Covid 19 update

During the pandemic, Ottawa Swordplay is offering the following alternatives to our regular program:

  • Indoor and outdoor physically distanced classes: Winter Classes
  • Digital memberships with Online Drill classes: Memberships
  • Increased online content: YouTube
  • An online Store with delivery within the Ottawa area: Store


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  • 13 Apr 2021 9:00 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    Ontario Lockdown Update

    While we had hoped to start up our outdoor classes this month, under the current restrictions in Ontario we are not able to offer in-person classes, outdoors or indoors. As soon as we can offer classes we will post an announcement on our website and send an email update.  

    We are continuing to post new videos on YouTube and our livestream classes, held at 1 pm on Saturdays via Discord are ongoing. If you've attended any of our drop-in classes, or if you have signed up as an online swordplay member, you have access to our private Discord Server. Check your email for an invitation. If you're not an online member yet, you can sign up at It's a great way to support us and to keep practicing from home.  

    Renovations Continue!

    We've made great progress on the swordhall! You'll hardly recognize it the next time you visit. Here's a video sneak peek at the renovations as of March 27th. We've also now installed a new floor over the old sprung floor as you can see in the photo above. It's wonderful to walk on, and we think it's going to make for a fantastic training and fighting space. We can't wait to welcome you into the hall again soon. Until then, wear your mask and take care!

  • 19 Feb 2021 9:00 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    Here's what's coming up at Ottawa Swordplay:

    • Renovations Continue!
    • Online Classes
    • Winter Sale Exchanges

    Painting and Drywall and Flooring, oh my!

    The significant renovations we began in January are continuing. Check out the great photos below! The old gear storage room is gone, replaced by more floor space for fencing. We're redesigning the way loaner gear is stored, and making it easier to access the bathroom. And the whole place is getting a new coat of paint!

    We're making steady progress, but the work is ongoing, so we are not resuming in-person classes yet. We expect the work to continue throughout February and possibly into March. We'll keep you updated on when in-person classes will return - both indoor and outdoor.


    Online Classes and YouTube

    Our latest video series explores the four main guards of our system. You can watch the video on The Tower right now, and the next ones will be released on Tuesdays over the coming weeks. On Thursdays, the recording of our livestream class from the previous weekend also goes up on Youtube.

    Our livestream classes, held at 1 pm on Saturdays via Discord are ongoing. If you've attended any of our drop-in classes, or if you have signed up as an online swordplay member, you have access to our private Discord Server. Check your email for an invitation. If you're not an online member yet, you can sign up at It's a great way to support us and to keep practicing from home.

    Exchanges from Winter Sale

    Need to exchange the shirt or mask you bought during our winter sale for a different size? Please send us an email to arrange an appointment. We will be happy to help you but must plan around our ongoing renovations. Thank you for understanding!

  • 5 Jan 2021 6:00 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    January Public Health Order

    In compliance with the latest Public Health orders, we are closed to the public and will not be offering indoor classes during the province-wide shutdown. We are also not offering in-store shopping or curbside pick up during the shutdown, but our online store remains open for local delivery.

    We'll have new YouTube videos up soon, and our livestream classes via Discord will resume on Saturday, January 9th at 1 pm. If you've attended any of our drop-in classes, or if you have signed up as an online swordplay member, you have access to our private Discord Server. Check your email for an invitation. If you're not an online member yet, you can sign up at It's a great way to support us during the shutdown. 

    Status of Ottawa Swordplay

    To put it lightly, 2020 was an unpredictable and uncertain year. We know many local businesses that have had to close and that many of you are probably wondering about the future of Ottawa Swordplay.

    We are extremely lucky to be able to say with confidence that will be here for years to come. We want to thank you for all your support so far, and we are also thankful for the relief programs from the Federal and Provincial governments and the flexibility of our landlord.

    Renovations Underway

    Given the recent province-wide shutdown, we are taking this opportunity to do some significant renovations at the swordhall. We are excited to create a better space than ever before for when we are able to re-open! We hope most of the work will be complete by the end of January and the end of the province-wide shutdown, but some of the work may continue into February or possibly into March. We'll keep you updated on what that means for in-person classes.

    As always, your safety is our most important priority, and we will continue to offer modified and online activities. We look forward to widespread vaccination and a return to our regular activities at some point in 2021. 

    Returns or Exchanges from Winter Sale

    Should you have any items you need to return or exchange, please hold on to them until the provincial shutdown ends. We will be happy to help you once we can re-open to the public. If you have any questions or concerns at all, don't hesitate to send us an email.  

    Shop Now

  • 30 Nov 2020 10:30 AM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    End of Year Sale On Now!

