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Adrian Faulkner
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I write fantasy novels, I chase tornadoes & I fight with swords. Let's have an adventure!
I write fantasy novels, I chase tornadoes & I fight with swords. Let's have an adventure!

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Devastated - The Climb #325

Tuesday 12th December 2017
To understand how I’m feeling today is going to take some explanation.
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m feeling very run down due to my tournament on Saturday.  This is general fatigue and I’d feel like this whether I won or got beaten by everyone.  I felt I fought well but was surprised when I didn’t make the quarter-finals.  By my calculations I had done better than a friend who went through.
I’d been particularly worried about doubles after Wessex Bath so I’d been counting those as I fought, wincing at every one.  This is where competitors hit each other exactly the same time.  By my calculations I got 2, one against a pair of competitors.
I asked one of my friends who was responsible for the points scoring software to look into it.  It was too late to amend anything should there be an error but I wanted to know what had stopped me progressing simply so I would know for future tournaments.
They came back and said it was my doubles.  This surprised me as my friend who went through seemed to think he had a similar number of doubles to me.  They cause deductions to your overall score, and whilst they might be responsible for causing me not to progress, given that my friend who progressed had a similar number,  he shouldn’t have had any advantage to me.
But I was told that against one competitor, I had not one but two doubles.  I don’t believe this to be true.  After all, I was watching for them like a hawk.
Could I have been mistaken and had more doubles than I thought?  It’s certainly a possibility but only in that way that people say “it’s certainly a possibility” when they want to seem polite.  In truth, I’m as certain as I can be that my recollection was correct.
Yet, I know to add a double in the software takes conscious effort.  Now I don’t think for a moment anyone did it maliciously, but they must have thought there was a double when there wasn’t one called.
Now nothing can be done about this, and as low as I am at the moment, other than not getting another fight, it shouldn’t have any consequence.
Except…
If I am right, and I only got the one double and should have gone through to the quarter finals, then, no matter the outcome of my subsequent fight, I would have gotten three more points in the league… and would have taken 3rd place.
And if I wasn’t feeling low from the fatigue, I’d be disappointed and feel utterly miserable, but I would have eventually picked myself up and vowed to carry on.  But I am already low and this has just devastated me.
People can say it’s just a tournament and these things happen and not to take them so seriously… but I’ve fucking worked for this.  I’ve trained and trained and trained.  And to have this happen… whilst I don’t blame anyone… is a gut punch I just don’t feel I can get back up from.
It’s stupid, and I keep telling myself that, but it doesn’t stop the fact that I just want to cry.  All that hard work, all that sacrifice, all that training… and it just currently feels like it was all for nothing.
So I’ve been kind to myself.  I had a friend come over and we watched The Force Awakens.
But I just don’t feel much like swordfighting currently.  I’d planned to take this week off as a rest week but honestly, I’m currently lacking motivation and wondering if to just take the rest of the year off.
I’m sure I’ll get over it eventually, but I just feel so devastated right now I have no idea when that will be.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

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Post Tournament Fatigue - The Climb #324

