Today is an auspicious day. It marks the 16th anniversary of the founding of my School, with my first demonstration class held in a small training hall inside the Olympic Stadium.
One of the greatest challenges from the beginning was that the people who are most interested in the training I have to offer are spread all over the world- and even in that first class, there were people who had driven for hours to make it. It was partly for them that I began writing my books, and partly for the generations yet to come who may be interested in what their forebears were getting up to back in the bad old days.
It seems appropriate that I have spent the day recording video in the Helsinki salle for an online Longsword course, ably assisted by Zoë Chandler, both in front and behind the camera, and with the technical help of the excellent Petteri Kihlberg, who lent us his awesome equipment and showed us how to set it up. The course will cover everything from the absolute beginning (how to hold a sword), through the basic syllabus, and all the way up to some quite advanced training. Old favourites like the Farfalla di Ferro and the Punta Falsa are there, as well as a run-through of every one of Fiore’s longsword plays on foot and out of armour. It has been a monster undertaking!
I will make the first section of the course free, so anyone can try it out. This is the way I have always run my school- the first class is free and without obligation. Then the rest of the course will be available, either as a whole, or in two chunks. I’ll keep you posted on progress- there is 450GB of footage to edit, so it may take a while before we’re ready to go. Eta perhaps middle of May.
I also shot footage for a free forearm maintenance course, to go with the existing free knee maintenance course; that will probably go live a little after the longsword course. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything!
While I’m here I will be teaching a backsword seminar tomorrow, and attending the School’s 16th Birthday Party at the Salle from about 8pm. Everybody is welcome, so see you there!