Here at Arms and Armor we really value helping out our communities when we can. In addition to prize donations to recent HEMA events like Gesellin Fechten 2022 and the Badger State Games 2022 (we donated custom sparring daggers to both), we also support non-sword related charities when we can. A couple weeks ago we teamed up with the Center for Blade Arts and the Oakeshott Institute to make an auction donation to benefit the Minnesota Spay and Neuter Association (MN SNAP), a low cost veterinary clinic serving impoverished communities in and around Minnesota. Arms and Armor donated a Wallace Ballock Dagger set, because, you know, neutering, ballocks... The Center for Blade Arts Donated a two hour private sword fighting lesson for four, and The Oakeshott Institute donated a two hour interactive experience for eight at which Dr. Nathan Clough will talk folks through the history of European swords and let them handle selected pieces from the collection. This combined auction item raised almost $2000 to help Minnesota communities and their pets.
The Wallace Ballock Dagger set, helping pets get de-ballocked since 1355...
On Black Friday we will be supporting a really fun event at the Center for Blade Arts in Minneapolis, Black and Blue Friday. This is an annual event held by our local HEMA club where we open up the doors at 9am the day after Thanksgiving and invite the community to come down and spar, hang out, drink coffee, and try on armor. We ask for a $25 donation for each attendee, the proceeds of which all go to support a local organization that provides services to folks experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. This year we will be donating a $200 gift certificate that will be given to whoever donates the most to the charity.
We aren't always able to support every worthy cause and event that's out there, but we are grateful to be able to help out when we can. So, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, we urge you to go out and engage in some random sword-related acts of kindness.
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint, Western Martial Arts Workshop, and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985