Cyclical Sword Press: News for September 2015

“…14th-century fights rarely lasted more than a few moments.” Mr. Greg Mele of the item following notes that a lot of his students were brought to swordplay because of “popular culture” — the television and movies that influence us in our lives to try something new and different. We have within the Western world seen…

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Trans*gressions: the struggles and victories of trans athletes

It is refreshing to be alive in a time to see so much progress in our society in regards to LGBTQ* acceptance and civil rights — though we still have a long way to go despite a lot of recent victories.  This year in June we saw the Supreme Court of America legalize same-sex marriage. …

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Book Review: “Brief Instructions Upon my Paradoxes of Defence – Scholler’s Edition” by Eaton (ed)

The work that George Silver was best known for was his 1599 Paradoxes of Defence, in which he conducts a vehement denunciation of the Italian teaching of the civilian dueling rapier within his England and its subsequent use by a heretofore doughty race of backsword wielders.  Paradoxes was not so much a fight book as…

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Collective Sword Press: News for August 2015

The study and appreciation of WMA continues to enjoy a renaissance in Europe and North America; and we are now uniquely fortunate in having a large variety of salles from which to choose to train.  The salles differ in the sword technique favoured, the “olde master” which is followed, how they present their program… and…

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Silver Cord Provost Examination Results

This weekend was a momentous event for Academie Duello: our first Silver Cord (aka Provost) examination. A provost is one step below Maestro/Master and it represents an enormous achievement. Provosts are expected to demonstrate a high level of effectiveness within the school’s system, a demonstrable and defensible understanding of the school’s pedagogy and theoretical approach,…

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Book Review: “Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair” by Knight & Hunt

“I shall now consider of Wounds with loss of Substance made by Bill, Pole-axe, etc., some cutting twice or thrice in one or near one place, whereby the Wound is large, traverse, yea and oblique….”  — Surgeon R. Wiseman, circa 1676. [1] Swords are the preferred weapon in modern Western Martial Arts (WMA), as they have been…

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Redeeming Sword Press: News for July 2015

This was going to be the “fashion issue”… but then I found the item of the month. Most martial arts salles or groups have a written or implied code of conduct by which instructors and students agree to be a better person… physically, morally, and ethically.  Some groups have a youth program, in which young people may…

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Book Review: “Deeds of Arms” by S. Muhlberger

“They are stories about stories.” [1] It does my heart good when I hear competent people say that they’ve recreated the essence of some medieval martial art event to the best of their ability, because they followed the descriptions of medieval combat “exactly” from period texts. It’s a good … start. But what if the…

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Hierarchical Sword Press: News for June 2015

“…In fact he marshalled such an host of many different nations that it was a world’s wonder.” [1] Medieval Combat World Championships. Swordfish. Longpoint. Battle of the Nations. … and many, many others. We have an embarrassment of riches in HEMA in that we have a number of national and international competitions during which we…

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Book Review: “Self-Defense for Gentlemen & Ladies” by Col. TH Monstery (Ben Miller ed)

In about 1877, Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery wrote: “I hold that every gentleman should be able to protect himself from insult and violence, with or without weapons.” [1] Words as true now, as they were more than a century ago! [2] But why listen to Col Monstery? In Self Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies, Ben Miller…

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Archival Sword Press: News for May 2015

Within Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), our serious scholars often suspect that our community suffers to an unknown degree from ‘lost treasures’.  Precious books, scrolls, weapons and armour are frequently believed to have fallen to the decaying effects of time. Poor storage, war,  long winters (think fireplace fuel), flood, fire, and hoarding in private collections are just some examples of the natural…

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Book Review: “Warhammer, the Forgotten Weapon” by James Roth

♪”Stop, Hammer time!”♫ (Apologies to MC Hammer.) What is a cultural ‘artistic’ reference in our time, was an invitation to ‘bring it’ in medieval times. For nearly two centuries, the warhammer was a weapon of choice for mounted medieval armoured combat. However, there seems to be a distinct lack of (recorded) knowledge of the fighting techniques…

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Sociable Sword Press: News for April 2015

“It’s everyone from everywhere in one place.” –Bruno Ramos, Knight’s Blade HEMA Fresh from flying home from VISS at the end of last month, the statement above really resonated with my experiences with the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium, and with my modest exposure to HEMA events internationally. Peers from all over the world fly across continents…

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Ursulmas 2015 Tournament Report

This past weekend a crew consisting of me and five senior students from Academie Duello headed down to the 2015 Ursulmas Championship tournament in Monroe, Washington. This is a tournament hosted by the Society for Creative Anachronism, an organization devoted to re-enactment of the middle ages and renaissance in various forms, including combat. (In the…

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Beginners Courses for Next Year/ January

A new year is coming so get into our next round of Beginner’s Courses! Prepare for swinging swords and pulling punches. We offer three different courses which cover different avenues of Western Martial Arts: Fight Like Sherlock Holmes Bartitsu is a complex martial art with many interlocking skills. Our four-week Fight Like Sherlock Holmes course gives students…

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Intro Courses beginning late October/ early November

Because winter is coming, our next round of Beginner’s Courses are just around the corner! Prepare for winter by swinging swords and pulling punches. We offer three different courses which cover different aspects of Western Martial Arts: Fight Like Sherlock Holmes Bartitsu is a complex martial art with many interlocking skills. Our four-week Fight Like Sherlock Holmes course…

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