The Wii Motion Plus Swordfight Showdown and Fencing

This may seem like a silly bit of writing, but I could use a bit of silliness today to lift my spirits. Yesterday (April 5th) was to have been my first fencing tournament of 2020. Sadly, as a result of the restrictions we have due to COVID-19, it didn’t happen. And when I feel bummed about not fencing, I play Swordfight Showdown on the WII! 

Now, I have found that undertakings in my life have shown results in other areas of my life. When I was struggling to learn ballroom dancing, I found that I became more patient when training people who were struggling to learn new computer systems. Studying tai chi has changed the way I deal with conflict resolution at work. And fencing has made me better at Swordfight Showdown.

When I first started playing this game ten years ago (has it really been that long?), I used to hack and slash my way through the levels, until I just maxed out on that strategy. I would invariably be defeated about three or four levels in. Fast forward to the end of March when I dug the system out of the deep in my closet and hooked it all back up! I hit the first level and just slashed my way through as usual, but in the later levels, I found myself watching. I would look for openings and wait for the right moment. I became patient, I became tactical.

So, what is the “so what” here? So, it isn’t just about getting better at WII (although I am taking on all challengers after this is over). In life we have a habit of either being reactive or charging ahead with a strategy and never veering the course. To paraphrase Moltke, “No plan survives first contact with the (fill in the blank)”. This is what we learn in fencing, not only to be proactive, but also to adapt to the current situation.

It is a good life skill, and if it beefs up my WII score, so much the better.

-Jay Lefever