Special Report
Sword Show 2001 - New Orleans

On Saturday January 13th, ARMA (at the time, "HACA") attended the 2001 Sword Show,  this year held in downtown New Orleans. This private invent closed to the public was a gathering for sword industry manufacturers and vendors to show their wares, discuss products and make trade deals.

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Attendees mix and mingle
among the swords

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Paul Chen, Hank Reinhardt
and John C. discuss attributes
of flexible rapier blades.

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Handling the wares.

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The crowd gathers.

On hand as consultant for C.A.S. Iberia was original HACA founder Hank Reinhardt along with sword maker Paul Chen. ARMA Director John Clements and several senior ARMA members were present evaluating weapons and training gear and to generally handle as many pieces as we could! John gave some impromptu demonstrations of the gripping and handling characteristics of different blades while consulting with industry leaders on the evolving interests of the historical European sword community, while ARMA members stresssed the need among an increasingly educated sword community for accurate historical reproductions over theatrical and reenactment weapons.

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Hank talks replicas

with John C.

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Handling

the products

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Discussing the new
Valiant line of swords

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Jeff Basham models
C.A.S. Iberia's new
gambeson.

ARMA students snooped among the new wares and offerings, many soon to be available for retail. Paul Chen of C.A.S. Iberia showed off several superb new pieces that will form the basis of their new line of quality historical replicas for training and practice, while Hank Reinhardt outlined the history and metallurgy of numerous pieces as well as how they were employed.

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Ron Harris & Hank

talk knives

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Hank showing off

Paul Chen's
exceptional
new Reproduction

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James Williams of

Bugei chats with
Paul Chen

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John chats about
CAS Iberia's new fencing
vest with president Barry Ross

About 200 people attended the two-day event, which for ARMA was a unique opportunity for serious sword enthusiasts to offer feedback to producers. ARMA members emphasized to vendors the emerging market among European martial artists for quality swords, armor, and training equipment as well as the training problems with designs of tangs, handles, and hilts. Director Clements also consulted with vendors on future test-evaluations of blades.

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Chen's impressive new short
sword from an original
in the Royal Armouries

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Dispalying the gear.

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A new small-sword replica fromCASI.
Very nicely crafted but still too heavy.

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Exceptionally light, solid,
agile, and accurate.

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A few watered
pattern-welded blades.

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John & Matt examine antique

sword-canes at Cohen's
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Afterwards the ARMA gang ventured off next door into the famous French Quarter for food and music. We were also able to visit Cohen’s, a famous antique militaria shop to view and handle authentic 18th & 19th century pieces, including American Civil War sabres, Napoleonic era swords and armour, European sabres and lances, and sword canes.

 

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