Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ten Bad Sparring Practices in the Art of Swordsmanship


Here is a short list of pathetic and loathsome practices I have personally witnessed in sparring matches. Those guilty, knowingly or unknowingly; hang thy heads in shame, correct, and/or kill yourselves. If you’re offended, you’re guilty.

1. Touch-taggers. Yeah, you know who you are. Unless you don’t. Which you really might not. You’re the kind of guy who thinks you’d be shearing the limbs off of your opponent when in reality you’d be lucky if you were brushing off the flies with the kind of horrid technique you display. You must have been a boffer fighter in a previous life, and I’m sure you’ll add it to your resume as a “martial pursuit” when you become a “martial artist” and form an acronym. Queef-bucket.1

2. Edge-smearers. You’re a touch-tagger, but up close. You think you’re giving an exemplary display of binding, winding and slicing technique, but you’re really just demonstrating a deplorable lack of skill and knowledge of both technique, and the capabilities of real swords as you touch the other guy with your edge and/or flat and rub the sword about. It is more a display of homo-eroticism than swordsmanship. I’ve seen men feeding their girlfriends hotdogs in a more martially sound manner. Pube-nugget.1

3. Hand-hunters. See your twin brother in #6. With the exception that you deliberately choose a fragile target. Bitch. You may also often be a #5, and you will solely attempt to defend by striking the hands, which results in simultaneous hits, which you then proceed to argue about as said #5.

4. Show-boaters. You suck and you know it, so you pass yourself off as not really trying, when in fact if you did try, you would get your ass kicked just as badly, but in such an event you’d be without an excuse. You think you’re flaunting yourself in the ideal Castiglionian fashion, but everyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell you’re just a douche nozzle. Yet somehow you still think you’re God’s gift to “historical fencing.” And here’s a hint: Yes, you can do sprezzatura wrong, beef-jockey.1

5. The debater. You have no concept of what the real purpose of sparring is. You’re also very insecure about your abilities. Any time the unfortunate incident of you and your opponent striking each other near the same moment occurs, you stop the bout to discuss who’s blow landed first; usually –like a little bitch- insisting that it was yours. As if a real martial artist would give a flying pommel in such an instance. It’s sparring! As if, in such a close circumstance, one strike would negate the other. The only people who should argue about such insignificant crap are sport fencers in a tournament, or jockeys when a photo-finish should be involved. Tampon-sniffer.1

6. The one-trick pony. You pretty much suck, so you constantly deliver the same attack. Again and again. And again. Etc. It’s just sparring. Try something new. If you try something else long enough, who knows? Maybe you can be a two-trick pony, you sorry sack-jacket.1

7. The quitter. You completely lack any skill whatsoever in a given range of the fight, so if your opponent gets there, you stop. That’s all. You just stop and cede the fight. What a lack of audacity and desire. Diaper-bandit.1

8. A lack of control. Your physical skills suck to the point that you will trade a little speed to get in a hit for any incidental injury your opponent may sustain due to your inability to pull the strike. That, or you simply lack any real regard for your training partner. In any case, you’re an asshole who lacks the ability to exert proper control over the weapon. Slow down if you have to. Jackass.2

9. The ground-cutter. This one is just annoying. Your form is so poor that when you are getting relatively intense in a sparring bout, you constantly strike the ground with your missed, flailing cuts. If your weapon was real, you’d need to replace it rather often. Is that how you flourish? If you were a modern soldier, would you also jab the barrel of your rifle into the dirt between each shot? You must be who Doebringer had in mind when he called what we generally know as alber, the “plow.” It also goes to show that in the event that you had any real sense of range, you also have no intention of controlling your strike. Granny-plug.1

10. The water-winger. Either you started your days of “fighting” with blunt objects in the SCA, or you just have no idea what you’re doing. You wear a mask with a hood or a steel helmet, gorget, fluffy gambeson, external cod-piece and padded gloves. Isn’t that what they did in the old days? Don’t forget your inner-tube, life-preserver, mouth-piece, water-wings, self-deploying airbag and prophylactic. Did I miss anything? Because that edge-smearing with aluminum blades can be crippling were it to push around on you without such protective measures. After all, you guys just go at it with such intensity with those clean, crisp techniques. Clown-fondler.1

-C

1. Most profanity in this article is the product of Creative Cursing: A Mix and Match Profanity Generator, by Sarah Royal & Jillian Panarese. It’s not my fault.
2. Really, you’re just a jackass.

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