My friend Robert is a great fencing instructor. He setup a special Rapier Style Fencing "Collegium" or training event with friends of his in Tokyo the weekend before Thanksgiving. I joined him and his wife Ali on the trip down to Tokyo, starting Friday afternoon. . First we took the Japanese National Rail System down to Tokyo.
On our travels we also took the Tokyo Subway System. We traveled all afternoon and into the early evening. We finally arrived at the Atsugi U.S. Naval Base, where we spent the next three nights with friends Reagan and Phelan.
Early Saturday morning, we all left for the U.S. Army Camp, called Camp Zama. We had full use of one of their athletic facilities. We met with the Tokyo area fencers, which included U.S. folks, Japanese citizens and a distributed collection of other fine people from all over the world who are working in Japan.
The first classes had two different groups form up. The first group was the advanced students who had some training and experience. The other group was with novices. Rob had me work with the advanced students at first while he started the novices on the basics of movement and parries.
Stretching is a big thing in fencing, as your movements during combat must be fast, and you must be able to move in a lunge a great distance. Not being warmed up properly can cause strains and pain. It also inhibits your performance. (That is me in the black outfit) Here is Phelen, Sporon and myself.
Rob starts with the novices, showing them the basic footwork and handwork.
Occasionally he would have me come over to use me as a prop, or demonstration tool.
I then started working the novices thru the drills that Rob had shown them while he started in on the advnaced students.
Later I joined the advanced students to do drills with them while he worked with the novices again. A good portion of the advanced fighters are what we would call "Heavy" fighters in the SCA. These folks are used to fighting in full metal armor with heavy club like weapons.
Rob continues to check on the drills of the novices, and now gives them rapier style swords to hold as they learn their basic handwork and parries.
This is Robert and our friend from Tokyo "Sporon". His real name is Keichi Tada, but he goes by the fighting name of "Sporron". Robert fights under the name of "Tora" and I fight under the name of "Kage".
It is tiring work, and breaks and tactics discussions are fun to partake in while the body recovers. Rob, William, (who fights under the name Andrew) and Alfonso (from Spain) sit and talk shop.
One of our new Japanese friends Yoshimitsu Gotoh, who fights under the name "Vale", tries on a plate armor helmet that one of the heavy fighters brought.
Later that night the local SCA Baron had a going away party for one of the Baronies members who was leaving Japan for another duty assignment in the states. It was a good Mongolian BBQ meal, and Sporron here is using his horn cup.
Robert and Ali ate dinner and enjoyed the good company and comeraderie of the group.
After the meal, the SCA senior member, Baron Sir Guy stood to make the thanks you's, presentations and awards.