Adapted Fencing


“Keep your guard up, with your arm out straight. Move the blade with your wrist,” My Dad said as he fixed my grip on the weapon. “En guarde, evut pre , alles vous en. “Quarte, Octave, Septime, Quinte.”

I parried as he said the numbers corresponding to the positions but I was being pushed backwards towards the side of the garage.

I was around eleven years old at the time, and not very fit or strong. I was quite quick though and managed to block my dad, who had fenced for Australia. The fencing helmet and kevlar jacket weighed me down and broiled me in the summer sun. We were fencing with the style of sabre, slashing the sword at the enemy anywhere above the waist.

Today, because I pressured my Dad, we were using samurai swords, which were all genuine exept for the handle, which was made from plastic instead of Ivory. The samurai swords were my favourite; they made me feel like an ancient warrior protecting the emperor from some assassin. They were also around two times heavier than a regular sabre and there was only a very small guard. Consequently my fingers were a bit bruised under my fencing gloves, but that just made me want to beat my Dad even more.

I parried and there was a massive crack! The samurai sword had a chip in it around a centimetre wide. I shouted “Nooooooo!” and ran to the garage door and banged my head on it repeatedly, my usual method of self-punishment.

My Dad came over to me and said, “It’s fine, next time I see a sword overseas I’ll buy it for you.”

In the summer holidays we went to Thailand for Christmas. We went to Chiang Mai and a craft market and bought a Thai sword with ancient Thai markings on it and a Thai shortsword that reminded me of Sting in the Lord of the Rings. I was ecstatic and as soon as we got home I got it out and started fencing my Dad.

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