Hail, Barbarians, and well met! I see Jorge has brought a trophy along for Show & Tell tonight. I hope the Saxon dog met his end gloriously, though I’d ask that in the future, you give your trophies time for the flesh to rot from the bones. A good soak in 40v hydrogen peroxide will de-yuck and brighten the skulls of your enemies right up! If one of you lovely savages will raid the nearest cosmetology supply depot, we can have arts and crafts next week.
Tonight’s self-care subject was set to be the proper care of your flowing, warrior locks, but Bjorn Bjornson went a bit berserkrgang during the recent battle and was last seen attacking the forest with his teeth. Hopefully, he’ll be back in his right mind soon, and we can benefit from his experience, then. Always remember to chain your berserkrs to avoid this in the future. In the meantime, I’d like to talk to you about the white bits of tissue holding your joints together, and your muscles to them. Olaf the Flayed has graciously consented to act as my visual aid for tonight’s presentation. Don’t mind the whimpering: he just does that. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian – Rocking the Connective Tissues”
Mrs. Dave is enjoying sunsets over wine-dark seas. Dave is ruthlessly culling The Stuff. The Wee Horde rampage. I have two small goals for today. The first is to clear the table of excess stuff, and then shrink it. The fewer flat surfaces there are to collect more Stuff, the less clutter will be to make my eyelid twitch. The second, and arguably more vital to my personals barbaric goals is to clear a lane in the garage so I can lay out the battle rope. I’m nearly there, already. Just have about twelve cubic feet of stuff to shift.
Hey, all you hunters and huntresses, fighters one and all, this is Barbarian Dave rockin’ the preternatural waves of ethereal communication, and I have a message for the discerning savage: get in touch with yourself.
I was going to start off with a semi-clever shtick about two ideas warring for attention like proverbial wolves, but I realized they’re just flip-sides of the same coin. Which you should hurry up and loot from the effete city-dwellers hoarding them in not-at-all-safe-from-hordes chests. Aren’t they precious?
Dave, I hear you protesting, what are you talking about? Are you making another dirty joke? By no means! Besides, my mother (either of them) may be reading this, and while the sailor within is strong, I’m not risking the Wrath of Mom. Simply put, you need to strengthen your mind-muscle connection. That’s the first bit. The second, just as important, is you must…must figure out where your weak spots are and work to correct them. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian: The Focus and the Fix”
I’m feeling philosophical today, my barbrethren. I spent yesterday sorting and reorganizing the garage while Mrs. Dave helped some friends conquer a neighboring village move house temporarily. Consequently, I got a peek at the past. Which, as Mum says, is a different country, and besides, the wench is dead. I’m not really clear on that last part, but contextually, it seems to fit. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian: Where Lies End and Truth Begins”
*The Kilted Barbarian stumbles into the firelight. His helmet sits askew on his head. Ash smudges one cheek and reddens the eye above it. His tunic is rent through and blood – not his own – stains his clothing. His shoulders slump and he drops onto a log as though his legs suddenly lost all strength. *
Sorry. It’s … it’s been a week. The school year is ending all over the place (though some places don’t end for another week or two. Or three) and here at Caer Dave, things are no different. Domesticity is hell, you savage horde. I’ve baked, cooked, cleaned, and I’m still behind. I swear this isn’t going to be a long-term pattern. On the other hand, Mrs. Dave heads back out into the howling wastes in the near future, so who knows what’s going to go down. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian: Here, Hold This”
Hello, my barbaric brethren (and sistren)! It’s another Friday, and we find ourselves here, once again, together. The fire burns, the skulls of our enemies are top-filled with libations, and meat roasts on a spit.
Hey, Barbs. Mrs. Dave gets home tomorrow, and everything changes. Again. Always. Until the next time. You see, we’ve just about gotten settled into a routine, here at Caer Dave. It’s not the greatest, and there are some things I’d *really* like to change about it. Forex, the Wee Horde needs to start getting into bed earlier, so they can get up earlier and not make my morning a pit of stress and frustration. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian – Rhythms”
Or rather, I drew the sword. After all, the metaphor is specifically HEMA-related, and that’s what I’m talking abo- Oh, never mind. I’ll come in again, shall I?
Yesterday, I joined Schola Saint George. I quickly received an email from Dr. Brian Price, one of the co-founders of SSG, and I’m ready to begin my journey into the martial instruction of Fiore dei Liberi. Now to recruit some sparring partners…
For now, I’ll be continuing my work on body-weight calisthenics and basic gymnastic practice, and integrate some free weight barbell training into that.
