Came across a poster today for a "fencing club" in town. I happen to know most of the people involved, and that this group was started by and for people who want to do what is called "fencing" these days, but isn't. It's a sport that has changed from fencing as if the swords are sharp, to a stylized game of tag with lights and buzzers. The equipment they use is similar in some ways, but the ways in which they use it are not. Simply put, they disregard all of the laws of combat.
I could go on. I won't.
Part of me feels obligated to do whatever I can to inform the local public that we exist, and of the differences between what we do, and what everyone else does. Of the importance of those differences.
But I'm tired of having to explain that. Tired of the feeling of trying to explain to someone that what we do is "better."
"Better" is subjective.
What we do is REAL.
Real fencing. Not a sport. Not pretend. Not about scoring points or turning on lights. Fencing as if the swords were sharp, with the same level of control and coordination as if your life depended on it, with the same focus on defense, on not being hit. With all of the personal development that comes with achieving excellence at a highly precise physical skill, including discipline, confidence and the ability to perform under pressure.
People either get it, or they don't. And mostly, they don't.
I had thought, for a long time, that we were trying to prevent the demise of something important, of a set of skills, and more importantly, a way of learning, and a way of being. Chivalry. Prowess, truthfulness, loyalty and benevolence.
But if no people value those things, they can't be saved.
How can there be truth, if no one values the truth?
What I realized today is that it isn't fencing that needs to be saved. What needs defending is the environment in which chivalry can exist.