The New York Times traveled to a hotel in Ellicott City, Maryland to profile Longpoint, a three day event centered on historical European martial arts such as longsword fighting. Unlike many period-themed gatherings, Longpoint features active competition in its various categories.
Skill and technique, rather than size and strength, decide the outcomes. Fights are fast and sometimes brutal: key to the art is landing a blow while preventing an opponent’s counterstroke. Nevertheless, even the best swordfighters earn large bruises in the ring, which they display with flinty pride.