I’ll be honest, here, though: I kinda feel like I’ve just enrolled in an advanced degree program. The more I dig into HEMA, the more I’m going to have to learn just to keep my head above water. No twice a week sessions at the local dojo. This is going to need to be something every day. And a lot of it is going to be book work, at least to start with. For one, there’s an entire glossary of terms I’m going to be learning. Some of which I recognize. Posta di fenestre, for example, is the Window Guard, or as the Germans refer to it, Ochs – the Ox Guard. The sword is raised to the side of the head in both hands, with the point aimed at the opponent. I suddenly wish I’d taken Latin, y’know, ever.
Fortunately, there are a number of things upon which I can work while getting up to speed on the theory. I’ve found several videos on the Tubes of You that show exercises one can perform with a sword to limber up the joints and get the muscles ready for practice. I spent a few minutes performing these, and already feel a difference. Which is a good thing, as an old impingement issue in my right shoulder has been cropping up again. Basically, my neck is too tight, and pulls the ball of my humerus deeper into the joint than it should be, where it rubs against one of the tendons, generating annoying inflammation. It genuinely sucks, but there are a number of things I can do to alleviate the problem. Squatting heavy, for one. Indian club and mace swings, for another. And (trumpet fanfare) swinging a sword around! I’m debating an indoor sword trainer, as well, which is a nifty device that looks like somebody melted a sword blade down until it was all of a foot and a half long past the crossguard. It’s the same weight as a sword, has the same balance, but I’m not going to lop the blades off the ceiling fan, or accidentally vivisect one of the kids. I’m sure Mrs. Dave will appreciate that.
The big thing going on right now isn’t the HEMA. It isn’t the resumption of physical training. It isn’t even picking out a new handgun (I’ll fill y’all in on that, when it happens). No, Dave is coming to grips with his limitations, and I’ll be frank: it [REDACTED] sucks. I believe I mentioned that Mrs. Dave travels fairly regularly on Uncle Sam’s dime. That leaves me to do the hands-on raising of Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave (not their real names) more or less by my lonesome. I went into this with eyes wide open, or so I thought. Those of you who are also parents will nod when I say: I had not clue the first. I had zero idea of the levels of frustration small children engender on a daily basis. I had no idea how exhausting just getting the basics accomplished could be. I really had no way to know. If you haven’t been a parent, there’s almost always a sunset clause built into any childcare you’ve provided. (Okay, realistically, that’s likely true here, as well. It’s just that I’ve got fifteen more years, and that’s if we don’t increase the clan, again.) I signed the check sight unseen, and now it’s coming due. And I’m tired. I’m flat exhausted most of the time. And it’s not a lot of fun. It’s fun sometimes, and it’s usually good (what’s that line about not being tame, but being good?), but it’s not easy. So my efforts as self-improvement and professional development are, while not outright frozen, at least slowed by a good bit. I suppose I’m increasing my WIS (and maybe my CHA), but I’ve never before found that to be a particularly pleasant endeavor.
So the littles are running me more or less ragged (and I’ll talk about that more in columns to come: You, too, can act as a pseudo group therapy for Dave!) and I’m not getting done the things I want. I have novels to finish, y’all, and it’s just not happening. I have skills to develop and projects to finish. And I have to let that be okay. It’s not my natural disposition, let me tell you. But that’s not a choice I get to make. Or rather, it’s a choice I made long before Wee Dave arrived on the scene.
Next week, I’ll be going into my further exploration of Fiore and his work, as well as treat you to a thrilling discussion of PT methods. I’m sure you’re waiting with baited breath (old chum). Until then, get supple and try not to rage on the effete city-dwellers around you, you furious barbarians.
I’d like to introduce my friend, Dave Pascoe. Dave is a fiction writer and a good friend. He’s responsible for a fair bit of what you see here at By Spear and Axe, to be honest. While he didn’t write it, discussions with him do wonders to inspire posts.
Now, I’m giving him a weekly column. After all, he’s following the Way of the Barbarian. Plus, since he’s been part of the discussions for so much, he understands it very well and also knows how to not take himself far too seriously, as you’ll see below.
By Crom, and all the gods of the north, it is good to see you, Brothers. Aye, and you shieldmaidens, too, Sister. Please but the spear down: there’s already a beast a’roasting, and besides, I’d like as disagree with you all, as I’ve done before. Before we fall to brawling, however, I’d like to introduce myself to my fellow barbs who haven’t yet had the pleasure of my acquaintance. Continue reading “Dave Goes Barbarian: Introduction”