Episode 7

Mounted combat, and writing books, with Jennifer Landels

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Show Notes:

This episode of The Sword Guy podcast is a conversation with Jennifer Landels.

Regular readers of this blog will have heard about my foray into mounted combat with her here.

She also has the distinction of being the only writer to guest-post on this blog: you can find her article here.

Jennifer Landels is the founder and head of Academie Duello’s Mounted Combat Program which operates out of Cornwall Ridge Farm in Langley BC. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions, and has since been invited to Germany, France, and the USA to spread the joy of combining pointy objects with thousand-pound animals with minds of their own.

You can find her mounted combat school Academie Cavallo here, her novel Allaigna’s Song here, and Pulp Literature Press here.

GW: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the show. This is Guy Windsor, also known as the Sword Guy. And I’m here today with Jen Landels who, amongst other things, is the editor of Pulp Literature, author of the novel Allaigna’s Song. She runs Academie Cavallo, which is basically a mounted combat school outside Vancouver. And if you can think of anything cooler than that I do not know what it is. So without further ado, hello Jen and welcome to the show.

JL: I am really happy to be here.

GW: So, Jen, you’re in Vancouver at the moment?

JL: Yes, just outside in Langley, B.C..

GW: OK, and not holed up in a tiny little apartment, I imagine.

JL: No, I am fortunate enough to live on a twelve acre piece of land with my own stable.

GW: OK. Tell us a bit about that.

JL: Well, I moved here a couple of years ago. We finally bit the bullet, sold our house in the suburbs and bought the Dream Ranch. I run the Academie Duello’s mounted combat programme out of here. And my own school, I’ve launched Academie Cavallo as an offshoot and it’s going to be more of an online school. But the centre itself is a place where people can come and train mounted combat. Once all this Covid nonsense is over, of course.

GW: Sure. Okay. Well, I’ve actually had the pleasure of being set sitting on a horse while you whacked me over the head with a sword. So I have some idea what’s involved, but I’m guessing that my average listener doesn’t. So how would you describe what you actually do?

JL: Well, we teach people everything they need to know to get up on a horse and swing a sword. So we teach horsemanship. We teach riding. And we teach the mounted combat sword skills. So we start by teaching them horsemanship, how to handle, how to groom, because we feel it’s important that you know how to look after your horse and not just get up on a horse that’s already tacked up for you. We teach riding and we teach swordplay from the ground first. So we make sure that people know what they’re doing with a sword before we let them on our horses. And then we bring that all together and we run bi-weekly mounted combat classes for our more advanced students.

GW: OK. I seem to recall when I was over there a few years ago, we actually did some archery on horseback as well.

JL: Yeah, we do. We don’t do that as a regular part of the programme. I do that as workshops, usually about three a year, although again, nothing’s happening this year, but usually about three times a year I get Robert Borsos, who’s a Hungarian archer, and he comes in and runs full day workshops.

GW: I imagine you have to be quite a good rider before you get to join that sort of workshop.

JL: Well, we actually have an option so we can put beginners on horses. We just lead the horses. So our beginner horseback archery workshop, you come out, you learn how to shoot because the Hungarian style is a little bit different from ground archery. Once you’ve done that for about an hour and a half, we give you a quick primer on horse safety and we have a handler for every horse. We are just leading the horses so that you have to worry about nothing except your bow and the target so people can, even if they’ve had no horse experience, get the experience of shooting from horseback.

GW: Which is somewhat more addictive than crack cocaine.

JL: Slightly. And then, of course, if you are a good rider, we can let you off the lead line. You can go on your own at a walk. You can trot. And you can work up to going at a canter, which is the best.

GW: I can imagine. I’ve not shot at the canter. I’ve certainly ridden canter. It’s a damn sight more stable than people might imagine. OK. My experience of being whacked over the head with a sword by you while sitting on a horse was that, because you are so much better rider than I am, your horse would basically be wherever you want it to be, it was easy to get behind me and slice me up like a salami. So would you generally agree that in mounted combat it’s the horsemanship that is the most important single factor?

