World Sword and Acting Press

We have lots of WMA/HEMA press this week – but all the reported activity is apparently overseas!We are consistently amazed at the amount of publically popular and civic-supported WMA/HEMA/Re-Creation activity taking place throughout Slavic Europe – very little of which gets any coverage by our Western communities.  Wes 

A little place to call your own


RAPID CITY JOURNAL (S Dakota) 03 May 12  Man showcases his love for history, antique swords (Shell Jeffery-Tomjack)

DeWayne Walker is ‘living the dream’; having a ‘sword room’ with 12-foot ceilings and faux-brick walls just for the purpose of displaying his extensive personal armoury of swords from the United Kingdom, the USA, France, Italy and Japan.

On the glass display case rest World War I candlesticks made from the hilts of swords. DeWayne said during the war the Germans would cut the sword off and turn the hilts into candlesticks as mementos to present to the parents of soldiers who were killed in action.

DeWayne used to polish the swords once a year, but a specialist told him it was better for the swords to let the natural patina occur. “That was good news,” he joked. “It sure saved me a lot of time.”  (Wes note: And possibly save some value as well.  Some etchings, bluing and inlays can be irrevocably lost due to improper polishing or ‘cleaning’)


What do you mean ‘There’s nothing to do in here’?  Go outside (far outside) and find your friends.  And take your little sister with you!


KURSK WEB (Russia) 05 May 12  Под Курском пройдёт фестиваль «Курская Засека – 2012»

A multitude of Russian fight clubs and recreation groups joined together for this year’s ‘Kursk Zaseka’ event – a medieval (Golden Horde era) and cultural meeting that has one-on-one and five-on-five competitions.  Again as with so many similar Russian initiatives – this event has concrete civic and financial support from city and regional government offices.


ТУРИЗМ И ОТДЫХ (Minsk, Belarus) 06 May 12  Гродно окунулся в эпохи рыцарей и казаков

The same thing as above, but this time in that Belarus centre of Slavic Martial Arts – Grodno!


МЕДИАРЯЗАНЬ (Ryazan, Russia) 23 April 12 Рязанцы сразились на мечах

РОДНОЙ ГОРОД (Ryazan, Russia) 23 April 12  “Рязанские витязи” померялись силой”

And in Ryazan, the aptly named “Ryazan Knight” historical fencing, fifth-annual  championship involved fighters from eight clubs competing in ‘sword-and-shield’ and ‘any weapon’ categories.  Of note, this regional fighting championship has both men and women’s divisions


ГАЗЕТА (Kiev, Ukraine) 23 April 12  В Хотинской крепости тысячи людей воспроизвели эпоху Средневековья.

In the Ukraine, they were just as busy hosting their annual Khotyn Fortress demonstration and melee – with contingents from three nations and over a thousand paying spectators.

And while I’m not sure what exact martial discipline was being featured in the sword and pole arm demonstrations, but from the look of the photos, it was a truly impressive display of interest and enthusiasm if nothing else.  (Our personal favourite being photo #18 – fight your way up hill – to the edge of a cliff – and keep pushing!  There may – or may not – be a staff-wielding ‘umpire’ somewhere in the pile.)

And if our interpretation is correct, there’s some women looking forward to being able to get into the massed melees as well!


Don’t try this at your home salle, I’m a professional


DAILY HERALD (Chicago, Illinois) 05 May 12  Stunts in ‘The Avengers’ demand a blend of fighting styles

For those that specialise in choreographing and training for stage-fights; the movie ‘The Avenger’s presented some interesting challenges.

Each hero(ine) had to be trained in and drilled in ‘martial arts’ (any combination of archery, Wushu, Kung Fu, medieval wrestling, knife and staff fighting) unique to their characters background, physical attributes and ‘culture’, and their fight scenes choreographed appropriately.

Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) quipped he spent more time preparing than in front of the camera.

And Scarlet Johansson added: “It’s choreographed steps that are all put together in order for you to pack a punch and in order to make it safe and not as painful as it could be.”

The most important point about learning dramatic and entertaining stage combat comes from Eusebio though: “He said he makes sure to remind the actors he works with that even though the stunt training instils confidence, the fighting skills they learn on set don’t really translate to the street”.

“In screen fighting you want to look like you’re hurting them without hurting them. In self-defense on the street, you’re there to maim or hurt someone”.


PRESS-ENTERPRISE (Riverside, California) 09 May 12  Swordplay integral to Shakespeare Festival (Penny E. Schwartz)

The Redlands Shakespeare Festival has recovered from their suffering a theft of swords (Hmmm …. There’s a movie title in there somewhere, We’re sure), and is again practicing to put on dramatic (but safe) swordfights during their stage productions.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry helped to secure the monies needed to replace some of the $3K-worth lost kit and allow three planned productions to get (realistically) underway.

“If the swords were not there, it would be immediately obvious. They are more important than costumes.”

“Stage combat is like a dance, which starts slow and builds its pace.” Although any actor can learn it, the process is tedious and time-consuming, he said. A 30-second sword battle can take hours to stage and rehearse properly.