Knight moves: Step back in time at Medieval May

This weekend at the King Edward Community League it’s going to get medieval.

Participants will get the opportunity to step back in time to the Middle Ages as the Knights of Northern Realm host their 8th annual Medieval May event.

The knights describe themselves as a 14th-century living history club. The group has been around for 17 years and has about 20 active members. Every Monday night they train in western martial arts and learn to use medieval weapons like daggers, spears and swords.

“We’re learning to fight with swords and other weapons with skill, not just bashing each other because that’s not historical and that’s definitely not skilful,” said Tom Yohemas, also known as Sir Thomas of Strathcona, chancellor of the Knights of the Northern Realm, in an interview on CBC Radio’s Edmonton A.M.

Tom Yohemas, also known as Sir Thomas of Strathcona, chancellor of the Knights of the Northern Realm dropped by the CBC Edmonton studio on Thursday. Here Sir Thomas poses for a photo with Edmonton AM hosts Garrette McGowan, left, and Mark Connolly. (CBC)

The sword fights feature historically accurate armour. The weapons are blunted but the risk of injury is real, though the combatants are attempting not to hurt each other.  

With period clothing, weapons and armour, the group members get a real glimpse of life in the 14th century, a time of great change, Yohemas said.. 

“The time period is interesting because in the 14th century everything is changing – the church’s power over the people, the middle class is emerging, women’s equality is emerging – there’s so much social change at this time,” said Yohemas.

The Medieval May event will feature more than just sword fighting. There will be also be a medieval fashion show, period dancing, historical artifacts, weapons demonstrations and many other opportunities to learn about history.

“It’s all about teaching the public real history, not the stuff they’re seeing in Game of Thrones, not the stuff they read in badly-written books,” said Yohemas. “But we have tables, everything from heraldry to clothing, from swords to armour, and we’re going to be teaching people about real history”.

Medieval May takes place Saturday at the King Edward Community League located at 7708 85th Street. Admission is $5 per person. Children under five can get in for free.

Members of the King Edward Community League have free admission.

Noble Knights are about to go medieval on each other. We go “one-on-one” with the chancellor of the “Knights of the Northern Realm”, before this weekend’s Medieval May festival. 6:00

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