While some chose to ring in the new year nursing a hangover, those of my breed chose the path less traveled by. On this path rang the clash of swords, the grunt of physical effort, and the thunder of pulsing blood!
|Clang! Ok, so they were plastic training swords. Perhaps Clack! is more accurate .|
As has been my habit in the past, I've been spending quality time at the Spartan Training Center in Sedona, Arizona. On this particular day we were training Western style swordsmanship. After some warming up by way of going over some basic sword strokes we donned a protective mask and spent the afternoon dueling. Wielding basket hilt swords we thrust and cut at each other like gladiators.
|By the way, that's me on the left. SgtMajorus Maximus.|
The mask is the only protective gear we use in this type of training. There would be no value in the exercise if mistakes weren't a little painful. Being run through or clobbered on the head with a plastic claymore is good negative reinforcement. Timing and distance is everything. I have the bruises to prove it.
|John Carter has nothing on us!|
|Nothing like a sword thrust to the liver to remind you you're alive!|
Marines may be the only kind of people whose vacation is more martial than their vocation. Go figure.