JL: It is. The ability to ride and to have a good horse is going to give you such a huge advantage over anybody else. That said, we do structure our tournaments sort of at the green spur level, which is our lowest level. We structure them to give less experienced riders a more even playing field. So we put it in a small ring. So it’s like a 15 by 15 metre square. And that limits how much cantering and how much, you know, running around the more experienced riders can do.

GW: OK, so in a confined space, the riding skill is less important?

JL: It’s not that the riding skill’s less important is that you can’t use all the tools that you would have on a large field like speed and the ability to circle wide and come in close.

GW: How much experience with somebody have before that let loose on this, their first sort of, shall we say, competitive fencing on a horse?

JL: They need to pass their green spur level. And so that is horsemanship level one, which is pretty basic. Anybody with about six classes can probably master that riding level one. And it really depends because people come with such different riding abilities to the programme. But if you’re starting at zero, it would probably take about 12 weeks for you of regular riding classes for you to be able to pass level one riding. And that’s, you know, so that you can walk and trot. You don’t need to be able to canter, but you do need to be able to steer your horse with one hand. That gets you the ability to say, enter our beginner level competitions with spearing rings and hitting the quintain and doing mountain games and the limited small ring sparring.

Well, I mean, I have a lot of swordsmanship students who would be like, Guy, you don’t let us fence with steel swords after only twelve weeks, what’s going on? I think there’s going to be an exodus from Finland to Vancouver if we keep up this conversation much longer.

JL:  Well, we don’t let them fence with steel swords on our horses, of course.

GW: Well that’s a different matter altogether. So what sort of equipment are you using?

JL: For the sake of the horses, we use nylon trainers. We have some wood ones as well. Just because they didn’t ask for this, so it’s not fair to put somebody on their back with steel on their hands. We use fairly minimal protection. We use hockey helmets with visor and elbows and one hand protection. I usually use a padded glove in my sword hand and a regular leather glove on my rein hand, just for the sensitivity there. And gorgets, of course, and whatever. Some people wear a padded gambeson and some people wear lacrosse padding. So it’s not you know, it’s not heavy duty longsword full speed sparring gear.

GW: Do you do anything with steel on horses?

JL: Not at the sparring level. We have set out in the rules that if somebody is at the silver spur level and they have their own horse and their own equipment and two people want to spar with steel, then yeah, they’re allowed to do that. But we don’t allow that on our horses.

GW: Yeah, fair enough. I guess it’s a sort of, you know, if you if you want to turn donuts, you’d better do it in your own car. And what are your historical sources or interests regarding the mounted combat stuff?

JL: Well, it’s primarily Fiore based, just because Fiore has such a beautifully laid out system going from unarmed all the way up through harness fighting and mounted combat. It just all fits beautifully together. And so that’s our primary source. And then taking a little bit from Paulus Kal, a little bit from the various Liechtenauer things, just where there seems to be some gaps, a little bit of Paulus Hector Mair. Every once in a while I look at some of the later stuff, like the sabre training – the British cavalry training.

GW: Have you done any jousting?

JL: No.

GW: Yeah, that’s that seems like a whole separate sort of arena.

JL: It is. And it doesn’t actually interest me that much. I mean, you know, we do do spear. So through the rotation in our classes we do have Spear Month. So you learn the principles of jousting and we do just against the quintain. But it’s just not as interesting having two horses on either side of a list run at each other as it is to actually spar in a melee where you’re moving around and you have sort of a longer engagement.

GW: It makes perfect sense to me, I mean, it’s one of those things where it’s always struck me as too expensive and too dangerous to me to really want to get into it. And again, it’s just that one shot per charge and it’s done. Yeah, there’s not a lot of parry and riposte and then throw the guy over. OK. How do you train the horses to put up with this sort of shenanigans?

