2 06, 2017

SAAM Achille Marozzo Torneo Review (20th / 21st May 2017) by Jay Maxwell

2017-06-02T19:15:18+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Events|

On May 20-21, I attended the biggest HEMA tournament ever staged, organized by the Achille Marozzo club in Italy – equally the worlds largest HEMA club with over 800 members.

The event was one of the few tournaments to focus exclusively on the sidesword and its companion weapons, and led to some interesting sponsors: such as Thokk, whose design of protective glove was directly inspired by his connection to the organizing club and a desire to provide better hand protection without impairing mobility. Also, the ubiquitous Black Fencer, as well as the awesome and relatively unknown work of Malleus Martialis, an Italian based HEMA bladesmith (check out his Targas!!).

More than 300 participants, averaging around 250 fighters in each category, kept attendees on their toes and a second round of eliminations for those who were beaten in the pools – the prize being reentered into the tournament proper – meant that no one ended up wasting a trip by becoming merely an observer.

The sheer amount of passion and love for the art was on display throughout, each club or even regional chapter having its own chants, colours, traditions and banners; making for an incredibly vibrant and lively atmosphere. The friendly rivalry, I was informed, led to duels and ambushes on a regular basis (including running battles in the streets while dressed as hobbits). All of which keeps the interest and spirit of competitiveness alive and fun between groups dispersed across the breadth of the country.

At the end of the first day, we were invited to join the organisers for a gala dinner at the aptly named ‘Casa Spadoni’ where menus were not provided, but the overworked kitchen staff must have simply emptied everything they had onto plates to feed over 200 hungry sword men and women. The dishes just kept coming, the wine was on tap (literally) and the laughter did not stop.

Foreign fencers are offered a collection service from the airport to the hotel and to and from the event/restaurant, but this was not something I needed to take advantage of being hosted by the inexhaustible Pietro Bruzzi at his family’s country house. Set in the hills near the coast of Cesenatico, overlooking endless vinyards, I spent the evenings depleting his homemade beer reserves and watching the glowworms (fireflies) dancing, while discussing the finer points of blademanship.

The next day it was straight back into the fight, the heavy evening having in no way weakened the lustre or energy of the events attendees. My eyes were fixated on the awards, ceramic medals and trophies. Made locally in a traditional style they really stood out as unique. The finals were hard fought, and the awards well earned, and respect really needs to go to the judges and organisers who presided over the goings on. With ten arenas in use at all times, every fight, from pools, through an exhausting seven rounds of eliminations, to the finals, all had a minimum of four judges, all of whom were not just proficient but also instructed on the weapons being used.

In short, this has now become firmly ensconced as my favourite event of the year, and is indelibly branded into my diary for the years to come.

2 06, 2017

School of the Sword Gets Medals In Norway

2017-06-02T18:14:48+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Events, Rapier, Trophies|

A contingent of School of the Sword members headed to Oslo on the weekend of the 20th / 21st May to take part in the Norway Open.

The event, part of the Nordic Historical Fencing League, consisted of a number of different tournaments with fighters coming from across Europe.

The School of the Sword fought in the rapier and dagger tournament and saw success taking both the gold and silver medals in an all School of the Sword final.

Gold medal went to Piermarco Terminello whilst Alexander Makarov took silver.  Congratulations to all medallists.

7 04, 2017

School Of The Sword Doing Well in Malmo

2017-04-07T21:30:37+00:00April 7th, 2017|Events, Rapier, Trophies|

A number of our members are in Malmo, Sweden this weekend competing in the Scania Open as part of the Nordic Historical Fencing League.

Word has reached us that School of the Sword instructor Piermarco Terminiello  has progressed and will fight Kristopher Stanson for gold in the final of the Rapier & Dagger tournament.  Meanwhile Alexander Makarov will fight for bronze.

Best of luck to everyone competing.

26 03, 2017

By The Sword – 18th / 19th March 2017

2017-03-26T20:33:32+00:00March 26th, 2017|Events, Rapier|

The School of the Sword instructors, Lizzie Wilson, Lynette Nusbacher and Fran Terminiello all gave classes at the inaugural By the Sword event last weekend. The first of its kind in the UK, the event was run for and by women.
There were classes in Spadone, grappling, pugilism, case of swords, sword and cape, rapier, longsword and smallsword, plus lots of cake and laughter!
By the Sword had a very positive and friendly vibe, and is ideal for newcomer and HEMA veteran alike.

