Ringing in the new year with steel on steel!

While some chose to ring in the new year nursing a hangover, those of my breed chose the path less traveled by. On this path rang the clash of swords, the grunt of physical effort, and the thunder of pulsing blood!

Clang! Ok, so they were plastic training swords. Perhaps Clack! is more accurate .

As has been my habit in the past, I’ve been spending quality time at the Spartan Training Center in Sedona, Arizona.  On this particular day we were training Western style swordsmanship.  After some warming up by way of going over some basic sword strokes we donned a protective mask and spent the afternoon dueling. Wielding basket hilt swords we thrust and cut at each other like gladiators.

By the way, that’s me on the left. SgtMajorus Maximus.

The mask is the only protective gear we use in this type of training. There would be no value in the exercise if mistakes weren’t a little painful. Being run through or clobbered on the head with a plastic claymore is good negative reinforcement. Timing and distance is everything. I have the bruises to prove it.

John Carter has nothing on us!

Not only is this great weapons based martial training, it’s a substantial too. We did two minute duels with 15 seconds rest in between. After ten minutes my lungs were on fire and my stomach subtly reminded me what we had for breakfast. Then we did it again. Fatigue makes for the difficult execution of a proper hanging thrust or moulinet cut.

Nothing like a sword thrust to the liver to remind you you’re alive!

This isn’t a mere fencing or kendo type of “combative” sport. At the Spartan Training Center it’s all about the real world application of a given weapon and the human combative behaviors which drive it.  You can learn more about the Spartan Training Center and Integrated Combative Systems here. Or check them out on Facebook.

Marines may be the only kind of people whose vacation is more martial than their vocation. Go figure.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. I’ve finally gained control over my own limbs in a martial arts context. I admire anyone who can add sword fighting to the mix and keep the coordination going.

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