Monday 11th December 2017
So a weird thing happens to me after a tournament.
Swordfighting tournaments are gruelling affairs.  Using Stewart’s calculations from the weekend of 6000 calories for 2 tournaments, let’s assume that you are looking at around 3000 calories for a single tournament.  I’m not sure that’s exactly correct as I’ll have a burger in the evening and still put on weight despite sweating myself to dehydration but that might just be me and my weird metabolism.
The point is that they are incredibly active (as much as half a marathon) and that’s before you start adding in the fact that you’re doing all this in a padded jacket and a mask that restricts airflow.
It should therefore be no surprise that they are exhausting, leaving you physically fatigued for days.
However, there’s another aspect to tournaments… a mental one.  There’s the excitement and stress leading up to the event.  Everyone seems to cope with it differently.  I almost get myself to a panic attack to just wear myself out and calm down, my friend Josh cleans his sword as a displacement activity.
Everyone approaches the mental game slightly differently, but even once you get to the venue it doesn’t stop there.  The environment is just designed to engage your flight or fight response.  You’re watching your opponents even before you fence them, trying to ascertain how they’re fighting today.
And then once you fight, you’re making a million different calculations in your head trying to anticipate what move your opponent might pull off and how to counter it.  For some people this can be akin to a full blow panic attack, with your mind racing to keep up with the unfolding situation before you.  For some, the decision becomes so much like fine sand that everything is like white noise, decisions made seemingly unconsciously.
I find it takes me up to a week to physically recover from a tournament.  During that time, I’ll feel tired and fatigued.  It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I’ll still feel like I never got any.  And my muscles will go beyond normal tournament aches and pains to include a fatigue I find it hard to shift for 4 or 5 days.
The mental aspect and recovery is what interests me though.  I’ve found for a good 10 days afterwards, I’m on a mental low.  It’s very close to depression.  I find things bother me more, I feel more emotionally unstable, I have less drive, I’m more negative.
I think, although I’m far from sure, that the expenditure of adrenaline causes a lack of vitamin B which gives rise to the symptoms.
I’d like to be able to speed this recovery up, as I tend to be a person who picks myself up and carries on, and yet after a tournament I’m just in a self-pity party for days.
I’m going to experiment with some vitamin B supplements and see if it results in any improvement.  If it’s taking me close to 2 weeks to recover, then I’m hardly recovered from one tournament before I go into the next.
If that’s the case, it’s no wonder I feel so burned out right now.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues: 323 | 322 | 321

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Snowgeddon - The Climb #323

Sunday 10th December 2017
Today was a rest day.
After yesterday’s tournament disappointment I’d already decided that even if there was sparring today I wouldn’t be going.  Just as well really as I woke up to a couple of inches of snow.
I got woken by Kate messaging me some writing support.  I didn’t mind, especially given that I’m feeling very flat after yesterday.  Whilst I might not feel much better about writing right now, her kind words about some support I gave her a few days back helped put my day into the right frame of mind.
I’m so temporarily done with swordfighting right now that I’ve decided I’m taking a week off.  This isn’t me throwing my toys out the pram, this is me feeling disappointment and frustrated and deciding a week break from it might do me some good.  After all, as Kate reminded me this morning, I do have a novel to edit.
This will allow me more time to see friends this week.  I had a friend come over for Turkey Burgers and the last few episodes of Dark which we thoroughly enjoyed.  It’s begging for a second season and whilst I was disappointed that things weren’t neatly wrapped up, I did really, really enjoy it.
I also got introduced to a new mobile game that I’m only playing because my friend is.  It’s a battleship strategy game and whilst I usually loathe mobile games, I think the fact that it’s taking me away from my swordfighting frustration is probably a very positive thing.
I also want to spend a little time in Warcraft over the holidays.  Just like the Garrison in the Warlords expansion, the Class Order Hall are good money earners, and so now I have 7 characters at level 110, I’m trying to complete their order hall campaigns so that I have enough followers to get these missions across all my characters.
If nothing else, it took my mind off things.  The snow meant that I couldn’t have gone anywhere even if I wanted to, and my plans to walk into town this afternoon got turned into popping across the road to the shop.
I thought I’d feel bad wanting to take a break from swordfighting.  After all, it’s not like me to give up, even when things get hard, but I know this is just a temporary thing.  What with the blog, dues, website updates for Wessex, English Sidesword Open and other things, it’s pretty much dominated my life these last few months.  And whilst, given the book frustration, this has been a good thing, I’m now a little burnt out on it all.
Perhaps this is the perfect time to dive into book 2 and get some work done, although I have to be honest and say I just wanted to rest today.  Given that I didn’t get a proper lay in this morning and due to my friend staying until late before work tomorrow, I doubt I’ll get one tonight, maybe it’ll take me a few days before I feel human again.
I just intend to take it easy and relax a little.  It’s not so much that I deserve it as my mind and body needs it.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues: 322 | 321

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I'm So Done With Tournaments - The Climb #322

