The Valkyries are going to Swordsquatch!

Valkyrie WMAA is going to be closed from Thursday, September 5th until Saturday, September 8th, and it’s because a whole bunch of our staff and students are heading south of the border to participate in Swordsquatch 2019. This weekend-long event is one of the keystones of the Pacific Northwest’s HEMA community, and members of Valkyrie WMAA have participated since its inception in 2016.

This year, we’ve got a crew of fighters competing in the Women’s Longsword, Beginner’s Nylon Longsword, and Open Steel Longsword tournaments, with expert coaching from Courtney Rice. We’ll also be teaching the following workshops:

  • The Violence Ladder: A Stress Testing Model for Realistic Training (Friday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm)

    Join Kaja Sadowski for a hands-on introduction to stress testing as an essential component of training. You’ll get a feel for what adrenaline does to your mind and body, and learn how to work with it safely in a controlled training environment. We’ll cover the principles of stress tests and scenario training, how to think about the violence that you’re training for, and how to build trust and safety while challenging yourself and your training partner.

  • The Joy of Rapier: How to Find Pleasure with Only One Hand on Your Weapon (Friday, 3:30pm – 5:30pm)

    Randy Packer will introduce you to the soul of the Valkyrie approach to rapier. You’ll cover the fundamentals of how to kill, how to own space, how to move, how to deal with opposing blades, and how to practice with a rapier. You’ll touch on elements of understanding from Marozzo, Capo Ferro, and Viedma’s Destreza in order to find your own path to excellence with the ultimate sword.

  • Adaptive Training: Making Your Technique Work with the Body You Have (Saturday, 11am – 1pm)

    Spend some time getting into the body mechanics of your least favourite actions and positions with Kaja Sadowski. You’ll start with some internal self-assessment tools that you can use to figure out why a particular position or movement doesn’t feel good; learn how to make small mechanical adjustments that can make you more comfortable and effective, without compromising the tactical intent or accuracy of a technique; and we’ll troubleshoot some specific problems suggested by students.

  • Making HEMA Awesome for Everyone (Saturday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm)

    Kaja Sadowski will be joining Beth Hammer (LONIN) and Isaiah Baden-Payne (Maryland KDF/Mid Atlantic Society for Historic Swordsmanship) for a panel discussion on diversity, inclusion, and community-building. Our panelists will talk about their experiences building diverse, welcoming, and fun training communities. What worked? What didn’t? What was the process of culture-building actually like? You’ll come away with tools for looking at your own training environment and making it better, and with some great stories.

  • Stabby Knife Time with Team Valkyrie (Sunday, 11am – 1pm)

    All of our instructors are coming together for this final workshop! Each coach will introduce you to an aspect of short-blade fighting that exemplifies their approach to the duel. You’ll get a lightning-fast introduction to six distinct martial solutions to the same problem, get to workshop and refine your favourites, and then pit them against each other in controlled sparring. This is a collaborative, play-oriented workshop that will build your understanding of the essential elements of every knife fight, and train your ability to adapt and learn under pressure. Spend a couple of hours immersed in the endless possibilities that are available when it comes to stabbing people!

If you’re planning to attend Swordsquatch, come and find us! If you’re not, maybe this list of events will inspire you to give this awesome event a try next year.

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