Historical Martial Arts classes at Pennsic: WMAinSCA Schedule

For our second year in a row, the WMAinSCA camp is offering a full series of Historical Martial Arts classes at this years Pennsic War 39 (www.pennsicwar.org), in a continuing effort to bring the Western Martial Arts and the SCA Combat communities closer together, and to share in the study and research of the Historical Arts to all interested.

The full class schedule is posted at: www.flechyr.com/WMAinSCA along with a downloadable PDF version to print and take with you to Pennsic. Any changes to the schedule, and any additional information (like our camp location) will be maintained and updated on the website (including the PDF) up until a day or two before Pennsic, so check back before heading out.

This year's line up features some very special classes by: Tom Leoni, Christian Tobler, and Greg Mele, to name a few, along with a host of other SCA and WMA instructors with classes ranging from I.33 through Pallas Armata.

Come join us, there's definitely something for everyone, and be ready for some excellent training!

Please feel free to re-post or forward this information on.
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Announcing: Freelance Academy Press

Dear Friends, Students of the Sword and Lovers of History, 

We are proud to announce the debut of Freelance Academy Press (www.freelanceacademypress.com).  

Freelance Academy Press offers its readers both innovative books and rich supporting material in the fields of Western martial arts, American and European history, arms and armour, chivalry, historical arts and crafts, and related fiction for adults and young-adults. We accomplish this through the introduction of new educational books and timeless, carefully selected reprints. Each of our titles features innovative cover composition, clear illustrations, high production value and solid binding. Our goal is to give book-lovers a product in which the quality of the subject is matched with a notable degree of professionalism and cleanness of design. 

Now Available: Our First Titles 

As devoted students of Western swordsmanship, it is our particular pleasure to launch Freelance Academy Press with two compelling titles, ready for order today: 

Venetian Rapier: Nicoletto Giganti’s 1606 Fencing Curriculum - Translated by Tom Leoni (www.freelanceacademypress.com/venetianrapier.aspx)

Perhaps no other weapon represents “Renaissance Italian fencing” as powerfully as the rapier. However, do we truly know how this sword was used and how it was taught? Venetian Rapier transports you into the fencing school, or salle, of celebrated Renaissance rapier master Nicoletto Giganti of Venice. Giganti was one of the most influential teachers of the period, and a master whose instructions on the use of this weapon have survived the centuries. It is most fortunate for us that his 1606 text, The School, or Salle is a veritable training curriculum, complete with stepwise lessons and easy-to-follow explanations on the use of both the rapier alone and the rapier and dagger. This faithful translation of Giganti’s seminal work, by internationally-renowned rapier teacher Tom Leoni, includes the complete text, original illustrations, and an introduction on rapier fencing that enables the reader to easily follow Giganti’s text.  

In Saint George’s Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts by Christian Henry Tobler (http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/insaintgeorgesname.aspx)

The medieval knight was a well-trained fighting man, expert in the use of sword, lance, spear and dagger, and a member of a warrior aristocracy whose values, virtues and vices helped shape European society for over 500 years. Providing an insightful, fascinating view of the medieval knight and his craft, In Saint George’s Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts brings readers a treasure trove of musings on the culture and the context of the martial arts in the late Middle Ages, hands-on training exercises for wrestling, dagger, falchion and poleaxe, and most importantly, the first English translation of the so-called “von Danzig” manuscript, the largest and most complete of the medieval German treatises. Join medieval combat expert Christian Henry Tobler on an expansive journey into the lost world of chivalric fighting arts, a journey that is certain to thrill martial artists, arms and armour enthusiasts, and lovers of history alike. 

