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Published March 23rd 2012
The silver gleam of flashing swords, the smell of leather helmets, the heavy clank of armour, dashing tales of derring-do. All symbols of days and ideals long gone, right? Not necessarily. Contrary to popular opinion, the age of chivalry is not dead. After a long hibernation it's been revived, not in Nottinghamshire's Sherwood Forest, but right on our doorstep at Brisbane's very own Knight School.
Knight School is a program of Living History Australia, an organisation that brings the past into the present through re-enactments. Kids aged 8 to 16 can replace the holiday ho-hum with vacation valour at these special workshops, presented by experienced and professional historians and medieval martial artists. And no, we're not talking about Bruce Lee lookalikes jumping and kicking in chainmail and armour. These instructors are skilled in the arcane arts of swordplay and knightly battle. They demonstrate the techniques with real armour and weapons and then kids engage in full-on battle with rubberised swords and protective equipment.
Don't think that girls will be consigned to playing the damsel in distress, sitting about in robes and wimples, delicately embroidering and dropping handkerchiefs. They can go fully armed into the fray. But it's not all about battles and weaponry. Participants will also learn about life in medieval times and the knightly virtues of courage, humility, perception, prowess and leadership. Basic Classes incorporate an induction of squires, an overview of knighthood, knight classes, combat displays, team battles and medieval games. Master Classes include an induction to advanced weapons, medieval games, battle strategies, team battles and a grand tournament. What child could resist?
When: Living History Australia plans to present one day Knight School Basic Classes and Master Classes in all Queensland school holidays. Classes run from 9am to 5pm. Check their website for all details and to book here. For the upcoming Easter school holidays Basic Classes will be held on 2 and 12 April and Master Classes on 3 and 13 April.
Where: All courses are held at Old Queensland Museum, Corner of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road, Bowen Hills.
Cost: $55 per child aged 8 to 16.
What to Bring: Lunch and a water bottle. Fruit and cordial will be supplied. Children must wear closed in shoes with good grip.
Living History Australia are also accredited by Education Queensland to provide educational programs for primary and secondary students. They offer 2 hour or full day programs that bring history from a range of eras to life in the schoolyard. Check out the details here.