Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sword fighting

I'm re-reading "The Cold Commands"; reculer pour mieux sauter for just-released 'The Dark Defiles', Richard Morgan's final volume in his epic 'swords-and-sorcery-as-if-it-were-hard-SF' trilogy. Parenthetically, how does Mr Morgan get away with writing this stuff when a rocket scientist is taken to the cleaners for a pin-up tee-shirt?

Dr Matt Taylor (Rosetta, Philae) with tee-shirt and interviewer

Anyway, it got me excited again by lethal sports. But what is the actual sport, you know, sword fighting? It was the kind of mental confusion only Google can address; yes, the sport is called fencing.

I looked up fencing clubs near where I live, south of the Somerset Mendips. The nearest club which looks established and competent is in Bristol: £60 for a six weeks beginner's course to learn the basics of foil, épée and sabre .. or some subset thereof. Did you know Marx took up fencing as a hobby when he was living in London?
"Karl Marx took up fencing again in London after his exile but characteristically "split" with his fencing master over political differences."
I feel quite attracted to deadly pursuits; in fact my home town has an archery club (just under a year's waiting list inspired, no doubt, by The Hunger Games) but there's something so much more attractive about cold steel, don't you think?

Not sure about the hour's drive to Bristol. Perhaps it's better just to wait for the spring?