This was a weekend full of classes and compare/contrast sessions by some amazing instructors showcasing styles that represented four distinct geographical areas across three continents. There was:
- Mike Cherba – NW Armizare – showing Georgian (Khevsur) sword and buckler
- Da’Mon Stith – Austin Warrior Arts/HAMA – African sword and buckler
- Paul Wagner – Stoccata School of Defense – Highland sword and targe
- Alex Hanning – Lonin League – I.33 sword and buckler
- Frank Perrin – Bayt Al-Asad – Persian sword and buckler
So that’s Europe (Scotland and Germany), Asia (Persia and Georgia ), and Africa all represented. The compare/contrast sessions tended to take similar arts or arts that interacted and see how and more importantly WHY they differed. These sessions were Mike and Frank talking about the differences and similarities between Georgia and Persia and Paul and Da’Mon discussing the interactions and differences between Europe (England) and Africa. The final teaching session was another compare/contrast session discussion about interpretational differences regarding I.33  featuring Paul, Alex, and Mike, as well as Anthony Buonomo of Historical Weapons Guild. To close out the entire weekend there was a round robin style tournament where each participant was asked to choose a style to represent in each fight as well as choosing a scenario:
- Regular Match
- Defend the Standard (Flag)
- Restricted Footwork (participants had a single mat in which to fight)
- High Ground (participants had a four square of mats to fight in but one corner was raised by several mats to create a high ground)
Sadly my body prevented me from really fully participating in all the classes as much as I would have liked to. I was still able to observe and have lovely conversations with people. I also finally got to physically meet friends I’ve known online for a few years.
A big congratulations to Lonin for putting on a great event and I hope there are more to come!
- The Republic of Georgia sits at the geographical liminal space between Europe and Asia. While distinctly European in most cases, historically Georgia and Persia and a lot of cross-pollination, hence my decision in this list to include it in Asia.
- For those who don’t know, Royal Armouries manuscript I.33 (one-thirty three of one-three-three, also called the Walpurgis Fechtbuch) is the earliest extant European swordsmanship manual currently known. Dated to around 1300 it shows a lesson plan for a rather advanced system of sword and buckler.