Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

Last weekend's big event for Valkyrie WMAA, Big Gay Sword Day, was created in a moment of frustration. Someone had posted in one of the biggest online HEMA forums and asked a simple question: were there any HEMA events aimed at members of the LGBTQ community? The resulting conversation thread was a shitshow. People scoffed … Continue reading Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

On Talent

Kaja demonstrating sword and buckler, 2010

I've had a few conversations lately about the corrosiveness of emphasizing talent or "giftedness" in a physical instruction context. Something I've encountered a lot is a weird sort of predestination framework: folks born with "natural talent" will be good at a thing, and folks without it will just struggle and flail forever. It's a really … Continue reading On Talent

Adrenaline

I've had a complex relationship with adrenaline my whole life. I got into what some call "extreme sports" very young. At twelve, I started snowboarding religiously. I'd be on the slopes alone every weekend, pushing myself to go faster, to tackle harder terrain, to hit bigger jumps and longer rails. I loved nothing more than … Continue reading Adrenaline

Queer Toughness

I had a really great conversation after today's self defense talk that solidified a lot of floating ideas I had about why we need queer spaces for teaching this stuff. One of the things we discuss a lot in the "observation" material of our talks is body language. How unconscious cues can betray a person's … Continue reading Queer Toughness