Invitational free sparring session in Dublin.

Gray School of arms recently hosted the first invitational free sparring session in Dublin.

The invitational free sparring session is a group of clubs who meet up two to three times a month for Sparring with a range of weapons and disciplines within western marital arts.

The group was set up and run by Nathan Gray of Gray school of arms as a way to bring clubs together and cross train at least once a month. The popularity of the event is picking up steam with more days in the month being permanently hosted by other clubs.

The first meeting took place on Sunday the 9th of April at 2pm at the east wall community centre. 4 clubs were in attendance with members from 1595 Ireland, Goats head historical fencing, swords of the west and Gray school of arms.

The day started with a warm up and introduction and then proceeded straight into sparring with a range of weapons. For two and a half hours each attendee fought with little to no breaks in-between. The level of fencing displayed was great with a solid level of skill shown by all.

The main highlight of the event was the chance to fight with weapons you would not normally use and of course fight against weapons that you wouldn’t normal come up against. Needless to say this added in a great amount of variation and flare making each fight great to watch.

The first few bouts started with 1595 Ireland Eanna and Goats heads Paul wreck fencing with saber and side sword. This was followed by fencing with military rapiers between Nathan Gray and Paul wreck. As the day progressed other weapons were added into the mix including Longswords, Sword and dagger, sword and buckler and sabres and cutlasses.

During the event there was chances to exchange ideas and explore other systems and weapon formats, many of the attendees learning various disciplines and then putting them to use.

The event also allowed for an exchange on training ideologies and formats as well as a large range of protective equipment to be tested and tried out.

Before we knew it the day was nearly over, the event went extremely quickly with time being called a little past 5pm.  We would like to thank all clubs and members for attending and look forward to seeing you again on Sunday 7th of May for the next one.

Quote from Goats head Paul Reck: "This invitational free-fencing event was a great opportunity to spar and converse with like-minded Historical fencers. It's always great to explore different weapon combinations and to fence unfamiliar systems, as a practitioner of the German Fencing systems it is always enlightening to explore the differing philosophies and weapon sets of other European countries and traditions. I for one, can't wait for the next meeting!"

Quote from 1595 Irelands Eanna Watters:’’ Some of the highest quality fencing I have seen on the island of Ireland. On par with the continent. More than looking forward to the next meet.