Swordsmanship takes skill

THERE’S a saying ‘Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance’ – a truism when you watch the skill of local swordsman Colin Phillips with weapon in hand.

Light on his feet and lethal with his lunges, Mr Phillips runs the Coffs Harbour Academy of Fencing, which is offering students the opportunity to study a certificate course in swordsmanship.

“Suitable for anyone, from children aged 10 to adults, this will be an introductory course in the art and skill of a variety of historical sword styles,” Mr Phillips said.

“It is a 10-week course covering the history of swords and their uses, the components of the sword, modern foil fencing, cut and thrust sabre, medieval long sword, sword and buckler, sword and shield, cloak and dagger, sword and spear and Japanese Chambara, a form of bushido.

“This is an ancient sport that is rendered safe through correct training and the use of safety equipment.”

Classes in the Olympic sport of fencing have gone down well with sports students from Coffs Harbour’s Bishop Druitt College.

“It’s a test of skill, the students have learnt that as they practice their controlled lunges. It’s a lot more difficult when all you have is the point to strike your opponent with,” Mr Phillips said.

The not-for-profit sporting club has begun its certificate in swordsmanship at Norm Jordan Pavilion on Tuesdays at 6pm.

The cost is $12 per week. For more information phone 66514 059.

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