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  • How do I sign up for classes, and when are they held?
    Our weekly classes are offered through Holly Springs Parks and Recreation. Here’s the link to the classes that we offer, and their dates and times. You can also sign up for classes at the desk at the Hunt Center.
  • Where do you teach your weekly classes?
    At the W. E. Hunt Recreation Center 301 Stinson Avenue Holly Springs, NC 27540 Website: The specific rooms are subject to change, so please ask at the desk.
  • Can I sign up for just one class at a time?
    Holly Springs Parks and Recreation policy is that classes are signed up for one month at a time.
  • What if I miss a month or two of classes? Will I be behind?
    No! We recognize that there are many priorities and activities that you want to participate in, so you can pick back up where you left off. Though you will build skills as you go, in general we don’t have a strict progression where you will be “behind” if you miss classes. The Medieval 8+ and 15+ classes in particular are designed so that anyone can start at any time, take a break at any time, and resume classes later.
  • What do I need to wear for class?
    For all of our classes, start with comfortable athletic attire. Fencing Class: You will also need to wear long pants if you will be fighting.
  • What equipment do I need to purchase for class?
    Medieval 8+ and 15+ classes: No purchases are required in the first few classes. We provide the safety weapon(s) that you need, but if you are planning to be with us a while, you will need to purchase a fencing mask and some sort of gloves. A fencing mask can be purchased online from any website which sell fencing equipment. There are three main types of masks available: foil, saber, epee. Any of these will work; purchase the cheapest available. Avoid any mask that is wired for electronic scoring – they are unnecessarily expensive. Gloves can be anything that covers the entire hand and fingers. Gardening gloves, work gloves, batting gloves, and welding gloves are good options. The primary purpose is to prevent bad cuts from hand-on-mask contact: the metal mesh of fencing masks easily removes skin. For added protection against impact injuries to the hand, a padded glove can be used, such as lacrosse, hockey, or MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Fencing Classes: No purchase of equipment is needed to begin. We will have some loaner equipment that will get you through the introductory lessons. If you decide to continue with us, you will need to purchase a fencing starter kit (mask, glove, weapon). See the instructor for which weapon to purchase (foil, saber, epee). Competition Class (Armored Medieval): You will need to have your own armor in order to fully participate in this class. However, you can still begin training without armor. The instructor will inform you about the requirements for your armor, and you will have the opportunity to see how other students have constructed their kit.
  • How can I purchase the safety swords that are used in the Medieval 8+ and 15+ classes?
    There are often several safety swords in stock and available for purchase. There are also occasional opportunities to place orders for safety swords where custom lengths and colors can be selected. See the instructor for more information.
  • What types of equipment should I leave at home?
    Please leave any sharp or projectile weapons at home.
  • How do I become a volunteer?
    See the Volunteer Application forms for details: Volunteer Application (Adult) Volunteer Application (Minor) Minors are welcome to be volunteers when accompanied by a parent/guardian who has also completed the volunteer process.
  • What do I need to wear when I volunteer at an event or festival?
    It depends upon what the event’s requirements are. Most festivals will have a particular theme (Knight, Viking, Scottish, Pirate, etc.) to shoot for. Often any outfit that looks vaguely historical will work fine, though some require strict historical requirements. For workshops and other educational events (such as at schools or pop-up classes), a school shirt is often all that is needed. The lead for the event will provide the specifics of what is needed for the event or festival.
  • Do you teach “real sword fighting”?
    As much as possible, we utilize surviving historical documentation as the basis for what we teach. However, not everything that was taught or practiced historically was written down, so we need to fill in the blanks by leveraging other martial traditions and our own experimentation. So, while no one can purport to know exactly how swordfighting was done in a certain time or place, we can be quite confident that we have a close approximation. All that said, one of the things that we do not do is utilize sharp weapons, for the obvious safety reasons.
  • What weapons and styles do you teach in your classes?
    Medieval 8+ and 15+ classes: We cycle through a different weapon or style every three months. The standard weapons that we teach are: Dagger Single-handed Sword Two-handed Sword Sword and Buckler Sword and Shield Axe Staff Pike Pole Arm Unarmed vs. Armed Sometimes we’ll throw in something different that we’ve been working on. For instance, Roman Infantry bootcamp. Fencing Classes: We typically being with Sport Saber, then progress through historical and sport forms including: Sport Foil Sport Epee Smallsword Historical Sabre Maritime Cutlass Scottish Broadsword For more advanced students, the use of weapons in the off-hand (non-dominant hand) is also incorporated, including: Dagger Belaying Pin Cloak Axe Staff Boarding Pike Students may also have the opportunity to receive additional instruction in forms such as: Irish Stick Fighting Bayonet Competition Class (Armored Medieval): A variety of weapons are taught, though the focus of this class is on tactics, speed, and conditioning. Due to safety considerations, the most common weapons in use are: Dagger Single-Handed Sword One-and-a-Half Hand Sword Two-Handed Sword Axe Bucker Shield Staff
  • Can we hire you for our event?
    We love to work with festivals, schools, museums, businesses, and organizations of all types to craft workshops, demonstrations, and other activities to meet your groups goals. See our Workshops page for more information about what we have offered in the past. Many of the programs were created by request of our patrons. Reach out to us at to start the conversation!
  • Can you appear at my birthday party?
    Due to insurance reasons, we do not participate at birthday parties.
  • What events have you done in the past?
    Here is a partial list of events and groups that we have worked with in the past: Carolina Renaissance Festival North Carolina Museum of History North Carolina Transportation Museum Festival of Legends The Viking Experience Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming Beaufort Pirate Invasion Swansboro Pirate Fest Mystic Distillery Geek Fit Network Wake County Public Schools Sola Gratia Classical Academy Dynamic Opportunities Gallabrae Scottish Games Girl Scouts – Zombie Preparation Academy Boy Scouts Home school groups and co-ops
  • Is The Sword Conservatory a non-profit organization?
    Yes, The Sword Conservatory is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization.
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