I have been thinking.
There is so much going on today with fencing. Things that were not happening ten, twenty years ago. Some of these things I have kept up with – most I have not and much less than a clue as to what they may even be. The situation may even appear severe: new groups of fencers bloom locally and I don’t find out till a year or so later.
Also, it seems that everybody needs to own or belong to an organisation. New workshop groups, new “schools” and clubs, new instructors of virgin births every week. Crazy.
I also like it when I read a bio on one of these miraculously birthed fencing instructors that they have been fencing “for about 20 years” or (this is my favourite) “on and off for 20 years”.
When all along I know exactly what that means: “I started fencing around college time and got bored after 3 years and then I went to a club one night for a week and then I met some guys that actually taught me how to fence but I got an ego trip and left them so I could start my own fencing empire.”
I also like it when people list fifty names of popular fencing masters/instructors and say “I have trained with all of these great teachers and they love me.”
Translation: “I read their book/attended a 3 hour workshop given by this person I never met before and they couldn’t pick me out of a crowd if their lives depended upon it.”
I REALLY like it when people go to great lengths to make a great website that really makes them look like the shit – only when you choose the “gallery” button it takes you to a page of photographs intended to represent their amazing fencing abilities and it comes off like a bit of rotten lemon peel floating down the Mississippi.
I’ve been hard to handle in the past. I will admit to being a downright asshole at times and probably deserve much of the ill favoured feelings directed at me from the great horde out there, but of one thing I’m sure: I never pretend to be something I’m not.
I have plans to make changes – to my own fencing and in particular the Kabal Fencing website. But I’m in no hurry. I can start to laugh about some of this stuff, which is good. Though it may be that I enjoy fencing less than I used to.
Remember? back in the Day when you could just go fence? When people just wanted to fence?
Now everybody is an expert – everybody has to put their shingle out.
Well, I’m pullin’ all shingles in.