JL: Horses are surprisingly chill about mounted combat. I’ve been doing this for over ten years now and I’ve only found a couple of horses that really don’t like it. Most horses adapt very quickly. What we do is we get the sword out. We sack them out with a sword, which just means running a sword past their face, running it up along their back. And we do that every time we get on, so even my horse that’s just falls asleep when I start doing mounted combat, she’s so bored with it, I still run the sword past her past her eyes. I still scratch her between the ears with it. I still run it all around just because it’s a good habit for me to have so that every time I get on a horse with a sword, I do this. And it just keeps reminding them that the sword is nothing for them to be afraid of. The hardest thing with of combat is actually the horses interacting with each other as they’re not afraid of the swords. But a lot of horses take it into their heads to do the fighting themselves.

GW: Really? OK. That could be awkward.

JL: So you have to get them used to standing shoulder to shoulder without either sniffing each other and then causing one to squeal or without biting each other or trying to kick each other. And then you have to get them used to coming together face to face because horses in a herd almost never come face to face at each other. They always like going in the same direction. So that takes a little bit of training and conditioning.

GW: So I imagine what you’re doing then is quite different from training a mediaeval warhorse who would be trained to bite and kick and that sort of thing. Or is that a myth?

JL: I can’t find much evidence that they were trained specifically to bite. I imagine that if you had a horse that did, you didn’t train that out of him. But I haven’t found anything that actually talks about training. There’s actually not a lot of documents out there about training war horses. Xenophon 300 B.C. is one but there’s nothing in there about training the horse to attack other horses. And, you know, generally it’s kind of a nuisance so that even if you were facing an enemy, you don’t want your horse’s head snaking over to attack the other horse because that puts your horse in danger.

GW: Right. OK. So you think it’s likely that they would have been trained simply to obey and let the person sitting on them do all fighting? Because of course, this is a classic trope in books and movies and what have you that the warhorse will get up on his hind legs and basically box all the horses and kick people and that sort of thing.

JL: Yeah. And it would actually be incredibly dangerous for a warhorse to be rearing in the middle of combat, because that exposes that belly which is not armoured. And all of a sudden, anybody who’s on the ground has a clear target if they’ve got a long stick.

GW: Yeah. OK. So you said you also do some of the 18th, 19th Century stuff.

JL: Yeah. Every once in a while, you know, throw some sabre drills in there, just to mix things up. And it’s just because our mounted combat is not period specific. I mean, we tend to stick around the mediaeval stuff, but we have students that are interested in the later stuff as well.

GW: OK. Are there any later sources on training the horses?

JL: Most of the sources on training are around the 17th Century and up. They are training for Haute Ecole, which is not technically warhorse. It was demonstration. So when you think about the Spanish riding school, the roots of that came from the 17th Century horseman like Pluvinel and a little bit later, De Gueriniere Duke of Newcastle. The Duke of Newcastle’s quite interesting because aside from having very amusing rapier plays in his books, he was a very well-respected horseman and is considered one of the fathers of modern dressage. It was that time period where lateral movement started being trained. Dressage movements like shoulder-in and shoulder-fore, a renvers, things like that. We’re not sure if those movements were specifically trained before that. There’s no reference to them. It’s almost like everybody before is like, you just know how to ride a horse and you know how to make your horse do what you want it to do and that’s that. And nobody mentions it. You know, Don Duarte talks a lot about the characteristics of a rider and how you should take care of your tack, but there’s not a lot in there about training horses. There are texts that talk about cavalry horses in later centuries. But in those cases, you train the soldiers and you train the horses separately and then you brought them together and you put the soldiers on the horses.

GW: That seems a bit hit and miss.

JL: Well, I mean, when you’re talking about the numbers you’re looking at for 18th Century and up cavalry. You’re training these soldiers and you give them, I don’t know how long it was, probably a couple of months’ training on the horses that were already basically trained. But they didn’t do fancy moves. They could walk, trot, canter, charge, jump.

GW: So what would count as a fancy move?

JL: Well, that would be the dressage moves, like the shoulder-in, the canter pirouette and things like that.

