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Chicago 1999 Western Martial Arts Workshop

   In the modern day, more than ever before, we have massive access to information.  It is because so many of us from all over the world can work together that it is possible today to study the Western Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts in the depth that we have been able to in recent years.  The internet and video give us so many tools to comunicate with, they usher in new possibilities of exploration; but only if we are willing to drop pretense and stylistic blinders and honestly interact.  The 21st Century is about working together, and in 1999 the Chicago Sword Guild set out to prove that we could gather everyone together to play...and we could all have fun, learn, and share ideas to promote the Western Arts as a whole!

    I brought a camera for the 3 days and promptly left it in my bag as I taught, trained, fell, flew, drank a few beers and was even allowed to sleep - otherwise I'd have lot's of exciting pictures to share with you.  Luckily David Cvet of the AEMMA (back row, left) convinced a curious onlooker to take this photo when a few of us were out on the town, so I'd know I was there (front right, wearing the nice shirt).  Behind me, surrounded by all the ladies, is John Kovacks of the Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts, and next to me is Mark Rector of the CSG.  Mike May, also of Alliance (front, left) is seen in mid-laugh.  Behind him is Christian Darce of the HACA in Texas and next to him is Greg Mele of the CSG, the mad organizer of this event!  Hiding behind John Lennox (white shirt, center) is Chris Umbs of the Martinez Academy of Arms.  There were a bunch more instructors there who are sadly not in this photo, and a passel of great folks representing dozens of other disciplines, such as the SCA, Stage / Theater Combat, modern fencing and a number of Asian martial arts as well...and guess what?  We all got along just fine, thanks!

This was such a huge success that it's going to happen again in 2000 - this time in Toronto!

    That's right, the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA) is going to be hosting the Second Annual Western Martial Arts Worship 2000!  This is going to be an event unlike any other, with a prestigious line up of instructors from around the world.  Never before have so many key players from so many organizations come together to talk, train, laugh, and share the dream we all have - to see the Western Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts flourish once again as a complete martial tradition.

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