A bit of sword rattling seemed like a fitting way to get back in the Never B4 groove after a week’s vacation. I wish I could say I was good at the sport but I turned out to be a pincushion for everyone I faced off against, including my older brother!
I'm fencing one of the other classmates in this video, not my brother.
I did manage to get one or two stabs in though and I have to admit, it felt great to hear the little beeping sound and see the flash of the green light that signaled the tip of my sword (or Epe as it’s correctly called) had made contact.
Did it feel good to actually stab my brother? You bet!
After all, there are MANY years of teasing to make up for PLUS his arm is about 50% longer than mine so getting past it was a feat unto itself. With a little fancy footwork (more likely luck or his kindness) I made it past the ever-present Epe at the end of his looming arm and scored a few solid stabs.
Did he stab me back?
Of course! He's an older brother, remember? He stabbed me MANY times! Did I deserve it? Well, admittedly there were times growing up when I teased him as badly as he teased me, so I guess I had some dues to pay there in the fencing hall last night.
My brother is the tall guy with the silver mask and I'm shooting the video so needless to say it's not me he's fighting.
This Never B4 wasn't actually as violent as it sounds. It was more fun and funny, than anything else. The warm-up in particular cracked me up: Jason Sheridan, our master fencing instructor, had us jump onto Pogo Balls (don't feel bad if you don't know what the heck they are, I had no idea) and race to the other side of the room.
At best, I moved an inch forward because I couldn't get my feet to stay on the damn thing, let alone bounce on it. All I could do was laugh -- at the reflection of myself falling off the Pogo Ball and the sight of my 6' 7" brother bouncing across the room.
Bouncing on a Pogo Ball, and falling off one in my case, had us both sweating in a matter of minutes. Then, after 45 more minutes of fencing we were both drenched and exhausted yet we were also completely exhilarated. Jason made the experience a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the sport. We also learned that it's a great and inexpensive way to blow off steam after a long day at work.
The sport takes agility and cardio-vascular stamina but more importantly it takes focus. So if you want to get your mind off something and your body pumping, try a night of fencing. It's also a great activity for kids!
click here for more pics
If you're in NY, I highly recommend The Sheridan Fencing Academy (2nd Avenue between 104th/105th Streets). Every Monday and Wednesday night adult classes are run by Jason and for just $10 bucks you can rent all the necessary equipment and enjoy an hour-long class run by a master fencer. More importantly, you'll have fun and forget about all the stresses of the day.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this Never b4 so leave a comment before you go.