Watch Now: Swords and sparring on Memorial High School history class syllabus | Education | #students | #parents

Memorial High school students participate in a medieval combat game during their Medieval history class.

What started as a joke has led to a full classroom at Memorial High School.

When Memorial added an activity period for clubs to meet during the school day a few years ago, band director Heath Miller offered to sponsor Medieval Fight Club.

“I figured she’d just laugh it off and I’d wind up doing yoga or something,” Miller said. “The following week, she called me into her office and asked what I needed to make Medieval Fight Club happen.

“It ended up being the most popular activity during activity period to the point that we ran out of equipment before we ran out of kids who wanted to be in it.”

The chance to get outside and swing a padded foam pool noodle and duct tape sword at a teacher or another student was so well received that Miller began teaching medieval history in addition to his fine arts courses and incorporating sword work into the lesson plans.

The club, which still meets regularly, was also among the activities offered during Memorial’s summer programming in July.

During classes and Medieval Fight Club meetings, students can either do one on one face-offs or a tag-like battle royale with teams in a grassy area on the west edge of campus.

In group sparring, any participant who takes a padded sword to the chest or back is considered dead and has to sit out for at least 30 seconds. Contact on the arm or leg is just a flesh wound and those participants are allowed to stay in the game. If a team’s king or queen is “killed” in combat, the game is over.

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