I love martial arts, but even more than I love unarmed styles of fighting I am a swordsman. Something about the clean lines of attack... of intent... speaks to me and the weight of a sword in my hand feels so natural that usually only minutes after getting a strange blade in hand I can control it as well as the ninja or longsword racked beside my bed, both of which have wear patterns mirroring my hands. Some of my friends make jokes about this fixation, but they are jokes colored by understanding. My close friends know I'm a strong believer that to be a man you need to be a warrior, at least as much as your body allows, but beyond that you have to test your self.
Over the years, I've found the practice of sword forms as exercise, meditation, and preparation to be instructive. The rythm of it is unique and... well, as the great masters of fencing remind us, in ferro veritas, the sword is truth, when your life is safe vouched by only a breath and your own skill, self deception is a silly practice to keep. I know this all seems a bit self serving, but I would suggest to any reader that they find that art that touches their soul like swordplay touches mine and make it the crucible you use to test and refine yourself.