It’s 2016. Are you ready to try something TOTALLY DIFFERENT?
Ever dreamed of fighting monsters, slaying dragons, rescuing princesses, or just knowing that when the aliens come and take away the guns, you can still SWORDFIGHT?! Fight Like a Knight is a fusion of the same swordfighting techniques used by medieval knights, with modern kinesthetics and ergonomics, and a dash of chivalric philosophy, creating a movement/exercise/martial-arts class like you’ve never seen before! It’s on Saturday mornings at 9AM, folks. Sign up via their Meet Up group for location and more details.
We asked Swordmaster Chris Burns some questions about the Fight Like a Knight (FLaK) class.
What exactly is Fight Like a Knight?
FLaK is a school of authentic medieval combat. Taking techniques informed by historical documents, cultivated through thousands of unchoreographed, full-speed, full-contact engagements, and imbued with modern-day kinesthetics, students learn a highly-dynamic, period martial-art that is unavailable from any other school of the sword.
Describe a typical class?
Classes begin with a warm-up of stretching, narrated by chivalric philosophy, reminding students of the core of the program – honor, chivalry and compassion. We stretch the specific muscle groups that are used during our training, while focusing on the kinesthetic awareness necessary to access and fully utilize them. From there, depending on the level of the student, we will go through various stance, footwork and weapon-work drills that focus on the particular technique currently being explored (which changes every week to month or so). We do a lot of sparring, sometimes at full-speed, sometimes very, very slowly, but every class has students squared off against myself, an assistant or each other to work on the techniques in a real world situation. The 2nd class of the month is a full sparring day where students put on armor and engage in full-contact, unchoreographed combat with each other – sometimes one-on-one, sometimes in multi-person melees. We also have sessions on armor and weapon making, leatherworking, and a variety of other period arts.
What does a potential knight need to know beforehand?
Nothing at all. However, students who have a background in any martial art or fencing tend to pick things up a bit quicker, as much of the foundation of swordfighting shares posture, kinesthetics and footwork with those disciplines.
What does s/he need to bring?
All equipment is provided by FLaK. Students should dress in workout clothes (anything easy to move in), and either sneakers or boots. As students get further into the program, they are encouraged to make/buy their own sword and shield, as well as a helmet. How did you come up with the idea for the class? I have been swordfighting for 25 years or so, and much of that time was spent teaching. As a writer/director I have also taken my techniques to the stage and screen, and every time I train a performer I hear what a workout it is. So, folding it all into a class just made sense, and FLaK was born. I have been doing it in this area for the past 6 years. When/Where/How much is a class? Classes currently run in North Hollywood Park on the weekends. First class is a free-trial (this is not for everyone), and should a student decide to join the program, the dues are $80/month.
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