2021 Update

Hi All, I wanted to share an update on what has been happening at WSG HQ, lately.

Under New Management

First off, as you probably read in previous Facebook updates, Sasha and Masha are stepping down from running WSG this year. They’ve done amazing work running WSG almost singlehanded over the past few years, and I just want to say thanks for everything they’ve done for WSG. You’ll still see them (and maybe baby Anya) at sparring from time to time, but they won’t be running the group anymore.

That means that the admin has largely fallen to yours truly (and anyone who’s arm I can twist to help out!). I’ll be doing my best to keep WSG running as the great place for sparring practice that we have come to know and love.

COVID

First on the list is reopening after COVID. Right now the only indoor martial arts activity that is permitted indoors is partnered drills. This is Phase 1 of a four phase Return to Play plan under the DCMS rules. The phases for indoor training roughly outline as;

  • Phase 0: Solo Drills only
  • Phase 1: Partnered Drills
  • Phase 2: Sparring
  • Phase 3: Tournaments

Currently, we are in Phase 1, with no date announced when we will get to Phase 2. WSG will be opening again once we get to Phase 2.

When we do reopen we will operate on a pre-booking system, meaning you won’t be able to pay on the door or after a session. Watch this space for updates.

That’s it for now. I’m going to try and use this blog to post more updates as they happen. Feel free to chuck questions in the comments

-Dan Powell

May – A Busy Fencing Hall and More Viking Gold

Eleven of us attended on Saturday for a very energetic and fun session including case of swords, longsword, smallsword, sidesword, sabre, and sidesword & buckler.

A contingent, as ever, also attended the Norway HEMA Open 2017 held in Oslo hosted by Fektklubben Frie Duellister; entering women’s longsword, men’s longsword and open rapier & dagger. Huge congratulations to Pim and Sasha who fought each other in the final to win Gold and Silver respectively, and best wishes for a swift recovery to Michela who took an injury whilst competing.

The next event is the May Melee in Bath, followed by the Horned Crown in Wexford and  the Sweden Open in Kristinehalm. These are respectively the second leg of the IHFL, and the final leg of the NHFL where the overall winners of each category will be announced. Will WSG be in store for more prizes? Watch this space.

Bartitsu Sparring Competition

In November the Bartitsu Society announced:

the first international Bartitsu sparring video competition, for prizes of up to US$1000!  The contest is open to martial artists and combat athletes of any style(s) and its object is to help fulfil the Bartitsu Society’s mission: “to continue the legacy of martial arts pioneer E.W. Barton-Wright”.

WSG regulars decided to set about each other with canes, in the prescribed style, and over two sessions of friendly yet antagonistic violence compiled the following:

We are happy to say that WE WON!

Medals and Stabbing New Friends

A busy weekend, but let’s recap last weekend first of all.The eventual WSG medallists at the Helsinki Open were:

  • Sasha: Gold Rapier and Dagger
  • Piermarco: Silver Rapier and Dagger
  • Michela: Gold Women’s Longsword

Congrats also to James and Masha, who represented the group and fought valiantly. WSG is now #2 in the Nordic League’s Club Ranking, which is pretty awesome for being in the wrong geographic area!

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This weekend we were visited on Saturday by Jonathan Burke from the Lionheart HEMA club in Taiwan, who’s on a tour of the UK. He fought almost everyone attending at least once. He took his (literal) bumps with good grace, too, after in-advisably closing on our pet Ringen-Rancor.

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Several WSG regulars (Peter, Jamie, Claudia) journeyed to the home club of semi-regulars Tea and Merlin – Cambridge HEMA. Jack Gassmann led a seminar of sparring games followed by several hours of sparring. Fun *and* educational!

Bucklerthon! Also, SwordFish

A bit late for the website update, but a bunch of WSG attendees went to SwordFish. Congratulations are especially due to those who made it to the livestream: Piermarco Terminiello, with a bronze in rapier and dagger, Jack Gassmann with the technical prize in sword and buckler, on a knackered leg to boot, and Peter Smallridge with a wrestling heavyweight silver, and Michela D’Orlando who came fourth in the women’s longsword.

Draping ourselves in the flag

Back in Surrey, there was the Broadwater Bucklerthon, a rather more local event featuring both a novice nylon and invitational steel sidesword and buckler tournament. It’s great to see such effort put into building competitors here in the UK, and there were some familiar faces on the podiums.

And of course, WSG sessions continue in its usual slot. 11am, Colombo Centre. Bring swords!