As always, it's the small children you have to look out for. They have no concept of the centuries of philosophy behind this ancient most honourable martial art, no appreciation of skill over brute strength. Put simply, they bob around somewhere roughly level with your kneecaps and slap. This evening someone managed to give me a three-inch scratch up the arm, which is hardly the way of the Samurai.
At the end we had a mock tournament in teams. I went up against my friend Myrtle, a grandmother from Crystal Palace with RSI and dodgy knees, and won by half a point.
There is a proper tournament in November and I'm dying to go, but fear I would be a huge embarrassment to myself, my instructor and any loved ones I drag along to watch. Hmmness.