Trip Report: Capitol Clash DC HEMA Open

I'm back from my first East Coast swordplay event, and it was awesome! When I got the invitation to teach at the 2019 DC HEMA Open last summer, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew that it was a big part of the local tournament scene and that it would be their first year … Continue reading Trip Report: Capitol Clash DC HEMA Open

Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

Last weekend's big event for Valkyrie WMAA, Big Gay Sword Day, was created in a moment of frustration. Someone had posted in one of the biggest online HEMA forums and asked a simple question: were there any HEMA events aimed at members of the LGBTQ community? The resulting conversation thread was a shitshow. People scoffed … Continue reading Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

On Talent

Kaja demonstrating sword and buckler, 2010

I've had a few conversations lately about the corrosiveness of emphasizing talent or "giftedness" in a physical instruction context. Something I've encountered a lot is a weird sort of predestination framework: folks born with "natural talent" will be good at a thing, and folks without it will just struggle and flail forever. It's a really … Continue reading On Talent