En garde! SwordFest is back this Saturday

Updated: Feb. 7, 2020 at 4:55 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - En garde!

SwordFest is this Saturday. Joe Long is the Curator of Education at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. Dan Bernardo is with WellWithin Martial Arts. They’ll be two of the demonstrators showing off their expert skills at the third annual SwordFest, which features every kind of swordplay.

Take your family to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum for the clanging and swinging of swords. All kinds of swords. The organizers said if it has a blade and a hilt, you’ll see it in action or on display at the museum’s third annual SwordFest., which is free and open to the public, all day long.

See medieval swords, Renaissance swords, 19th-century swords, Japanese swords, Chinese swords, pirate-style cutlasses, modern sport fencing and lightsabers from a galaxy far, far away.

The doors open at 10 a.m. All events are in the Atrium except for the first and last.

10:15 a.m. – Wade Hampton: Battlefield Swordsman

This lecture by Education Curator Joe Long, about South Carolina’s most famous hand-to-hand warrior, will be delivered in the Education Room.

11 a.m. – Medieval swordplay

Laurence Lagnese of The Palmetto Knights Steel Combat Team will present a medieval weapon and armor demonstration.

12:15 p.m. – Lightsabers

Trey Jones and members of the Aiken Lightsaber Club will present the techniques of the Jedi, including a choreographed lightsaber duel.

1 p.m. – Art of the Katana

Dan Bernardo of WellWithin Martial Arts of Columbia will show the Japanese approach to sword usage through the stylized, and lethal, techniques of traditional kenjutsu.

1:15 p.m. – Butterfly Swords

Keith Mosher of KDA Wing Chun. This fast-flowing Chinese swordsmanship system, part of several kung fu styles including Wing Chun, uses twin blades.

1:30 p.m. – Kids’ Demo: How to Fight off Pirates

The basics of naval cutlass techniques explained in an interactive session for youngsters. (And yes, the “blades” they use will be safe simulators, not the real thing.)

2 p.m. – Modern fencing

South Carolina competitive fencers will demonstrate the fast-moving modern sport.

3 p.m. – The South Carolina Broadsword System.

Historical researcher and swordsman Benjamin Battiste explains the unique broadsword style taught in our own state during the first half of the 19th century. This will be in the Education Room.

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