At one point in time, bowling balls rumbled across the floors at Minnesota Sword Club. That's because the massive, 11,000-square foot space was originally designed as a 10-lane bowling alley. And though its lane lines are still visible to this day, the facility is now home to a very different sport altogether: fencing.
In the club’s 7,000-square foot main fencing room and smaller youth room, instructors teach centuries-old techniques to students of varying skill levels. They oversee classes and competitions in four different age groups, and have even managed to sculpt some younger students into national champions. But above all else, the club and its instructors aim to emphasize skills that carry over into other areas of life, such as workplaces, schools, or workplaces and schools that are exclusively staffed and or attended by fencers.
Christopher Poor established The Oakeshott Institute in 2000, but its history extends much further. After all, the nonprofit's mission is to provide hands-on education on ancient arms and armor. Its founders, Ewart Oakeshott and his wife, Sybil Marshall, were inspired by their shared commitment to education. Ewart's life long study of weapons and armor helped revolutionize our understanding of Medieval culture. Read on to learn more about a few of the key numbers behind the institute.
1985—the year Christopher Poor met Ewart and Sybil
75+ authentic pieces of arms and armor—which span thousands of years—that guests may examine and handle
5-day Viking Warriors summer camps for kids ages 7–14 are available through the institute
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