As of today, the club is celebrating our 1 year anniversary! We opened our doors on the 19th of July 2017, and so today marks a full year of being open.
I am delighted with the progress of the club. We have achieved so much over the last 12 months, and we are very well set to achieve even more in the coming year. My intention for the club was to focus on the 16th century German common fencing and use that as my approach to helping people develop a solid set of basics before moving onto any more complicated material. We have done exactly that, and several of our club members have developed some exceptionally good body structure, cutting mechanics, sense of timing and distance, and have a good baseline of skills for beginning to work with the more complicated Liechtenauer glosses.
Another of my goals was to finish the first year of the club by having an assistant coaching team able to run the club sessions if I happen to be away. It was with great delight that at our session yesterday evening, I could promote the following individuals to assistant instructor status in the club: James Roberts, Ben Davies, Marc Smith, and Alex Roberts. They have been learning about coaching and have been practising these skills on a monthly basis since January – now they are quite ready to coach at the club, and you should feel quite happy to ask them for advice to help with your own practice!
My goals for the coming year are to continue increasing the number of people who are learning HEMA with us, and to improve the stability of our membership over the long term. There will be some announcements in the near future about membership plans, and there will probably be some changes to the prices to help things be more sustainable – this will also include a lower priced option to help those who are unable to attend as regularly or who are on tighter budgets.
I look forward to having another year of playing with swords with you all!