~Samantha Swords

New Zealand-Australian living in Canada. Artist, writer and champion sword-fighter, works in the film industry both as cast and crew. Outgoing, and in love with life!

"Success is an attitude, not a destination."~Samantha SwordsPhotography by Herb DeWaal.

Excessive example of power tool use: using a heatgun to melt cheese on my bagels. Crispy melted-gold perfection. Happy Friday, everyone!

~S

Arrrr, brans!

How to survive dull supermarket chores- choose which of your groceries is the most useful in an apocalypse.
~

redefining-awesome asked: I would like to train in Euro Martial Arts, but there are no groups in my area. Do you have any suggestions as to where I should begin?

Hey R-A! I *do* have suggestions, and I am working on a a document for my page with a list of helpful advice. The quick answer is that you will have to shop around to find a group that works for you, but as long as it’s a healthy, supportive club that enjoys learning and encourages you to experiment as well as learn what they have to teach, you should be alright.
There are so many different enthusiast groups working with swords that European Martial Arts is just one place to start. The more you learn, the more you can pull together what works and is practical vs. what looks good but isn’t that useful.

Please get in touch if you have problems, and follow what feels like the right path for you. Good luck!

~S

stealthycosplay asked: I am so happy I found you on the interwebs. I have big dreams of being a costume/prop maker, I want to take martial arts to work on my fighting technique, I want to go stunt school and be a stunt fighter/driver, and I want to start my own company doing things along these lines (I even have my company name picked out). Most days it just not feel possible and it feels like I should not even try, but you have inspired me to keep pushing and working on my portfolio and to never give up.

Hi S-C, thanks for writing to me- I’m happy to hear I have encouraged you. It’s so important to have goals, even if you never reach them you will be further than where you started. :)

You can do anything you set your mind to, (with patience, time, good support, and a lot of luck!).
All the very best for pursuing your dreams. 
~S

redmagus77 asked: Glad to hear that not only are you succeeding in your chosen career, but also teaching it's joy to others! May this be the first of many such compliments you receive this year!

Thank you, Redmagus! I’m pretty blown away. It’s a real privilege to have such a capable student to work with- keeps me accountable to whether I’m getting it right, or not. :)
Best wishes,
~S

The Instructor Reference

~It’s the end of the 5th week training my first regular student in Medieval European sword combat. I’m blown away by his words, but sharing them to honour those who have shaped my own education.
 
"Having been a police officer for twenty-five years, and a use of force instructor for fifteen of them I have had the opportunity to learn from many teachers, both good and bad, from all over North America. At this stage in my life it is rare that a teacher is able to present anything truly new in the combat arena.

Samantha is not only teaching me new skills, swordplay being somewhat rare in policing these days; but is also presenting material that is quite literally thought provoking.

Samantha has the gift of being able to take basic aspects of fighting: balance, timing, intention or focus, kinetics, even basic movement and presenting them in such a way that I am thinking about it all harder than I have in years.

It is refreshing to have a teacher who can present both new and previously familiar material in a way that is clear, interesting and enjoyable. The greatest thing a teacher can give a student is the desire to learn, a thirst for more information. Samantha makes me very thirsty indeed.”

<Name withheld>, Vancouver Police Department

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A Message from Samantha

To all my wonderful supporters, especially the ones who have written to me.

Best wishes,
~S

Nothing says, 'Cultural Experience' quite like a mountain of fresh Shanghai Noodles in Chinatown, after attending a Catholic Mass completely in French at the Notre Dame Basilica… then warming up in 4 foot snowdrifts with steaming hot Maple Cider, to go!

Vive Montréal; Vive le Québec!

Working with the Vancouver Police Department on tactical training scenarios is rewarding &amp; great fun&#8230; especially when I get to dress up!~S