Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Turn

Now that the Master has spoken, I'll add a little bit about me. The sidekick to the superhero. Or something. :-)

Things change. Everyone knows that. You live your life, and suddenly, one day, looking back, you realize that things are not the way they were, and often, are not like anything you had imagined. But how often is anyone able to look back and pinpoint the very minute things changed?

Maybe that's why I enjoyed the recent movie "Inception" so much. The concept of changing everything, by inserting one small change, one moment.

One evening, years ago now, I received a phone call from a friend. She called to ask me if I was interested in joining her to take a "sword class" she read about. Not having done anything just for myself since my children were born, and having always "liked swords," I agreed. I had no idea that that simple decision, that moment, would change everything about my life, several times over.

The next week at the first class, some guy walked in and introduced himself as a Fencing Master. Practically from that very moment, I was captivated. Throughout the series of classes, I surprised myself by looking forward to the hard work. Although I was able to do very little as far as technique in those classes, I did learn that this was something I very much wanted- needed- to do. I felt a sense of connection that I had not felt very often before.

That was the beginning.

A couple of years later, there was another important moment, and I remember that one in detail, as well.

It was the first class of a series of beginning foil classes.

During the introduction, listening to the master explain why he teaches, I realized that not only did I want to learn to use the sword, I wanted to learn to teach it.

I mentioned this after class, expecting it to be something I'd work on "some day."

I was invited to assist in a class the next day.

That "assisting" consisted primarily of watching, and was the beginning of what has now become an apprenticeship of over ten years, with daily interaction and guidance.

I may be the only person currently on earth who has had the extraordinary good fortune to have such an apprenticeship.

What this means is that I've spent the last dozen years or so immersed in learning about the sword, and learning to teach. I am still learning. I have a resource that is nearly universally unavailable- a Fencing Master to ask, to work with, to observe, and to learn from. Every day. Full time.

And best of all, as anyone who has worked with him might tell you, he can be a somewhat demanding task master. :-)

I will attempt to share some of that with whoever is interested.

I also have my own blog, which covers a variety of topics. I am a single Mom of three nearly grown kids, all of whom grew up without attending school. I am a volunteer firefighter and EMT. All of that provides much to write about.

Here, on this blog, I'll share my perspective on fencing itself, and on the process of learning to fence, and learning to teach.

I'll share some insight on being an apprentice.

I'll share some of the questions I've had, and how I have searched for, and sometimes found, answers.

I hope it is of some value.

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