Constructive, negative feedback is rare*. Finnish people in general are quite bad both in giving and taking it; in both cases there is a tendency to overreact. To avoid the aftermath it is easier to go on and keep it all to yourself. It is part of the culture and in a way a good thing: whenever I get such feedback I’ll have the time to go over it and see how things could be changed for the better. Continue reading
There’s a lot of things going on at the moment. Not only are we pressing forward with the Espoo Association of Historical Fencing, but also other things as well.
Late next week I will head to Italy to take part in a competition organized by Guardia di Croce, where I will perform the Primo Assalto of the sword in two hands of Marozzo.
I have been somewhat diligently practicing – I could’ve done more – but the circumstances have been quite demanding. Regardless of how well I will perform in the competition I’m looking forward to a relaxing and enjoyable trip, meeting a lot of new people and getting to know the Italian part of the HEMA community.
Exciting times. With some other stuff going on in my personal life, which is no point mentioning here, it has been taxing. But I remain in good spirit, looking forward to great times of progress and learning on many fronts.
Regarding the progress of our new club, we are still looking for space, and are organizing training equipment and suchlike so that when time comes to start the training, we will be prepared.
This also means that I am writing up a curriculum for teaching – to help myself and assist those who will be covering classes when I might be prevented from doing so. Theory is easy to pack up, but analyzing and choosing basic exercises that would form the foundation for starting students is challenging; the amount of material covered by the original sources is vast, and since much of it is simply different ordering of the basic actions to create (sometimes very) inspired combinations it is a though call to decide which ones to pick as fundamental.
On the other it does not make such a great difference, since any actions will serve just as well to teach the basics: the guards, strikes, parries, turns and steps. Through a great array of examples the students will eventually learn to freely express the basic theory and actions.
The new club has already generated a lot of interest – it is my humblest wish that when the time comes this interest will also show in way of participation for the classes. I promise to do my best to make the time invested worthwhile!
Meanwhile there will be a seminar on the Bolognese fundamentals at the School of European Swordsmanship Salle on 13th of November. More details will follow on that!
While of course that news might interest more those from Finland, if someone from abroad finds themselves near by during the time, they are most welcome to participate!
I may have explained here how I have been in the process of starting to run weekly classes in my home town, Espoo, which is next to Helsinki.
Of course this is not so much news to the readers outside Finland, but sort of important as something to blog about.
Today we launched the website of the club, and we are looking actively for a venue at the moment, and once we get some sort of training space sorted out, we are ready to go.
We are aiming to start the classes still this year, or early next year latest. Check out the website at www.ehms.fi, even though it is only in Finnish for now.
The study and practice of Bolognese Swordsmanship is slowly starting to get some proper form in Finland.
Formal training in the style will commence towards the end of this year in the form of a sister-school for Guy Windsor’s Helsinki school, where – at least to begin with – the main focus will be in the Bolognese tradition.
Future will show whether there will be other weapon forms practiced as well, but at least for me the main goal is to approach the Bolognese tradition as a complete martial art, so that the student-practitioner would learn to wield all weapons (as far as possible) in a “Bolognese manner”.
This, of course, assumes that the weapons in use are what they were in the end of the 16th century – no one learns smallsword fencing by practicing the Bolognese, nor do they learn how to shoot with firearms.
Part of the preliminary practice for me and the current small Bolognese study group has been a weekly session of free fencing, aimed towards getting experience, having fun and testing out the things we have learned in practice in an open and relaxed context. Part of this process has been filming all the bouts and uploading them online for anyone to see, basically unedited.
While we are planning on editing a shorter, nice compilation of the more stylish hits, the videos are already online in their full format. You can check them out at my Vimeo page.