Swordsman & Geek

A Midsummer Night’s Blog

Hosting a Montante Mile

In 2015 we hosted the first Montante Mile in Racine, Wisconsin at the Western Martial Arts Workshop.  In the course of a single weekend different martial artists walked 18 miles of montante rules together.

Montante Mile 2015

You can see the details of the original martial challenge here (Montante Mile 2015).

It’s 2017 and the Sacramento Sword School invites you to participate in this challenge together anywhere you can find the space.

What is the Montante Mile?

The Montante Mile is a personal martial challenge to perform rules of the montante for a full mile.  Sacramento Sword School is hosting our event on October 21, 2017 at Fair Oaks Park.  We’re starting at 9:30 AM.  If you’re local you are welcome to join us.  If you are not local, you can host your own event by yourself or with friends.

What are the rules of the Montante Mile?

The rules are that it is your mile.  It’s your challenge and you should approach it as something which you can do.

How do I set this up?

Find a park or open space.  Measure out and mark a 60 ft. course (or courses if you bring friends) and bring some greatswords or large closet poles.  (Longswords are too light and make a poor substitute for the montante.)  To complete the montante mile count the number of lengths you make down the course.  When you reach 90 lengths you have completed the Montante Mile.

That’s easy!

Bring some water; bring some chairs, snacks, and maybe coffee or tea if you like it.  

If a rule asks you to move backwards and forwards consider doing one length moving forward and the next length moving backwards.

If you don’t have 60 ft. of space you can calculate the number of lengths you need like this:

X ft. of space /  5280 ft. = number of lengths for the mile

A word on safety: Physics is not your friend

The Montante is a big weapon and it can hurt stuff.  Ensure you have a clear space and won’t hit any people, critters, or objects of value.  Please be safe.

This is crazy…  Why would I do this?

Yes, it is crazy.  Because sometimes martial arts is about reps.  Sometimes it’s about meditation.  Sometimes it’s about “shut up and train.”  Sometimes it’s about flying in sword-formation with your friends at your sides.  Sometimes it is about making the world a little more beautiful.  Because sometimes you need to swing a piece of metal for a mile so that you know yourself and the weapon a little bit better.

That is the Montante Mile.

I’m in… How do I do this Montante thing of which you speak?

Welcome to the insanity.  The montante is the greatsword tradition of the Iberian peninsula.  You can download a translation of Figueiredo’s Memorial of the Practice of the Montante here: (Translation by maestro Eric Myers).  You can download Godinho’s rules of the montante here: (Translation by Tim Rivera)

With that you can read a rule, make some laps sword in hand and see how it works.

You could also join the Montante Facebook group: (Montante Swordsmanship)

Still, need more?  You’re not alone.  You’re part of a community of merry psychos.  You can just type “Montante” into the search prompt in YouTube and you’ll find loads of people across the world posting videos of the forms.  Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t.  It’s all cool and if you’re brand new you can pick out some that you like and give it a go.

Look, I’m a beginner. 
So was I once.  I think I still am.  It’s okay.  It’s your mile and you win by training.

I’m injured; my body has limits.
Listen to your body.  Do what you can without hurting yourself.  If you get tired, take a break.  If you need water, drink.  Work within what you can do. 

Nobody says you have to do this in a single day.  Even just 60 ft. is one step closer to your mile.  If you walk 60 ft. per day you get there in 3 months.   Listen to your body and work with it.

It’s raining non-stop here and I can’t make the date…    

Not a problem.  Pick your own day.  I’m not the Montante Cop of the Universe (tm).  It’s your mile.  Do it when you can in your own way.

I am so jazzed about this… I must have swag!!
And you shall have it!  I have created a T-Shirt for the die-hard diestros that complete their own Montante Mile this year.

You’ll need to use a rule of the montante just to defend this shirt.

Link to the 2017 Montante Mile T-Shirt

The 2017 Montante Mile T-shirt can be yours!!  Complete your mile and earn the bragging rights.  (This is entirely on the honor system.)

We can share this… it’s better if we share it. You can do this with us, with your friends, for the art, and also for yourself.  Post pictures, share videos, and tell stories about the good time you had.

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