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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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?

Welcome to Encased in Steel!

Hello, and welcome to Encased in Steel, the new blog that is hosted, authored and maintained by the Academy of Historical Arts. Our purpose is to write interesting and thought provoking essays and articles about European history, sometimes concentrating on the martial aspects of our history, sometimes concentrating on general history, and sometimes concentrating on the traditional handcrafts from past centuries. Hopefully this blog will be of interest to members of the HEMA community, to members of the historical re-enactment community, to teachers and students, and to anyone with a passing interest in history.

We will be publishing a new article every Friday afternoon, and will hold to this weekly submission. Our contributors have built up a queue of articles ready for posting, so that we should be able to keep posting without dry spells. Our goal is to be one of the most interesting and most professional history and HEMA blogs currently active!

So who is the Academy of Historical Arts, and what do we do? The Academy of Historical Arts follows this mission statement:?“Our purpose is to promote and further the study of European history through the historical, martial and creative arts.”

To this end, the Academy is part of the Triquetra Services (Scotland) charitable organisation (registration number SC042086) and is the educational division within the charity. The Academy runs a number of educational programmes that are designed to benefit different areas of society and to promote the study of European history in different ways.

Our longest running programme within the Academy is the Chivalric Dream Society programme, where we run groups that practice historical European martial arts and various forms of traditional handcrafts. We are looking to expand this programme throughout Scotland, giving more and more people the opportunity to learn skills that they would otherwise not have the chance to learn.

We also run such programmes as our Past Professor scheme, where members of the Academy go into local schools and present on aspects of European history to support the national Curriculum for Excellence. This has been well received so far, and more and more schools are beginning to book visits as part of this programme.

To help support the activities of the Academy (which can become very expensive very quickly!), we have a commercial division called Corsair’s Wares which aims to supply the historical hobbyist market with everything that could possibly be needed to take part in any of the historical hobbies. Although we only have a few shops online at the moment, we have some amazing plans for expansion, and expect to become leaders in the market in short order.

All of this organisation requires some fairly heavy IT infrastructure, so Triquetra Services boasts a third division that handles the IT side of things. Chivalric Systems is in charge of maintaining our servers, our websites and our domain names, and undertakes further development of our online presence. Furthermore, since we have all of the skills and resources at hand anyway, Chivalric Systems offers fairly priced website development and hosting services, and would like to help improve the online presence of the historical hobbyist community as a whole.

For more information about the different parts of our organisation, please see our websites:

Triquetra Services (Scotland) which comprises:
Corsair’s Wares
Chivalric Systems
Academy of Historical Arts which includes:
Past Professor Programme
Chivalric Dream Society
Historical Hiltwork

1 31 32 33