Swordsmanship offers challenge of leadership and self-discipline skills

For Justin Skjonsberg the ancient sport of swordsmanship is not only challenging and fun, it is an excellent way

Justin Skjonsberg

For Justin Skjonsberg the ancient sport of swordsmanship is not only challenging and fun, it is an excellent way to promote self-discipline, dedication and leadership.

Skjonsberg, who started the Academy of European Swordsmanship Rimbey Chapter last October enjoys the sport and encourages other to give it a try.

The twenty-five year-old’s passion for swordsmanship was fueled when he began  attending swordsmanship classes in Edmonton more than a year ago.

He found he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

However, he decided he didn’t wish to continue making the weekly trek to and from Edmonton, so he decided to look into offering classes locally.

Forshee Hall was decided on as a good central location for the Rimbey Chapter and Johanus Haider agreed to travel from Edmonton to be the head instructor.

Skjonsberg and Angus Dixon are assistant instructors.

The Academy of European Swordsmanship Rimbey Chapter offers training in hand-to-hand, dagger, short sword, long sword and pole-arms. Classes are Mondays from 7 to 10 p.m. Drop ins are welcome.

“We can have five to 20 people on any given night,” said Skjonsberg.

First year fencers use synthetic swords.

Fencers all wear regular leather fencing helmets and other appropriate equipment to ensure safety at all times.

“Safety is number one,” said Skjonsberg.

All matches are judged on a point system by a panel of three judges.

Along with training regarding swordsmanship, participants may be required to do physical activities such as push-ups, jumping jacks and other forms of conditioning.

Most of the participants who attend The Academy of European Swordsmanship Rimbey Chapter are between the ages of 13 and 16, although there are some older enthusiasts as well.

Ben Nesbitt from Rimbey, who attends the academy, said he enjoys learning the skill.

“It’s interesting. I like the challenge and enjoy the tactile thinking and planning.”

For more information about The Academy of European Swordsmanship Rimbey Chapter contact Justin at 403-843-4999 or aesrimbey@gmail.com.