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!
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.
This was the last night of the current teaching block and we enjoyed a very full class.
Kasten took the Bolognese group through tactics in single sidesword, whilst Lynette finished her course on at Fabris’s proceeding with single rapier.
Next week will be a “Technical Tournament”, and the week after will be a Sparring Night. May heralds the beginning of our next Beginner Course, Emilia’s course on single rapier and Jack’s course on the Spadone.
Senior Sots instructors Fran and Lizzie held this event for its second year in Godalming on 17 & 18 March. It was attended by over forty women – several Sots members among them – and all the classes were led by female instructors, including Emilia Skirmuntt who has taught as a guest instructor in Reading (and will soon be teaching rapier again in Godalming) and Maria Makarova: also from the School. Other instructors were Steph West from 1595 Club and TerryAnn Towers St Amand, who led the warm up and cooldown. There were classes in Fiore Longsword grapples, Saviolo Sidesword and Italian rapier.
The second day started with a Q&A panel with the instructors, chaired by Fran, followed by a novice tournament using boffers, and a steel tournament. In each competition there were randomly chosen but paired weapons.
Next year’s event is already in the can, with ten instructors and speakers! Watch this space.
The inaugural English Sidesword Open took place in Godalming on the 24 and 25 February. We had so much fun running it and taking part that plans are already in afoot for ESO2019: it’s going to be even bigger and better!
The event consisted of workshops and tournaments: we were honoured to have guest instructors in the form of Devis Carli and Pietro Bruzzi from Sala d’Arme di Achille Marozzo in Italy, Rob Runacres from Renaissance Sword Club UK, Aaron Coode from KDF Bournemouth UK, and Chris Chatfield from 1595 Club Brighton UK.
There were six tournaments in all, a nylon and a steel stream in single Sidesword, sidesword and dagger and Sidesword and Rotella. Thanks to a dedicated army of volunteers largely made up of Sots members, we were well staffed and everything ran on time. We saw some beautiful fencing throughout the weekend.
Valentine’s day didn’t keep our students way from Godalming on Wednesday night with two streams of training on offer.
Lizzie & Kasten took the Bolognaise group through defending ready for an attack in sword & buckler, whilst Lynette looked at proceeding with rapier.
Students gathered last night our regular Wednesday night training session in Godalming.
Fran taught a class on sword & buckler and Adrian continued his introduction to rapier.
Sunday sparring was in Godalming this week with a number of students turning up looking to get in some extra practise.
These free sessions for students who have passed their safety test allow them to get in some valuable sparring time, practising the techniques they’ve learnt in our training sessions. It allows them to spar with people they don’t normally train with as well as try out some fun weapon combinations that are not part of our curriculum.