Swords, Pt. 2
Last week’s post is feeding right into this one, though it may not seem like it should. Lemme ‘splain. The holidays last year were more than a little disruptive here at Caer Dave. There was travel (so much travel). Mrs. Dave returned from overseas. Wee and Wee-er Dave were both out of, and then back into school. Sleep was disrupted, routines were broken, schedules feel by the wayside. The usual, really. I rolled with life by dropping my weight training work, and it showed. Not so much in the mass department, so much as the mood, attitude, and focus that consistent training improve. Also, the writing. The writing dropped off. Kinda. More below.
I haven’t written much of actual what-you’d-call fiction for the last few months. More travel, changing schedules, shifting routines, and suchlike have been interrupty there. What I have been … blessed with are three new projects. I’ve detailed the Great Pulp Short Novel Experiment a bit, and touched on the two separate (!) epic fantasies. I’m going to include my UF series in the GPSNE by adding material to Baptism By Fire to bring it to actual novel status. And then there’s the space opera I have yet to finish (sigh), and a humorous milSF project I’m working up that I think of as Prince Roger Meets Stripes, as a rough, working direction.
While I’m thrilled beyond measure (he says, with teeth gritted) to have so many great stories upon which to work, I’m not actually getting work accomplished. Not a great thing for a working writer. And I think it has to do with self-care. I don’t know how many of you this applies to, as well, but when I slack on getting enough sleep, my writing slips. When I’m not eating well (or eating the wrong stuff; see also, holidays) my writing slips. When my routines fall apart, writing slips. And most importantly to today’s post (and tying into last week’s), when my physical training stops, my writing slips.
So I’ve been putting in some time designing programming training for, well, probably not this week. You see, the denizens of Caer Dave hopped a flight across the country for Adopted Big Little Brother Dave’s wedding. I’d give you a report on how that went, but I’m writing this from the past so I don’t have to do it while traveling, or freakin’ exhausted. Anyway: training. I’m going to ease back into weights (there’s nothing like going hard the first day back, and not being able to move for a week from the DOMS), but I’m also going to introduce several other modalities into my regimen. I’m going to get up early(er?) and ruck for a mile. Hopefully every day. On off days, I’m going to use a TRX for some calisthenics, and I’ll be pushing the prowler for cardio. And I’ll be using mace and club bells for upper body joint strength and mobility. I’m going to be using some gymnastics principles to work on full body mobility. Finally, I’m going to be injecting a mess of HEMA drills.
The last is my focus, today. I’m going to build a pell for practicing binds. I’ll be getting a copy of Joachim Meyer’s 1570 treatise on German martial combat, as well as Richard Marsden’s work on European martial arts in general. Eventually, I hope to put together a solid research library on western swordsmanship (maybe even branching into eastern traditions), but that’s for the future.
As for the actual training, I’m going to be mining a lot of the YouTube videos for what I’m after. I’ll be practicing footwork (a lot) and practicing cuts maintaining good form. From the little HEMA work I did *mumblty* years ago, I’m going to work up a sweat, and build muscular endurance. Which is what I’m after. The closest actual HEMA study groups are barely 30 miles away. As the crow flies. One is a good hour drive, and the other requires a ferry ride. I have hopes of visits, but regular attendance is contraindicated, at this point. The last time I dipped my toes into HEMA, the study group fell apart when our work schedules precluded regular meetings. I’m wary of founding another group when my own experience is so limited.
Why are you telling us your proposed training regimen, Dave? Well, this is going to feed into next week’s post. I propose you get your hands on a sword, and see what it’s like to swing it around in the way our ancestors did. If you’re writing swordsmanship into your works as I am, it’s only going to help. And I’ll be touching on that in future installments. I’ll see you all back here, same sword time, same sword channel.