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A Cut Above

If you think Samurai swordsmanship is as outdated as the transistor radio, or is useful only as an entertaining way to chop watermelons in half, or you really just want to look like John Belushi's grunting samurai character from old Saturday Night Live skits, then you'll be surprised to hear what head instructor Mark Grove has to say about his class at Colorado Free University. "Primarily we're trying to use knowledge of the past to gain insight into the future. The heart of swordsmanship is strategy, and you can extend that strategy — and the thinking you develop from it — to deal with people and life in general," he explains.

Of course, you're probably not going to gain this How to Win Friends and Influence People-type of insight in four one-hour Monday classes, but, Grove says, "The foundation is laid to see the strategy behind swordsmanship. If you like it, you can get into more advanced courses." The first of the four classes starts tonight at 6 p.m.; classes will cover footwork, holding the sword, applying basic cuts, defensive parries and blocks and simple short-sword form. The cost is $40 for CFU members and $45 for non-members, plus an $18 materials fee. For information and class location, check out


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