“A wrestling tournament crash-landed at a Renaissance Fayre and they all intermarried,” was my thought. I'd tagged along with a trio of friends to SoCal Swordfight, a weekend-long HEMA competition: That’s “historical European martial arts,” three days of armored people fighting politely but hard with steel longswords, rapiers, daggers, and sabers. I’ve been practicing with... Continue Reading →
So it feels like an ever-new mystery to get overpowered in fight training by short, thin, or otherwise gracile people who, it seems to me, can’t possibly have as much power. Not just outmaneuvered and outskilled, but manhandled or just plain pounded. I’m talking thin teenagers, featherweight women, even a girl who’s too young for PG-13 and weighs less than my checked luggage. What gives?