Our Oxford students had a rare occasion to meet up today without any weapons as they enjoyed a Xmas meal together at a local pub. It’s been a fantastic year for the chapter filled with great fencing, tournaments and swords, and they are very much looking forward to welcoming new beginners in 2024.
After a busy first day of workshops and sparring, what better way to unwind than a cruise down the Thames. Attendees from all four chapters at our Coming of Age event this weekend, boarded a boat and set sail for an evening of food, drink and conversation.
This weekend sees our 21st Anniversary celebration with a range of workshops from instructors from all four of our chapters. However, before the weekend could begin, we needed to partake in a little light liquid refreshment as we made our way into the town of Marlow for some pub food and celebrate the first time that students from all four of our chapters have gathered together.
The food was excellent and the company was brilliant, setting us up for what promises to be an exemplary event weekend.
It’s not all swords, bucklers and daggers! Members from our Oxford chapter took time to socialise and enjoy a festive meal this evening.
What with the pandemiic it’s been a long time since the school had a proper social. That all changed on Friday night when members of all chapters gathered in Reading for a night of food, drinks and sword related chat. It was good to catch up and meet members from other chapters we’d not encountered before. Thanks to Josh and Jubie for opening their house to us all.
After not having seen a lot of each other over the pandemic, School of the Sword held a cutting party in Godalming this weekend with attendees from all our various chapters. Armed with milk and soft drinks bottles, we got to see how rusty our cutting had got using sharp swords against them.
There were lots of photogenic splashes, a few flying bottles and a whole lot of fun.
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!
Our Godalming students all met up last Saturday night for a social.
We met in the pub for drinks before moving onto a local Thai restaurant for food and sword talk.
Reading students met up in the centre of Reading last weekend for the latest School of the Sword social.
Drinks were drunk, pizza was consumed and some very nerdy jokes about fencing masters were exchanged.