The Zen of sword maintenance
It's that time again when I need to give my swords a good clean. The last time I did a thorough clean was back in May, prior to competing. Since I have a week off and since I'm in the spring cleaning mood. I think getting my swords out and spending time with them is the right thing to do. I often use a few, usually because I compete with them and hence they are the ones that get more training time.
The process starts with taking them out, organising them and clean each one. I give each blade a good scrub with powered stone, then oil them. It's important to scrub the dirt that accumulates over time. Due to moisture from air and sweat, it's not usual to find rust spots. It's important to get rid of them before rust ruins the whole blade. The nut at the end of the butt should also be checked for tightness. And then repeat...
So why do I do this? Well, martial arts is not just about combat, it's also an education and a way of life. In the past, warriors would look after their weapons, uniforms and armour. You cannot be considered a serious warrior if you aren't seen to look after your arms. Whilst times have changed, it is still important to look after your weapons. It does not look good if you perform with dirty weapons. Badly maintained weapons are dangerous to those you train with. If you compete, you don't want your weapon falling apart when you're actually competing. This is dangerous and it shows a lack of care and respect for others.
On the personal level, it is about inspecting each weapon and reacquaint yourself with them. Remember what you like about each one and what good memories you've had training with them. Today, I had a think and I have made plans for the coming months. I might not have arrived that this point if I didn't put a few hours into sword maintenance. A good sword can last years and with good maintenance, you're protecting your investment.
Thank you for ready my blog.