Before that courtly, blade-happy time, masks were often regarded with unease: Putting one on suggested you didn’t regard your opponent as skilled enough to not accidentally hurt you when sparring, which was deemed insulting. Cut from murderous roots, it took another century or so for the various strands of European swordsmanship to cohere into a modern Olympic sport that still captures modern imaginations with potent notes of chivalric history and quick, bloody violence.
In an age of global unease about the future and endless digital distractions, people seek things gone missing: romance, self-discipline, epic challenge. Now that people carry smartphones instead of swords, many thrill-seekers are turning back to this ancient art form. The lure of the blade never goes away.
Assistant Styling Indigo Goss and Marina Pamies
Special thanks to Darling Creative