Sam -also called Samantha- Swords has been passionate about swordfighting since he was old enough to hold a stick. Strongly inspired by the stories of western warrior culture as a child, he has grown up to build his life around those same values, specialising in historical swordsmanship as well as being a professional craftsperson for the film and theatre industry, and immersing himself in creative projects on the side.
Sam grew up in Australia and New Zealand, where he learned Western Martial Arts with Colin McKinstry through the New Zealand schools of historical swordsmanship. He was also able to learn the basics of mounted Medieval combat through the Upper Hutt Martial Arts Academy’s cavalry reenactment group, the Order of the Boar. Sam went on to travel widely and train with a vast range of instructors across North America and South East Asia, especially fighters who specialised in some form of personal self defence.
Samantha became well known as female swordfighting role model in 2013 after successfully winning the Harcourt Park longsword competition in New Zealand. This led to much global attention and enabled him to expose many people to Europe’s historical martial arts legacy, as well as inspire many women (and people of other genders!) to start their journey with the sword.
Sam proudly upholds the work and legacy that he was able to create as a female role model before his transition to male in 2018, although his focus is now on using his platform to inspiring people to be true to themselves and courageously live their passions, whatever those might be. He has also spoken on the relationship between martial arts, storytelling and heroism at the Hero Round Table in 2016.
Sam enjoys most forms of historical combat but is especially excited about the study and practice of sword and buckler, as well as the potential of sport-based LARPs to enable field combat simulations that are not safely available to weapons practitioners in other ways.
Sam is very active on social media through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. He also has a clothing brand on Etsy and is currently building a community on Patreon.
You can also listen to his Hero Round Table talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBET_-0aRl8
The sword Sam mentions in the podcast is this one: