Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)

I feel that there can be an element of art in any kind of body movement. I also feel that it is vitally important for health to develop and maintain some regular weekly level of physical activity other than desk, couch, and vehicle driving. And that having a reasonably healthy body feeds back into making the movement more elegant.

I was no star athlete as a youth and young man, but I did work at a few things that called for a decent amount of work out and practice. After high school excursions into various sports, I took up fencing in college and kept at it for about 15 years when I switched to Tai Chi for another 20 and then added fencing back in for another 15 years. Not as a full-on competitor, but on a regular basis year round.

I think any sport, carried on for at least 20 years or so, will greatly benefit longevity and quality of life. My fencing coach in college, Zoltan Van Smogyi, said that in his first few years of being a POW in Russia, it was the athletes who survived the starvation and bitterly cold conditions. For your health, if you aren't doing a movement art, take up one and keep at it. Dance is also excellent.

Tai Chi, fox walking, and fencing are the movement arts I practice today, and am happy to provide teaching, coaching or simply practice space for any of these arts.