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2nd Annual SwordFest

February 9, 2019

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A Full Day of Sword-related Shows, Programs and Activities

The action starts at 10 a.m. with a demonstration of European historical swordplay in the atrium. Allen Johnson of the Palmetto Knights, a fight choreographer and longtime student of European swordplay, will discuss and demonstrate the use of historic weapons.

That’s just the beginning. Here’s the tentative schedule for the rest of the day:

  • 11 a.m. – Leading S.C. sword expert and historian Jack Meyer will speak on the “Evolution of the American Military Sword: 1780-1916.” Dr. Meyer will illustrate his talk with examples from his own extensive collection.
  • 12:15 p.m. – More action in the atrium: Ben Battiste will act as swordmaster in a recreation of South Carolina broadsword training circa 1848, with uniformed re-enactors as his students. The session will be conducted exactly as it would have been for a group of antebellum soldiers.
  • 1 p.m. – “Iaido, the Art of Sword-Drawing:” Dan Bernardo of KDA Karate Academy in Columbia will show the Japanese approach to sword usage through the stylized, and lethal, forms of Iaido. Iaido’s aim was to draw and cut in a single motion.
  • 1:15 p.m. – Sifu Saleem of Lam Tung Kung Fu Academy in Lexington will demonstrate a Chinese swordplay form from the Tang Fung version of Hung Ga.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Kids’ Demo: “How To Fight Off Pirates!” The basics of Naval Cutlass explained for youngsters.
  • 2 p.m. – South Carolina competitive fencers will demonstrate the fast-moving modern sport of fencing.
  • 3 p.m. – “South Carolina Sword Stories.” Joe Long, Relic Room curator of education, will relate fascinating tales of swords and swordsmen from South Carolina’s history.

Throughout the day, there will be activities to keep kids safely engaged. There will be a Sword Skills Station at which kids can learn the basic movement of the South Carolina broadsword system, using safe simulators.  

And everyone can participate in a self-guided tour of bladed-weapon highlights in the museum’s gallery, from 1600 A.D. to the present day.