GW: OK. I know that you’re most known for your horse stuff, but I do hear whispers that you’re actually pretty good with a rapier. Is this true?

JL: Relatively good. I am a free scholar at Academie Duello with the rapier and I do teach rapier.

GW: What sort of rapier?

JL:  Mainly Capo Ferro. I do a bit of Fabris as well. It’s the Italian style. I got into that because I was researching for a novel and I Googled “17th Century rapier” and up popped Academie Duello. And it was like, oh, there’s a school that teaches you how to do this. And it’s right here in Vancouver, might as well go and do that. And a dozen years later, I finally got around to starting to write that novel.

GW: Is that what became Allaigna’s Song?

JL: No. Allaigna’s Song was earlier. I mean, I started that earlier. I’m still working on the third book. But, no, the 17th Century One is a historical fiction called The Shepherdess, which is about a shepherdess turned spy in 17th century France.

GW: Sounds good. Is it out yet?

JL: Bits of it are out in Pulp Literature. There was an excerpt published in Issue 24 and an excerpt in Issue 26.

GW: OK, so are we are we to expect it any time soon?

JL: I’ve got to finish Allaigna’s Song and get that out. I mean, it’s finished, but it still needs editing and publishing. The last book of that trilogy should be out the end of 2021. And yeah, I don’t know what I’m doing with The Shepherdess yet. Right now it’s in a series of novellas and whether I’ll try and sell that to a traditional publisher or go another route with it, I don’t know.

GW: Okay. A lot of people have not quite finished novels on their hard drives. So it’s nice to hear that a book that’s been, well, a decade in the making might actually see the light of day.

JL: Yeah. And it was only a decade in the making because I got distracted doing other things.

GW: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So what are your thoughts on protective equipment? I mean, everybody seems to have pretty strong opinions about protective equipment and what they should be wearing, the current state of the market, that sort of thing. So what are your views on the available protective equipment for rapier or for horseback combat or any other discipline that you do?

JL: Well, I’m still waiting for somebody to develop a riding helmet fencing mask combination. Something that provides the full protection of a riding helmet with the sword protection of a fencing mask. I don’t think anybody has come up with that yet. But I’m still hoping.

GW: I’d imagine it’s not a huge market.

JL: That’s why we end up using hockey helmets, because they kind of adequately do both. But they’re not ideal. Plexiglass tends to steam up.

GW: OK. So you have hockey helmets with a Plexiglass glass face, which I guess is fine if you’re using nylon swords. But you wouldn’t want to use that with steel.

JL: Exactly.

JL: What is the difference in protection requirements when it comes to falling? What does a hockey helmet not do?

JL: A hockey helmet is adequate protection for falling, that’s why we use that instead of fencing masks. A lot of people do mounted combat with fencing masks. And I’ve done that, too. It really does not protect your head if you fall off your horse as your head is 10 feet up in the air. It’s a long way down.

GW: Do you get a lot of falls in your mounted combat classes?

JL: No, no, almost none. There was one time I remember. My partner Chris fell off the horse because he was he was trying to get me and he was just kept reaching and reaching and reaching out of the saddle with his massively long arms. And I was just moving away and he just reached too far. I think that’s the only time I can think of somebody actually falling off during mounted combat. During the mounted games we do have people fall off because with those ones again, you’re reaching out of the saddle quite a bit. Some of them, you’re reaching quite low. And sometimes when you’re doing games at a gallop you get rambunctious ponies and things.

GW: And what sort of games are you talking about?

JL: Well, they’re like Prince Philip games. Anybody who’s been in Pony Club will know Prince Philip games, they’re like they’re gymkhana games.

GW: Most people listening probably haven’t been in Pony Club.

