing though), though we drifted apart later.
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