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Senior sword fighter
draws new interest
to sport of past

Will Rosar brings history to life with hobby

Senior+Will+Rosar+practices+his+sword+skills+in+Bicentennial+Park.+Rosar+participates+in+historical+European+martial+arts%2C+which+lines+up+with+his+passions.+%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99m+just+a+big+fan+of+history%2C+%C2%A0and+I+like+fighting+people%2C%E2%80%9D+Rosar+said.+%E2%80%9CInstead+of+keeping+history+and+martial+arts+separate%2C+I+thought+to+combine+them.%22
Senior Will Rosar practices his sword skills in Bicentennial Park. Rosar participates in historical European martial arts, which lines up with his passions. “I’m just a big fan of history,  and I like fighting people,” Rosar said. “Instead of keeping history and martial arts separate, I thought to combine them.

Senior Will Rosar practices his sword skills in Bicentennial Park. Rosar participates in historical European martial arts, which lines up with his passions. “I’m just a big fan of history,  and I like fighting people,” Rosar said. “Instead of keeping history and martial arts separate, I thought to combine them."

Nicole Miguez

Nicole Miguez

Senior Will Rosar practices his sword skills in Bicentennial Park. Rosar participates in historical European martial arts, which lines up with his passions. “I’m just a big fan of history,  and I like fighting people,” Rosar said. “Instead of keeping history and martial arts separate, I thought to combine them."

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While other students find their home on the court or football field, senior Will Rosar finds his with a sword in his hands.  

Will started sword fighting, specifically known as historical European martial arts (HEMA), two years ago. HEMA practices martial arts written about in history and used historically.

“Think about the way people would have fought back in the 1400s,” Will said. “Basically anything that is no longer used falls under the category of historical European martial arts. I might practice with a two-handed sword that is as tall as me or with a saber from the 1800s.”

Will’s coach, Colin Hatcher, runs the Italian medieval sword fighting school Accademia del Leone and has practiced HEMA for 20 years.

“We are not making this stuff up,” Hatcher said. “This is from manuscripts and museums that people have studied, including myself, for many years to understand the sword fighting arts used 600 years ago.”

Precautions and safety equipment are necessary to stay safe. Will said his worst injury occurred when his fingernail fell off from a blow.

“I wear HEMA-specific gear: I wear a pair of suspender pants, which are padded on the sides, so thigh hits don’t hurt,” Will said. “Sometimes when sparring, I wear shin grieves, and we always need helmets when we are fighting because the head is very vulnerable to getting hit.”

Will’s passion for history and martial arts influenced his interest. He does Muay Thai, a combat sport that originated in Thailand,  and practices sword-fighting techniques daily.

“I’m just a big fan of history,  and I like fighting people,” Will said. “Instead of keeping history and martial arts separate, I thought to combine them. I always watch movies and play video games where people are sword fighting.”

His father, Greg Rosar, said he loves his son’s interest in historical martial arts.  

“He was interested and showed it to me. We found some videos online and searched for different places,” Mr. Rosar said. “There are actually a lot of different factions throughout North Texas, and they are mostly European-style fighting.”

Rosar joined Hatcher’s class two years ago and has since improved his fighting skills.

“When he joined he knew nothing, and he has become an extremely good sword fighter,” Hatcher said. “If we put Will 600 years back in history on the battlefield, he’d do really well. He might even survive the day, whereas most people would be dead.”

Rosar practices at home every day and has a two-hour class each Saturday, combining for a total of eight minimum hours of training each week.

“It has always been clear to me that Will is one of those students who trains at home,” Hatcher said. “Some people are too busy to train at home and put the hours in. Will has put the hours in. I can tell because his progress was very fast. We would do something on a Saturday, and by the next week he would have mastered it.”

Rosar said he does have a preferred tool.

“My favorite weapon is the montante, which is a six-foot sword, and basically it is used to fight off multiple people at once or disrupt formations on a battlefield,” he said. “The weapon I am best at is the long sword. It is a primary weapon in deuling and self-defense.”

Hatcher said his favorite moments coaching Will come during fights when Will beats him because, according to Hatcher, a teacher has done a good job when the student can defeat the teacher.

“My favorite moment with Will is when I fight him, and he hits me in the face,” Hatcher said. “When we started, I could easily defeat him, but now when we fight, we have a fight. I don’t know if I’m going to win, and sometimes I lose.”

Will said his sword fighting has become more aggressive, and he takes the fight to the enemy.

“To be aggressive like that in a sword fight, even if it isn’t sharp swords, it does take some nerve and courage,” Will said. “I’m not saying I’m this great, courageous guy, but there is a certain amount of fearlessness you need to have.”

About the Writer
Ryan Stanley, Reporter

Ryan Stanley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived in a variety of cities. He currently lives in Prosper, Texas, with his family. After high school,...

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Senior sword fighter
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