My apologies for the brevity of this edition of Sword Press, but the recent world situation and the concurrent obligations of service took my attention elsewhere for most of the month!
Polite Parasols & Prima
METRO (Vancouver, British Columbia). 10 March 16. Vancouver workshop offers lessons on umbrella etiquette, self-defence.
The home salle (Academie Duello) hosted manners-maven Jason Sarai, supporting him with their own umbrella combat expert David McCormick to provide an oh-so-Vancouver workshop on how best to use your umbrella in polite society – and wield it in those rare situations where one is confronted by a ruffian rather than rain.
Don’t text and umbrella. It’s grounds for the person you just blundered into to pull their sword!
School's In for the Season
THE BROCK PRESS (Brock University, Ontario). 09 February 16. Students practice real 15th-century Italian martial arts.
Somehow I missed this event in my own backyard....
The Niagara School of Arms recently presented some of the techniques that they practice, which are based on the grappling and weapons-use teachings of the 15th century Medieval Italian knight and fencing master, Fiore dei Liberi.
But the complete understanding of Fiore’s system by just using his fightbook has some pitfalls. “The Italians like to tell how good they are and then only give you one picture,” commented Master Unruh. Understanding where one picture from the tome fits into previous and subsequent moves can be challenging, and open to individual interpretation.
We’re all in this Together
CHEMNITZER VERLAG UND DRUCK (Germany). 20 February 16. Purzelbaum mit Ritterrüstung - Mit historischen Kampfkunstbüchern befassen sich sportliche Forscher im Chemnitzer Schloßbergmuseum.
The Chemnitzer Schloßbergmuseum and a city university recently held an academic research day, where the discussions centred on medieval fightbooks. Amongst the "revelations" – of which we already know were that men at arms were actually quite agile within the 35 kilos (75 lbs) of armour spread across their body and that different swordmasters writing at different times and from different regions sometimes came to similar conclusions about how best to approach some swordplay challenges.
And why is this important? Apparently there is at least one HEMA group in Germany that has over a thousand members, just waiting for the results of this conference to be disseminated.