If there is one item that should be on every person’s bucket list, it’s to wield a sword in a proper sword fight at least once. Why?? Because, swords are awesome, of course!
It’s also important to know that different swords are used in different ways and that every sword fight is about finding the holes and weak spots in the opponent’s defense. The battle is won by fighting the other person – not the other person’s sword. That said, in order to be able to be effective, both mental and physical practice is necessary.
The first lesson most people need to learn is how to deal with fear – fear of getting hit, fear of hitting, fear of the pressure of being in the sword fight to begin with – all can create a hurdle for the fighter. That hurdle can be used as a tool or it can get caught in limbs and motions and cause paralysis. The difference between experiencing one over the other is training.
Training and practice aren’t done to get rid of the fear. They are done so that the fighter can hone the fear and master it to focus energy and actions where they need to be to be the most effective and dominate the fight. The truth is, sword fighting is a skill and can be learned by anyone. People who study swordplay and want to sword fight but don’t may be afraid to apply the skills they have learned. When these people practice and train repeatedly, not only do they get better at the skills, they learn how to get comfortable with doing something that makes them uncomfortable – which is also a great skill to have in life!
The second lesson most people learn is discipline. Just like with facing fears a little bit at a time with each training session- with each sword bout, discipline is achieved in much the same manner. Students first learn discipline over their movements as the proper methods and principles for sword fighting are taught, practiced and expected in class. Discipline is also learned mentally as the more experience a person gets with each class and fight, the more they are able to project what they want their opponent to see and the better they are able to read their opponents intentions. With practice and training, discipline helps the fighter determine what actions to take given the surroundings and the opponent in the blink of an eye. A disciplined sword fighter is both efficient and effective – taking the lead almost effortlessly.
The third lesson everyone who practices sword fighting with any regularity learns happens without any lessons about it directly at all. They learn confidence. This confidence doesn’t go away once they leave the sword arena – it is with these students every day and in many aspects of their lives.
So, see? Just learning how to fight with swords makes a person better! Swords are awesome!