Festive Easter Sword Press News for March 2018

“The duel took place on Easter Eve, and Herr von Kotze was slightly wounded and taken to hospital. The next morning he received the congratulations of the Kaiser and an Easter egg, …”[1] Ah yes, Easter Bunnies with blades Hares and HEMA Rabbits …. well, you get the idea! Sting like a Hummingbird … a…

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Youthful Sword Press News for February 2018

“A characteristic of adolescent games is that they are preparation for adult games and sport. Organized tournaments, for instance, were for adults, but adolescent males began to train for ritualized or real fighting. The city fathers were against such training, because … it would simply lead to a disruption of civic order if urban youth…

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Book Review: “British Naval Swords & Swordsmanship” by McGrath & Barton

Cutlasses. A lot of people talk about cutlasses, but nobody does anything about them. Few people in society practice a form of HEMA; and of those, even fewer are sailors. Which could account for the dearth of credible information on historical cutlass combat within our community. British Naval Swords & Swordsmanship brings to our attention…

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Unapologetic Sword Press News for January 2018

Dawn came to Marylebone Fields and found Albemarle and his second waiting with swords and pistols. Townshend arrived late and apologized. “Men of spirit don’t want apologies”, said the ‘showy man’. “Come, let us begin what we came for.”[1] Yes, we’re late with both January ‘and’ December, Allons-y ! Release the Kraken! THE GUARDIAN (Charlottetown,…

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Spontaneous Sword Press News for November 2017

“Put two kids in a room with long cardboard tubes and within seconds an epic sword fight begins. Kids love the idea of swordplay., and you heard that it looks great on a college application.”[1] How many of us delivered our first ‘sword cut’ with an empty roll of ‘wrap’ (be it of Christmas, birthday,…

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Autumnal Sword Press News for September/October 2017

“…, Burton, in his Sentiment of the Sword …, tells us how the Italians adhered to their old practices, such as training outdoors (in contrast to the French, whose custom was to practice only indoors).”[1] Tis Fall now, and in most of Canada the temperatures are cooler and the ground is dry and firm. It…

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Reflective Sword Press News for August 2017

Yes, August. Somewhere following, there are three items that are not necessarily ‘HEMA-heavy’ as they are reflective of some assessments of why people undertake martial arts … including swordplay in various forms. We have one Chinese assessment of what HEMA is, and a Ukraine piece describing how various celebrations of martial arts disciplines can contribute…

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Duelling Sword Press News for July 2017

In the history of duelling we read the history of of mankind in the development of evil passions, and the occasional display of some redeeming qualities.[1] Last month we had the press assessment that Canada ‘might’ be establishing the legal conditions that would allow us to return to ‘the duel’ as a socially acceptable method…

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Fashionably Late Sword Press: News for June 2017

If the movie ‘Wonder Woman’ has the legs to keep public interest (no pun intended) until October, ‘the’ Halloween must-have costume accessory of choice will probably be a sword sheathed, tied or taped over ones’ back.  Given the amount of imagination out there, we’re apt to see many variations of the theme that night as…

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Adopted Sword Press: News for May 2017

Now about two decades old, the modern study of HEMA is continuing to gain enthusiasts from non-traditional venues. We’re already familiar with our peers in Japan that have an interest in medieval western martial arts, mirroring the western interest in ‘kendo’ and any of the Chinese swordplay disciplines. The item on Romania’s interest in and…

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Book Review: “ A Gentleman’s Guide to Duelling ” by Saviolo

Jared Kirby presents his interpretation and editing of Vincentio Saviolo’s 1595 work ‘Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels’. Vincentio Saviolo set up a fencing salle in Elizabethan London ‘about’ late 1580-ish, but he is perhaps better known to most in the HEMA rapier community as being the ‘dandified Italian’ against whom George Silver ranted. That aside,…

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Spring Season Sword Press: News for April 2017

Most sports require a novice to spend a lot of money to equip themselves with those pieces of kit necessary to start learning the basics of the game. (European football and ultimate Frisbee perhaps being the exceptions here). Ice hockey, lacrosse and American football require significant equipment commitment before the first timer can safely set…

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Book Review: “Cut & Thrust – European Swords and Swordsmanship” by Dougherty

This recent inclusion to the HEMA body of common knowledge is very much a ‘beer and peer’ book. That is to say, you can open the book into most any chapter, and find a statement or assessment that should lead to intelligent debate among your knowledgeable sparring partners. In ‘Cut & Thrust’ Martin Dougherty describes…

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Selectively Quotable Sword Press: News for January 2017

When we read ‘press’, (yes, the ‘real news’ press), we must remember that any item offered by a newspaper is often restricted by column length … the journalist is only allowed so much space to present their story. And sometimes, these restrictions result in a quotation being taken out of context; misplaced in context; or…

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Book Review: “16th C. Single Sword Combat” by Wilson

“Around the same time another invention increased the popularity of swordplay even further—what Marshall McLuhan has called “the making of typographical man.” A cluster of innovations, including movable metal type, oil-based ink, and the wooden handpress, revolutionized learning. For the first time those who taught fencing could have their ideas printed and disseminated. The age…

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