Academy of Steel run a sword skills school based in Cardiff and Bristol. Based on 14th century Italian skills, Jordan and Melissa who run the school have had years of experience and now want to share their knowledge and passion. Lessons are available from tasters to ongoing training so we decided to go and have a go.
Myself, Simon, James and Harvey arranged a session with them and met them at the Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park at their Bristol base.
Arriving for the session we quickly noticed we would be wearing some pretty cool safety equipment, for protection of course, but also looking the part. Jordan explained his background and his passion was obvious which made the group keen to get going.
Immediately we were learning some basic blocks and what the point of the movements were, explained simply and demonstrated really well. I was finding that following his instruction was actually easy and we started almost looking like we knew what we were doing. Getting the edge of the blade to make contact was crucial and making the sword movement count.
Although I can’t remember all of the terms they both used, I’m useless at remembering things like that anyway, I was getting better at the blocks and movements with the sword. It was starting to make sense why certain guards and how body weight and foot movement can be as important as power.
My favourite was the pummel attack where you blocked, grabbed hands and sword and butted the opponent in the face with the pummel, hence getting pummelled! There something learnt from reading this article!
As much as we were concentrating on all of the things we were being taught the fact we were sword fighting with a friend sometimes took over.
We barely scratched the surface of what you can do with a sword and you might be correcting my terminology of the lesson, but I wan’t to learn more and I feel I came away with a much better understanding of what sword fighting would have actually have been like in the past. The instruction was excellent and the session was great fun, fantastic to do with friends. I will definitely be doing this again and covering more in depth for the web site.