So this past weekend I was again teaching in Chicago, the home of my good friends at Forteza Fitness, but this time I was teaching at the Known World Academy of the Rapier or K-WAR. This event is put on by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) an international historical reenactment society through whom I got my start in rapier about 18 years ago.
The event this year had a really excellent roster of instructors with quite a few notables including Puck Curtis of Sacramento Sword School, Scott Wilson of Darkwood Armoury, and Ken Mondschein translator and interpreter of fencing works by Camillo Agrippa and Francesco Alfieri. I was not only impressed with the caliber of the instruction but also of the combatants I had the opportunity to watch and to cross blades with.
The SCA is a very diverse organization that houses the full spectrum of fencers from the erratic to the sublime, it was a real pleasure to see so many of the latter in one place. If the event comes to your area (it travels to a new place each year), I heartily recommend going out to it, even if you’re not into reenactment. There were many there who were simply where their modern fencing kit to classes.
I taught two 2-hour workshops, one on the fundamentals of sidesword, the second on rapier body mechanics. Both went over very well and I was very impressed with the attentiveness and enthusiasm of my students. I’ll be putting relevant videos to both workshops up on Duello.TV in the workshop review area by the end of this week. Keep an eye out there.
Thank you to everyone with whom I got a chance to spar. Puck in particular for a most enjoyable bout of subtle shifting between our blades — it was super entertaining to us and probably the most boring thing to watch for anyone on the outside.
I’ll be back in Chicago again in January (more on this later), I’m looking forward to catching up with all my friends there then.