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  • Writer's pictureKrys

Gear Building Workshops -- What they are and how to participate.

You all may have noticed our new addition this year: Gear Building Workshops. These happen at the end of each month most months, and during our normally scheduled Viking Combat classes. These fantastic workshops are opportunities to help students create training weapons they can take home and use for practice, solo drills, and fight with in the ring at events. We also develop and work with students to build armor and necessary protective equipment to keep them safe while sparring. Students collaborate, build together, and 'assembly line' the workshop so that everyone can walk away with the training item they ordered.

The hope in these classes is to offer our students and martial artists with affordable gear that can allow them to grow their training routine and increase their safety with custom items made for them. Viking shields are expensive to make either solo or bought online, but with a group of people become quite affordable. Ash Mountain Armory graciously provides us with the materials necessary to build our axes at-cost for our students.

Students who are not monthly members of our school may participate in this (i.e. honorary members, known guests from other HEMA schools, volunteer personnel, people unable to train due to injury, people currently in beginner classes, and drop-in rate students), but people who have yet to begin any training program or have never trained with WoA are not able to participate at this time. We want to ensure the items we are sending people home with are used safely and effectively, so anyone who has before or is currently training with us is able to sign up for these workshops. While these are not open to the general public, we encourage anyone to come train with us and get started in our school to figure out how to use all the items we are building.

It is important to note that these workshops are not included in the monthly membership. The $10 class fee goes towards buying the tools necessary so students need not bring their own (though volunteering tools is always appreciated) to build, and the material's fee is a changing amount based on at-cost material prices for the subject of the build that month. For builds at flow from one month to the next (for example: gorgets have a part 1 and a part 2 for the build), the material for part 1 (the leather itself) will be a different price than part 2 (where needles, glue, and thread are all that's needed to complete the item).

We require these classes to be purchased in advance so materials may be bought during the month and ready to go when the class starts at the end of the month. We post reminders on our FB member's page so students can purchase the classes before the deadlines.

The way they work is this:

- The workshops open for purchase on the website by the first of the month--sometimes a few days before. This allows students to purchase Both the monthly workshop fee and the material's fee at the same time as when they purchase their monthly membership dues.

- Students pay for the workshop itself And the materials. Cash is accepted as long as it is also before the deadline (you must message Krys if you pay cash). The material costs remain open until typically the 10th of the month. Reminds are posted prior to them closing, but any student wanting to participate needs to purchase prior to the deadline. When the materials disappear from the shop, you know the deadline has passed and no more orders for that month are being accepted.

- WoA puts together the materials necessary throughout the month and order items and tools to get the builds done smoothly.

- At the end of the month students build the gear piece together at the workshop.

Sometimes other students and instructors sponsor the items entirely so students can sign up for free. If you're strapped for cash but would like to build something, please keep checking the FB member's page for when students are being offered sponsored items. We do a

'pay it forward' system whenever possible, so students that needed help the previous month usually opt to sponsor an item later on. We also offer free items in exchange for build labor. For example, if the school needs to replace 2 Dane Axes, we may offer a dane ax trainer in exchange for the student coming and building the 2 needed for the school as well. This changes month to month based on what the school needs, so students interested in this program may inquire directly or look to see if our posts contain advertised help.

For those who have emergencies happen or are otherwise unable to finish a build they ordered, we will set aside the materials for you and sometimes generous students will help out their fellow teammates and move the build along for them.

For the remainder of the 2019 year we have the following build workshops on the roster:

- June -- Dane Axes

- July -- Shields

- August -- Gorgets part 1 - cutting out and burnishing pieces - September -- Gorgets part 2 - stitching them together - October -- Banners - November -- Back of the head protection part 1 - cutting out and burnishing pieces - December -- Back of the head protection part 2 - stitching the piece to the helmet

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