A little sword-love from the hoplophobic New York Times.

Unlike TTAG, we at the Truth About Knives have not had a particular engagement with the New York Times. Where they regurgitate the Moms Demand Guns for Illegal Mayors talking points – drawing frequent commentary from Mr. Farago and the crew,  they have not commented much directly on knives. The only directly knife-right related piece I could find was this 2010 article on the push to remove switchblade bans, but is pretty general in nature. While the article is fairly balanced, the NYT normally exhibits that most horrible of all afflictions, hoplophobia.

Every once in a while the Old Grey Lady runs something that paints weapons and those who wield them in a more positive light. This past weekend they ran a piece (and accompanying video) on Longpoint, the largest North American competition for Longsword fighting and other “Historical European Martial Arts”.

Based on research into historical texts, Longpoint aims to faithfully recreate the Medieval German and Italian longsword fighting styles. Unlike the more theatrically oriented Society for Creative Anachronism, Longpoint competitors shun period armor and costume for modern protective gear. This gear looks to be a mix of traditional fencing wear, with dog-training padding and catcher shin guards mixed in. The history and training components are highlighted as well.

I would block quote from the article I read, but the NYT is touchy about any quotations which would normally fall under fair use. In fact, right-mouse functions are blocked, so I can’t cut and paste. You can read the whole thing here. Or you can just watch the video which covers most of it in a more useful format anyway.

You can read more about the Longpoint organization by visiting www.fightlongpoint.com.




  1. Ducky says:

    I use a bookmarklet called void scripts to allow right click on those sites.

  2. GC says:

    I’m guessing that the positive portrayal is due to the sport having old European roots which makes it more acceptable to the NYT. If the coverage was for something like a North American balisong twirling league, the article probably would have been very different.

    1. ChuckN says:

      Maybe the NYT is simply astonished and mystified
      that there are actual martial arts that didn’t
      originate in East Asia.

      1. Duncan Idaho says:

        Well, we all know that European martial arts entailed a towering man in a tin suit who could trundle around at maybe five yards per minute, swinging a blunt sword that weighed around twenty pounds at another guy in a tin suit.

        [end sarcasm]

        This makes me sort of sad that I’m probably pawning my Windlass longsword this weekend. I had fun working on it and eviscerating milk jugs with it, but a good CZ .30-06 boasts twice the utility of that blade.

        If management is interested, I can load up a short little parting review and some pictures before it’s gone.

        1. management is most certainly interested. Email me a word doc or pdf at thetruthaboutknives@gmail.com

          I would love it.


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A little sword-love from the hoplophobic New York Times.

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