At the last Knights of Lepanto meeting we discussed the possibility of the men and boys learning some kind of martial art for the sake of cultivating the chivalrous and competitive spirit. We had a thrilling time with the Boot Camp and will continue to develop that side the training in the encampments and throughout the year. The boys have already been exposed to fencing, but I thought something a bit more from the period of Lepanto might be more interesting and fun.
Hence the Longsword. In the following clip, notice how the competitors are not worried about period costume, and how they are protected (face mask, padded clothing, protection for forearms, elbows and shins). If the men and boys want to go period, fine; however, I thought this might be a way to have some fun more cheaply. Oh, and by the way, wooden swords would be just fine. Okay, moms?
Some of the guys already know about the Higgins Armory Sword Guild in Worcester, Massachusetts. There are other organizations as well, such as Arma, the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts. Someone will have to be serious about the study of the art of longsword, in order to teach it to others. I am not suggesting we get carried away with this and loose our focus, but these organizations provide us with a place to start in our research, so as to come up with something appropriate for us. The Arma uniforms with the period flavor without being too meticulous, I think, are pretty cool.
I have a link for the squeamish moms…a mom with 5 boys who realizes she has, indeed, married a man…
[Moderator made the link work better on the page (a guy thing).]
Great link. I will put it up as a post. Thanks for the tip.
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Fr. Angelo was asking for opinions and ideas, so here goes!
I admit I love sword fighting, and I’ve learned some moves by watching the Lord of the Rings over a thousand times. Who hasn’t? lol I like the idea of stepping up to long sword fighting. But might I suggest moving a little slower? With having a Boot Camp set up, and then introducing sword fighting, who wants to climb monkey bars when you can clobber each other with a wooden sword? lol Might I suggest having different themes per encampment? Like have the different groups and classes at the Spring Encampment, Longsword Fighting at the Second Encampment, and having the Boot Camp at the Third Encampment in October when it’s cooler?
One thing about teaching the fencing at the encampment, it takes a lot of time and practice to become an experienced fencer, and having short classes amid a busy day can be distracting and tiresome for the students. I know from experience, since I’m a Team Captain at the Fencing Club in town. What is also important is practice at home, if fencing is to be apart of the Knights of Lepanto, I suggest that more effort be put into having longer and more frequent lessons, otherwise we’ll be getting nowhere in the instruction.
I like Paul Xavier’s idea…given the time required to learn a new skill and the level of commitment. I know I would like to come, but, who knows with the travel distance and all.
How did soldiers train in the past? Seems logical to me that, to train young men, trainers would bring two experienced fighters in their midst and say “Watch them!” Then, the future fighters would practice. I realize that looking at someone else doing something is not the same as you doing it, but, at least by watching, a person can learn a technique. Perhaps, we could screen/recommend a series of fencing videos the boys can watch and the practice on their sisters….at least this way, the kids obtain some familiarity. I am kidding about practicing on the sisters….
But, certainly a theme at each encampment would work.
I’d stick to two themes. WWI, and circa1200 – 1450.
Paul Xavier and Sonopa,
Well said. I don’t know if you browsed the Arma website I linked to, but apparently there is some sort of associate membership possible.
I agree we need to find some experts and have regular and frequent meetings. I think something could be worked out so that the spirituality of the Knights could be incorporated.
Look at the training philosophy of Arma. It is very interesting. As I already said, I don’t want the squires to become a martial arts society, but I do think some martial art could be effectively incorporated.
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