Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ich Bin Ein Swordsman

And no, I'm not trying to say "I am a jelly doughnut", as JFK is supposed to have accidentally said that famous day in Berlin. Nor am I suggesting that I am a swordsman in the sense that I am as well-endowed as a porn star and twice as expereienced, as that would be a vicious and unfounded lie. And if you can't get nothin' but the 100% truth on the internet, that what hope do we have for humanity. Kurt Vonnegut would say there's little hope for humanity to begin with, but he's dead. So it goes.

No, the title of this little post can only mean what I promised a couple of days ago, tales of bravery, chivalry, derring-do, and nerdy guys wearing sweats and whaling about with wooden swords in a community center gymnasium. Yep, it's time for Limpy takes German Two-Handed Sword classes!!

Wait, come back here!!

A few months ago I was leafing through our local community center newsletter, trying to find things to enroll our kids in so that we don't have to deal wi...I mean so that we can enrich their little lives. After getting my daughter enrolled in a swimming class and finding out that my son didn't want to take archery, (seriously, what kind of kid turns down his father's offer to fire arrows at things?), I stumbled into the "adult education" section of the newsletter. Sadly, it turned out not to mean what I thought it did, but the first offering was a class in learning German Two-Handed Sword technique.

Well, butter my biscuits!

I'm a veteran of many a backyard wiffle-bat duel, (you can generate an amazing amount of pain if you whack someone just right in the back of the thigh), and I played D&D and I like movies like "Lord of the Rings" and anything with medieval sword-play. Really, the only thing holding me back is that I haven't lived in my parents basement for a good 15 years now. OK 3.

Well, I have Monday nights free, so I signed up. This week was our first class. Although it turns out we're not really allowed to hit each other, (and I was sort of pissed about that), it's pretty cool. There's only five of us, but when things get going there's a big crowd watching. It's ot everyday you see 8 people, (3 instructors), flailing about with 4' wooden swords. And of course, when you, (and when I say you I mean "me"), fuck up your footwork, crash into your neighbor and then whack the guy on the other side in the shin with your sword while getting up, well, that just means there's about 25 additional people smirking at you.

So far we're working on the proper stances for feet and we started doing some sword positions as well. I'm good at the high position, weak at the "ox" position, and my footwork is probably worse than Heather Mills Not-So-Much-McCartney on "Dancing With The Stars" Which, by the way, is a show that could be dramatically improved with the introduction of a couple of German Longswords.

At any rate, its something different to do and it actually turns out to be a decent if not exactly strenuous workout. Should be fun, even if our "fights" are going to be limited and very choreographed. I think for the last class I'll get hammered on mead and then charge the instructors.


Blogger Maggie said...

Limpy is now a Knight That Says Nee!

Congratulations! Us gun-owners are so proud! :)

9:02 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

However, now that I think about it, you're more of The Black Knight. "It's merely a flesh wound!"

9:02 AM  
Blogger Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I always wanted to participate in a sport where I could legitimately hit other people. Of course, that would have meant that they could have legitimately hit me. Sigh.

And that reminds me of the very backward Head Start I attended when I was 4 years old. The first day, someone bit me. The teacher said, "Bite her back!" and held down the other child's arm so I could do the biting. That gave me a real taste for violence. Sometimes, I couldn't WAIT for another person to bite me first, so I bit that person. Of course, the teacher then had to hold me down while the other child bit me back.

I never tried to get away with that behavior outside of Head Start, because I knew it was bad. I was just incredulous that a grownup would encourage me to do something bad.

Now I know better, of course.

Sincerely yours,

9:18 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

I think you should take up the "highlander" kind then you could wear a kilt and post some pics...


9:51 AM  
Blogger Party Girl said...

It also sounds like it would be a great stress-release. And believe it or not I don't mean that in a sexual way...although, there could be some dress-up nights with the Mrs. in there. You know, with your German two-handed long sword.

just sayin'.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

I believe I see LARPing in your future. You dork.

11:31 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Maggie, I was thinking of The Black Knight as our instructor was earnestly telling us what a real metal sword could do to our limbs. "Really? It could cut them off? You don't say."

Alkelda, now there's a story Head Start wuld probably pay you a good deal of money to never tell anyone again.

Pixie, yes, a kilt, Because the world needs more pictures of my pipestem legs.

PG, it is a great stress relief. But I'm Irish, mostly, so it's more of a one-handed dagger.

Zoe, no you don't. The instrcutors hate those people. They look at this as a western form of martial arts and take it very seriously. The second I show up dressed in period costume I'm taking a shot to the skull.

11:46 AM  
Blogger tysgirl said...

You mean you're not a well endowed porn star? I thought for sure you were!

My world just crumbled.

1:32 PM  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

I would pay good money for a video of this.

I'd pay even BETTER money if you were well endowed and wearing a kilt, but whatever.

3:12 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Hmmm... I call shenanigans. Post a picture and we'll hold a vote. Two-handed sword, or one-handed dagger -- we'll decide.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Do you get to wear medieval armor to protect yourself from being battered by those 4' swords?

7:44 PM  
Blogger little sister said...

Lol @ what Maggie said! it cooler than fencing? probably is, since fencing is one the electives I took in college because I'm a Star Trek TNG nerd.

btw, shall we expect to see you on an episode of Showtime's The Tudors? (I'm guessing no, since Henry VIII was more into jousting, and not just with other guys on horsies.)

8:12 PM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Tysgirl, I have to believe there's more to your world than me. But if not, we'll always have Paris.

Soozie, I suspect that a video would be better once the classes get going. Right now it looks like a Special Olympics fencing practice.

Eclectic, I'll post a picture if I can borrow your wide-angle lens.

Nick, no armor. Apparently that has to do with the tradition. Which might be why this was a "lost" martial art for a few hundred years.

Lil Sis, I think it's cooler than fencing, but the same guys also teach that. I don't have Showtime, although I've seen the rpomos for Henry VIII. Looks interesting, but I somehow doubt I'll be getting called for it.

8:21 PM  
Blogger cathy said...

Limpy isn't the best name for a "swordsman", Is it? Maybe you should change it to Swappen:)

2:58 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

"Ich bin ein swappen" he said, having no idea what it meant.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Groovy Lady said...

I've heard stories of men getting together and playing with their swords.. of course the setting was usually behind bars... interesting to learn it takes place on college campuses too.

8:33 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Actually GL, it's at our town community center.

Apparently the local glory hole was booked.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

you could have a few "accidental jabs" couldn't you?!
If you say oh shitsorry right away they'll believe you.
get 'em Limpy!

8:22 PM  
Blogger Sugar Smacks said...

I would like that: Heather McCartney on Dancing With The Stars and a German longsword for a prosthetic.

I would add Gary Coleman in there too, just for the visual.

Well Limpy, I really like your thoughts and I want to link you if that's okay. But first, I have to ask:

Would you let ME use your bomb shelter, if it ever came down to that (big puppy dog eyes ensue)?

12:33 PM  

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