Saturday 9th December 2017
I’m not going to lie, I’m actually glad that this was the last tournament this year.
I’m not sure if it’s the pressure of tournament or that I’m not getting enough time to mentally and  physically recover, but as the tournament has gone on I’ve done progressively worse.
The thing is, I didn’t think that I’d done that bad today.  My head felt good having convinced myself that the plan for today was to screw the league, screw the competition and just work on going out with a bang and some decent fencing.  I’ve been working all year on being a more offensive fighter, and so what I really wanted out of today was to be able to walk away from it, whatever the result, feeling that I was controlling the fight.
And I felt I did that.  I felt I kept my cool, kept my focus and fenced well.  During the actual tournament I didn’t feel that stressed, and I certainly wasn’t worrying about the league.
I won 3, lost 2, but the three I won I won by points cap.  I wasn’t sure whether I’d got through but I was pretty certain given all the factors that I was second in my pool.
Except I didn’t go through but Christophe (also in my pool) did.  I’m a little confused about this.  We both won 3 and lost 2, but I capped all my fights by a decent margin (including 1 that was at least 10-1), we think we had the same number of doubles, and in our fight I beat him.  By every calculation I can think of, I should have gone through and not him.
I didn’t make a fuss because, it’s very easy in the heat of the moment, to overlook something or miscalculated, but the more I think about it, the more I think something was recorded wrong.
Now there’s part of me that’s asking myself whether I’m just trying to find something to blame when I do badly?  The doubles threw me last time, the cutting people caused me problems the time before.  Except I’m pretty sure I’m not.  I’m trying to understand why  I’m not succeeding so that I can try and address it.
I don’t want to take anything away from Christophe.  He fought well and I’m happy for him.  I’m also aware that tournaments bring out everyone’s inner dick.  But today has just left me feeling flat.
A lot of my current state of mind is just going to be exhaustion.  Stewart worked out his fencing today used 6000 calories, and whilst he was in more competitions than me, that’s the equivalent of a marathon.  However, some of my current state of mind, is genuinely feeling fed up and frustrated.
I really didn’t want to stay around but as I’d travelled up with Josh and we’d pre-booked food, I couldn’t easily get away.  Luckily both Stewart and Josh didn’t want to stay so we got away relatively early  (Stewart even very kindly upgraded us to First Class on the way back home).
So, maybe I was offensive in my fights, but the fact that there’s a question mark on how someone I’m pretty sure did worse than me went through, I finish the day a bit pissed off with swordfighting.  I’m sure I’ll get over it in time, but for now all I really want is a break.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues:  321

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Tournament's Eve - The Climb #321

Friday 8th December 2017
Tomorrow is my last tournament and I have a grand plan.
This is the year of the offensive.  This is the year I’ve dedicated myself to going out and making things happen.  Last year I fought defensively and this was the year I wanted to change that.
Looking back at the year, I’ve certainly done that.  I’ve thrown myself at the year.  Whether it be my writing or my swordfighting, I’ve really pushed myself to breaking point.  In many ways, it’s no wonder I end the year feeling so exhausted.
My aim was to get inside the top 100 for rapier & dagger.  I’ve done that.  I’ve won my first medal for it, my first silver.  I’ve proved I’m every bit as good as the front runners in the school.
But now’s not the time to prove myself better.  Yes, I want to capitalise on what I’ve done, take my victories and use them to push me harder and further.  But I can’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I’m still gaining tournament experience.  This isn’t the year for me to be unbeatable.  That’s still some way off.
Instead, I have to be prepared to fail.
So,  I’m going to take wins… or I’m going to fail trying.
Tomorrow could be the biggest disaster in my swordfighting career… but I’ll learn from it, even if what I learn is what not to do.
Around me, everywhere is now doing their reviews of the year.  I’m still not done yet.
But this is my last tournament, and so maybe it’s time to pull out all the stops.  Go out in a blaze of glory or die in a fiery blaze.
I still intend to be technical.  I’m going to not thrust into opening that are not there… but what I am going to do… is fight.
I’m going to bed early (although at 9:15pm currently I feel I’m already late).  I’m going to be getting up at 6am and driving to Reading where I’m travelling with Josh and Stewart.  Stewart is judging and Josh is in the Sword & Buckler but I’d rather go up early.
I’ve packed my case as well as my bag.  I just need to get up, have breakfast and load up the car.  Hopefully I’ll wake feeling both rested and focused.
I’ll be glad when this is over.  I intend to take things a bit easier with the swordfighting for the rest of the year.  I’ve already decided I won’t be doing Sunday sparring this weekend and will probably be erratic until the new year.
I still have no idea what my theme for next year will be.  It’s got to be something that suits both my swordfighting and my writing.  However, I suspect that whatever it ends up being will have something to do with how well tomorrow goes (or doesn’t).
This year is the year of the offensive… it’s been working up to tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the day of the offensive…and it doesn’t matter whether I win or lose, only what I learn as a result.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues:  320 | 319 | 318 | 317 | 316 | 315 | 314 | 313 | 312 | 311 | 310 | 309 | 308 | 307 | 306 | 305 | 304 | 303 | 302 | 301

