Tired of battling your kids to pick up their rooms or do the dishes? Maybe it's time to start a new family tradition that involves doing battle of a different kind. Swordsmanship refers to the skills of a swordsman, and although it seems as if such skills might have gone extinct long ago, it's still possible to learn how to parry, thrust and cut as effectively as William Wallace or Conan the Barbarian.
The easiest way to get started is to look for a swordsmanship center. For example, Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship in Burlington, Mass., offers sword and fencing classes, birthday parties and special events for ages 4 and up. Families who enroll in classes can learn how to use a range of swords, such as foils, kendo and historical weapons. They can also enroll in stage combat classes, which show students, young and old, what goes into acting and choreographing the combat scenes depicted in movies like "Star Wars," "Zorro" and "300."
Granted, a swordsmanship center may not be as common as a Chuck E. Cheese's, but a little research can go a long way. Besides, who said starting a family tradition should be easy?