Academy event with the Glasgow Company of Duellists

Last weekend the Academy of Historical Arts organised and ran an event for our members to train with some of the Glasgow Company of Duellists. It seemed quite mad that we all train in the same city, yet really only a few of us had ever trained with each other! Since both groups have begun study of the Highland broadsword recently, we decided to have our event focus on this weapon.

The participants at the event.

Everything was organised perfectly, the weekend was all ready to start, and then Alex (the President of the GUCDS in the Academy) went to pick up the keys to the training hall from the Dispenser of Keys at the Location of Training. The Dispenser of Keys told Alex that the appropriate Booking Form (which we had never seen nor heard about!) had not been sent to him, and thus he would not be able to release the keys to us. No matter what Alex suggested to get around this problem, the Dispenser of Keys remained resolute in the face of common sense and refused to budge even an inch to help us.

The three instructors: Alex, Ben and Dave.

A swift discussion followed between all attending Academy members and Duellists, and one of the Duellists went and phoned up the training hall he normally uses for his weekly martial art teaching. This hall was going to be considerably more expensive, but would be able to accommodate us even at this short notice. We all decided to give this new hall a try, since it was either that or postpone the event. Luckily, we had JUST enough car space for all the equipment and all the people, so we all made our way over to the Caledonian Taekwondo Health and Fitness Centre in Anniesland. It is a superb venue, at a very excellent hourly rate considering the amount of equipment and space that comes with the hall hire.

People practicing dagger.

So we held the event at this Centre instead of our previously intended Location of Training. We began with a gentle warm up, an hour of Anti-Pugilism under Dave Britten, an hour of Broadsword and Targe under Ben Kerr, and then finished with an hour of Medieval Dagger under Alex Bourdas.

Alex practicing broadsword and targe with Dave.

The three hours passed quickly, and it was a fun afternoon. From my point of view as an instructor within the Academy, it was excellent to have the chance to practice with people other than my students for a change. Not that I don’t like my students (definitely not what I am saying!) but rather that it is good for my own development to train with people who look at me as an equal rather than as an instructor. I think everyone in the Academy benefitted from having this chance to practice with new people, and I think the skills we have been teaching in the Academy over the last semester were helpful for our students to be able to absorb this new information quickly and understand the hows and whys of the practices. I hope the Duellists enjoyed themselves as much as we did!

Some of the Duellists playing.

We in the Academy would like to take part in more of this type of joint training event with other groups. Unfortunately most of these events happen down south in England, or even in other countries, so it looks like we will have to start running a few such events up here in Scotland to make our lives easier!

Dave is pretty good at stabbing people!

For more information on the groups who took part in this event, please have a look at the following websites:

Academy of Historical Arts
Glasgow Company of Duellists

So, discussion topic: if we were to run an event in Glasgow for HEMA practitioners, bearing in mind our access to resources like the Kelvingrove Museum and the other libraries/museums of Glasgow, what sort of topics/themes/practices would people be interested in seeing us run?