This blog is back. Up and running, alive and cutting.
Perhaps after a year and a half of silence there is something to share… Some new random thoughts and so. To celebrate the rebirth of this site I’ll take you on a short journey back in time, way back when the new millennium was still swinging in its cradle, and one certain young Finn had just had his first exposure to historical swordsmanship.
There are legends of those times told, and much of what really happened has disappeared in time, forever lost save for the memories of few people who played a role in those events. More important than the actual events of me getting my first lessons in wielding a sword was one wintry late-night walk I was having. What I recall clearly is a strange, pressingly strong determination. Determination not to do something, but to being made to do something.
I often think in English regardless of not being too fluent with the language, and my then untranslated thought was simply
Put me through hell. Put me through anything, I don’t mind. I will do it, I shall endure. I will get there.
Now this may sound quite pompous, but it sort of was that way for me. Through self-suggestion I readied myself for it, I made it clear to myself that yeah, I can do it and become what I was to become. But I did not know exactly what I was to become.
Thousands of training hours later I have a better idea, and I’ve endured all sorts of things. In a way, I did push through something — the air is pretty clear to breath now. Hell? Not by any means. Worth it? Maybe it was a bit much but sure, it shaped me to be what I now am, and I’m happy. Looking back, the problem was that for a very long period I left it to others to decide what I was supposed to become, just trusting blindly that by doing and not thinking I’d eventually somehow transcend and become aware of my purpose and reach all the things I would then realize I was set to pursue.
I love getting feedback, especially constructive feedback, or intelligently negative feedback. It angers me at first, but in the end it is so much better than positive feedback and the immediate feeling of awkward complacency it brings. I don’t wish to think that I always know best what works for me and what I should do, but at least now I see myself as an equal authority to anyone else. And many things are so easy to pick up and better: if I wish to deepen my stances while swordfighting (for whatever reason) I need to practice the uncomfortable deep stances until they become comfortable. Practicing upright for 500 hours won’t be nearly as good as practicing low for one hour (for this specific purpose). Likewise, if I repeatedly get hit in free fencing, oh it is the free fencing I should do more.
In any case, our journey in time takes us to 2004 and the earliest footage there is of me doing solo practice (there exists free fencing footage from 2003 I think, but not online). To continue the celebration I compiled a short video with my solo practice from 2004, 2005, 2009 and finally yesterday. It’s all just random cuts, but interesting to watch nevertheless. The old videos bring a tear to my eye. Enjoy!