Coming Soon: Forthcoming Titles 

We are confident that you will be as pleased with our debut titles as we are proud of them. But, just a swordsman cannot make a cut and then pause to see if it wins the bout, a publishing company cannot stand on their laurels for long. Therefore, we are happy to announce that the following titles are currently in production and slated for release by summer 2010: 

In the Service of Mars: Proceedings from the Western Martial Arts Workshop, 1999 – 2009

The first of two volumes, In the Service of Mars: Proceedings from the Western Martial Arts Workshop, 1999 – 2009 is a visual and content-rich chronicle of the growth, in depth and breadth, of the Western martial arts community since the introduction of Western Martial Arts Conference in 1999. A compilation of some of the most popular and detailed lectures and class notes from the Western Martial Arts Workshop’s first decade, it is also far more than a “best-of” anthology. Ideally presented for both past and future Workshop attendees, each entry has been substantially revised, expanded, and in many cases, photo-illustrated by their authors in order to recreate the actual class experience in the subject presented.  

Swordplay in the Age of Shakespeare by Stephen Hand

Stephen Hand, author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield and former editor of the journal SPADA: An Anthology of Swordsmanship, now turns his attention to an in-depth survey of the fencing styles of late Elizabethan England. Designed specifically as an introduction to Elizabethan swordsmanship for Western martial artists, stage combatants and reenactors, this lavishly illustrated training guide compares and contrasts the swordplay techniques of Giacomo di Grassi, Vicentio Saviolo, George Silver and Joseph Swetnam. 

Journal of the Armour Research Society

We are pleased to inaugurate our Arms and Armour catalog with the long-anticipated second volume by the renowned Armour Research Society. This research journal will feature articles by Fabrice Cognot, Jiří Hošek, Martijn A. Wijnhoven, and Douglas Strong. 

Master of the Guild, the Fight Book of Master Peter Falkner by Christian Henry Tobler

Our first, full-color facsimile is a reproduction of a beautiful and little seen 15th century fencing treatise by the Hauptmann (Captain) of the famed Marxbrüder fencing guild, covering the longsword, messer, wrestling, staff, dagger and armoured combat. 

These are just a few of the many titles currently in production at Freelance Academy Press. Rest assured that we will make regular announcements of all new titles and materials to be offered. 

Freelance Academy Press: Something Different

Our goal is to be more than just another publisher, and our name “Freelance Academy Press” reflects our core structure and philosophy. As with many modern expressions, the origin of the term freelance has largely been forgotten. Originally, a “free lance” was a knight for hire, which in the modern world now means an individual hired to do contracted work.   

The foundation of a publishing house is determined by the quality and diversity of its catalog. We are keenly aware that the structure of our business is built on establishing solid, enduring partnerships with our freelancers – our authors. That is why we collaborate with our authors to shape and refine their vision into a work that will withstand the test of time.  

If freelance is our structure, then academy is our philosophy. Since we are passionate students of the subjects we publish, we are invested in seeing interest and knowledge of our titles grow on a global basis.  We carefully choose titles and materials that lead readers on a historical journey that does not merely end with the final page of a book. Instead, our philosophy incorporates the three-tiered approach of Discover-Learn-Experience:  

Discover - Freelance Academy Press broadcasts and promotes the existence of fascinating topics such as Western martial arts and the modern communities that exist within this rapidly expanding arena. By doing so, we help these communities to grow and we encourage interaction between the individuals within them. 

Learn - We provide high-quality instructional and translational works for our readers. Because even the most scholarly of historical works should not be dry and boring, we emphasize readability and visually-compelling presentation in order to make your journey back in time a stimulating adventure.  

Experience – In today’s publishing world, a press must be about communicating ideas, not merely about printing books or DVDs. We encourage you to return to our website, in particular our blog, time and again. We promise that you will find it to be an ever-growing repository of supplemental training documents and video clips, featured interviews and Q&As with leading researchers and instructors, and free downloadable e-books and translations. As a further bonus, subscribers to our periodic newsletter will receive “sneak peaks” and advance news of new title releases, as well as pre-order discounts and a few other surprises. 

In short, Freelance Academy Press is run by aficionados of Western swordsmanship, for aficionados of the Art of the Sword. We seek to forge an interactive, on-going relationship between reader, author and publisher that is well beyond the model of a traditional press.  We invite you to come to www.freelanceacademypress.com now and join us on this odyssey. 

