The Sword Guy Podcast
Finding your niche, with Mila Jędrzejewska

Finding your niche, with Mila Jędrzejewska

August 5, 2022

Mila Jędrzejewska runs Audatia Creative, a professional services company for businesses in the historical martial arts space. In this conversation, we hear what led Mila to start up her own business, why she focuses on our particular niche, and how Guy and Mila are working together.

Mila describes her experiences of sexism in the sword world and racism in the business world and we discuss the privilege of being able to work in a fulfilling job that you love.

For the question, ‘What would you do with £1 million to improve historical martial arts worldwide?’ Guy gives his own idea of what he would like to do with the money. Would you be interested in a dedicated historical martial arts online platform, a “Swordbook”, if you will? Guy’s vision is a not-for-profit online space with zero tolerance for trolling, mansplaining, disrespectful behaviour of any kind, where you can talk about swords (or watch cat videos) with fellow swordy folk. If you follow Guy on social media, look out for a poll in Instagram Stories on the subject.

Also, as you will hear, Mila is looking for someone to join her team, so if you have graphic design and social media experience, and you are mad about swords, get in touch with her: https://audatiacreative.com/contact/

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Tameshigiri Training with Asante Lawla

Tameshigiri Training with Asante Lawla

July 29, 2022

Asante Lawla is a London-based inventor, corrective exercise specialist and a martial artist who is currently working on an edge alignment device to help people learn to cut better. He practises an Indian battlefield martial art called Shastar Vidiya, which translates as ‘the science of weapons’. Finding that getting hold of the materials needed for cutting training to be expensive, time-consuming and messy, he developed a prototype for a new type of tameshigiri trainer. It uses lasers attached to your sword which makes marks on a target so you can see your edge alignment – something you cannot do with tatami mats or water bottles. Asante has a crowdfunding campaign that runs until the end of August 2022. See here for all the details of the tameshigiri trainer, how it works and the status of the campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tameshigiri-trainer#/

https://vimeo.com/721797796

The yoga practice Asante refers to early on in the episode is this one: https://www.shastarvidiya.org/teaching/sanjam_kiriya_variyam.html

Asante’s Shastar Vidiya Brixton Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ShastarVidiyaBrixton

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Combat Theory and the Incas, with John Lennox

Combat Theory and the Incas, with John Lennox

July 22, 2022

Dr John Lennox is one of the founders of the International Swordsmanship and Martial Arts Convention in Lansing, which moved to Vegas to become CombatCon. He's an instructor with the Historical Martial Studies Society and with the School of Two Swords.

John has a Ph.D. in the relationship between stage combat and personal combat from the late 16th century onwards, and we talk about stage combat throughout history and how actors were trained to fight on stage. For more on this, see John’s book, Stage Combat Swordplay from Shakespeare to the Present. The actor in Shakespeare’s troupe who was a master fencer was the famous clown Richard Tarleton, who was given his master’s status on Oct. 23rd, 1587 by the London Masters of Defence (Berry, 33).  Sloane’s MSS 2530 states:

                        Mtarlton was a lowed a mthe xxiijth

                        of octobere vnder henrye nayllore mr

                        1587 /          -ordenary grome off her

                        majvstes chamber” (Berry, 53)

Changing the subject somewhat, we also talk about Rumi Maki, the ancient Inca martial art. John takes us through the five elements of this Peruvian ‘stone fist’ system, but how ancient is it, really? How can we even tell whether any modern interpretation of a historical martial art is the real deal?

John’s second book is on Combat Theory. In our conversation he takes us through his thoughts on breaking down melee combat into its component parts. You can find John’s book here: Combat Theory: the Foundations of the Fight.

This is the podcast episode with Dori Coblentz where she proposes using Guy’s imaginary millions on childcare at events: episode 67.

 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

 

Sword Business, with Jo York

Sword Business, with Jo York

July 15, 2022

Jo York is a provost of the Hotspur School of Defence, which is based in the north east of England, and an entrepreneur in her work life, as well as an avid listener of this show.

Jo talks about her home town of Knaresborough, with its annual Bed Race. There are pictures here: https://www.bedrace.co.uk/gallery/2022-race

And this is the fabulous Yorkshire-accented raven at Knaresborough castle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf42vpQMJ9o

Jo works with start-up businesses and has started her own businesses too, so we talk about what makes a good idea for a viable enterprise and how to go about it. The book Guy mentions is Don’t Trust Your Gut, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz and the book Jo recommends is The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers and Learn If Your Business is a Good Idea when Everyone is Lying to You, by Rob Fitzpatrick.

Check out Jo’s cutting square website at: https://cuttingsquare.com/ This interactive cutting square tells you where to aim your next blow. There is a left-handed and right-handed option, and you can set the tempo.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

Yoghurt Pot Armour with Kin Chan

Yoghurt Pot Armour with Kin Chan

July 8, 2022

Kin Chan is a landscape designer, a cosplayer, and a historical martial arts practitioner, who lives in Ontaria, Canada.

In this episode we discuss making things at all ends of the scale, from the tiny (watchmaking) to the huge (landscape design), with cosplay and armour in between.

