2 Affordable Arming Swords

2 Affordable Arming Swords

As my focus steadily shifted towards I.33, I decided it was time to pick up some quality arming swords. This coincided with an opportunity to sell off some recording equipment, and I suddenly had $500 to blow on swords. At about $230 a piece, the Hanwei Tinker Pearce Blunted Single...Read more
The Right Tool for the Job

The Right Tool for the Job

In my day job, I work for a company that sells everything from beginner guitars to the gear you'd need to outfit a professional recording studio or full-scale performance venue, and one of the things I learned early on is that there's no substitution for the right tool. Sure, you...Read more
How to Build a Hardhat Mask Back

How to Build a Hardhat Mask Back

One of the questions I get asked the most about SCA C&T and WMA fencing is how to create rigid back-of-the-head protection on a budget. It's actually pretty easy to convert a cheap hard hat into perfectly acceptable back-of-head (BoH) protection, and while my method uses a few common workshop...Read more
Creating Mental Space

Creating Mental Space

One of the things I took with me when I got seriously involved with fencing in the SCA is a background in Oriental martial arts. I studied and taught Shaolin Kempo Karate, a discipline that, like most commercialized oriental martial arts, overemphasized drilling and under-emphasized practical application. What's more, when...Read more
Stillness of the Combative Mind

Stillness of the Combative Mind

We've all been there—you're in an argument with someone, and there's a lull where neither of you are talking. You feel like someone has to say something or you'll just sit there staring at each other as the tension mounts to an insufferable degree. Before you know it, you're babbling—just...Read more
Being a Serious Beginner

Being a Serious Beginner

Back in late 2014, I received an award which was, at the time, the highest form of recognition for fencing in the SCA's Middle Kingdom (Indiana and the states surrounding it). It was and still is a deeply humbling honor, but one that came with a certain weight of responsibility....Read more
Welcome to Sword Geek

Welcome to Sword Geek

Hello, my name is Phil, and I'm a swordoholic. I've been fencing in the SCA since the late '90s and actively teaching on and off for many years. Nonetheless, I always felt there was something missing from the strange mutt fencing I learned and saw all around me. But all...Read more