On Sunday in Godalming we held a women’s open day after sparring. We were pleased to have a fantastic group who all did some Q&A with all our women instructors and students, took mini lessons in longsword with Emilia, sword & buckler with Fran and rapier with Masha. By the third sparring session everyone was really getting into it! We hope to see plenty of them at our beginners course in January.
Recently we held a summer social event consisting of a potluck and test cutting session, it was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get the students from Reading and Godalming together. Lead instructors Fran and Matt, of Godalming and Reading respectively, took the opportunity to announce the annual awards:
The Scholarship Award
This is given to the student who has stood out for their research and interpretive work on historical fencing texts. This can be someone at any level but given that the Laureando and Spadaccino gradings both contain a written submission it tends to be students at these stages in their careers who are eligible. The prize is cash to be spent on fencing books or manuals, and the nominees (pending receipt and review of their written laureando pieces) are:
The Endeavour Award
When a student reaches a certain level of competence: demonstrates good all round skill with weapons, applies themselves in class and demonstrates an adherence to the texts and techniques taught, they are eligible for the Endeavour Award. We grant this to the student who demonstrates all of the above and who we believe will make an excellent ambassador for the School. The prize is cash towards travel, accomodation and entry to an international event.
This year’s Endeavour Award goes to:
The Dagger of Honour
This is our highest honour. The Dagger of Honour is the oldest award within the School and it is given to the student who has stood out in their services to the School, this can be in any number of ways.
This year’s winner has worked incredibly hard on the behalf of SotS: whether that’s travelling to teach workshops, to participate in tournaments (and win!), or arranging sponsorships and fantastic prizes with suppliers for the events that the school is involved in organising. The English Sidesword Open was the brainchild of this individual, and we thank them for their vision, passion and enthusiasm that inspired us to make it such a successful event, and we plan to repeat in years to come.
The winner of the Dagger of Honour 2018 was an easy decision, and that person is Jay Maxwell.
Well done to all the winners and nominees!
The School of the Sword is proud to present a new chapter opening in Oxford this Summer.
It has been in the pipeline for almost a year and we decided that the time is right to launch a new sister to the Reading and Godalming sites. The lead instructor will be Emilia Skirmuntt, who has been studying HEMA since 2002. Emilia has been a guest instructor at both Reading and Godalming, and is an international instructor and competitor, having taught and medalled at many different events.
Unlike our other chapters that study Bolognese sidesword & buckler as the foundational weapon system, SotS Oxford beginners will learn Fiore longsword. The rapier will remain the focal weapon of the School as ever.
We will hold a grand opening at Magdalene College School on 18 August 12.00 – 14.00.
Come along to see fencing with rapier and companion weapons, sidesword and longsword. Chat with our students and staff, have a go at historical fencing techniques for yourself and sign up for our new classes. These will be on Thursday evenings at the same venue 19.30 – 21.30. More details about Emilia and the classes will be appearing on the site soon. Follow our Facebook page for details of events and training.
Last weekend Pim and Fran gave a morning class on Bolognese Sword & Buckler at the inaugural Fightcamp Skirmish, hosted by Schola Gladiatoria. Billed as a little sister event to the larger annual Fightcamp held in Coventry, this is a more bijou and luckily local event for us with a greater variety of activities such as axe throwing and archery. Attendees could camp on site at the event in Ripley, and there were several other attendees from the School as well.
It was a great crowd and we look forward to future events.
On Wednesday we had a thoroughly packed class in Godalming as 14 new people started the introduction to swordplay course. Simon also gave a lesson in spadone and Kasten taught a class on rapier & dagger. We had a brilliant time, everyone was very enthusiastic and eager to learn, and we look forward to watching our new candidati progress in the school.
Last night we held a fun ‘Technical Tournament’ where everybody fought five bouts with different opponents, using matched weapons. Bouts were fought continuously for two minutes, and each person was assessed against certain criteria in the categories of tactics, poise and self preservation. As it turned out we had James in third place, Ziggy and Phil in joint second, and the overall winner was Kasten.
Everybody had a lot of fun and there was some really controlled and considered fencing taking place. It was a nice way to celebrate the end of this teaching block. Next Wednesday will be a sparring night, then we start our next block on 2 May:
Emilia – Introduction to single rapier
Sam – Spadone
Fran – Beginners course
You may have noticed a flurry of activity on our page recently, that is because we are hosting the inaugural Albion Cup – a multi discipline tournament event on 7-8 July, in Dorking Surrey.
We hope to attract a large number of attendees, from the UK and the international HEMA community as well. Weapons featured are: rapier & dagger, longsword, sword & buckler and smallsword. There will also be two women’s competitions: longsword and sword & buckler.
In addition, by way of entertainment on the Saturday evening we will hold several “Renaissance Fencer” bouts – these are matches between preselected fencers to show good all round skill in four of the main disciplines.
Watch this space for more news, registration will open very soon.
Congratulations to our new studenti who passed their safety test last night in Reading: Jim, Daniel and Emma. They are now able to participate in freeplay, and are full members of the School. We wish them every success in their careers with us.
The Safety Test is an integral part of our curriculum, where we test candidati (new recruits) for their technical knowledge and application, as well as their ability to practice fencing safely. Once passed a student then becomes a full member of the School.
It was another busy night in Godalming with not three, but four streams of training!
Lynette continued her work on single rapier whilst Lizzie worked with students approaching their safety test. Fran and Kasten worked with the latest batch of candidati working on their beginner’s course on the foundations of swordplay, and Adrian took the Bolognese group through some Sword & Buckler. Guardia Alta was a theme across all groups.