|In chivalric theory, the 12 days surrounding Christmas are times of peace and good-will to all …. the 1460 Battle of Wakefield notwithstanding. But who among us would begrudge another the chance to engage in a friendly passage-at-arms with cold steel with friends under the stars and in the snow* this Christmas eve? And besides, some festive fencing might be just the thing to test the temper of that new sword that arrived Christmas morning.Demonstrating Defence to Dwarves
CALGARY HERALD (Alberta) 12 December 12 Sword master creates Tolkien-esque battles; Cochrane-based stuntman taught Hobbit cast to fight (Eric Volmers)
The sword-interest within the Commonwealth is apparently alive and well, given the significant Canadian-content within the ‘produced in New Zealand’ film The Hobbit.
Cochrane-based, sword-fight coordinator Steven McMichael scripted 75 fight scenes filmed over 16 months and had to train dozens of film stars and extras in the effective (and safe) use of their dissimilar medieval-style weaponry!
Fencing Fitness for First Timers
SCIENCE DAILY (Rockville, Maryland) 29 October 12 Archery Fad by Kids Could Shoot Up Shoulder, Arm, Hand Injuries
There are some paediatric experts that have concerns about the potential for long-term injuries that may be incurred by young people going whole-heartedly into archery due to the influence of recent movies.
"Most would think the obvious injury would be accidentally shooting yourself or others with an arrow, but it's actually injuries involving shoulders, elbows and wrists that predominate.
"While archery lessons are a must before children pick up the sport, it's important that children be strong enough to hold a bow and draw or pull the bow string.” Children may have to be conditioned with appropriate “light strength training and stretching” in preparation for archery lessons.
Though this item is archery-specific, it does have value for those amongst us that have sword-related WMA/HEMA programs. There are special considerations that must be addressed before involving the undeveloped or seldom-used muscles of young people in demanding or repetitive sword training.
BUSINESS INSIDER (New York, New York) 17 December 12 The TSA Found Yet Another Sword Hidden In A Cane Last Week
This is not WMA/HEMA, but unfortunately, we as serious-students get tarred with the same brush as ‘sword nuts’.
You are NOT going to get a sword cane through modern airport security technology. Nuff said.
CNET (New York, New York) 18 December 12 Swords and suds: 'Game of Thrones' gets official beer (Amanda Kooser)
“Swords and suds” – that’s it, there’s no way We can top that! Oh wait – there is … add ‘fire’ somewhere!
A Christmas Sword
While not WMA/HEMA, this next non-press offering is seasonally-appropriate if you’re one of those last minute-shoppers whose partner has ‘everything’!
Why not a made-for-the-season, appropriately-decorated sword?
Given only at Christmas, the ‘papal sword’ or ‘lo stocco pontificio’ has a long and storied history as part of the Catholic Church’s chivalric traditions.
Too expensive? Not particularly catholic? Well, We also offer another ‘traditional christmas sword’ gift option!
* "When one has taken for a long time lessons at the salle, it is outside, on the beaten dirt or on the gravel of the road that one has to make the rehearsal for combat. … Prepare yourself, train at the salle. However, you will have abandoned success to mere chance if from time to time, as often as possible; you do not fence épée in the field, in all seasons, in the mist, under the sun, in the rain, in the wind, on hard or water-soaked ground, in your ordinary shoes.
La Marche, C. The Duelling Sword. E. Flammarion, ed. Paris. 2009 (original 1884) p.24.