Background: My sister has been part of the WHFA (Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association) and HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) for several years now. She tried to recruit me a couple years ago. I loved it, but only made it to a couple classes due to my schedule and finances. Now that I find myself back in Wisconsin, she has invited me to come several times. As much as I knew I’d treasure it, I turned her down. I would go and watch sometimes, but not participate.
A Few Days Ago: When a sister asks you to do a brief photo shoot with a sword, you say ‘yes’. She had a certain angle she wanted to get and she wanted to be able to go into the real photo shoot with confidence and knowledge. Simply put, I was part of the guinea pig photo shoot. That night, I changed my profile photo on Facebook – to one of the ones with me and the sword. The leader of our WHFA/HEMA saw it. While I was at work the next day, he happened to be there. He mentioned he’d seen the photo and how natural I look with a sword. He asked if I’d like to take it up. When I said I would, he told me to come to the club and get signed up; they’d love to have me there.
No longer could I put it off. I had to go. When I told my sister, she looked like she would burst with happiness. I was finally coming to sword class! Fortunately unfortunate, my sister broke her finger in class last week. I can now use her things during class for the next month or so. (They’ll smell far better than the club’s equipment.)
My first class went well! The warm up, ringen (wrestling essentially), cuts (we newbies practiced the basics while the more advanced people went through more), Vier Versetzen (we learned which cuts you want to use on certain guards to properly defend yourself), and sword play (basically what it sounds like … mock fighting – learning the etiquette and basics). At the end of every class, they do something I love. They sit in a big circle. Each person states their first name, something they liked about that class and something they didn’t like about that class.
I’m Simone. I liked every part of the class for different reasons; I didn’t like not being able to spend more time perfecting everything we learned. That will come with time.
I’ll get there,