In doing research for combat in my books, specifically for Pelya Jornin, the main character of the Dralin and Wyvern Series, I came across a phenomenal woman by the name of Samantha Swords. Samantha practices and studies European Martial Arts. She also works as cast and crew in the film industry including time at WETA. She's been kind enough to answer a couple of questions I've had about combat with a sword.
Her Tumblr and YouTube have oodles of information on swordplay and the culture surrounding it in modern day.
Samantha Swords on Tumblr
Samantha Swords on YouTube
Samantha Swords on Facebook
|New Zealand/Aussie artist, actor, writer & sword-fighter, works in the film industry as cast and crew. Outgoing, adventurous & loving life!|
European Martial Arts
Samantha is a student of European Martial Arts. In this video, she states:
Historical European Martial Arts are the martial arts of medieval Europe. Yes, they existed. They were very complicated, very beautiful, just as like the Asian martial arts are. And, unfortunately, they died out, which is why most of us don’t actually know about them these days. But for those of us who are completely crazy about swords, we have been recreating the arts from fighting manuals- books that were left from the people who actually studied in those ancient times.
Like much epic fantasy in books, the world of Ryallon has styles of swordplay similar to that used in Europe. Granted my characters have magic at their disposal along with supernatural abilities, but the basics still apply.
Much of my writing of combat scenes stretches the abilities of a person beyond what's physically capable. It's exciting to imagine someone whirling through the air while spinning blades. However, I believe it important to add as much realism into the details. Pelya Jornin's timeline has her learning martial arts, both physically and intellectually, from the age of four. She has talent and the work ethic to become one of the best in the world of Ryallon. She's earned it rather than just picking up a sword and becoming an insta-expert like in many stories.
Samantha is participating in an experimental live action event in September.
Her brief description of the event:
The Kingsmen are my faction in Weekend Warrior- an experiential live action event that will be filmed, documentary style, and challenge you in a new form of medieval-style outdoor adventure.
I’m joining forces with Skip Lipman and Ron Newcomb of the Forge Studios- they’re well known for the series, ‘The Rangers’, and also Zan Campbell of Fell and Fair, and together we’re creating this event.
I believe Samantha Swords is an inspiration for young women and anyone to explore their dreams and confront their fears to flourish. Life can be hard to face. Sometimes it's best to come with a sword in hand and the ability to use it.
All my best,
John H. Carroll
P.S. The emo bunnies like her too.