By Christopher S. Pineo
Close to the southern border of the city there can be observed a mix of actors, renaissance fair workers, and curious minded students battling with swords.
The motions of the blades on Sunday at noon are not the quick, conservative, snapping moves of a fencing bout. Instead they are deliberate, wide, telegraphed, and loud.
The classes are primarily for actors interested in learning the skills of swordplay said L. Stacey Eddy, Club Director of Baystate Fencing.
A major focal point of these classes is safety of the students, reinforced by practice and the supervision of quality staff, Eddy said. “You know if you have to do it six times a week and twice on Sunday you have to be able to do a fight that is real, but is safe.”
“You know if you hurt yourself on the first day and you’re out of work for a week, you’re screwed,” he said.
“I started off as an actor originally picked up fencing because it seemed like it was an important part of actor training,” he said.
“A lot of the stuff we do here is based on concepts and precepts that the Society of American Fight Directors codified, which basically is certain weapon styles, like rapier dagger, broadsword, sword and shield, quarter staff, unarmed, small sword, and knife.”