It’s easy to understand why in the medieval and Renaissance periods, right up until the 19th Century, a man’s swordsmanship was a skill to be admired; today, a facility with a foil, epee, or sabre would be considered an oddity outside of the world of competitive fencing. Horsemanship as well has undergone an evolution; where one’s status as gentry was once emphasised by one’s equestrian skills, outside of British Royalty and the polo set, real horsemanship is pretty much restricted to sport riders and ranch hands.
There is any number of esoteric skills that cause people to sit up and take notice of their practitioners. From figure skating to doing lariat tricks or yodeling, we seem to find others having achieved excellence at a selection from a virtually endless list of all but useless activities is worthy of our respect and admiration. And perhaps it is.