Monday, March 23, 2015


He’d never had any patience with those sagas wherein the hero found, was given, or created a famous blade with a name of its own. Ridiculous! These things were just pieces of steel, not something sentient. And when you focused too much on "my famous blade, Gazornenplatz,” you were apt to forget that it was a tool, to be used and as readily left behind if need be. Aksel had felt the same, and when he’d caught cadets naming their blades and refusing to use any other, he often took the weapons in question to the forge himself and had them melted down, if they happened to have come out of the common arsenal. There wasn’t a great deal he could do about heirloom blades or gifts, other than to ban them from the salle, but that’s exactly what he had done.

Mercedes Lackey, Exile's Honor
Maija mentions she's been playing with Western swords, and about the differences in mindset due to different kinds of design. Personally, what I'd likely find annoying of a good deal of Western swords is the lack of guard to the sides of the cutting plane in the classic medieval "cross" design (Oakeshott).

But what I've found so far is that there's a kind of "feel" of blades. And considering how hard it was for me to switch practice swords and how natural some moves seem with completely unknown blades... And I mean going from katana-like designs to one handed sabres, or knives. I have the feeling that a lot of the problem with swords is not what you don't know.

It's what you DO know. To use the previous example: it was knowing the weight of my previous practice swords that made it difficult to me to adapt to the new ones. But when I tried a talwar some time ago, there were some movements that just "were" in the blade, movements that didn't come from my martial arts, but my body. Something similar happened with a sabre built to Japanese WWII requirements, and with an old knife with filipino delusions.

And I'm not sure it doesn't tie to those ideas from Rory. That we learn playing, not cramming ideas. That we know how to move and that, if we're not careful, MA learning ends up putting way to many restrictions and destroying the knowledge we already had of our own body.


Take care.

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