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On the grassy shores of Lake Austin, my husband and I spar — with swords. Don’t worry. We’re not really in danger of slicing one another if we take a misstep, which frankly happens each time I step forward when I am supposed to move backward. In fact, we’re wielding bokken, wooden swords used primarily for martial arts weapon training. Along with other guests, we attempt to follow the footwork and bokken swings demonstrated by our instructor, who softly leads us in bokken practice’s most elementary steps. “It takes hours a day for years to become an expert,” he reminded us when we faltered. The swords, meant to represent real weapons in shape and weight, play a large role in Japanese martial arts training, disciplines from kendo to aikido.