7 02, 2017

School of The Sword Features Heavily In New International Rankings

2017-02-07T21:34:07+00:00February 7th, 2017|Dagger, Events, Rapier, Trophies|

The School of the Sword is a very diverse school, not just in terms of our students, but also in our aims.  Some students just come along for a bit of exercise and fun once a week, some are interested in translating and interpreting historical documents, and others are interested in taking part in tournaments around the world.

With so many different independent circuits, rule sets and events it’s been difficult to try and work out overall how HEMA practitioners stack up against each other.  However, a new site, called HEMAratings, has just been launched aimed at giving the international ranking for fighters across a range of disciplines.

The School of the Sword features heavily in a number of categories, including being the 3rd most represented school in the Rapier & Dagger category.  Even better, our very own Piermarco Terminiello has been ranked #1 in the discipline.

With more students reaching the skill level to be able to take part in international competitions we’re hopeful that our standing on the world stage will continue to improve through 2017 and into the future.

6 02, 2017

Untournament – 5th February 2017

2017-02-06T00:26:01+00:00February 6th, 2017|Dagger, Events, Rapier, Sword & Buckler, Trophies|

A number of School of the Sword students took part in the Untournament on Sunday.

Designed as a practise session for judges ahead of the Astolat HEMA open, it gave participants the opportunity to practise their skills with longsword, sword & buckler, or rapier & dagger against one another under tournament conditions.

All our students, from seasoned tournament fighters to those in their first competition, did the school proud with a number of students making the semi-finals in the Rapier & Dagger and Sword & Buckler competition.

Against skilled competition from across the UK, Piermarco Terminiello took first place in both the Rapier & Dagger, and Sword & Buckler competitions, whilst Stewart Hotston took third place in Sword & Buckler.

20 01, 2017

School of the Sword Guaranteed Two Medals At Helsinki

2017-01-20T19:09:40+00:00January 20th, 2017|Events, Trophies|

Fantastic news out of Helsinki today as we’ve just heard that School of the Sword’s Pim Terminiello and Alexander Makarov will fight for gold in the rapier & dagger competition at the Helsinki Open this weekend.  This means that School of the Sword is already guaranteed gold and silver.

We obviously couldn’t be more proud and wish we could be there for what is likely to be a truly epic fight.

Best of luck to Kristofer Stanson and Andreas Isaksson who fight for bronze.

Thanks to Afterblow for letting us know and use of their picture!




2 12, 2016

Reading Comic Con – 26th / 27th November 2016

2016-12-02T00:42:52+00:00December 2nd, 2016|Events|

The School of the Sword was present at the first ever Reading Comic Con this past week.  Students from both our Reading and Godalming salle turned up over the two days to give demonstrations of the various weapons we train with.  Not only did it educate the public about what we do and some of the differences between the fights they see in videogames and television with what happens in reality, it also gave our students hours to get some extra practise in.

25 11, 2016

School of the Sword At Reading Comic Con This Weekend

2016-11-25T21:55:52+00:00November 25th, 2016|Events|

It’s Reading Comic Con this weekend and The School of the Sword will be in attendance on both days doing demonstrations and answering questions. If you’ve ever wondered what it is we do or want to find out more about the school or you’ve just always wondered what historical fencing is like then come along to the event and see us in action.

For more details, check out the Reading Comic Con Facebook page.

21 11, 2016

School of the Sword Represented at Helsinki Bolognese Open

2016-11-21T17:54:41+00:00November 21st, 2016|Events|

Whilst tournaments represent just a small part of what we do in the school (not every student wishes to compete), we are fortunate that we have a growing cadre of fencers who are representing the school in competition around the world.

Although many of our students were fencing at the Broadwater Bucklerthon, School of the Sword was also represented at the Helsinki Bolognese Open in Finland this past weekend.

Our representative, Jay Maxwell, managed to progress to the Quarter Finals.  Thanks to him for representing the school.  Congratulations to the winners.

Photos by Timo Toropainen, used with permission.