    Looking for a book, shirt, mask, or sword for yourself or a fencer in your life? Check out the latest updates to our online store! From now until December 21st, every single purchase comes with a free Ottawa Swordplay/Points North mug. Whether you buy a new sword, a book, a shirt, or even just a mug - you get a mug added in for free!

    Did our latest video on dagger basics get you itching for some dagger practice? Buy a new fencing mask and we'll throw in a synthetic rondel dagger for free, or pick up our shirt and dagger bundle for just $45! Dagger is great for indoor training - no risk to your ceilings!

    As we've been doing for the past several months, we offer free porch delivery in the Ottawa area. Porch drop offs will be done on Tuesday evenings for all purchases made by the preceding Monday. For December, we are also adding in-store pick up hours from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday December 5th, 12th, and 19th. In-store pick up is great if you want to hold a sword or try on a mask before you buy. 

    Got any questions about any of our sale items or delivery options? Send us an email.  

    Click Here to Shop Now

    No Indoor Classes in December

    Ottawa Swordplay has typically closed for a few weeks in December over the holidays, and this year we've decided to close our indoor classes for the whole month. This has been a very challenging year for us, and this pause will allow our instructors some time to rest and recuperate before the new year. It will also allow us to make some further adjustments and changes to the swordhall to prepare for classes this winter, like improving our training pells. 

    Our online content will continue, and we hope you will join us for our Digital December! We've got new Novice series videos and more dagger videos coming to the YouTube channel on Tuesdays this month. We're slowly inching towards 1000 subscribers, and if we hit that milestone we unlock a ton of features for our channel, so if you haven't subscribed yet, please do!

    If you are an online member, or if you have attended a drop-in class, you have access to our Ottawa Swordplay Discord Server. Check your email for your latest Digital Perks! Craig leads a half-hour livestream solo longsword class on Saturdays at 1 pm via Discord. The recording is posted to our YouTube channel the following Thursday. These livestream classes will continue for December, with classes planned for December 5th, 12th, and 19th. There will be no livestream on the 26th, but it will return in January.

    From all of us here at Ottawa Swordplay, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season. We can't thank you enough for all your support this year. Take care, be safe, and keep practicing!

  • 4 Nov 2020 9:36 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    Indoor classes are back as of Tuesday, November 10th!

    The schedule is the same as before the shutdown, with two small changes. First, if you and someone from your household would like to sign up for the same class, you will now be allowed to do paired drills together. Second, we've replaced our Saturday classes with a single Longsword Solo Drill class. While targeted at intermediate students, novice students are welcome to join in! 

    Indoor at the Swordhall:

    • Tuesdays at 7 pm: Longsword Solo Drill
    • Wednesdays at 7 pm: No Contact Novice Longsword
    • Thursdays at 7 pm: Rapier Solo Drill
    • Saturdays at 11:30 am: Longsword Solo Drill 

    Outdoor Classes Continue

    While the weather permits, our Saturday outdoor classes continue! Join us for the great weather this weekend in the west end or east end.

    Updates to Covid-19 Precautions

    Following the latest advice from Ontario, we have adjusted the student training rings in the Sword Hall so that each fencer is 3 metres apart. We continue to require non-medical (cloth) masks to be worn for all indoor classes, and we will continue to regularly sanitize high-touch surfaces and shared equipment. To minimize contact, we're also asking students to avoid arriving too early or lingering too long after class.

    Your safety is always our top priority. If you are feeling ill, stay home, and we will gladly switch your registration to another class once you are well. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know

  • 12 Oct 2020 7:18 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    In accordance with the latest restrictions announced on October 9th for Ottawa, we have cancelled all indoor classes for at least the next 28 days. We will continue to offer physically distanced outdoor classes, online classes, and local delivery of store purchases.  Check the website for all the latest news, and you can always reach us by email at if you have questions. 

    Take care and stay safe!

  • 4 Sep 2020 4:30 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    New Fall Schedule

    Fall is almost here, and evening classes in the parks are getting a little dark! So, we’re adding a small selection of indoor classes at the sword hall on weeknights, and moving our outdoor West End longsword class to Saturday. Just like our Summer Swordplay classes, we’re offering all these classes on a drop-in basis. This makes it easy to skip a class if you’re busy or if you need to stay home because you’re ill. Our new schedule starts September 8th. 

    Indoor at the Swordhall:

    • Tuesdays at 7 pm: Longsword Solo Drill

    • Wednesdays at 7 pm: No Contact Novice Longsword

    • Thursdays at 7 pm: Single Sword Solo Drill

    • Saturdays at 10 am: No Contact Novice Longsword

    • Saturdays at 11:30 am: Paired Longsword Drill (sign up with a partner from your household/bubble)

    Outdoor at Andrew Haydon Park:

    • Saturdays at 11 am: Longsword Solo Drill

    Drop In Classes for Novices Now Available

    Brand new to swordplay? Join us for our no-contact novice longsword classes on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.