Freelance Academy Press: Interact with History

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Desperately Needed Brewing Day

I haven't had the opportunity to make anything in a while, so thankfully, since berries won't last forever, the day had to happen—and it did.

The basics:

Batch 1: "Carlsonberry Melomel" (black raspberry melomel)
9.5 lbs Black Raspberries
10 lbs Honey
Spring Water
Yeast = Premier Cuvee
OG = 1.062 @ 70°
Total volume at pitching: 6 gal.
Notes: Thanks to queenserenity42 and family for the fruit.

Batch 2: "Great Depression Mead" (semi-dry mead)
14.5 oz. Buckwheat Honey
14.5 oz. Black Forest Honey
Spring Water
Yeast = Lalvin 71B-1122
OG = 1.10 @ 70°
Total volume at pitching: .5 gal.
Notes: Test recipe, Honey was a brewing competition prize from a couple years ago (SCA - All Souls).

I don't boil, heat, or pre-sulfite
I do use acid blend, tannin, and plenty of yeast nutrient
The rest of my process is secret

I'm hoping for a light, crisp, and relatively dry mead from the berries, and a strong, complexly flavored one from the test batch. We'll see what happens with both of these—I'm usually pretty confident when it comes to my mead making skills, but today's work was done on about 6 hours of sleep total since Thursday night. For now, we wait.

I also really need to figure out a way to get back to making beer, too. Our kitchen sucks, and I don't have a lot of space or outdoors area, so my options are limited. I'm also very picky when it comes to beer making equipment and procedure (much more so than when I make mead), so "good enough" for me usually isn't. It's definitely time to research and get to it, though.

Now, time to quench the thirst and kill off some braincells, so hopefully I sleep tonight.
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Long Time No Post - Throwing Someone Overboard

Thanks in part to

loreleiskye and mairegirl , their posts yesterday reminded me just why I have this journal, and why I should try to get back to using it again.

I blame my lack of posting mostly to a combination of Facebook, and having a rather spectacularly bad year, where the lows have managed to thoroughly steam-roll the few extraordinary highs there have been. It’s made it rather difficult to muster the energy—or willpower—necessary to write, except for the typical short and often cryptic one-liner “sound bites” of life that Facebook thrives on. Should I ever start to Tweet—send help immediately—I’ll have completely lost it.

I’ve weathered the majority of the storm, though, and although there are a couple menacing clouds still out there that could potentially do a lot of damage, I’m hoping for the best.

One small ray of somewhat sickly light through the clouds recently, however, and the one triggered by L’s & M’s posts to write about, was making the very difficult decision to finally throw a toxic crewmember of my own over the side, a few weeks ago.

As a good captain, I did my best to parlay, though, offering the benefit of the doubt; extending a hand; reexamining my own place and understanding; looking the other way; etc., but in the end, the hurt of the original betrayal of my trust, the complete lack of honest remorse or regret, the continued lies, and the attempts to manipulate and coerce, made any reconciling utterly impossible.

I’ve never done this as plainly before, either, but after struggling with it for some time, I opted for being direct and completely honest, and told the person exactly what my thoughts and observations were, why so, and goodbye—with good wishes and a hope to someday get a clue.

From their four word response, however, I doubt that will ever happen.

I hated doing it, I hated having to do it, and I don’t ever want to have to do it again, but quite literally, like the cliché, it felt like a weight was removed from my shoulders—I should have done this much sooner.

This person proved themselves a liar, dishonest, discourteous, rude, greatly self-serving, and insidiously manipulative—and continues to be so—admittedly. Charisma is a dangerous tool in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, due to associations, the person will still be “around,” and there is always the potential for fall out, or even continued subversive behavior on their part, but it had to be done.

Life is just too short to suffer a fuck-wit like this.

Anyway, I hope to find the time and energy to post here again more frequently, and thanks again to

loreleiskye and mairegirl , for inadvertently clearing out the cobwebs for me—I really needed to get this off my chest.