Kin takes us through the incredible amount of work and craftsmanship that goes into creating costumes for cosplay conventions, and we talk about the similarities between cosplay and historical re-enactment. We also geek out about our favourite historical armour. You can find Maximilian’s flying blasting plates, designed with help from clockmakers, at around 10:31 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY_RldJvCWs

As promised, you can find photos of Kin’s workspace, his Beserker armour and Monster Hunter armour on the blog page here: https://swordschool.com/podcast/yoghurt-pot-armour-with-kin-chan/

There is an Instagram video with more detailed views of the armour here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVDvjbbjH-f/ and this is the Wanpans Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/wanpansarmoury/

This is the link to the David Ito episode we talk about towards the end of our conversation: https://swordschool.com/podcast/fire-eating-and-fencing-episode25/

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Stretto and Surgery, with Elizabeth Scott

Stretto and Surgery, with Elizabeth Scott

July 1, 2022

Elizabeth Scott is a historical martial arts and armoured combat practitioner on foot and on horseback, as well as being a surgeon. In our conversation we cover the obvious risks to your fingers when taking part in armoured combat, which could be highly problematic in Elizabeth’s profession. We talk about the mindset needed for both swordsmanship, surgery, and flying a plane, where failure can mean death. How can these skills be taught in the safest way?

We also have a discussion about ‘stretto’ and what Fiore meant by the term. Guy explains his interpretation and why, according to him, stretto is not just a description of measure.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

You’ve been holding your lightsaber all wrong, with Kyle Rowling

You’ve been holding your lightsaber all wrong, with Kyle Rowling

June 24, 2022

Kyle Rowling is a fight master, director of the Action Acting Academy, and he is also the man who taught Samuel L Jackson how to use a lightsaber. In this episode we hear about how Kyle became Christopher Lee’s body double, the real ending to the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and what it’s like to have your own action figure and Lego minifigure.

Kyle has body doubled all the Sith characters in Star Wars, even General Grievous, and alongside legendary stunt coordinator, Nick Gillard, taught Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen how to wield a lightsaber. And yes, you’re holding it wrong.

Listen in for Kyle’s incredible stories of what it is like to work behind and in front of the camera on Star Wars.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Training Nerds in the Desert, with Skye Hilton

Training Nerds in the Desert, with Skye Hilton

June 17, 2022

Skye Hilton is a historical martial arts instructor and fitness trainer, best known as The Nerd Trainer, who lives in West Texas, hundreds of miles from the nearest sword school, so when she moved out there from California she started her own school to find people to play with: www.theswordschool.org/.

In this episode we talk about the best exercises people can do before starting sword classes, imposter syndrome, “fendente bots”, and taking part in “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death,” a US History network series. Forged in Fire is an obstacle course of increasingly crazy things you have to cut, break, bash, stab and get to the end in order to progress to a harder obstacle course. Here are some photos of Skye with her chopper, cutting through dry bamboo and even a PVC pipe filled with gravel: https://swordschool.com/podcast/training-nerds-in-the-desert-with-skye-hilton/

We also have a good chat about sharpening and how sharp medieval swordsmen were able to get their blades, so this is a good episode for fellow blade sharpening enthusiasts!

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Pain is the best teacher, ideally somebody else’s. With Steaphen Fick

Pain is the best teacher, ideally somebody else’s. With Steaphen Fick

June 10, 2022

Today’s episode is with Steaphen Fick, who is a historical martial arts instructor and a fight choreographer, and also an old comrade in arms since we met in Edinburgh in the nineties. In fact, in this episode you will hear about a certain naked escapade involving swords in Finland in 1999. Click here for a picture of us, fully clothed, from the same trip.

Steaphen founded the Davenriche European Martial Arts School in Santa Clara, California in 2000 and it is still going 22 years later. We will be talking about how he managed that, and how he has built it up into having 8700 square feet of space to include swords, archery, axe throwing, and even airsoft. There is a lot in this episode about running a business, which would be of interest to anyone thinking of setting up their own school.

Academically, Steaphen is perhaps best known for his interpretive work on Joseph Swetnam. Swetnam may have been a horrible man, but he had useful footwork for when you’re standing on a moving deck of a ship and a different style from the Italians of the same period. We talk about how one would manage Swetnam’s 12 foot lunge, and here is the link to the Max Your Lunge blog post.

 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

What is a Round Table? With Elizabeth Champion

What is a Round Table? With Elizabeth Champion

June 3, 2022

Elizabeth Champion is an arms and armour historian specialising in high medieval Round Table tournaments and the Merlin legends. She's also a historical fencer, co-founder of Stratford Swords and an ex-cage fighter.

In our conversation we discuss what was a Round Table Tournament. Is it to do with King Arthur, or the arrangement of the tables, or both? If you have come across anything to do with Round Tables in your reading, if you think you might know something, check if it's in Elizabeth’s appendix here: https://swordschool.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Appendix-Round-Tables-of-England-Scotland-and-Wales-1230-1330-E.Champion-Final.pdf If it's already there, Elizabeth already knows about it. And if it isn't there, send it to me and I'll pass it on to her. Let’s crowdsource this and get to the bottom of it!

Elizabeth tells us about her cage fighting days, and the injury she sustained that led to fibromyalgia and chronic pain. She also has autism and ADHD, and is able to give us some useful advice for fellow instructors and practitioners to help make our clubs as inclusive and supportive as possible.

As well as all that, listen to this episode for top tips like why you need to put a sock on the end of a stick, how to make an axe safe to carry around the streets using just a brown paper bag, how to bear to watch terrible sword fights in films, and how many Dyson vacuum cleaners a cuirass is worth.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App