JL: They’re relay games on horseback. You’ve got a team of, say, four riders and various obstacles, so some of them are spearing rings, so you’ve got a sword, first rider gallops down spears one ring, picks it up, brings it back for the second rider. So on and so forth, it’s a timed game. We have ones where you spear balloons. So you’ve got a stick with a nail on the end. And balloons taped to a two by four. And you gallop down, you spear the balloon. You ride around the end and you come back. These are all speed games. Whoever can get through it fastest while doing it correctly. Prince Philip, the current queen’s consort came up with these games based on military games. He came up with the cavalry games.

GW: Right. The one with the balloons reminds me bit of tent pegging.

JL: It is like tent pegging. And we do have one that’s called stick pegging, which is just a little small section of two by four stuck in the ground. You hit it with your spear – same sort of idea.

GW: So with the sharp spear, you stab the stick and pull it out. Right. That’s exactly tent pegging as it was done in 19th Century British regiments. OK. I remember, speaking of falling off, when I used to ride in Helsinki in the Helsinki Stable Club, there was a thing where if you fell off, everyone who’s in the club was riding early in the morning. There would be coffee in the in the stables early in the morning and if you fell off, the next time you came, you had to bring a cake to have with the coffee. People didn’t fall off very much.

JL: Unless you really wanted cake.

GW: Well, there’s nothing stopping you buying a cake without falling off but you had to bring a cake in for the coffee.

So we’ve had a look at the head protection. How much you would like to have a protection that was adapted for both riding falls and sword training. Where else is the equipment particularly good or bad?

JL: Well, I don’t do full speed longsword sparring because I don’t trust the equipment enough to protect me for that.  I would love to find gloves that fit small hands better.

GW: You are not the first person on this podcast to say that.

JL:  And yeah, so it’s mainly the glove issue that keeps me from doing a full speed longsword. Plus, I have not invested in the protective gear, which a lot of times I do feel is very hard to fit. A lot of it is not made for women. It’s getting better.

GW: I mean, not none of the standard sizes fit particular small hands. I have small hands. I ended up just getting a pair of steel gauntlets tailor made. It was just easier that way. They actually fit. But obviously this is my job so I can invest in that sort of stuff.

JL: Part of the reason I love doing rapier is because you can do it with so little protective equipment. You know, I fence rapier with a gorget, mask and gloves. I don’t use a chest protector. I did. I’d advise women who have not yet had children to use a chest protector.

GW: What is it about having children?

JL: Well your breasts change post lactation. Breast tissue becomes a lot less dense. You know, before you’ve had children, you don’t want to risk damaging your breasts because they’re pretty important for feeding babies. And they’re also much more sensitive pre-pregnancy, pre-lactation. Also, after you’ve had a baby the breast tissue is a lot less dense. So it hurts less. It still hurts if you get it right in the centre, but it’s not as painful. And then some women find, too, that just depending on the time of the month sometimes you’ll need a chest protector and sometimes you don’t because the sensitivity changes there. But I feel like it’s a personal choice. I wouldn’t want to be part of a club that mandated it. I definitely advise women who haven’t yet had children and if they’re planning to have them to wear chest protection, just to protect those.

GW: So you’re not worried about broken ribs or points sliding up into the armpit or anything like that?

JL: No, I mean, at our school, we train to not hit hard. I’ve had bruises, but that’s the main thing. You’re keeping track of your equipment, making sure that it that it flexes well. If I was fencing somebody with a stiffer sword than a rapier, then I definitely would wear chest protection for that.

GW: What sort of blades are you using?

JL: My rapier is actually a Hanwei, which I love. It’s not the training one, it’s one of the better Hanwei ones. It’s a lovely blade, it’s nice and light and flexible and a lot of school swords are also Hanweis, but they’re the clunkier ones.

GW: That’s reasonably rigid enough, but it flexes on contact?

JL: Yeah.

GW: What has been your proudest moment so far in historical martial arts? I know – you are the only person to have ever guest posted on my blog. That has to be it!

