The most fulfilling part of being a swordmaker is seeing the look of wonder and joy in a person's eyes when they pick up a really nice, historically accurate sword that you have made. It doesn't matter if the person is feeling the pleasure of a great sword for the first time, or if they are an experienced swordsman, the visceral appreciation of a sword that "just feels great" shines through. I had the pleasure to see this experience many times over last weekend when I brought a couple of dozen Arms and Armor swords and daggers to sell at SoCal Swordfight. Orange County being some distance from our home base in Minneapolis, this was the first time we'd brought a bunch of weapons to an event on the West Coast for many years.
Although most folks who have been involved in HEMA/WMA for a long time are familiar with our work, many others who have taken up the sword in the past decade or so might not previously have handled our weapons. Even folks who were familiar with our product from years ago are often pleasantly surprised to find that, as our knowledge and skill have grown, so the quality and elegance of our products have increased apace. We love the things we make, and it's really exciting to be able to share them with new friends, and to show old friends what we've been making lately.
We also had the pleasure of lending a prototype XVIIIC longsword to the organizers of the tournament for use in the cutting competitions (stay tuned for an announcement about this new product later this spring). It performed well and we were able to get some feedback on its dynamics that will be useful as we finalize the design. The organizers put together a really interesting set of cutting feats, including this speed cutting challenge for the top competitors. The swordsman on the far right is using the sword in question.
Everyone at the event was awesome and we had a great time hanging out and talking swords with the folks at SoCal. The folks who put this event together did a great job making sure everything went smoothly, and they fostered a great atmosphere of collaborative competition. The classes, lectures, roundtables, and seminars the organizers put together were well-considered and topnotch, and the level of competition and sportsmanship in evidence were first rate.
From all of us at Arms and Armor, congratulations to the competitors, and a big thank you to the organizers of this awesome event. Also, thanks to our good friend (and awesome sword fighter) Rebecca Glass for taking, and letting us use the banner photo at the top of this page!
If you are organizing an event where you would like us to be vendors just drop us an email and we will take it under advisement. Of course, there are a lot of cost factors to consider when we have to travel to an event, but we can't consider it if we don't know about it. If you are attending some tournaments this year you can meet up with us and chat swords at Icebreaker Open April 24-26 2020, Combatcon July 30-August 2 2020, Krump Pow! 5, at the Badger State Games in Wisconsin, and maybe at a couple of other places as well.