Saturday nights was supposed to be our sparring night in SSG Riga . However we have not had the equipment to be able to spar safely, that is until now. After a very generous donation to the group from our dear friend Björn Flintberg we are now equipped with four Shinais and four fencing helmets and hopefully very soon we will add four pairs of good sparring gloves as well. So now saturday night IS in fact sparring night. and we started today.
Actually we sneaked in a pre premier last tuesday as we had the helmets then. But today we did three hours of duels and melees1. After having trained the students not to hit each other for almost a year it is now alien for all of us to actually be allowed to strike and hit. The students are also for the first time realizing that fighting for real is not the same thing as executing plays. Some panic, others overthink it. Though we may be imperfect there are also some moments of clarity and plain old good times.
But we are finally getting to where we can work on developing our lion.2 It is a lot of fun for everyone although it stings a bit and we walk away with bruised arms and egos from hits with the sword and the realization of our shortcomings. Whatever bruises we incur we are growing and little by little becoming warriors.