Zen and the Art of Beard Maintenance
Guest appearance by Arthur, the SCA’s favorite corgi.

About a year ago I switched from having a full beard to going with a mustache and goatee.  With the full beard I could get away pretty easily with only shaving once or twice a week in order to maintain the desired shape without it looking to scraggly. Shaving off the sides, though, has reminded me of a very important lesson, that of daily maintenance.  Being “scraggly” is in these days, so I can still get away with only shaving a few times a week.  However, if I wait all the way until I have to meet with a client or otherwise make myself seem presentable, I find that there’s suddenly a lot of work to be done.  I have some skin issues, so I exclusively use an electric razor, which means getting a close shave takes a while, especially when there’s a bunch to clean up.  However, if I’m good about it and I make sure to shave every day, I find that I never have much of a mountain to climb.

The same goes for swordplay and fitness more generally.  If you do just a little bit each day, you’ll be much better off than if you do a bunch all at once.  I’ve worked with multiple fighters who do a bunch, then take a break, then come back and do a bunch more, only to take another break and I end up spending most of my time knocking rust off of them as opposed to moving forwards.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pick up my razor………….and then my sword.

Written by Arik Mendelevitz

Known in the SCA as Warder Raphael di Merisi, Arik has a great love for the art of the sword and specializes in the Italian rapier of Niceletto Giganti. From time to time, though, he can be seen playing with Pacheco's version of Destreza, Bolognese sidesword, or Fiore's art of grappling.