The Sword Guy Podcast

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  • HOW YOU CAN HELP

    What began as a side project is swiftly taking over a great deal of my time, and costing me some money, so to support the show I have created a Patreon account here: patreon.com/theswordguy. If you think this show is a good idea, please demonstrate it by throwing some coins in the hat. Every little helps. Thanks to the support of people like you, I’ve been able to get transcriptions done for every episode, and I’m saving up to upgrade some audio equipment. Patrons will get first dibs on suggesting guests to interview, and I also offer some Patron-only content such as audio AMAs with me. I’ll also be asking the Patrons for any questions they particularly want me to ask my guests- so they will also find out who’s coming on the show before anyone else.

    Sound like your sort of thing? Then toddle along to: 

    patreon.com/theswordguy 
  • THE MISSION

    This podcast is a tactic in the service of a larger goal, namely to encourage diversity in historical martial arts. The first rule of the podcast is there must be at least 50% female guests. Fortunately there are no shortage of women practising swordswomanship! But representation doesn’t end there. I have also found guests from a range of martial backgrounds (Airrion Scott started out swinging light-sabres, Siobhan Richardson started out in stage combat), cultural backgrounds (there are guests from Asia, South America, Europe, and North America), and ethnicities.

    My goal is that eventually anyone, from any culture, of any race, sexual identity, height, weight, health status, and any other demographic data point you can think of, can find a historical martial arts role model on this podcast. That may encourage them to take up the Art, and so historical martial arts will become more diverse, and therefore deeper and stronger. This might not make much difference to many people, but I know for sure that it will make some difference to some people, and that is a whole lot more than nothing.

    This is of course an ethical standpoint, but it’s also a practical one. Getting opinions from a diverse range of people makes for better outcomes. Matthew Syed makes the case for this phenomenon in his book Rebel Ideas, which I highly recommend. A rising tide lifts all boats, so if your overall goal is improving the practice of historical martial arts as a whole, it makes sense to get as many different minds on the problem as possible.

    I know that some people will feel that I ought to just interview the “best” hma practitioners. The famous ones, the ones with big followings, the ones with the most books out. (I know it because they’ve written and told me so!) I will, and I do, as you can see from the guest list. But if we only hear from them, we will tend to hear mostly from middle aged white men (like me), because this field was founded mostly by people like me. But it has grown beyond that rather narrow beginning (thank goddess!) and there are very many people out there worth listening to. Some of them don’t even do swords! Such as historian Eleanor Janega, in episode 16.

Podcast

Episode 182: Messers and More, with Bob Brooks

Episode 182: Messers and More, with Bob Brooks

Robert (Bob) Brooks is one of the original generation of historical fencers, who began training with me in the Dawn Duellists’ Society in the early 90s. He founded the Hotspur School...

Episode 182: Messers and More, with Bob Brooks

Robert (Bob) Brooks is one of the original generation of historical fencers, who began training with me in the Dawn Duellists’ Society in the early 90s. He founded the Hotspur School...

Dario Alberto Magnani

Episode 180: What is a volta? A very detailed e...

My guest today is Dario Alberto Magnani, better known as Mr. Thokk, who was a longtime scholar of the Italian single combat tradition from the late medieval/early Renaissance period, and...

Episode 180: What is a volta? A very detailed e...

My guest today is Dario Alberto Magnani, better known as Mr. Thokk, who was a longtime scholar of the Italian single combat tradition from the late medieval/early Renaissance period, and...

Episode 167 Medieval wrestling and making sense of the Liechtenauer swamp, with Jessica Finley

Episode 167 Medieval wrestling and making sense...

Medieval wrestling and Liechtenauer expert Jessica Finley will be familiar to many of you from her two previous appearances on The Sword Guy. (Episode 1 and episode 56). We’re catching...

Episode 167 Medieval wrestling and making sense...

Medieval wrestling and Liechtenauer expert Jessica Finley will be familiar to many of you from her two previous appearances on The Sword Guy. (Episode 1 and episode 56). We’re catching...

Episode 162 Brains, Biology, and Better Teaching, with Sara Lewis

Episode 162 Brains, Biology, and Better Teachin...

Dr Sara Lewis is a neuroscientist specializing in the biology of childhood movement disorders, and a longtime historical martial artist starting in the SCA in 1999, where she is known...

Episode 162 Brains, Biology, and Better Teachin...

Dr Sara Lewis is a neuroscientist specializing in the biology of childhood movement disorders, and a longtime historical martial artist starting in the SCA in 1999, where she is known...

Episode 153 Behind the Scenes at The Sword Guy, with Katie Mackenzie

Episode 153 Behind the Scenes at The Sword Guy,...

It’s the 150th(ish) episode! So to mark this momentous occasion we’ve got a guest who can’t think of any reason at all why she would want someone to run at...

Episode 153 Behind the Scenes at The Sword Guy,...

It’s the 150th(ish) episode! So to mark this momentous occasion we’ve got a guest who can’t think of any reason at all why she would want someone to run at...

Episode 145 The Whack Don’t Die Method, with Kari Holman

Episode 145 The Whack Don’t Die Method, with Ka...

Kari Holman is a rapier fencer and a licensed therapist. She has also written Psychology and the SCA Fencing Woman: a Manual for Students and Teachers. The moment I read...

Episode 145 The Whack Don’t Die Method, with Ka...

Kari Holman is a rapier fencer and a licensed therapist. She has also written Psychology and the SCA Fencing Woman: a Manual for Students and Teachers. The moment I read...