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Tournament's Eve - The Climb #321

Friday 8th December 2017
Tomorrow is my last tournament and I have a grand plan.
This is the year of the offensive.  This is the year I’ve dedicated myself to going out and making things happen.  Last year I fought defensively and this was the year I wanted to change that.
Looking back at the year, I’ve certainly done that.  I’ve thrown myself at the year.  Whether it be my writing or my swordfighting, I’ve really pushed myself to breaking point.  In many ways, it’s no wonder I end the year feeling so exhausted.
My aim was to get inside the top 100 for rapier & dagger.  I’ve done that.  I’ve won my first medal for it, my first silver.  I’ve proved I’m every bit as good as the front runners in the school.
But now’s not the time to prove myself better.  Yes, I want to capitalise on what I’ve done, take my victories and use them to push me harder and further.  But I can’t be afraid to make mistakes.  I’m still gaining tournament experience.  This isn’t the year for me to be unbeatable.  That’s still some way off.
Instead, I have to be prepared to fail.
So,  I’m going to take wins… or I’m going to fail trying.
Tomorrow could be the biggest disaster in my swordfighting career… but I’ll learn from it, even if what I learn is what not to do.
Around me, everywhere is now doing their reviews of the year.  I’m still not done yet.
But this is my last tournament, and so maybe it’s time to pull out all the stops.  Go out in a blaze of glory or die in a fiery blaze.
I still intend to be technical.  I’m going to not thrust into opening that are not there… but what I am going to do… is fight.
I’m going to bed early (although at 9:15pm currently I feel I’m already late).  I’m going to be getting up at 6am and driving to Reading where I’m travelling with Josh and Stewart.  Stewart is judging and Josh is in the Sword & Buckler but I’d rather go up early.
I’ve packed my case as well as my bag.  I just need to get up, have breakfast and load up the car.  Hopefully I’ll wake feeling both rested and focused.
I’ll be glad when this is over.  I intend to take things a bit easier with the swordfighting for the rest of the year.  I’ve already decided I won’t be doing Sunday sparring this weekend and will probably be erratic until the new year.
I still have no idea what my theme for next year will be.  It’s got to be something that suits both my swordfighting and my writing.  However, I suspect that whatever it ends up being will have something to do with how well tomorrow goes (or doesn’t).
This year is the year of the offensive… it’s been working up to tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the day of the offensive…and it doesn’t matter whether I win or lose, only what I learn as a result.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues:  320 | 319 | 318 | 317 | 316 | 315 | 314 | 313 | 312 | 311 | 310 | 309 | 308 | 307 | 306 | 305 | 304 | 303 | 302 | 301

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The Pressure Of The League - The Climb #320

