Sunday, June 15, 2014

The joy of steel

Goody, a father's day present, a cheap stainless steel ninja "twisted steel" sword. Have no fantasy of becoming a warrior of the night; won't even sharpen it. Stainless steel in the hopes it might last a year or two here on the beach. The weight is just right for one handed work while the tsuka has plenty of space for both.

Iaido kata brings back memories of Master Chun, though getting up from a kneeling position is a must to avoid. Instead, music pours from the iPod and the sword moves to the rhythm; tip, keep as much of the earphone wiring inside the shirt as possible, the twisted steel tsuba loves to grab earphone wires. The trex deck is just springy enough to make footwork a joy and the high ceiling means no damaged ceiling fans. Dancing with swords is a great way to work out on core days, an hour session is a great mix of aerobics, core strength and fun. It is a fairly big sport in Russia and comes to us from the Cossacks, is practiced by men and women with a lot of spinning of the sword and its bearer as well as switching hands. They even do one in each hand. Amira Abdi and her troupe do a sword belly dance. Of, course they do it in India, China, Korea and Japan as well. The Scottish have a sword dance for the lasses, but they lay them on the floor and dance a jig around them.

Steel is a great gift. Joy can be found limbing a fallen oak with a sharp axe, the moment a monster maul splits a sawn log, a digging bar clearing the way to dig holes to plant huckleberries and its friend the maddock taking out that pesky root.

The doctors say we all have to exercise more. Joining a gym, getting in a car and driving to work out, just does not move. But playing with steel, what can be more fun?

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