Learn to wield a sword and fight like a medieval knight


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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Shaun Douglas is bringing his love for Historical European Martial Arts to the Douglas Shire. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.

Residents of the Douglas Shire and surrounds will have the chance to tap into their inner Game of Thrones character this weekend.

Learn how to wield a sword like a medieval knight thanks to a new martial arts school starting in Port Douglas.

STOCCATA School of Defense instructor, Shaun Douglas, said the methods taught at the school are taken directly from historical texts.

The style of fighting is referred to as HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts.

“It was from ancient texts and manuscripts and learned that this is how they did the systems sword masters taught back in the day,” he said.

“The texts were in Italian old English and German but have been translated and for 40 years, especially the last 20 years, we’ve been teaching late 15th and 16th century sword systems.” 

Mr Douglas said he has always had an interest in sword fighting and medieval things and it excited to bring his passion to the Douglas Shire as well.

“I would watch things like Conan the Barbarian and ever since I was young I was always interested in archery and things like that,” he said.

“I was not a football or cricket type of kid.”

Mr Douglas has been teaching historical martial arts for about five years and said it’s a sport anyone can learn.

“Everyone starts off as a beginner, what we call a novice, then move to after about one year of training to a basic scholar and so on through about seven levels of grading,” he said.

“We always start off using wooden or bamboo swords ands once students are competent with them we move onto blunt steel swords.

“There is a strong focus on everyone being competent and safe with weapons and skills.

“Fortunately today, no one is really sword fighting. Everything we teach is from real sword fighting perspective but as a martial arts that doesn’t have a real word applications outside of competitions.”

The first lessons of HEMA at STOCCATA will take place in the Port Douglas Community Centre on Tuesday 9 July at 6.30pm.

The first lesson is free for anyone who wants to try HEMA and all equipment for the first lesson is provided.

Contact Shaun Douglas on 0467 584 646 or on shaun.douglas1970gmailcom to find out more. 

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