What a day! It hasn't really sunk in yet, but I already know that a milestone has been reached with the greater Bolognese fencing project. Firstly, today the capital region (we could say in Helsinki, or covering both Espoo and Helsinki) of Finland saw not one but two separate, simultaneous beginners' courses in Bolognese swordsmanship. And to top that they were both run bt two different HEMA clubs with their own dedicated 24/7 training spaces. So we really don't have things that bad here in Finland.
But that is only half of the story. Obviously I could not personally exist in two places at the same time, but in fact I wasn't there for either of these courses. This is important because today's course was the biggest step so far towards the direction where this art, in the form I started it, can survive without me and outlive me. Which really is the only reward I want for my work in the end. It really is my purpose of being, at least for the moment. It is a beautiful thing that to me on a personal level is so grand that my words can't do it justice.
So a total of 35 people had their first touch with the Bolognese tradition today, and for a handful of good people that I have trained with during the last years, it was the first time teaching this material to completely new people. All of this is starting to really make an impact. I want to thank Christoffer Warelius and Joachim Buchert for starting the course at Historiallisen miekkailun seura EHMS and Ilpo Luhtala, Zoë Chandler, Ville Siivola (and others) doing the same at The School of European Swordsmanship, Helsinki.
Of course this process has been going on for a bit longer already, as earlier this year Markus Koivisto successfully started a Bolognese group, albeit with less of my direct involvement, at Turun Historiallisen Miekkailun Seura ry. Now that Markus is training with the EHMS I will personally help out the group in Turku to keep momentum b y traveling to teach there twice a month.
It is overwhelming to see all this work starting to pay off. And having new people take responsibility and start teaching will enrich the art in ways I can hardly imagine, and enable me to focus more on my own practice and study, which I can then feed back to all the others. Exactly the way it should be.