Insights into teaching sports from the point of view of an asthma-sufferer

This article today was written by Colin Farrell, a member of the Academy of Historical Arts, to help address what he perceives as a serious gap in provision in the current teaching of historical fencing. He hopes that this article will be beneficial for many teachers in the hobby.

Starting from the age of 4 or 5 I have taken part in a variety of sports, as a new learner, as an experienced learner and as an instructor. What has struck me over the years is a noticeable lack of knowledge about asthma, which I have thought peculiar given that nearly 5.5 million people in the UK suffer from it to some degree and the number is steadily increasing, especially amongst children. That’s just under 1 in every 10 people in the UK. That means that any sports class you’ve been in will almost certainly have had an asthmatic or two present. And yet most instructors have at best minimal knowledge of how to deal with asthmatics, and at worst have complete misperceptions of how to deal with them. I hope to be able to provide a basic level of accurate knowledge to you all here, to let you deal better with the situation should it arise.

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1st Year Anniversary for Encased in Steel

Two authors of Encased in Steel, actually encased in steel!

Hello everyone! Today is a rather special day as it marks one full year since the first post on this blog. Encased in Steel has been running for a full year as of today.

We have seen an ever-increased amount of traffic coming through the blog: in January 2011, before the blog went online, we had 176 unique visitors make a total of 245 visits to the domain name. With the blog coming online in February 2011, this rose to 369 unique people making 584 visits. Every month thereafter saw growth:

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Popular Rebellion


As stated in the title this essay seeks to compare the differences between urban rebellions and Peasants rebellions in the later Middle Ages. These differences will be viewed from the threefold perspective of ideology, leadership and causes. For the purposes of this essay ideology will refer to commonly held beliefs of those rebelling which led to, or in some way, influenced the revolt. This sort of ideology will be closely linked to the causes of the rebellions under study. Ideology will also be the term used for any propaganda released either by the rebels (as a recruitment method or as justification) or by the authorities which sought to put down the rebellion. The rebellions focussed upon will be the Peasants Revolt of 1381 and the Jacquerie of 1358 as the two primary examples of Peasant rebellions. Whilst peasant revolts were as natural to traditional Europe as strikes are today’ the Revolt of the Ciompi (1379) is a little different from the norm in terms of duration and manifestation. The Ciompi will be the primary comparative example of an urban rebellion as the main instigators and force of the Ciompi were the urban dwelling artisans, the popolo minuto.

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Two Weeks of Historical Arts

Keith and Mark at the Abertay tournament

In the last three weeks or so, the Academy of Historical Arts has been running several training days, workshops and events. I have been fortunate enough to attend most of them and have learned a vast amount from the assorted lessons I have been running and from the various sparring sessions in which I have participated. This article will be a brief review of my last fortnight, and hopefully it will serve to illustrate the depth and breadth of the historical programmes and activities run by the Academy of Historical Arts!

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