A Fighting ‘faux pas’ or a Fencing Fashion? News from the world of Western Martial Arts

Things were quiet of late, but there should be at least one following that can provide water cooler talk between bouts.

A Press Gang in Polite Action


BBC (London, UK) 09 June 11  Shoppers cross swords with Olympic hopefuls

A short news-time video on the efforts of two of Britain’s fencing team to increase public interest in their passion.  WMA groups should take note of how one of the fencers works the crowd … well, he works one guy anyway.  (If they won’t come to your demo, go – politely – and collect them)



Get back here, it’s only a flesh wound!


THE INDEPENDENT (London, UK) 27 May 11  Skeletons tell tales of brutal wars from beyond the castle’s crypt (David Keys)

CALEDONIAN MERCURY (UK) 27 May 11  Skeletons start to give up their savage secrets at Stirling Castle (Dr Matthew Shelley)

Excavations around Stirling Castle are providing some new revelations about blunt force trauma and the effect on the human body – that 44 skull fractures can actually kill you! As for the ‘weaker sex’, one-woman defendant on the castle walls required two hits on the head … with a poleaxe … before she yielded her position.

In our study of side swords and arming swords, we tend to forget that for large numbers of ‘medieval grunts’ without social class nor knight/man-at-arms training; that the club, axe or big bladed spear were significant and lethal weapons that our WMA ancestors had to know how to counter during melee.

“We often romanticise medieval warfare – even if we have thankfully got beyond chivalrous white knights, damsels and all those other old Hollywood imaginings. But we seldom truly face up to the horror of it all.”




A Public Service Announcement!


MTV (New York, New York) 10 June 11  Logan Lerman Takes Center Stage In New ‘Three Musketeers’ Poster!

WMA and MTV?  A connection?  A ‘plausible’ connection?

Risque rapier riposts during Renaisance reggae?


The MTV site is featuring the new ‘Three Musketeers’ poster, which has just hit the e-streets, and one of the heroes depicted is in for a world of pain apparently!

After a year in Academie Duello working (??) with rapier and watching my Blue Cord peers go through their drills with their main gauche secondary, I knew enough about the art of ‘de fence’ to know that something was ‘not quite right’ (you have found the problem by now haven’t you?) and could ask an intelligent question of those more experienced (i.e. most everybody at the AD!).  Yes, your lessons on ‘how and why Renaissance weapons work the way they do’ stay with you, and I’m interested to see how much of a ‘movie critic’ I become once the film opens.

Then again, the poster may not depict a fighting posture so much as a cleverly disguised attempt to merchandise the soon to be released ‘dagger-rings’ – suitable for wear at all social occasions and on most forms of public transport! (Darn! Just gave it away!!)


respects all;

Wes von Papineäu