Oops, didn't realize that I had those pages up under my company domain still. Please use the proper domain instead: http://www.hroarr.com/index.html and the page is of course here: http://www.hroarr.com/organisations-...h-america.html
This was a list I was unaware of.
However, let me be candid about a few things... First, my interest runs either to earlier Sword and Shield techniques (e.g. I'd already discovered and researched the Hurstwic group trying to reconstruct Viking Age techniques at the Higgins Armory in Massachusetts -- I have been thinking about flying in for one of their seminars) or Elizabethan technique such as George Silver. I recognize that German and Italian Longsword is supposed to be accessible, but the High Middle Ages isn't really my passion.
While none of the Maryland groups on the list are right around the block for me, the closest club is admittedly close enough if I was interested in the material, and willing to make the ongoing commitment. Which brings me to...
Second, and more importantly, I recently commited to improving my BJJ-game (not hard, as I'm a mere white belt). Combine that with my work and family responsibilities, and I just don't have the time right now. (Ok, Mrs. Styygens would kill me if I told her I was taking up yet another martial art. :5football)
It really would take a perfect storm of circumstances to get me into a WMA club right now. I'm content to dabble for the time being. I have found that all things come in their own way and time.
In case you change your mind in the future, here's another more detailed list I have put online: http://www.hroarr.com/survey/worldwide/practitioners/ Use the arrows on the bottom left to navigate to the US. There are little more details on what each group practices. But the list is currently only half complete.
Well I think it is more a matter of what you want to achieve.
For me ideally and that does not go further that being my opinion
You need a sharp to slice mister piggy
A blunt for co-operative drill
A modified shinai for pressure testing and sparing
I have tried blunt steel sword, wooden waster, early and late nylon waster feder, padded weapon, shinai, modified shinai, and rattan.
At the end of the day, it is possible to spare safely with sharp. Now there is only a select few people that I would trust enough and that are good enough to do it with.
At the end of the day, we are doing bloss fecheten. I.e. un-armoured. So there is an inherent compromise between the simulator, the intensity and the protection.
One will always, pay the price for the other. So there is really no right or wrong way.
For me, and it is just an opinion, being hit need to be bearable but painful to much armour or padding invariably leads to bad habits. For example people that train with heavy glove have a tendency not to care about their hands and tend to stick then out early.
Bunt steel there is no way to pressure test, safely with serious protection but they are excellent for compliant drills.
Feder= fencing jaquet, helmet and gauntlets/heavy gloves are fine and it is quite good in the bind but there are really too flimsy.
All the waster wood, new and old nylon, the daves waster being by far the best of the lot, need a level of protection that I think is too heavy for naked fencing. as well the less like a jo they behave the more flimsy they are
Padded weapons, the best being the one used by ACT, are too cumbersome, are lacking in tip control and feel heavy. The one used by ACT do bind all right.
Rattan,shinai, modified shinai. The best being modified shinai (ie so that the weight and the balance is right) are the best of the lot.
As PB pointed out in the krump post, they lack edge alignment and are bouncy.
But a 3 weapon fencing helmet/kendo helmet and a throat protector is all you need protection wise.
Now regardless of the simulator, if you have understood what you are doing, it will not be a problem to make a technique happens, it may take a few tries but you will eventually get there.