Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Four Rules and Four Rules

People who use handguns should memorize the famous Four Rules of Handgun Safety.
  • Treat all guns as if they are always loaded
  • Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target
  • Always be sure of what is around and behind your target

Last week I taught a friend how to make boffer swords. There are also Four Rules of Boffer Sword Safety for those who play with them casually yet forcefully.
  • No poking (only attacks that swing from the side)
  • Two hands on the sword at all times
  • Never aiming at the head
  • Stop and reset after each "hit"

There are dangers when playing with boffer swords. The first is hitting someone in the head, but that is not difficult to avoid. The more insidious danger is from poking (a thrust or lunge) because even if attempted gently this can be very forceful if the opponent decides to leap at you at that moment. The rule about using two hands is to help prevent poking, since with only one hand people tend to instinctively thrust not slash.

Never aiming at the head while also using side swings results in needing to raise the tip of the sword high when switching which side of the opponent you are swinging at: the tip must be pointed straight up or even behind you (assuming you are facing your opponent).

To keep participants (especially young children) calm the action stops after each hit. The two combatants touch their swords together while someone says, "Ready, set, go!"

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