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Joe Fults

Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,545

PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Everyone needs a bit of eccentricity now and again. Wink
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Richard Eskite

Location: Northern California
Joined: 27 Jun 2006

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject: It all started in Boulder...         Reply with quote

I was the new kid in town, the year was 1966 and my new friend was allowed quite a collection of edged weapons for a 6th grader. I just thought it was so cool, his WW2 bayonets, the broken epee blade we used for a throwing knife...I don't know, it just resonated with me. His mom, who worked for the University of Colorado, knew this guy who was the armorer for the CU Shakespeare festival and she made some arrangements for my friend and me to go for a visit. Well, Denny Graves was (and still is, I am sure) a most impressive and energetic individual. To me, the idea of researching and reproducing the edged weapons and fighting techniques of the renaissance was just the coolest thing ever. Denny was most gracious to a couple of 6th graders, he was probably about 20 at the time, and took an afternoon to show us what he was doing and a few dueling techniques they were working on. It was amazing.

After that, we soon were captivated by "The Lord of the Rings" and spent many many hours in serious discussion and research. We started writing and reading elvish and dwarfish. My friend even started writing an elvish dictionary. That year, my parents gave me The Glossary (those who have one will not need the rest of the title) for Christmas and that was about it. I became a hopeless accumulator of sharp, pointy stuff. I have accumulated quite a few swords, mostly Albions and Atrims along the occasional Windlass or DelTin. I have customized a few of them and find that kind of work fulfilling. I have hundreds of knives of all sorts, some factory and some custom and yet I still find designs I need to own.
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Jeremy V. Krause

Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,608

PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
Everyone needs a bit of eccentricity now and again. Wink

A short and sweet response, I must say that this pretty much captures me! It's hard to pin down why I collect.
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Colt Reeves

Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I'm pretty new to the actual collecting part (I've had my first real swords for only a few months here and some SLOs a little longer than that), but I've always been interested in martial arts and weapons. My mother was kind enough to indulge me with lots of different books and later on video games when I was little, ranging from the Normans to the McDonald Douglass F-15 E Eagle. Big Grin I just got caught up in them and never let it go. Sorry, but that's the clearest answer I can give: Because I like them and want them....

Hmmm... Never really occurred to me before, but I went nuts over the European and Western martial arts long before the Eastern and Asian, something that hasn't changed much over the years. Sure, sure, there were a few short periods when I thought the katana was the coolest thing ever (though I was no rabid katana fan-boy), but mostly I've been true to my roots.
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Nathan M Wuorio

Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 11:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I watched one too many sword related movies and then got in to fencing, and that led me to my first sword, a Hanwei practical knightly sword, which I have antiqued. I just really enjoy studying swords, polearms and armour, and then being able to train with them and really get a sense of how they were used. It's just really interesting to me.
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Sam Barris

Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 622

PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Two things came into my life around the age of 10 that probably had more to do with my current obsession than anything else. The first was the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. I was familiar with The Hobbit by then, but didn’t think much of it until I read Lord of the Rings and was drawn into the much vaster, richer, darker world that was Middle Earth. The second was the original Legend of Zelda, in all its 8-bit glory. Even more than two decades later, I still love those games. I literally reverted to childhood when Twilight Princess finally arrived.

This led to an interest in mythology, with a particular focus on Greek and Norse myth (not coincidentally corresponding to the two halves of my personal genealogy). My father was also a history teacher, and although my interests ended up centuries before his, I was raised with a respect for the past and an unspoken awareness of the need to study it. As soon as the opportunity presented itself (in my case, college) I began training in fencing, eventually ending up as an epeeist at UCSD.

All of these things (plus, perhaps, my love of Star Trek) led to my current commission as an officer of the line in the U.S. Navy. Now I view swords, fencing, mythology, et al as a real and visceral connection to not only my ancestors, but also to my day-to-day profession. That may be a rationalization, but it's my story and I'm stickin' to it. My dress saber holds the same place in my heart as anything sharp that I own. My collection has gone from plastic lightsabers and toy wooden swords—It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this—to a few very nice Albion and Bugei swords; both on the high end of the production spectrum.

As much if not more pleasing to me now are books on the subject, as well as introducing my young niece and nephew to these objects that have been such a constant backdrop in my own life (neither needed much encouragement). And now that I’m in a place in life where I don’t have to worry about where my next meal will come from, I’ve been gradually working through an acquisition plan; another Albion here, an A&A rapier there, that sort of thing. Eventually, I'd love to add a nice custom piece or two to the list, but I think that will have to wait until middle age. During my island sojourn here in Crete, I’ve also managed to take up the epee again, though I don’t expect to be able to continue when I go back to sea. In my post-military life, I’d like to delve deeply into not only classical fencing, but also one or two of the historical schools, like I.33 and Fiore, in which I have only dabbled thus far.

In short, swords came into my life early, and do not seem to be going anywhere. If anything, I’ve done well in managing to find ways to make them work as a grown up, and I think I’m better off than if I’d left them in the ever-deepening mists that stand between me and my childhood.

Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Chuck Russell

Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

my wife tells me its some sort of rare sickness i have Wink
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Matthew Amt

Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,388

PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2009 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, it's not rare! But it is communicable and incurable... Actually, I was a little militarist since before I can remember, drawing pictures of stick-figure men fighting with swords. Then yes, Tolkien and D&D in high school, and got my first "real" sword for high school graduation! A gen-u-ine Toledo wall-hanger, that "El Cid" thing with the black hilt. Glorious! It hung on my wall in college, where my roommates were Rev War reenactors and taught me the True Path of Authenticity. Got some nice Del Tins from MRL, though these days most of my new toys are bronze weapons.

But really, the question is not Why do we do this, but Why doesn't EVERYONE do this?

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