Get Lois to Racine!
Racine? Why Racine?
Because Racine, Wisconsin, is the home of WMAW -- the Western Martial Arts Workshop, and that's what I'm aiming to attend!
Okay, so, why do want to go to WMAW?
As someone who's been doing western martial arts (also known as historical European martial arts) for a few years, I know that WMAW is one of the foremost WMA/HEMA events in North America. I've had pipe dreams of getting out there, but logistics are never easy, and airfare is the opposite of cheap.
Right. So, that means something special is happening this year?
Yes! This year is the 450th anniversary of the compilation of Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza's De la Filosofía de las Armas y de su Destreza, which is the seminal text behind the Iberian fencing style known as La Verdadera Destreza. WMAW is hosting a number of experts from around the world offering various classes in honor of the event! This is, in many ways, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
That seems a little overblown. Is it really that big of a deal?
I'm biased, but I genuinely believe so. I live in Australia, which makes visiting anyone outside of the country a logistical and financial problem, which aren't as big for folks who practice and study in North America or Europe.
I mean, okay, 450th anniversary with world experts and all, but, how does all this relate to you?
Destreza is the primary style I study. I'm an instructor with the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship, and I've made some small translation contributions to the wider community. Historical fencing may be a hobby, but it's one that is deeply meaningful to me, and I hope to be able to give more back to the community by participating at WMAW and learning every single thing I can cram in my brainmeats.
Okay, I think I get it. So, why $2500, exactly?
First of all, airfare. Getting to Racine from Brisbane and back will not be cheap, around $1500 AUD (this campaign collects in Australian dollars, by the way). The remaining $1000 AUD is to cover transportation, room, and board while in the US for this four-day event.
Are you capping this at $2500 AUD?
No. Any overage on this campaign will go to things like setting aside more time to translate materials for myself, my school, and the greater community, and to save away for any future historical fencing trips I may want to make in the future.
What do we get out of this?
A sense of satisfaction from helping me out? --Less facetiously, the time and energy I invest in this event will be amplified once I'm back home and can synthesise all the things I've learned. It'll inform my teaching, it'll inform my translations, and I hope it will, in some small way, benefit the historical fencing community and general historical research, too.
Anything else I should know?
Yes! Every little bit counts. Even if you can only give a dollar, please do! And if you can't give (and I understand -- I've been there), please share! Thank you!