Thursday 7th December 2017
As suspected, I’m feeling a lot better today.  The flu symptoms seem to have disappeared as quickly as they came.  That probably means they’re going to linger and strike me down properly in a week or something but as long as I’m fine for Saturday’s tournament I don’t really care.
I’m looking towards Saturday, not so much with excitement or worry, as I am with relief.  I’ll be glad for it to be over.  I’m so done with tournaments right now.
I think part of the problem is because I did so well on the first one.  It was great to get silver but I didn’t feel I fought particularly well.  It made me second in the overall league.  And since then I’ve felt that I’ve had everything to lose and nothing to gain.
It’s a new kind of pressure and one I’ve really struggled with.  I’ve found myself becoming more and more frustrated as the tournaments have progressed.  I feel I have to get a medal, that it’s somehow expected of me.
In the back of my mind is a mental note that tells me that this is how I will feel about book 2 if book 1 does really well.  Indeed, in trying to deal with my swordfighting frustration I’ve tried to tackle the problem as if it was concerned with the release of the book I’m currently editing.
But no matter how much I tell myself that this is all part of the learning experience, that I can’t expect to always do well, that I must have to occasional off-day, I feel myself getting tenser and tenser.
And with London looming on Saturday I’m trying to get my head into that perfect spot:  where I’m motivated enough to go forward, to take sensible risks, to go on the offensive; but that I’m also not putting so much expectation on myself that I crumble the moment one point doesn’t go my way.
Of course, the location doesn’t help.  Fighting requires a lot of kit.  There’s not only your sword & dagger plus spare tips and screws and the like, but there’s all your armour as well.  I usually carry several bags with me in addition to my sword.
But Saturday’s tournament is in London and despite assurances otherwise, I’ve been unable to find parking on Google maps that isn’t limited to 4 hours.  That means going in on the train.  Gah!
Luckily I do have my sportube.  I might have only had it a few months but it has already been essential for travel to Romania and Sweden.  My plan is to load all my gear into it and then cart that across London.  It might not be as cumbersome as multiple bags, but it’s still not what I would call easy.
My friend was unable to come round to watch the final episodes of Dark but in many ways that’s worked out for the best.  It’s allowed me to try and rest ahead of Saturday.  I’ve tried to make sure I get a lot of sleep, and plan to go to bed very, very early on Friday.  After all, that worked for me at Swordfish.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues: 319 | 318 | 317 | 316 | 315 | 314 | 313 | 312 | 311 | 310 | 309 | 308 | 307 | 306 | 305 | 304 | 303 | 302 | 301

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Playing With 500 Year Old Swords - The Climb #319

Wednesday 6th December 2017
Today probably wasn’t the best day to be ill.
A group of us had arranged to go up to the Wallace Collection in London to handle some antique swords from the period of the style that I fight.  I would be handling actual 500 year old weapons that I train to fight with.
I had a restless sleep.  I’d wrapped up in many layers to try and sweat it out of me overnight, and whilst I did sweat, I still wasn’t feeling 100%.  I was good enough to go out but I knew I wouldn’t be 100% come evening.
The plan for the day was long but relatively simple:  I’d drive to Godalming, meet Leigh at the station to travel up to London, go to the museum, then come back to Godalming, go to training and then head home.
I left early – I’d taken the entire day off the day job and had no reason to be late – and arrived in enough time to leave my car near Fran’s house, walk down and get a hot chocolate (where the barrista thought I was from New Zealand, even though I’m from two villages over from where I was) before meeting Leigh.
Everything went pretty smoothly.  The train was on time, it was simple to get to the location and we got there before most people.  I came to the Wallace Collection for a handling session almost 2 years ago and that was in a private room.  This was in one of the display halls.  It was interesting seeing people walking around and looking at us.
We’d opted to try and go for swords with their original blade.  Just as everyone these days buys old worthless furniture and redecorates it as an arts and craft project, so the Victorians were fans of buying up the surplus of old weapons on the market and then cutting down the blades to create elaborate fans of swords.
You might think that this wouldn’t be a problem, but one of the key things about how a sword handles is its balance point.  Something with the weight further back might feel more cutty than something with the point along the blade.  It helps give each sword its own personality.  I’ve handled antique daggers that just feel like they want to stab, swords that want to cut, and as weird as it sounds to people who’ve never experienced this, the secret is in how the sword is balanced.
So having a sword’s blade cut down would affect the balance point, and make it feel a very different sword to how the swordmaker intended.
As a result, it was very informative handling these weapons.  You can’t really ‘swing them around’ but you can hold them in guard and get a feel for how they handle.  It’s a bit like taking a car for a test drive before you take it to a race track to properly hammer it.
My favourite thing to do is to hold a sword in a hanging guard called prima.  I feel this really gives you an idea of the weight and how it would handle.
Obviously the swords I fight with are replicas that are blunt and sated but the modern swordmakers go to extraordinary length to achieve a similar balance.  In many ways they are one and the same.  Picking up a 500 year old sword feels no different to me than picking up a friend’s training sword.  I might be unfamiliar with the actual weapon but I could easily fight with it.
It’s quite a buzz to know that the martial art you study (recreated from old documents) would work with one of these antique swords.
I was exhausted by the time I got to Godalming but I stayed for training and had fun practising some cloak throws.  I didn’t stop for the pub afterwards though as it was still a 2 hour drive home.
Whilst I wasn’t as rough as I was at the start of the day, I still felt exhausted by the time I got home.  I was a great day and I only hope I spread some of my germs around my competitors for Saturday.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

