Whether it’s a study of social interactions or of some small aspect of fencing, there is always something to mull over or ponder. And in the past few weeks I have been bombarded with fantastic ideas and food for thought.
This makes me grateful for fencing journals and whenever I can find the time to jot a few things down. Even if they don’t always apply to fencing per se.
I don’t expect some of these thoughts to all make sense, and I’m sure they’ll come out a bit jumble. I’m just a firm believer that if you take the time regurgitate your thoughts then they’re more likely to stick around. Just ask my apprentices. I make them repeat almost everything they learn. 🤣
I cannot begin to express how fun it is to have a good fight. Win or lose, a good fight is just plain fun! I’ve had a couple of those lately. I walked away from each not only one smiling, but buzzing with thoughts. Part of what made that happen was I took the time after the fight to stop and geek out about the fight with my opponent.
In some of those conversations, I was as giddy as a school girl, reminiscing about the action that just happened and how awesome it was. We talked about cool moves we pulled off, crazy near-death moments, and how tired we were. Other conversations were more contemplative as we sunk our teeth into what just happened and what we could learn from it. Either way, those moments after the fight help me to remember that this sport wouldn’t be as fun without my opponents. Plus, I got to learn a thing or two from my opponent’s perspective, so it’s a win–win!
For example, have you ever thought about how the amount of pressure you and your opponent are applying through your swords could be communicating subtle details about a fight? I certainly haven’t to the extent Damian has. He enlightened me to how the amount of pressure he felt from my sword, clued him in to when I was going to attack. Additionally, he explained how for some people he can change the amount of pressure he applies to bait them into an attack.
What the heck?! That’s awesome!
Guess who is going to start playing with pressure next week? This guy.
When you think about Terrasylvae, we really are a microcosm of social culture. Even though we are a fairly small group when compared to others, you can find social dynamics played out in miniature. I find that fascinating!
As I watch the group and others outside of the group, two things have stood out to me.
- Relationships are in a constant state of development.
- Diplomacy is a lost art form.
When it comes to relationship on any level, they are constantly being developed. We may think nothing is changing, but you might not be seeing the small details that play out over a long period of time. At the same time though, larger developments might occur when two people pour their effort into it. Either way, I have found that being conscious of relationships and how they interact leads me to the next thing that has stood out.
Diplomacy. It’s not just a board game.
Whatever you decide to call it, I call the conscious effort to interact well with others diplomacy. Sometimes I’ll use tact as well in more specific terms. Either way, I have seen that that conscious effort isn’t always present with those we interact with. It makes me sad.
Maybe it’s my White personality, but I find that putting effort into interacting with others is highly rewarding. Instead of absent-mindedly interacting, taking the time listen, understand, consider, empathize, and communicate with them leads to more worthwhile experiences and helps to develop good relationships.
I’m certainly not perfect at it, but just like the art of swordfighting, the art of diplomacy is a lost art form in this world and I want to bring that back in the little ways I can.