Technological ‘and’ Accessible Sword Press

Within the WMA/HEMA community, we pride ourselves on the ‘authenticity’ of our studies.  We use translations of a variety of medieval/renaissance fight books, using the words and pictures of yore to guide our learning.  Our peers with metal working and leather skills work diligently to recreate the look and feel of arms and armour of select historical times.  That said, how do we bring our love and respect of medieval and renaissance times to those comfortable in modern times?  Technology.

Adventure sport cams are making a dramatic appearance within our art – giving an exciting (and hopefully instructional) view and record of our activities that has not been possible before.  Our fights, properly edited, maybe with a bit of background Wagner playing, are proving to be exciting mini epics in their own right, and are a potential draw to interest and engage the next generation of Capo Ferro wanna-be’s!     


There’s pain in the offing – watch it in slo-mo!

NEW YORK TIMES (New York) 08 May 13  The Holy Grail of Battle Re-enactments (Mike Tierney)

A detailed and respectful article describing how Team USA members prepare themselves for participation in the Battle of the Nations.

Our protagonist, Craig Ivey describes his fighting kit (and the not insignificant costs associated with getting the best full-contact protection possible), motivation, training and supporting staff (including a masseuse) necessary before one goes up against the omni-powerful Russian team.

“This is the perfect sport for someone who wishes to participate in one of the roughest sports on earth, has a love of armor and weapons and Western martial arts, and a desire to be as close to being a knight of old as is possible in this modern age,” …

This same article was paraphrased by Foreign Policy journal with a title of “Is this the most insane sport in the world?”.

And if you move to the Team USA site, you’ll see some effective use of the fore-mentioned ‘adventure camera’.

There’s pain in the offing – coming to the side of a helmet near you!

THE TIMES (Munster, Indiana) 05 May 13  I was a medieval warrior (Kathleen Dorsey)

As a fencing master, one has to love it when a member of the Fifth Estate comes to your salle, consents to being fully armoured up … and writes affectionately of having their own head rendered into a bell clapper!

Aside from describing the training routine and equipment preparation common within our peers SCA activities, Ms Dorsey also gives us another demonstration of the possible utility of the ‘adventure cam’ …. albeit intermittently blocked by shield work.

Fully Armoured Fighter Quote of the Week:  “Oh crap. This is harder than it looks.”

Oh, Bite Me!

CALGARY JOURNAL (Alberta) 08 May 13  ‘Fight the Bite’ teaches Calgarians how to fight off zombies (Baj Visser)

To make your art interesting and accessible to those without prior exposure to it, you have to make it relevant to interests that your target group already has.

Tim Holter and his peers over at The Forge Western Martial Arts appear to have broken that code in a big way.  Much like their archery peers, Holter and others are using common ‘pop culture; interests to get people into the salle, sword in hand.  In this case, their program ‘Fight the Bite’ is a self-defence event designed to allow you to protect yourself or ever-so-appreciative loved on from the impending zombie apocalypse.

“Western martial arts isn’t as well-known as taekwondo or karate,” said fellow instructor Mark Winkelman. “But zombies are interesting to everyone, so even those who would never think of coming out to pick up a sword are calling us and asking about it.”

Does this Tasset make my Hips look Big?

OTTAWA SUN (Ontario) 11 May 13  Armoured delights, vibrant costumes grace Comiccon (Tony Spears)

If potential recruits can’t get to you … go to them.

HEMA/WMA groups are well received at a variety of social gatherings and celebrations … Irish and Scottish cultural festivals; Shakespeare events; sword-and-sandal movie openings … and even events more eclectic: Sci-fi and anime conventions … and Comic Cons!

Bill Fedun and the South Tower Armouring Guild have been making custom battle armour for 22 years, teaching sword fighting and gaining news acolytes while participating in events throughout Our back yard!


And now for something completely different …

JAPAN TIMES (Tokyo) 05 May 13  Yagyu: Nara’s hidden village of the shoguns’ sword masters (Alon Adika)