JL: Well, I’ll definitely say that. That’s it. Last fall, we did Carosella, which is the annual mounted combat event. It’s our tournament. We do a three day symposium, we do workshops and things like that. Last year was the biggest one ever. And we had an entire contingent of Sikh martial artists join us. So it was this amazing multicultural event. I had actually taught them throughout the summer and then they joined us. So it was really wonderful to see my Sikh students in their full regalia out there doing mounted combat with my Academie Duello students and this merging of cultures. I was pretty proud of that. And then at VISS this year, Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium, they also came to this and taught an intensive track. It was a very multicultural event because we also had Manouchehr Khorasani doing Persian and we had Tai Chi and all sorts of stuff happening. I really enjoyed both those events and helping bring those all these different martial arts cultures together.

GW: Sure. So what were the Sikhs teaching?

JL: Gatka. Lots of sword and buckler, lots of everything. So many weapons, but they were doing mostly sword and buckler. But the way they explained it was their people have been have been conquered and attacked and they’ve had to defend themselves so many times that they just pick up weapons from whoever comes and attacks them. So they have they have this amazing arsenal of different weapons.

GW: Okay, maybe I should find a Sikh martial arts practitioner to come on the show and explain all about it. It would be a very good idea. So I have a couple of standard questions that I tend to finish up with and one is, what is the best idea you’ve never acted on?

JL: That is tough because I tend to act on all my ideas.

GW: It’s funny, most people say, I don’t have any ideas, I only have like two or three. But other people say, oh, I get so many ideas. So you’re on that side of the thing. You’re biased towards action. That makes sense.

JL: The one thing that I have yet to act on and I will probably act on is actually podcasting. It’s something I wanted to get going early on with Pulp Literature and just never had the time. We’ve sort of got closer, with the pandemic we started doing these Friday live YouTube readings. But it’s a video thing, not a podcast per se.

GW: All right. And what are you reading?

JL: We’re just inviting three authors on every week and they just read an excerpt from their stories.

GW: OK. So it’s the Pulp Literature side of things, not the swords. Where can people find that in case they are interested?

JL: pulpliterature.com is our website. And then on YouTube, you can look up Pulp Literature.

GW: So we can expect a podcast from you in the near future. What will it be about?

JL: I’m not sure. It might just be a continuation of the readings, we might just stop doing it on video and just go to plain podcast. I’m also I’m also wanting to do audio books. And then actually the other idea that I’ve had sitting around for ages is to write a mounted combat book. I’ve got most of the material there, but I just had not acted on it really.

GW: Yeah. And you also have an awful lot of experience in teaching people who aren’t already accomplished riders, or are already doing mediaeval martial arts to a high level. You’ve taught an awful lot of people to be able to get on a horse and whack their friends with swords. That’s actually a really unusual skill set.

JL: Yes, it is a pretty odd combination skills.

GW: So, yes, I think a book would be a splendid idea. I would actually take that over the podcast, truthfully.

JL: Well, I think that is something I should do more than the podcast. That doesn’t mean that that’s going to happen first. Because the podcast I can have other people do.

GW: True. It’s a good rule of thumb. I think it comes from a guy called Cal Newport where when you’re thinking about what you should do if you’re a self-employed person or if you’re working in some sort of field where you have to make specific contributions. So think of an averagely intelligent college graduate or whatever. How long would it take you to teach them to do the thing that you need to do? And if it’s something that I could teach somebody do in an hour or I could teach you to do it in a week, it’s probably less important that you do it than if it would take you five years to train them up. So I think by that metric the book would be the way to go.

JL: I’m working on my online mounted combat school. So that should be up and running soon. Once that’s up and running, it will actually make the book easier to get out there just because I will have organised that.

GW: Where will people be able to find your online? Your online mounted combat school?

JL: Just Google Academie Cavallo. But the Web site’s not up yet, but it will be. Maybe by the time this podcast comes out.

GW: When do you expect the website to be up?

JL: I’m hoping in the next month or so.

GW: Okay. Well, then, yes, given our production schedule, I imagine that it will be up by then. Do you have a URL already?

JL: No.

GW: Okay. I would recommend getting Academie Cavallo dot com.

