Up to our necks in it

Ripped a cow in half yesterday. Tore into it like a pack of velociraptors. Sectioned it off, scattered it amongst us, cut it to shape. Started with half a cow actually. It’s skin, to be a little more honest. A full side of tooling leather. Six gorgets for the class, to start. After that maybe a set of demi/clamshell gauntlets for everyone. Some of the students of Valkyrie WMA gathered in our living room for our first armour making session. We started out with leather because it’s a little less intimidating to begin with, and it’s easier to see how small shaping differences can have a big effect. Leather is squishy enough that you can mold it by hand and see how it feels on the body. You can do that with metal, but you have to spend time building hammer skill first. It’s tempting to take short cuts with…

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Crunchy bits

There has always been one sure-fire way to get me shouting at a movie screen. It’s that scene were the knight in shining armour shows up…sans gorget. Plate armour without a gorget is like pants without a crotch. Almost as bad was in “Game of Thrones” when we see a training scene for recruits. Full contact weapons training, and they only wear breastplates for protection? It must be a land of magic…no concussions, no broken fingers… Buying armour is a big and scary step for western martial artists. It’s not just that it’s expensive, it’s that it’s mysterious…and rare. As a consequence people tend to look for modern solutions, or wind up with armour that’s little better than decorative. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can chose good, functional, comfortable and affordable armour, without too much effort. Affordable armour is, of course, relative. If you start out playing…

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