Multilayered Tapestries of Combative Anachronism

The term “martial arts” is mostly synonymous with Asian fighting systems, and the alternative combat traditions of 19th century Europe are all but forgotten.

Cane fighting
Western cane fighting

Classical lineages of European boxing and swordfighting are extinct today, known only from old training manuals and illustrations. The Western tradition of fantasy role-playing, however, is alive and kicking. Fans of this medieval warrior play match their Oriental counterparts in rigor and fervor, if not in number.

Here, filmmaker Ryan Wood tells the fascinating story of two amateur vampires and part-time LARPers…

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