Lonin - Seattle, WA
Lonin is a Seattle independent study group focusing on longsword, predominantly Fiore.
"Lonin" is a contraction of "Longsword Ronin." The "Ronin" part of the name is a reference to the fact that the group is masterless, i.e. there is no fencing master ("maestro") dispensing formal instruction. Members try to acquire knowledge and skills by studying printed material and by attending events such as 4W, WMAW, and VISS.
Most members of the group have a grasp of the basic terminology and principles of the German system, however Lonin's main focus is Fiore. Practices are held 3-4 times weekly and generally begin with dagger plays as a warmup, followed by longsword drills.
Lonin evolved from a group founded in 2002, which sparred with padded wasters, fabricated by members from various combinations of high-tech materials. The goal was to create safe sparring weapons of realistic dimensions and weight. The wasters were made in a range of historically inspired sizes and configurations, but over time a preference emerged for longswords. It became prohibitively expensive, both in terms of time spent and materials purchased, to continue making and breaking the wasters, and so circa 2007 the group transitioned to a longsword-only curriculum using exclusively steel weapons. Most of these are supplied by Seattle-area bladesmiths Angus Trim and Tinker Pearce.