Culturally Influential Sword Press

Swordplay in books, swordplay in movies, swordplay in the public venue.  There are plenty of examples out there (and We do mean ‘out there’) on how swordplay (and by inference ourselves) is viewed by those that have not yet joined us.  For better or for worse; movies, television, demonstrations and yes, even books; will influence the expectations of those showing up at your salle’s door to find out ‘how can I do all this cool sword s***?”.

How we balance and direct the potential scholar’s movie-driven interest with what is within the art of the possible (to say nothing of ‘realistic’), will go a great way to determine if we’re able to retain and develop their lasting commitment to ‘real’ HEMA/WMA.


Fiore Fighting in Fiction – Read All About It!

SOUTH SEATTLE BEACON (Washington) 03 July 13  Georgetown studio offers ancient form of sword fighting (Ashley Davidson)

Eric Artzt, Neal Stephenson and the nine-year old Lonin group are getting press south across the border from the Academie Duello.

Monday night training follows the Fiore system for its medieval sword fighting, as well as mix of 19th-century martial arts forms for the Victorian-style sessions and is conducted in a warehouse loft.

“Stephenson, author of a dozen historical and fantasy fiction novels, is the first one to say that real sword fighting it isn’t at all what it looks (or reads) like in Hollywood”.

“Movies have had a huge effect on people’s psyches,” the author said. “They want to do what they see in movies — and sword fighting looks so good.”

You Set Them Up, We’ll Knock Them Down!

THE POST GAME (Sunnyvale, California) 17 July 13 Fencing World Championships Push Medieval Themes

And ever there was a set-up, segue into a following item, Mr. Stephensons’ comment above about ‘good looking sword fighting in movies’ has to be it … go to the link above and go straight to the video!

A quick tour of the impact of swords and swordplay in modern movies … don’t read the rest of the this column, go to the video now!  Go.  We’ll wait till you get back.

Good Citizens doing Good Deeds.

ДВ-РОСС‎ (Vladisvostok, Russia) 12 July 13  Турнир по историческому фехтованию пройдет в Магадане 14 июля

Fight club “Bratina”, well supported by city hall and a variety of civic departments, conducted their fourth historical fencing tournament in support of the 74th anniversary celebrations of Magadan city.

Dedicated to training in authentic historical fencing, archery and medieval period throwing weapons, “Bratina” also involves itself in civic and youth-oriented historical-theme education programs.

Mixing It Up

GOROD (Daugavpils, Latvia) 17 July 13  "Swordplay Tournament of Latgale": Несмотря на непогоду праздник удался

While not strictly HEMA/WMA, We are impressed with a recent Latvian competition initiative.  Kendo group “Musashi” put on the “Swordplay Tournament of Latgale”; to which were invited a variety of sword-interest groups representing other martial arts disciplines (“Sedna” being one example); the Latvian version of the SCA; ‘olympic-style fencers’; and the HEMA group “Combata Danza Makabra”.

Notwithstanding the heavy rain that forced a move into a small venue, there appeared to be plenty of disciplines offered for up for swordplay competition: longsword, sword and buckler, and ‘sword and knife’ being of most interest to Us.

Of note, the women’s rounds were so strongly and closely contested that it required an extra round of blade work before some of the winners could be declared!

Kudos to our Latvian peers for demonstrating that our swordplay community is inclusive enough to bring everybody – regardless of their sword study venue, together for a day for a common cause … if only to extol the superior virtue of ‘our’ chosen field of participation over beers later.  (Umm, do Latvians drink beer?)


OLDHAM EVENING CHRONICLE (UK) 19 July 13 Doherty’s sword play gives him edge

Ah yes, iron – properly and effectively swung to great effect!  The Roydon Sword appears to be in excellent and deserving hands.