In August 2016, we ran a public open day at the Vanguard Centre, our full time training centre in Glasgow. During the open day, we gave demonstrations of fencing with the longsword and the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword, as well as demonstrations of blacksmithing in our forge, and we gave people the chance to try some archery at our indoor archery range.
One of our staff members recorded this broadsword demonstration, and we put it online afterwards. We tried to show elements of fencing and discuss them with the public, so that people would know what they were seeing and what to look for specifically. Just as you fence differently when acting as a coach or a student, or when competing rather than playing with friends, you also have to fence differently when performing a demonstration for the public, in order to achieve the object of the exercise with success: namely showcasing HEMA in front of people who know nothing about it, educating them a little, and inspiring interest to learn more about it all.
I have written previously about public outreach and HEMA demonstrations, and how to start thinking about doing this sort of thing more effectively.
About the Vanguard Centre
Established in 2015, the Vanguard Centre is a full-time training centre in one of the arches beneath the railway leading into Glasgow Central Station. It is the headquarters for our organisation, the warehouse (and shop front) for the Academy of Historical Arts online shop, and the place where we teach all kinds of fun and unusual activities.
If you are interested in starting to learn HEMA in Glasgow, visit the Vanguard Centre. You would be more than welcome to come by and give it a go. We offer tuition in longsword, Scottish broadsword, and a variety of other disciplines.
Similarly, if you are interested in doing some archery at an indoor archery range near Glasgow city centre, next to a variety of public transport options, the Vanguard Centre is probably your best bet. We run archery sessions several times a week and can fit a variety of schedules.
If working with fire and bending metal into new shapes is what interests you, then we have a fully functional forge and workshop area, and we run an introduction to blacksmithing course to teach the various safety aspects, techniques, and principles of blacksmithing. Get in touch, let us know when you might be interested in visiting, and we can make all the arrangements for you!
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