Swordsquatch 2017

From Shawn Fackler: 

Swordsquatch 2017…wow…what an event!

I attended last year’s and did well in the tournament, taking home the silver medal, but I was much more introverted being new to the HEMA scene after a very long hiatus. This year I was much more relaxed, having made friends with most people over the past year, friends that are all amazing people…more like a family.

The organizers of Swordsquatch 2017: Hold My Beer put together an awesome event this year and really made it revolve around having fun. So I let loose and focused on having fun…maybe a little too much fun. But hey, fencing with a mean hangover can be a good, yet miserable, test of skill.

I was able to help the folks with Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assemblyrun a fun and fast-paced rapier tournament that everyone seem to really enjoy. Two of my club mates, Alfredo Velez and Adam Triplett, won the gold and silver medals in that tournament, respectively. My heart sings out to them!

I was able to teach a couple of rapier workshops that were well received. I am very grateful to of had my very knowledgeable club mate, Nicholas Chase, helping me as an assistant instructor in both of those. Deryk Moorewas again instrumental as my “second” in the Open Steel Longsword tournament where I was able to pull off winning the gold medal somehow.

All of my opponents throughout the tournament were very challenging. I owe special credit to a few: Chris Hobbs is one of the most technical and formidable fencers I have ever crossed swords with, and in my opinion, is a far better fencer than me. As always, Caleb Switzer was a champ and picked me apart. Mitchell Allen is a force to recon with and I had to fight him a very tiring three times…he has great talent, boundless energy, and can literally do perfect cartwheels in front of you. Last but not least, the Ring Beast, Brent Lambell, who if he didn’t injure his knee, without a doubt would have completely changed the results of the finals.

I have to say that one of the biggest highlights of the weekend was being able to meet David Rawlings, whom I am a huge fan of, and knowing that he enjoyed watching my fencing and that of my club mates…and loved our puffy pants!

Thank you, Swordsquatch…I’m already looking forward to next year’s!

Study In Steel 2017

Study In Steel is Coming.  Mark the 29th of April and head over to their website to register today.   They guys at Sword Carolina are putting on a tournament and workshop in South Carolina.  Loyal Order of the Sword Augusta will attend Study In Steel as a training event for longsword this year.  Talk to instructors to coordinate carpooling.

http://swordcarolina.com/study-in-steel-2017/

Happy Holidays 2016

There are always those who have gone before us.  Predecessors.   Ancestors. Mentors.  Somebody was before us learning, living, failing and trying again.  This holiday season and the brief respite it provides is a great time to express gratitude for those who have helped us, not just in a martial arts sense – but with life lessons.

Here’s to those who helped out when they didn’t have to.  Here’s to those who, even when inconvenient or expensive, gave of themselves with no thought of recompense.  Here’s to those mentors, those leaders and teachers who brought us to where we are today.

And here’s to tomorrow and next year.  Hard work, dedication to our craft and pure fun will make 2017 the best year ever for our clan.

To those who have joined or re-joined this year, we look forward to trading bruises and denting masks as we train.  New members are the life blood of any organization.  Thanks for joining us.  We hope you stay for a good long while.

First. A little history.

img_4265Thanks to the prolific writing habits of Richard Marsden some of our history has been chronicled elsewhere.  He, Greg Hinchcliff (Gydion) and other members of the group got together several years ago to document the fighting style and tactics of the Loyal Order of the Sword as instructed by the Maestro.

While many of the techniques employed by Hinchcliff are his own, his techniques can be seen in the works of other Historical European Martial Arts masters.  You just have to know where to look.  Some techniques I would say are common, are any master that teaches about attacking off-line (not head to head – Capo Ferro doesn’t treat this subject very well and his guards aren’t especially designed to bring you offline with some exceptions like plate 19).  Meyer teaches this extensively.  Gaining and keeping the bind is also taught by Meyer and called stringere by Capo Ferro. You can see that reference here.   Today’s post isn’t about elaborating on the corollaries but rather just a reference to what Marsden had to write about the group that he trained with first.

Here is his post from 2010 is dated and still accurate for the most part.  What is changing is the fact that as instructors we are comfortable with what the historical masters are doing and, for the sake of HEMA, will identify which techniques work the best from each Western Martial Arts master.  From a modern perspective binding ourselves to any single discipline is to decide in obsolescence at the start.  Warning: the links to Facebook and Myspace are dead.

And the multi-source approach of Loyal Order of the Sword here.