LOL, I knew you were going to ask about it XD
“Medieval hand-to-hand and sword stuff” is more officially referred to as HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) I recently found a HEMA club nearby and joined because… swords!! Obviously!!
HEMA is a martial art that is essentially a reconstruction of medieval techniques, based on the medieval manuals they’ve found. It includes all weapons and disciplines, but my club mainly does longsword, wrestling, and daggers. (mostly according to the German masters, but there are some Italian sources in there too.)
It is, without a doubt, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I’ve had three lessons so far and learned heaps that I’m definitely going to use in my book.
I haven’t practiced with daggers yet, but I’ve practiced with the longsword, which is one of the coolest things in existence. It was a plastic one, nobody was stupid enough to give me a steel one, though blunt steel swords (known as feders) are used by the more experienced people. When you’re wearing a mask and a gambeson and gloves and all kinds of other gear. With the plastic swords, we do have to wear masks and gloves, because you get hit. A lot.
(Fun fact to be used in some novel, there are several ways that you can literally yank someone’s sword from their hands without them being able to do much about it.)
And wrestling was also splendid fun, though it was harder for me since 90% of people were bigger/heavier than me XD
Anyway, there are lots of HEMA clubs in America, so I think you might be able to find something if that’s something you’re interested in! (I mean… there are swords. What more do you want? XD)
I’d be happy to talk more about it if you have any questions! (I’m just looking for an excuse to talk excitedly about it XD) I know like… three things but I’d be happy to share them XD
Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?