By Scott Schweinfurth

I have always wanted to learn some sort of sword fighting but, usually was only able to find fencing or stage combat classes. So when I discovered Battlesword Philly, I was excited to check it out. And overall the experience was amazing!

The owner did a fantastic job of getting all the participants geared up, familiar with their weapons and set on a list to fight each other. The goal of each fight was to break 7 “crystals” that were attached to our “armor”, one on each limb and 3 on the chest. The first person to break their opponent’s crystals was the winner. The fights were limited to 5 minutes, so in the event of no clear winner, the person with the most intact crystals won.

I signed up for my first fight of the night and waited for my name to be called. When it was, we stepped into the “arena” and begun. I had read a few reviews that mentioned how long that 5 minutes felt and how tired people were at the end, and when my 5 minutes was up, I completely understood. The 2 of us novices whacked at each other while feebly attempting some sort of defense, all while the owner yelled out amazing advice that we proceeded to ignore. When the 5 minutes was up, I was exhausted, I was sore, and I walked right over to the list to sign up for another one.

The best thing about Battlesword Philly is the level of support and coaching you get. There are people in there on a day pass (like I was) but there are also members who go every week. They were all very generous with their time and experience. In general, I felt an amazing sense of community. One that I wanted to be a part of immediately.

While I horribly lost my second fight, and while I lost all of my stamina about 3 minutes in making that last 2 minutes feel like an eternity where I had to work up the energy to make some sort of offensive maneuver, I am extremely excited to go back to Battlesword Philly and hope to become a monthly member in the very near future.

This gets a 5 out of 5 from me.