I thought I’d get out of my rut and show you loyal readers something that has fascinated me for years.
Granted, I haven’t had the real opportunity to actually participate in historical Western martial arts, but I have read quite a lot about it. In fact, back in the day, I used to subscribe to Hammerterz Verlag, which was the only semi-regular newsletter on the subject, published by the foremost expert on the art of historical Western combat of recent years, J. Christoph Amberger.
Times have changed!
Earlier this week, I saw a video of what may be the most spectacular sport most people will never see; Longsword Fighting. It’s about the people who actually practice the nearly lost art of single combat in the Medieval mode. Specifically, it’s about a tournament called Longpoint, which is an annual gathering of historical Western martial arts practitioners who compete against each other for the thrill and fun of it. I see it as something like the attraction of boxing gyms a few years back. It’s a violent sport that gives otherwise staid and sedentary people a bit of good, vigorous exercise. It does take a bit of gear, but it doesn’t seem like it would be all that much more than lacrosse and that seems fairly accessible, so I don’t see that cost as much of a barrier.
Now, keep in mind that this isn’t like the Society for Creative Anachronism. The folks in that video tell you straight up that they’re not interested in the courtly manners and all, just the combat. Sadly, I don’t see anyone active down here in Houston, or I might have to investigate it myself!
Well, in the mean time, you all can watch the video like me and just enjoy the folks enjoying themselves.
Personally, I think the best part is that one of the people held up as one of the best Longsword combatants is a rather compact, female engineering student. She’s a pistol!
So, ignore my mixed metaphor there and watch the video!