Metal clashed as True Edge held its first practice this semester on Wed. 22 in the Student Life basketball courts. From people dressed in full protective body gear to others dressed in a t-shirt and face mask, this club has variety as well as a sense of belonging no matter the level of skill. It also marked the one-year anniversary since the start of the club.
“For a long time I’ve always wanted to do martial arts, to learn how weapons work beyond various levels,” said Joshua Miller, a mechatronics major and attendee.
This club is a part of the larger organization, Historical European Martial Arts Association. The goal of both this organization and the club is to revive old teachings dating back hundreds of years. The weapons they practice with include German broadsword, British military saber, dusack, Italian rapier, spear, short sword and buckler. Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germans, Saxons and many other empires have made their mark on the European continent, leaving behind a panorama of diverse history and fighting traditions.
“What we practice spans many hundreds of years and many different cultures, all based in Europe,” said Chad Healey, a construction management major who along with his wife, Mariah Healey, lead the club.
But this club is not only for carrying on old fighting techniques, it is also to help create a sense of community and show real world application.
“We regularly call ourselves a sword family, these are my sword brothers and sisters. It’s one of the few places in the world were you can say ‘I want to fight you’ and that’s a compliment,” said Thomas Appiah, a chemistry major and year long member. There is a sense of community and respect felt between the clangs of the metal practice swords.
True Edge also held a “Give a Girl a Sword,” class last fall lead by Mariah Healey. in the hopes to bring more interest from women to diversify a predominantly male class.
“We have not had any women who attended that class join our class permanently, which is disappointing,” said Mariah Healey. She also stated that most of the women who attended were writers.
The women who have been with the club though haven’t let this deter them, in fact some take it as a challenge to push themselves further according to Monica Benavides, a club member.