    These classes are offered on a drop-in, physically distanced basis. You’ll learn all the basics of longsword. All you need is comfortable clothes, a cloth face mask and a water bottle.

    Workshop: Making and Using a Pell

    Join John and Jacques on Friday, September 25th at 7 pm for a pell workshop! You'll make a pell to take home, and learn the do's and don'ts of pell work for training at home. Your registration fee includes all the materials to make your pell. 

    Sign up for the pell workshop today to secure your spot! 

    Latest Covid-19 Precautions

    Following Public Health guidance, we’ve updated our Covid-19 Policies to reflect the measures needed for indoor classes. All participants in indoor classes must wear a mask or face covering. We’ve taped out training space in the sword hall so students and instructors can maintain at least a 2 m distance while training. Loaner swords will be sanitized after each class, and hand sanitizer will be available for all students.

    All of our instructors are using the Covid-19 Alert App  and we encourage all students to also use the App. 

    Click here to view our full policies.  
  • 9 Jul 2020 3:22 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    Ottawa Swordplay is introducing Outdoor Solo Drill Classes on Tuesday evenings starting July 14th.

    These classes will be physically distanced and will expand upon the video drill classes we offer on Saturday afternoons. Classes will be limited to 8 students and two instructors. We have established specific Covid-19 Policies that students must follow if they attend these classes.

    In addition to a class led by Craig and Matthew at 1760 St Laurent Blvd (our Sword Hall), Sean and Marla will lead a second class at Andrew Hayden Park, and John and Jacques will lead a class focusing on Single Sword at Britannia Park. Click the button below for more details and to register. 

    Summer Classes

    These classes are offered weekly on a drop-in basis, and credits will be given in the event of cancellation due to inclement weather. Attendees will be given access to the Ottawa Swordplay Discord server, including access to the Saturday drill classes.

    As with our online memberships, we are offering scaled pricing. Our base price is $25 per class. If you are struggling financially, you are welcome to pay our subsidized price of $10 per class. If you are willing and able to help us offset the subsidy prices, we invite you to pay the generous price of $40 per class.

    We are excited to be able to offer these new outdoor classes and hope you will join us for some summer swordplay! 

  • 1 Apr 2020 5:08 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    We are working hard behind the scenes to bring some swordplay to you and keep our community connected.

    Today we opened our online store. We only have a few items currently, but we will add more soon. We will be doing porch drop-off delivery on Tuesday every week.

    We also have added a new video from our Virtual Open House to our YouTube Channel. Please watch and subscribe! More videos will be added regularly.

    We've created a new Online-only membership, with three levels. We know that many people are in a pinch, so we are giving you the opportunity to support us and each other at level that makes sense for you. The subsidized membership is $10/month for those who are in a tight financial situation. The regular price is $25/month, and if you are in a position to help a little more, and offset the subsidized rate of others, we have a "generous rate" of $50/month. All three levels give the same access, so sign up at the level that is right for you.

    The online memberships will give access to a new Discord server and extra video content. Additionally, if you are an online member in the Ottawa area and don't have a practice sword, let us know and we will porch-drop a wooden training sword for you to borrow. We will also hold weekly video chats and/or tournament video watch parties.

    If you've already pre-paid for a membership for when we re-open, you automatically get all of the benefits of an online-only membership. If you prefer to switch to online-only, let us know and we will set that up.

    We have more on the way soon, so watch this space!

  • 12 Mar 2020 8:00 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    The only thing we take more seriously than fun at Ottawa Swordplay is safety.  As Ottawa recorded our first cases of Covid-19 we wanted to share with you the steps we are taking to help keep our students and our community safe.

    1. We ask that all students who have an active cough or cold or who have had a fever in the past 24 hours stay away from class. As directed by public health, you should also be contacting your doctor to see if you need to be checked for Covid-19 and consider self-isolation.
    2. If any instructors have an active cough or cold or has had a fever in the last 24 hours, they will not come to the Swordhall and will contact their doctor to see if they should be checked for Covid-19. If a replacement instructor cannot be found, that class will be cancelled and students will have the option to make up that class at another time.  
    3. All students who do attend classes are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds before class or use a hand sanitizer if available.  Wearing gloves throughout class is encouraged. Generally speaking we should all be washing our hands thoroughly five times a day according to public health experts.
    4. Sharing of fencing masks is strongly discouraged.  Please don’t buy or wear “surgical” masks. They don’t help you and you will be taking them from the frontline health care providers who really need them.
    5. All shared equipment will be regularly cleaned.
    6. Ottawa Swordplay plans to remain open throughout the Covid-19 crisis unless we are directed by any level of government to close.  We will update you if any of our plans change.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding our health and safety expectations, please feel free to reach out to Matthew at

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