This week I’ve kept up relatively well training. I may not have trained every day like I should have but I did train 4 days out of the week. I’ve also started regular training with a kagum- blunt steel sword (probably spelt that horribly wrong). This is a challenge for me on a few levels. Unlike my husband, I’ve never owned any sort of metal sword or one with a sheath before. It’s not a completely new concept to me, but I”m getting used to having a sword actually in my belt instead of holding on to it. The second challenge is the weight of the sword. Master instructors makes using the thing look effortless, but in reality I know that a steel sword is actually kind of heavy. For me swinging around a steel sword for any length of time is a real challenge in strength. The 3rd challenge is the blade, it’s slightly too big for me. So when I draw the sword I have to stretch a little bit and modify my technique to put the thing away.

At the beginning of this month I could only use the kagum for about 10 minutes before my arms were jello, with a little practice 4 times this week I can keep going for about half an hour or so. The nice thing about the kagum (other than it being one of the coolest things I own) is that you feel the right techniques and really feel the wrong techniques. If I get a cut right (doesn’t happen very often yet) It’s pretty effortless, the weight of the sword does most of the work. If I’m doing the cut wrong, my wrists take a beating and the tip goes almost into the grass.

Now whenever I pick up the wooden sword it feels like cheating…with the new perspective of the metal sword the wooden one feels like a toothpick…

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