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The Arms Guild

The Arms Guild is a haven for a variety of martial applications. The guild focuses on educating its members on historical combat through seminars, workshops, and displays. We encourage members to not only learn about Medieval European combat, but to also research and teach others about other topics that interest them—such as Asian weapons and armor, siege weapons, strategic philosophies, and modern and historical sparring. We work with the Scholars Guild to ensure that we are teaching the most accurate, relevant information that we can, and that we are encouraging members to research topics that they find most interesting. Although we focus on Medieval arms and armor, we have many talented members to help with any area of research.


For our more theater-driven members, the Arms Guild is a place to explore the skills of martial arts and stage combat. We emphasize characterization, expression, and teamwork. Combat choreography is an amazing way to bring a character to life! Through weapon choice and well-planned choreography, we provide a venue for members of all skill levels to practice dramatization through stage combat, while ensuring the safety of all members. Arms Guild members have the opportunity to take part in the AOA’s largest production each year—the Human Chessboard. Through many years of refining, our combat choreography system was created through collaboration of several members with years of stage and martial arts experience. While we always stay true to the core ideal of safety, we are continuously growing to incorporate new ideas and modes of expression.

Through our many activities, the Arms Guild works closely with the Smithing Guild to construct educational and performance equipment, be it armor, weapons, or other projects. The Arms and Smithing Guilds also work together on educational seminars involving historical arms and armor, as well as equipment care and upkeep. Most importantly, the two guilds cooperate to ensure that all equipment used within the group is safe for its intended application for all members and audiences.


The Arms Guild is also one of the main avenues for learning knightly skills, including archery and friendly sparring. The primary goal of the guild in this regard is to promote martial prowess with the utmost safety for all members. In this way, the Arms Guild is a place to learn many important skills and traits essential to being a knight. We believe that all talent is best put to use when implemented alongside a showcase of courtesy, chivalry, and honor. We strive to implement and teach these tenants through all of our activities. To participate in the Arms Guild, you may come to any of the seminars or workshops led by our gifted members, participate at our annual tournaments, or be involved in the Human Chessboard each year. Please do not hesitate to ask questions or explore new avenues! We strive for safety, growth, and education. We believe that no matter what your interests are—be they academic, practical, or theatrical—you can find a place and a purpose within the Arms Guild.

Meet the Guild Master

Derek Shaw, Master of the Arms Guild
Knight of the White Shield
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