by Robert Brooks, Marshal of the Hotspur School
New students coming into Historical European Martial Arts are often conscious of the cost of taking up what appears to be, at face value, an expensive hobby. Let's face it - for most would-be participants, there's a big fat kit list staring you right in the face from the word go.
by Antonia Velikova, Fellow of the Hotspur School of Defence
It’s late on a Wednesday night, and I’ve just finished training. I’m changing my shoes, putting my equipment back in my bag, winding down from an intense session, engaging in small talk. Around me, people chatter excitedly. About their new weapons, about historical manuscripts, or the new Star Wars film–no topic is really off limits. It’s a good atmosphere, a healthy one, a happy one.
It’s just another night of fighting with steel longswords. No big deal.
I once had an interesting inquiry from a potential student who was looking for lessons in medieval swordsmanship. It began like this:
"I'm interested in coming along. Just one question - do you do fencing or full-contact?"
A little perplexed, I replied: "I teach medieval fencing, we bout, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'full-contact'."