Past Issues: 318 | 317 | 316 | 315 | 314 | 313 | 312 | 311 | 310 | 309 | 308 | 307 | 306 | 305 | 304 | 303 | 302 | 301

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Playing With 500 Year Old Swords - The Climb #319

Wednesday 6th December 2017
Today probably wasn’t the best day to be ill.
A group of us had arranged to go up to the Wallace Collection in London to handle some antique swords from the period of the style that I fight.  I would be handling actual 500 year old weapons that I train to fight with.
I had a restless sleep.  I’d wrapped up in many layers to try and sweat it out of me overnight, and whilst I did sweat, I still wasn’t feeling 100%.  I was good enough to go out but I knew I wouldn’t be 100% come evening.
The plan for the day was long but relatively simple:  I’d drive to Godalming, meet Leigh at the station to travel up to London, go to the museum, then come back to Godalming, go to training and then head home.
I left early – I’d taken the entire day off the day job and had no reason to be late – and arrived in enough time to leave my car near Fran’s house, walk down and get a hot chocolate (where the barrista thought I was from New Zealand, even though I’m from two villages over from where I was) before meeting Leigh.
Everything went pretty smoothly.  The train was on time, it was simple to get to the location and we got there before most people.  I came to the Wallace Collection for a handling session almost 2 years ago and that was in a private room.  This was in one of the display halls.  It was interesting seeing people walking around and looking at us.
We’d opted to try and go for swords with their original blade.  Just as everyone these days buys old worthless furniture and redecorates it as an arts and craft project, so the Victorians were fans of buying up the surplus of old weapons on the market and then cutting down the blades to create elaborate fans of swords.
You might think that this wouldn’t be a problem, but one of the key things about how a sword handles is its balance point.  Something with the weight further back might feel more cutty than something with the point along the blade.  It helps give each sword its own personality.  I’ve handled antique daggers that just feel like they want to stab, swords that want to cut, and as weird as it sounds to people who’ve never experienced this, the secret is in how the sword is balanced.
So having a sword’s blade cut down would affect the balance point, and make it feel a very different sword to how the swordmaker intended.
As a result, it was very informative handling these weapons.  You can’t really ‘swing them around’ but you can hold them in guard and get a feel for how they handle.  It’s a bit like taking a car for a test drive before you take it to a race track to properly hammer it.
My favourite thing to do is to hold a sword in a hanging guard called prima.  I feel this really gives you an idea of the weight and how it would handle.
Obviously the swords I fight with are replicas that are blunt and sated but the modern swordmakers go to extraordinary length to achieve a similar balance.  In many ways they are one and the same.  Picking up a 500 year old sword feels no different to me than picking up a friend’s training sword.  I might be unfamiliar with the actual weapon but I could easily fight with it.
It’s quite a buzz to know that the martial art you study (recreated from old documents) would work with one of these antique swords.
I was exhausted by the time I got to Godalming but I stayed for training and had fun practising some cloak throws.  I didn’t stop for the pub afterwards though as it was still a 2 hour drive home.
Whilst I wasn’t as rough as I was at the start of the day, I still felt exhausted by the time I got home.  I was a great day and I only hope I spread some of my germs around my competitors for Saturday.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Twitter: @figures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/ Instagram: AdrianFaulkner Snapchat: adrianauthor

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