Willow Lucas-Smith

BSIS is pleased to present a small series of interviews with Destreza instructors around Australia.

Below we talk to Willow Lucas-Smith, known also as Aliette le Lièvre of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), in the barony of Politarchopolis (Canberra).  Willow made a big splash in the Destreza community with her Rada article (https://m.facebook.com/notes/willow-lucas-smith/la-verdadera-destreza-an-introduction-to-renaissance-spanish-fencing/10158455074593368/ ).  She has kindly answered some questions for us to help you get to know her:

What is your favourite Destreza action and why?

Considered control of the medio (distance and angle) from my opponent disables the most skilled with the blade by dictating the timing of the fight. When you have enough control, you can make the smallest movements to make your opponent miss and gain atajo.

When did you start HEMA and why?

I’ve studied Aikido and Kenjutsu since 1999 and still enjoy both to this day. A friend introduced me to the SCA and then put a rapier in my hand and encouraged me to give it a go. It didn’t take much encouraging.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

Every time a student has an ‘Aha!’ moment and mentally removes a barrier they had, freeing them up to do a whole range of techniques better.

Can you apply Destreza training in everyday life?

It’s difficult for me to say, since I have been applying what I’ve learnt in Aikido all my life and many of the motor skills you develop there are similar to what you need in Destreza. In that respect, I must be using it in everyday life.

What else do you teach?

Sometimes the odd Aikido class, or 15th and 16th century dance class.

How can you be contacted to organise lessons?

email willow.lucassmith@gmail.com, we train every 1:30pm Sunday at Ainslie Scout Hall, Canberra, unless a fencing tournament is taking place elsewhere.  In our school there are many styles of fencing taught, if you want to learn Destreza seek me out, the tall girl, usually wearing 14-15th century clothing.

Published 13th October 2019