Frequently Asked Questions


If your question isn’t here, contact us to get it answered.


Medieval Swordplay? For real?

Yes, I am for real and yes, you can really learn this.


How did you learn this?

Through diligent research and interpretation of historical manuscripts and practical experimentation with the information. The system I teach is based on my own research and development, but taken from historical sources.


What are your qualifications?

There is no governing body giving certification in Historical European Martial Arts (yet). I have my Community Coach certification for foil fencing and some background in Jiu-Jitsu. I also have a B.A. in History. I have been teaching Swordplay since 1998, and have run workshops at international events.


Is it safe?

My classes are as safe as or safer than most sports. Every physical activity includes an element of risk, but we take measures to reduce those risks as much as possible. We use blunt steel swords or dense foam swords, wear protective clothing and masks. Kids use lightweight foam swords. Competitive freeplay is the highest-risk activity we engage in, and students participating in freeplay are pretty much guaranteed to get an occasional bruise or scrape. It is also not a required part of our instruction.

Injuries are extremely rare. We take active steps to manage and avoid as much risk as possible.

All of that said, students must accept the inherent risk involved in training with swords.


How do I sign up?

New students can take the Introduction to Swordplay workshop in the first class of the month or at one of our open houses. All new students start at the Novice level. Young Knights and Warrior Princesses can sign up for the open house Intro to Swordplay workshop or they can join the youth class with the Free Trial Young Knights and Warrior Princesses workshop in the first class of the month


Do you teach kids too? Do you teach adults too?

I have classes for all ages from 8 years to adult. Check the age range on the schedule for each class before signing up. Parents may also participate in youth classes with their children if they wish.


Do you do parties for kids? Do you do parties for adults?

We are unable to offer parties at this time. Please contact us if you have a special request.


Do you do school presentations?

I love to do school presentations for any age. For more information, contact us.


Are there competitions for this?

There are many competitions around the world. However, since there is no unified governing body, the rules and safety requirements for each event are different. We often compete informally within our organization. Some students participate in tournaments run by other groups or schools, but Ottawa Swordplay has no control over such events or their rules or safety standards.

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