Things learned at my first real fencing lesson

– Fencing is sort of the opposite of running. In running, it can be useful to let the world around you blur a little as the miles go by. In fencing, you want to be hyper-aware of your surroundings.
– The more tired you get, the harder it is to keep that awareness going, even if you still have the energy to keep moving otherwise.
– But tired or not, you get to take a little bit of that awareness/alertness with you, when you leave.
– Ideally, you need to know where your feet and arms are at all times without looking at them. Because your eyes need to be always on where the other guy’s feet and arms are.
– It is possible to miss even when lunging at someone who isn’t defending themselves.
– It takes a lot of work to learn how to move, and even more work to learn how to stand.
– Not enough sword-wielding ten-year-olds take out adults in fantasy novels.
– Okay, maybe a ten-year-old couldn’t take out an adult who’s been training all their life. But an adult who’s just fallen into a fantasy world? No problem.
– Because flexibility is your friend.
– As an adult, stealth and guile and cleverness the ability to pay attention will one day help me, but not until after I have a better grasp of the skills I need to put them to use.
– You don’t have to be moving far to be working hard. Another difference between fencing and running.
– If you fence in the evening, and go for a swim the next morning, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have less energy for that swim than you expect.
– Still, when it comes to sore muscles, water is your friend.
– The advantage of taking on serial hobbies for a year or two apiece is that you know what to expect from the start of the learning curve for something new.
– I’ve written exactly one sword-fighting scene to date. I didn’t get it as wrong as I’d feared. But I didn’t quite get it right.
– I’m not very good at this yet.
– It’s a fun thing to be even not-good at. 🙂

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