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Burb's Eye View: A man of his sword

August 30, 2011|By Bryan Mahoney

As in life, there’s a tempo and a rhythm to fencing. This is the sword-fighting lesson embodied by Tim Weske.

The jabs and strikes are fast — forward motion is helped by good footwork. The parries and retreats are more deliberate and measured. It becomes a dance — ballet has its roots in the sport from Renaissance Europe. Fast and slow. Back and forth.

Tim’s life story is like a fencing match. It begins slow, in a small town of 260 in Minnesota (it’s now up to a booming 520). It speeds up after high school, when he and a friend decide to pursue real estate careers in Florida but wind up partying instead.

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It is tempered again once his daughter is born, and he lives out his dream in his very own fencing studio at Magnolia and First streets. Now his daughter is a high school graduate herself, pursuing a career in acting fused with stunt work. Once again, life is picking up for Tim while he pursues a new online venture in combat entertainment.

The constant was always the sport he loves: fencing (though get him talking about the Minnesota Vikings and you’ll see he loves more than one). He’s one of the lucky few who get to practice it every day, at Tim Weske’s Swordplay.

The tan building is always the first thing I notice coming over the bridge into downtown; until this visit I never saw the broken-down Porsches in the lot next door. They look like they’ve been there a long time. In fact, everything on this block near the railroad tracks seems like it’s been there forever. The row of offices and industrial businesses are untouched by the overshadowing mall and restaurant developments that hulk over them from across the street.

It wasn’t long after Tim acquired the studio in 1992 that his then-wife told him she was pregnant. He remembers hearing the news on the studio’s back steps, where he had his “Omigod I’m gonna be a dad” moment.

Almost 20 years later, he’s coordinated and choreographed fight scenes in everything from “Lois and Clark: The New Adventure of Superman” to “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” So perhaps it’s no surprise that daughter CC would follow in her dad’s entertainment footsteps. It also helps that your family friend is Nick Gallard, stunt coordinator on Episodes I through III of the “Star Wars” series.

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