Light Weapons Is Not A Light Sport
Author’s note: This article is a catharsis to vent some frustration. It is not intended to discourage anyone from learning light weapons, but to highlight some of the realities in trying to master this art.
As an instructor for the past four years in light weapons, I have met many people who wish to learn this art. I have met many more who wish to dabble. It is easy to tell the difference. In this time I have given anyone who has expressed an interest to pick up a foil as much time as I have been able, often at the expense of my own training. As an instructor, I do not expect all or even most of my students to be in top physical condition. (ie. I freely admit I could stand to lose about 20 pounds.) However, I do expect a serious student to be in reasonable shape or be willing to get into shape. (Please note: I do not use the term overweight, as I know a 300 pound Don in Ansteorra who is capable of teleporting, and its scary when he does it.)
Light weapons is not a sport which will make you physically fit. The muscle groups that it uses are specific and used only in brief bursts. In general, light weapons is not physically demanding, but it requires you be able to move fluidly. A physical fitness program in addition to fighting is essential to developing any sort of proficiency.
The point of this missive is that if you are badly out of condition; or just wish to dabble with it at the weekend fighter practice, please reconsider. If you are unwilling to include some kind of additional exercise, or even to practice the movements at home, please don’t waste my time. I don’t wish to sound conceited, but I have only so much time for practice. What time I do have available, I want to teach students, and improve my own skills. To become skilled enough to even authorize requires practice at home as well as at fighter practice. If you are not serious enough to devote an extra hour or two a week to learning this art, then please don’t expect me to be serious about teaching you.
In closing let me reiterate, light weapons is not a power muscle sport, but it requires that your muscles be in condition to handle the bursts of movement make up this sport. In this sense, you are in far more danger of strains and pulled muscles than in heavy weapons. Finally, no matter what shape you are in, if you are willing to make a genuine commitment to learn the art, then I will make the commitment to you to teach it.
Lord Kirk Dragomani