HOWTO teach your small children to swordfight

On, writer and swordfighter Richard Fife meditates on the gentle art of teaching your small children to use a giant, bladed implement. That's my kind of parenting! My wife's a fencer and we've got a closet full of various cutlery from some foils to a claymore, and I'd love to see my kid grow up to inherit her mum's badassery.

My kids want to be trained in the sword. And you know what? From the moment I found out I was going to be a dad, one of the things I have always looked forward to is teaching them. With my eldest son having turned five this past year, I am starting to think about how to approach instructing him. After all, he has been begging me to teach him the blade for about as long as he could talk.

From the very first time he asked, I have promised him that I would teach him. But that promise always comes with me enforcing respect and understanding. Thanks to this consistency, my children can by rote say that a sword is not a toy and that hey are not to touch one unless I am there handing it to them. My sons have held dull daggers, but I only let them do so for a little while before I put the steel away and break out boffers.

Spec Fic Parenting: This, My Son, Is A Sword

(Image: boffer battle, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from qwrrty's photostream)