As an extra treat for Symposium attendees. noted author of The Secret History of the Sword , J. Christoph Amberger will be visiting on Sunday afternoon April 26th. He will be bringing some of his extensive collection of original swords and original copies of historical fencing texts for our viewing pleasure. For those who have not read The Secret History of the Sword it is a fascinating and thought provoking account of swordsmanship from the middle ages thru the modern period. It is a must read for all students of Western Martial Arts. BTW it is available here for free download.
February 17, 2015. It is Shrove Tuesday, Random Act of Kindness Day, A Snow Day off work for me, Lulu is running a sale. Positive vibes abound so in keeping with that spirit I think we will let the discount price of $200.00 for the event run for another week. That will give some pocketbooks strained by Valentines Day a chance to replenish themselves. I encourage people who are determined to come to register or at least make a firm commitment by contacting me directly (use the Contact link above) to save you a spot.
Tentative detailed event schedule and Friday night "meet and greet" are done. I am working on a little last minute "show and tell" experience inspired by the behind the scenes trip to Glasgow at last years International Smallsword Symposium.
If you want to support the event and its goal of better and more inclusive smallsword education and practice here in the US but cannot attend please consider picking up a copy of St. Martin an 1804 Austrian Smallsword Manual the proceeds of which go toward event expenses. Today only 2/17/2015 Lulu is running a 28% off sale that brings the $25.00 price down to $18.00 plus shipping. Scroll down the Blog archives for a full description of St. Martin.
I am very pleased to announce two sponsors who have generously donated swords as prizes for the tournament.
Benjamin Arms will provide a presentation quality French Foil with hand-inscribed acid etching. If you are not familiar with his work his weapons are used by many of the top classical and historic swordsmen in the world.
Joel Mason from Jacob's Armory has also promised us a weapon made especially as a prize for the event. Joel is well known in WMA circles as the maker of beautiful reproduction smallswords and twisted wire grips.
We are very blessed and to have the generous support of these craftsmen and expect several more to follow so keep checking back for details.
Finally the cost of participation will increase by another $25.00 to $225.00 on February 15th. If the chance to win one of these or other prizes, the outstanding instructors, and the increasing cost is not enough to get you to register now I do not know what is.
Exact details of the tournament are still being worked out. These will depend on the number of participants who sign up on site. I can guarantee that the rules will reflect much of the class content which is geared to practical fighting as opposed to salle play. That does not mean grappling or pummeling but may mean that there is a penalty for not being direct and decisive just as there would be in the dark alley next to the pub.
Vendors have donated some VERY nice prizes worth well over the cost of attendance at the event. I will have the details up as soon as I get all the text and pictures arranged. You will be impressed and you will not want to miss a chance to win these prizes.
Here is a little historical bit from Baltimore fencing history I just found while packing to go out to do some classes in Indiana.