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Sabre Day – great celebration in Polish Army Museum

sabre day warsaw fencing balham training classes show duelThe sabre in an exhibition, on horseback, workshops, lectures, movies and – finally – fencing shows. We spent the whole Sunday, 11th October in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw, discussing the Polish and Hungarian national weapon.

After the official opening which was attended by a lieutenant colonel Tamas Melke, a representative of the Hungarian Embassy in Warsaw and professor Zbigniew Wawer, the director of the Polish Army Museum, we began the Sabre Day 2015.

Poles and Hungarians – sabre fellows

We invited everyone to see the recently opened exhibition “Poles and Hungarians – sabre fellows”. Norbert Máday, who founded the Hungarian Sabre Fencing School and who owns a part of the presented collection, was the guide. We heard a lot of interesting stories about the exhibits. The exhibition prepared by the Hungarian-Polish Sabre Fencing School is going to be open to visitors until 12th November 2015 in the Polish Army Museum.

The cavalry and the falconers

The sabres were not only in the showcases, but we could experience them “live”. During the cavalry show we were admiring using the sabre while on horseback. Lances were also put in motion. Right after that we attended an extraordinary cavalry show, which they performed together with the falconers. The audience was large!

Sabre lectures

During the lectures in the conference tent the sabre was also the most important. Two Hungarian friends, Ákos Engelmayer, a Hungarian ambassador in Warsaw in 1990-1995 and János Tischler, PhD, from the Hungarian Culture Institute in Warsaw talked about Hungarian hussars who influenced the development of sabre fencing. Norbert Máday spoke first during the panel discussion about János Kevey, a swordsman who helped Polish sport fencers of the 50s become successful. He talked about the Miklós Toldi Institute in Budapest, an elite military fencing school, which he attended as a student, and later on became one of its main swordsmen. Zbigniew Grodner, one of Kevey’s students, talked about postwar times, when János Kevey moved to Poland. The family of Jerzy Pawłowski, one of the most decorated Kevey’s students, was represented by his two sons – Piotr and Michał. They talked about how their father fought with communism and his tough years spent in prison. We also saw a movie about Jerzy Pawłowski, which was directed by Janusz Horodniczy.

Sabre fencing shows

We crowned the Sabre Day with a series of fencing shows performed by the instructors and students from the Hungarian-Polish Fencing School. The shows were not just technical – they also referred to the history of sabre and Hungarian-Polish relations.

The Sabre Day as well as the exhibition “Poles and Hungarians – sabre fellows” is an initiative of the Hungarian-Polish Fencing School, organized in cooperation with the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw and is co-financed in the framework of the Hungarian-Polish Non-governmental Co-operation Programme under the auspices of the Hungarian Embassy in Warsaw. The Hungarian Cultural Institute in Warsaw is the event partner. TVP Historia and Historykon.pl are the media patrons.

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