New Year, new look, new post

Welcome back to the Wrathful Peasant, a blog focussing on the HEMA scene in Ireland.

It has been a long, long while since I last posted on this blog. When I started it up last year I tied it very closely to the IHFL events and when it finished I was left in a bit of a creative limbo. I wasn’t sure what else to write about and consequently didn’t write about anything. Well, that is going to change and I will be getting back onto the metaphorical horse here and now.

First of all you may have noticed a new look to the page and a new logo/mascot type of thing. It was designed by the mighty talented Mike Nolan of the Cork Blademasters to represent a ‘Wrathful Peasant’; I think he does the job very well.

This year I’m not so sure I can make it to all the league events, non-sword wielding life will be intervening (in a positive way mind you). So to begin this year I am going to be concentrating on club development. I don’t necessarily want massive expansion of numbers but an improvement in the quality and value I give and get from the Wrathful Peasants club. As I have had said before I’m one of the fortunate few who live in a rural setting and yet has access to a committed HEMA club. I know there are many out there who aren’t so lucky; and I would be letting them down a little if I didn’t make the most of what I have.

We have a nice little hall, doesn’t cost much and is available two nights a week for the swinging of swords. We have a core group of people who want to come down and learn to fence, share their time and skills and enjoy the Art. Between us we have accumulated a range of equipment, weapons, safety gear and even a custom made sword rack. The miracles of cheap printing, talented researchers/translators and the interwebs has provided us with a plethora of study materials. We have matching t-shirts and patches, which is of paramount importance as we all know. Basically we’ve got ourselves a club and we aren’t afraid to use it!

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A wonderful rack it is too, all welded outta scrap…

I think I can offer more and by doing so I aim to get more out of the club. I have a number of ideas on what to do and I’ll be sharing details of them with you lucky souls here. My plans for 2018 are as follows:

  1. Introduce a greater mix of ‘drilling’ to the club. I’ve talked about it before but we/I have a tendency to stagnate if all we do is spar. I will be spending one session a week doing study, learning and practicing new techniques, but also refreshing and honing the techniques I am already familiar with.
  2. Organise a ‘fight night’ once a month where the results of the sparring matches are recorded and the progress of members tracked. I got the idea from the Cork Blademasters who have an internal league on similar lines. This is the flip side to more drilling; I don’t want to lose a competitive feel to what we are doing as I feel there are benefits to be realised.
  3. Become a better Longsword fencer, vague and very general I know but that is the overarching goal. Learning new techniques, being better at the ones I already know, improving my tactical understanding of my opponents and not getting hit as often as I do.
  4. Do more document study, I’m a bit academic in my thinking but I haven’t been the best at hitting the sword manuals. I’ve started a couple of study projects but never really stuck at them and I will reverse that this year.

There are the seeds of other plans as well but as my wife reminds me, I am supposed to be building a cabin to live in this year too. So I have to be realistic in what I can do in HEMA. I have a hankering for small swords, Lignitzer Sword & Buckler and there are a couple of in house events to organise and participate in. Not to mention the League events I want to go to and the myriad of  other great fencing opporunities that the year will present. Verily, my plate runneth over.

The first of our events is The Quickening – There can be only a few of us! It is coming up next week. It is intended to be a little warmer for the winter, Longsword tournament on Saturday, Sabres on Sunday. In between we’ll be eating a massive curry, drinking, dancing and talking about HEMA long into the night. Details are up on the FaceSpace if you want to check it out.

After that the the Féile na Gaiscígh 2018 is rushing towards us in its new slot of mid February. It’s a great event really, excellent workshops, quality fencers and an excellent chance to mingle and chat with the community. It looks like the Wrathful Peasants will have a bit of a cohort there this time around, well three of us, potentially, at the moment.  Having a team around you is a great buzz both socially and for support in the tournaments. I hope you can make it, Dublin is a great city and it would be cool to catch up with you all there!

There you go, a few plans for the Wrathful Peasant in 2018. You can find me through the Facebook page and/or the comments section below. I do love to hear from you so if you have anything to say drop me a line.

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