Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Demos, freeplay prep and skiing holidays

Our group has a new beginner's course coming up in less than 2 weeks time. I have to admit feeling a bit ambivalent towards these, as on one hand we get the chance to hopefully recruit new people to the group, but the overall return for the energy and time invested in the beginners is usually very small. If we have say 10 people starting the course, we are usually lucky to have 2 or 3 at the end, and of these not all will continue to train further. It's quite disheartening but it seems to be a necessary evil to ensure the survival of our group. I was also thinking today that we'll have to cobble together some sort of introductory demonstration for the first evening of the beginner's course. This has usually led to discussions about what should be included or omitted, how long should the demo last for, and who's the "lucky" one to stand in front of John Q. Public and hold forth on the jewel that is italian swordsmanship a la Fiore.

Well, if we want to have a good demo and make a good first impression at least, I guess we'll have to do something. It's a pain in the arse though because I want to get some freeplay preparation stuff done, not least because we haven't done hardly any, but because there is a seminar covering precisely this aspect of our training coming up before the beginner's course starts. We'll have to divert training time from fpp (free play prep) to demo shenanigans instead. Grr!

To complicate matters just a little bit more (as if I really need this), our training venue will be off limits for a large chunk of the next two weeks because of the Finnish school holiday phenomenon called "hiihtoloma", lit. skiing holiday. Everything just seems to shut down for this period. It's bloody daft, we use the training space in the evenings when the school is anyway empty, but we're not allowed to use it during these holidays! Insane! In effect, we have I think two training sessions to whip up a decent demonstration. It's like trying to fence longsword with your hands tied behind your back......

1 comment:

  1. Combine the two? Few slow drills with dagger, someone slammed to ground a few times, something with swords and with a demo bout of freeplay, show where it is leading. And maybe poleaxes, I.33 or something to give them taste of other weapons? If demo is just to start the course, it probably does not need to be that long.