Thursday, March 20, 2008

Graduation Class

click on the image to enlarge.

This was the March 2008 graduation of the Basic Chivalrous Swordhandling class at Algonquin College. A fine group of warriors.

The basic class is a course created by Jean V. and myself, and Shayne D. (on my left) has been "in" on it from the beginning, and this class has had an unprecedented three instructors for every class since. We teach 2 hours per night for 8 nights, the first half is all Kenjuitsu, the second half is all Chivalrous Swordhandling. We have the best "retention" rate of any general interest class, and have graduated well over 500 students in the last few years.

The basic Chivalrous Handling class is a prerequisite for the Advanced Chivalrous swordhandling class, and the advanced Feudal Kenjuitsu class, each of which run at the same time as the Basic classes, but of course, on separate nights. The advanced courses are a bit more techniques intensive, with a lot more drills, and a lot more sparring. The "Basic CS" is a lot more fun...all fundamentals and straightforward techniques, no philosophy, no history. We occassionally bring in armours and swords for a show and tell session, and it provides a perfect introduction to the skill involved in handling a sword.
Note that we don't teach sword "fighting"! The fighting comes within yourself. I don't believe that I can teach you how to fight, but I CAN teach you how to handle the sword with grace and skill, avoiding dangerous muscle and tendon pulls, and how to be light on your feet.

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