The Melbourne Sword and Spear Association (MSSA) is a Melbourne based Western Martial Arts organization. The MSSA train with a wide range of tools, from spear to sword, dagger and shield, axe and even dual wield.
Not teaching any specific style, or fighting according to any one particular Master, they use the old text in conjunction with modern knowledge to help optimize weapon use. MSSA currently meet at the 17th Essendon Scout hall every Saturday at 6 pm.
The MSSA have members performing the role of Guards for the world of Ember Rule who will be more than willing to partake in the sharing of secrets of swordplay on the eve of The Goblin Ball. We caught up with Gypsy Taylor to answer a few questions on Sword play and what makes it so much fun!
So what can we expect from a gathering of Melbourne Sword and Spear Association?
On any given training night, we do a short series of warm ups, some skills development with a different core focus each time, and we usually have time set aside for some partnered sparring.
What is your best advice for someone looking to get involved in learning the basics?
Quite simply come along and get involved. We don't expect anyone to know what their all-time favourite weapon is going to be at their first session. New students will spend some one-on-one time with one of our veteran students or a training officer to help them learn the basics and after a while, to help guide them to which ever style they like.
How much could I expect to invest in such an amazing hobby?
There is a basic annual fee of $30 which covers insurance and a weapons exemption for anyone who is looking at owning their own. For anyone looking to go up against another member of the group, say in a sparring match or a tournament, we do have basic requirements for armor, but there are multiple places that these can be sourced from so the cost of that can be kept as low as the student needs. Weapons and additional armor are completely up to the student. And for the real beginners, we have some basic share equipment, so no fear of missing out on any fun!
What is your personal favorite weapon?
My personal favourite is the cutlass or sabre. I have a soft spot for pirates, it's true, but I also love how light and quick they are compared to some of the heavier blades, and the fact that they are wielded with a single hand give me freedom to have an of-hand weapon like a dagger, or to have a shield as well.
Private lessons are also being given by trained officers. Your first session of the year is free! If you are interested in coming along to one of their sessions, or want to know more, find them on their web page, FaceBook or contact Justin the President on 0424 495 966
FAQ about Swordplay at The Goblin Ball
Q. I have replica weaponry / melee items. Is this okay?
Yes. As long as you don't draw your sword to another guest. Ornamental weaponry is allowed and encouraged.
Q. ARMOUR! I must protect myself from dragons and rogues! Can I bring my own sword too?
The short answer to armour and weaponry is yes however you must keep all weapons sheathed at all times. The Goblin Ball is a place to match wits not swords. Those found duelling will be dealt with accordingly.
The Goblin Blog
News and views from around the fantasy and Melbourne realms.