Swordplay Symposium 2020: March 6-8

The Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium is taking place March 6–8, 2020 and this year’s theme is our most exciting yet: East Meets West!
We’re bringing together the martial arts traditions of countries from across the globe in the spirit of collaboration and learning. This year we have 10 intensives in 5 paired tracks each that compare a European martial tradition with an Eastern one. We have managed to bring together leading instructors in martial arts from Spain to Persia. In these tracks you get to work with the same instructors over all three days and the halves of each track meet in a final comparison on the last day.

Our Amazing Intensives

Germany meets Japan: Unpacking the Longsword vs Katana Cliché
Instructors: Keith Farrell, Braun McAsh
Primary Disciplines: Longsword, Katana
With a primary focus on the two-handed longsword and katana this track will explore the fundamental similarities and differences in posture, movement, tactics, and strategy between the medieval German school of Johannes Leichtenauer and the school of Edo period Master Miyomoto Musashi.
Italy meets the Philippines: Time and Motion from the Mediterranean to the Pacific
Instructors: Dori Coblentz, Mark Mikita
Primary Disciplines: Rapier, Rapier & Dagger, Sabre, Stick, Knife
Two sophisticated systems of time and counter-time will come together to explore the ideal moments to strike, disarm, and counter, and how to develop the skills to do so. Students will explore the concepts of opportunity and rhythm through the classical Italian school applied through rapier, rapier & dagger, and sabre, and through the lens of Cuentada the art of pre-emptive countering taught through Filipino Kali.
Spain meets China: Duelling Weapons of Two Continents
Instructors: Puck Curtis & Eric Myers, Kelly Maclean
Primary Disciplines: Rapier, Chinese Straight sword, Empty Hand
Exploring the use of the duelling rapier within the Spanish Destreza tradition and the use of the Chinese Taiji single handed straight sword and unarmed push hands, students will explore how these two different traditions manipulate time, distance, pressure, and opportunity.
England meets the Punjab: Sword & Buckler, Weapons of the Street and War
Instructors: Stephen Hand, Jagjit Singh Niijar
Primary Disciplines: Broadsword, Sword and Buckler, Dhaal – Kirpan (Sword & Buckler)
Comparing the Renaissance British fighting of George Silver with the Sikh martial art of war first taught by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the 18th century. Students will get a chance to contrast the upright and practical system of broadsword and sword and buckler from England with the dynamic warrior tradition that would influence England’s military hundreds of years after Silver’s time.
Bologna meets Iran: Weapons of the Epic Heroes
Instructors: Devon Boorman, Manouchehr Khorasani
Primary Disciplines: Partisan, Neyze (Persian cutting spear), Sidesword, Shamshir, Buckler
This track joins the scholastic tradition of Northern Italy, that sought to connect its martial art with the classical Greek epics, with the war arts of Iran, brought to life from historical texts and the tales of Persian heroes. Students will delve into the philosophy and the physicality of these two unique but similar traditions through use of the neyze, partisan, shamshir, sidesword, and buckler.

But Wait There’s More!

Beyond the intensives we have 15 additional instructors teaching workshops on topics including physical conditioning, test cutting, competitive mindset, Indonesian two sword, bagwa long knife, rapier voids, rapier strategy, longsword tactical decision making and more. So much more that we have expanded to five tracks and the length of each day. Plus we’re running our awesome open sparring times and our Saturday night gala!

Open to All Experience Levels and Practice Backgrounds

There are programs available to all levels of experience and from all martial arts backgrounds. Equipment will be available on site to rent and most classes will be flexible with equipment requirements to maximize participation and allow you to adapt your own gear to different arts.

Register Now!

Further program information, hotel, and venue details are on the website. Early bird registration ends on January 12th. So get registered! http://www.vancouverswordplay.com/
See you all in Vancouver!

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Celebrating VISS 2020

Remember back to the beginning of March, oh so many weeks ago, when we could stand close enough to one another to cross swords, or tap feet and elbows in greeting. All the way back on the weekend of March 6–8 we hosted 25 instructors and over 100 students from around the world to an amazing inter-cultural martial arts event.