JL: Yeah. It will probably be. I just haven’t registered. It will probably be academiecavallo.ca if I can’t get dot com.

GW: Okay. Yeah. I mean is there an Academie Cavallo elsewhere in the world? Maybe in Italy I suppose.

JL: There’s not, I’ve Googled it.

GW: All right. Okay. So my last question is somebody gives you a million pounds, which is about two million Canadian dollars, to spend improving historical martial arts in whatever way you see fit. How would you spend that money?

JL: Well, even two million dollars doesn’t go far to, you know, building facilities or anything like that, at least not in this part of the world. So I would spend that on travel funds. To create travel bursaries or something like that to bring more people together again once, you know, travel becomes a normal thing again. Because I think I think we learn the most when we when we get together and exchange ideas in person.

GW: OK, so you would set up a fund where people wanted to go to historical martial arts events could apply and get their expenses covered.

JL: Yeah.

GW: OK, there’ve been a couple of similar replies. It’s actually quite popular and I think somebody should do it because I think it would make a great deal of difference. I mean, particularly getting people from places where it’s expensive to travel to or from, but they have a very low normal cost of living. Low wages and what have you. For somebody to travel from, say, Brazil or Chile to Canada for an event is prohibitively expensive because it’s maybe four months’ salary for the plane ticket. Whereas for us, it’s maybe three weeks’ salary for the same ticket.

Is there anything you’d like to add? Anything you would like my listeners to go and do and a website shortly to visit or books you want to buy anything like that?

JL: Well, there is a little series of historical martial arts lectures, online training coming up. The group we’ve put together to do it we’re calling University of the Sword at the moment. It’s sort of a survey through history. We have Sean Hayes from Northwest Fencing Academy teaching 1.33 Sword and Buckler. We have Greg Mele from Chicago Swordplay Guild doing Fiore. We have Scott Farrell of Chivalry Today doing armoured. I’m doing Mount Combat. And Devon Boorman from Academy Duello is doing Rapier.

GW: Cool. Sounds like fun. So where can people find that?

JL: That will be released online soon. The Facebook page is University of the Sword. It is only just up. There’s not a lot there now, but the starting date for the series is July 11th and it’ll run for five weeks, Saturdays at ten o’clock Pacific Time.

GW: So is it just live or will you be recording it?

JL: It is live and there will be a registration process so we don’t get Zoom-bombed. And I imagine they will be recorded. I’m not entirely sure about where or when that’ll be able to be found. So watching live is going to be the best option. And there will be bonuses available for people who watch through to the end of the series. There’ll be discounts on various online offerings from these different schools.

GW: Oh, cool. OK. So when you have your URL send it over and I’ll pop it in the show notes. I’m not exactly sure when this is going to go live. So it could be that it hasn’t quite started yet. So people can jump in at the beginning or it may be that you’ve been running for a week or two and they can jump in a little later. But certainly I’m sure they’ll be very interesting for anyone who is sufficiently into swords to be listening to this podcast.

JL: Yeah. And it’s designed both for people who know very little about swords to people who know a lot but would think, hey, I’d like to take a class with Sean Hayes or something.

GW: Who wouldn’t like to take a class with Sean Hayes? I’ve had him over to Finland at least a couple of times to teach seminars in my salle. Yeah, you’re in good hands. Wonderful. Well, thank you very much for talking to me this evening, Jen. It’s been a pleasure. And I hope to speak to you again soon.

JL: Thanks so much, Guy. Lovely to talk to you as always.

GW: I hope you enjoyed my conversation today with Jennifer Landels. Remember to go along to www.guywindsor.net/podcast-2 for the episode show notes and to download your free copy of Sword Fighting for Writers, Game Designers and Martial Artists. Tune in next week when I’ll be talking to Roland Warzecha about sword and buckler, swords, Viking swords and all sorts of other sword related sword stuff. To make sure you don’t miss that episode, subscribe to this podcast wherever you get your podcasts from. I’ll see you next week.