I'm currently in Helsinki sitting at the dining table in my friend Tina's apartment, and it's a very good day, on several counts:
- I spent the weekend at my salle teaching my students. We covered breathing exercises on Friday evening, spent all day Saturday torturing ourselves with rapier footwork, and all day Sunday working on Longsword. I don't miss teaching every evening and most weekends; it's nice to have a normal social life. But teaching seminars is what I'm built to do, I think.
- While here I've spent literally every lunch and every dinner catching up with old friends. It's 10 am here and I'll be having sushi for lunch with my godson and his family. I haven't got to see everyone, of course- after 15 years here I have far too many friends to be able to see all of them in a single week. But what a lovely problem to have.
- While I've been here I've also managed to shoot a ton of new training video footage, for my various courses and other projects.
- I just this minute sent the final print files of my new Rapier Workbook to the printers. I expect to see a jolly fine printed proof *very soon*.
I'm off home tomorrow afternoon… and leaving again on Friday to go to up to London, prior to flying off to Michigan for the Hero Round Table. I have to give a 12 minute speech there, something I've never done before. An hour? easy. Two hours? no problem. Twelve minutes? Dear god, I've got no idea.
So I'm practising…
My basic idea is that heroic behaviour (i.e. doing the right thing despite reasonable fear of the consequences) can be trained for, and the historical duelling arts offer a particularly useful way of doing that.
It will be an excellent opportunity to practise doing the scary thing.
Fortunately I'm also doing two short intro-to-Longsword classes at the event too, which will be much more comfortable.
A load of unarmed people sitting down and listening? Very scary.
A load of armed people standing up and swinging swords? Not scary at all.