British Columbia

Learn to fight with swords and daggers in Kamloops, B.C.

A new school called Lynx Armizare in Kamloops, B.C., teaches students about historical European martial arts, including sword fighting and medieval wrestling.

New school of historical European martial arts opens up in B.C.'s Interior

A new program in Kamloops, B.C., teaches historical European martial arts, which includes specific moves in sword fighting. (Doug Herbert/CBC)

Residents of Kamloops, B.C., can now learn about something from medieval times: sword fighting and European martial arts.

Simon Rainier teaches at Lynx Armizare, a new school of medieval European martial arts. Students at the school study medieval combat equipment, wrestling, sword fighting and fighting with daggers.

"A lot of people come out and like the martial aspect of it," Rainier said. "There's certain crossovers with self defence, though it's not a huge emphasis here because most people don't carry around swords these days."

At Lynx Armizare, on the other hand, there are swords. Real ones. 

A Lynx Armizare student and his teacher practise sword fighting. (Doug Herbert/CBC)

Rainier hails from Vancouver, where he gained an interest in sword fighting at a young age.

"I really love the historical aspect of it," he said.  

He took classes in the Lower Mainland, and when he moved to Kamloops he found there was an opportunity for him to bring his love of historical European martial arts to the Interior.

Rainier now teaches classes out of the Kamloops Yacht Club and holds sparring sessions in Riverside Park. Though most of his students are children aged eight to 14 years old, he said there's room for more adults to take part. 

Some of the swords used by students at Lynx Armizare. (Doug Herbert/CBC)

"I wanted to learn a martial art but I didn't have great history with Asian ones," said Lynx Armizare student Alex Garnhum. 

When CBC asked what Garnhum likes about sword fighting, he answered simply: "Swords."

Garnhum's mother Nikki said that since Alex has taken up European martial arts, his fitness and overall strength have improved.

"It's awesome. He has so much fun."

She hopes as her son continues with historical European martial arts he gains a better "sense of self and the ability to handle himself in different situations."