renaissance swordsmanship

Book Review- Renaissance Swordsmanship: The Illustrated Use of Rapiers and Cut-and-Thrust Swords by John Clements

In Renaissance Swordsmanship, John Clements explicitly states his goals in the very first sentence:  “The purpose of this work is to serve as a short reference for sword enthusiasts and a guide to direct their study.”  The text achieves the first part of that statement; Renaissance Swordsmanship is an adequate reference.  As a guide to…

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Weapons Training

Weapons Training At Polaris

Martial arts that teach weapons all teach the weapons in a different order. Weapons training order can vary depending on the school, and the order weapons are taught in can serve different purposes.  Polaris Fellowship begins our training with weapons in the following order: Knife, Sword and Shield, Cut and Thrust Sword, then Hand and…

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Knife Fighting

Why We Start With Knife Fighting

At Polaris Fellowship, the first weapon that we teach our new students is the knife. We begin with a few fundamentals of stance, stepping, and posture. After these basics we begin the first weapon focus- knife drills and knife fighting.  Though there are elements to sparring with knives that are complex, studying knife can be…

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Year in review

A Year In Review – 2021

2021 was a challenging year for Polaris Fellowship. It brought many changes to our school, but also presented new opportunities for learning. We’re taking a look at our year in review as a chance to celebrate what we were able to accomplish, and look forward to what we can do in 2022! 2021 – Still…

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Melee in Martial Arts

In the summer months, Polaris meets outside in the park. Other than enjoying the nice weather, meeting in the park gives us the space to melee.  A melee is a group battle with more than 2 people on each side. Sometimes, the objective will simply be to “kill” the other team. Other times, we develop…

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Mixed Weapons Training

Mixed Weapons Training

Historical training sources tend to show weapons techniques to be used against the same type of weapon. Some texts do have shorter segments on mixed weapons training; yet the main focus of many historical texts is how weapons work against themselves.  From a historical perspective, it makes sense to study using a weapon against the…

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Sword and shield

Why We Teach Sword and Shield

At Polaris Fellowship we study a few different types of sword and shield fighting. In our white belt curriculum we teach cruciform sword and round shield, also known as  the targe.   We find the targe to be a good place to begin our student’s education. It comes directly after the students learn the basics of…

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Martial Arts Community

Martial Arts Community and Injuries

In my free time, outside of my martial arts community, I recently watched the skateboarding competition in the Tokyo Olympics. Later I learned that the street competition bronze medalist, Jagger Eaton, was skating on a broken ankle. On the one hand, it seems obvious that he should probably take some time away from skateboarding to…

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Martial Arts are fun

Martial Arts Are Fun

I occasionally get asked why I do martial arts. Though there are a lot of different reasons I could give to answer this question, the base of it all is that martial arts are fun.  We often spend time focusing on the physical, and mental benefits of martial arts, but sometimes we miss that they…

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HEMA Schools

Our 3 favorite HEMA Schools Online

From it’s foundation, Polaris Fellowship has practiced a living martial art. Our curriculum is growing and changing as we delve into more historical resources and do our own research on weapons and movement. In the past we have collaborated with other HEMA schools, putting on events to share knowledge across schools and styles.  As we’re…

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in Person classes

Polaris Resumes In Person Classes

Polaris Fellowship is returning to in person classes in June of 2021, and safety is our top concern.  If you’ve ever read any of our book reviews or other posts, you’ll notice that safety is almost always mentioned in some capacity. Safety is very important to us. In resuming classes as the pandemic recedes (we…

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Calling shots

Calling Shots At Polaris Fellowship

During sparring at Polaris, our students are responsible for calling shots when they are hit. If a student feels contact from their opponents weapons, it is their responsibility to acknowledge and respond to the contact. They analyze the strikes that make contact and adjusts to replicate any potential injuries that the strike would have inflicted.…

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Padded Training Weapons

Why We Use Padded Training Weapons

Since Polaris Fellowship of Weapons Study was founded in 2008, the question that we have often been asked “Why do you use padded training weapons?” HEMA schools in Michigan train with various types of weapons including blunted steel, wooden wasters, and various plastic wasters. However, it is fairly uncommon to find martial arts that study…

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