Iron Thorn

The Art of War

Iron Thorn is the Terrasylvae company focusing on three distinct (yet similar) fighting styles, Longsword, Sword and Shield, and Cut-and-Thrust, learning the styles from those who are experienced fighters, studying the manuals of both modern and historical masters. The styles of combat Iron Thorn practices cover the art of war for the periods between the 9th and 16th centuries, not only through dueling but through group battles we call melees as well.

Pick up your sword and shield

Practices occur every last Saturday of the Month (March-September) with the exception being the last practice of the season occurring on the first Saturday of November (October is a busy month for Terrasylvae). Practices are at Woodland Park from 3:00 PM-6:00 PM. Practices start with opening announcements then proceed to a half-hour of lessons then to what has been planned for the day.

  • Duel Day: Duel Days focus on duel-centered games and challenges to help improve personal skill.
  • Melee Day: Melee Days focus on group battles (called melees) to help train teamwork as well as strategic and tactical mindsets.
  • Open Day: Open days are free for members to practice what they wish, or may be taken over by Officers to run.
  • The Gauntlet: The Gauntlet is a day of pure relentless exercise. Starting with a form of dueling leapfrog that travels throughout the park, taking a break for water and some rest, then ending the practice with fighters picking a partner and fighting endless duels (calling hits, but continuing to fight, only ending when both fighters are tired).

What does it Cost?

Membership costs $1 which gives you access to classes and progression within the Company, renting loaner gear is a total of $2 ($1 for protective gear and $1 for weaponry) which gives most newcomers a monthly total of $3 if you are renting gear and only $1 monthly for membership if you have gear (if you do not have gear and have not paid in full for gear rental, you cannot borrow loaner gear).

The Fighting Styles


Time Period: Approx. 14th-16th Centuries

Contrary to popular sources (Dungeons and Dragons or other RPG Video Games) the longsword is in fact a two-handed sword (with the ability to fight one-handed if needed) and not a one-handed sword. Thus the fighting style utilizes both hands. The weapon originated in the 13th century but didn’t see widespread use until the 14th century, and was most common during the 15th and 16th centuries. Longsword is a combat style encompassing both aggression and finesse and is favored among most members. While movies are not the most accurate in representing the style, movies that give an idea of what the style is would include Lord of the Rings (Aragorn’s fighting style) and Star Wars (Lightsaber duels).

Sword and Shield

Time Period: Approx. 9th-15 Centuries

The Sword and Shield is one of the oldest forms of combat, technically originated with the Hittite Civilization around the 17th Century BCE and would continue to be used by European civilizations across all of European History, most commonly remembered during the times of the Roman Empire (with the Scutum and Gladius). However, our style of fighting focuses primarily on the Medieval style which originated approximately during the 9th Century (the Saxon/Viking Age) and ended around the 15th century when longswords were preferred over the one-handed Arming Sword, and later phased out in favor of Side Swords (see Cut-and-Thrust). As the name suggests, it’s combat with a sword for offense and a shield for defense. It is an aggressive fighting style that is simple to learn, but difficult to master.


Time Period: Approx: 16th-18th Centuries

Cut-and-Thrust fencing is a specific style of fencing originating in the Renaissance as heavier swords were phased out for lighter ones. The most commonly used sword for Cut-and-Thrust is the Side Sword which replaced the Arming Sword and the shield were all but phased out of the battlefield (save for bucklers, at least for a time). Cut-and-Thrust fencing is a complex style focusing on finesse and trains in the use of a single sword, sword and dagger (Florentine), and sword and buckler. Most movies with fencing (Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean, ANY Three Musketeers movie) rely on Cut-and-Thrust for their choreographed fencing.