Mashable Paid a Visit to Sword Class NYC (Video)

For several months I took classes at Sword Class NYC. I only stopped for financial and scheduling reasons, and plan to go back later this year. I loathe and detest both sportsball and traditional exercise methods, so Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) works well for me. It also plays into my fondness for high fantasy.

If you live or work in the New York City area, check out Sword Class NYC. They have a special rate for first-timers taking the introductory classes, and you don’t need to buy any equipment unless you decide to continue. Gym clothes and scuff-free wrestling shoes (or you can practice barefoot) are all you need to start.

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Longsword Fighting

No form of sports or athletics has ever been attractive to me. When I was a child I played baseball on a local team (Hurdland Bulldogs), though that was mostly so I could hang out with my friends. In college I watched some hockey with roommates (Saint Louis Blues). In more recent years I’ve taken to following World Cup soccer games. Other than that, I have no interest in sports and support no teams. When I wanted to lose weight, I didn’t join a gym. I went on a diet and started jogging in the predawn hours. Lately, though, longsword fighting has caught my interest.

A week or so ago I was with my son at a mall and saw some swords on display in a store. That triggered something, because when I got home I googled ‘sword fighting nyc’ and came up with a school in Manhattan that teaches various forms martial arts involving swords. Of the three approaches offered, one is German Longsword. I found my thing.

German Longword is a form of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), an area that has been undergoing a revival lately. Far from being a ‘bash fest,’ there are techniques involved and points are given based on demonstrated skill, not merely landing hits.

The thought of kicking or tossing a ball around doesn’t excite me, nor could I feel motivated to kick and grapple with others. No way do I want to do Zumba or peddle a stationary bike to nowhere. Swing a sword around though? Absolutely. I need the exercise, and this looks cool.