Although Saorsa opened this year, it took the better part of the pandemic to plan it. Both Ben and myself knew at the start of 2020 that we wanted to have our own space where we could create our own atmosphere and culture in HEMA but we didn’t know the first thing about how to do this!
The pandemic, in that way, was almost helpful to us as it forced us to slow down and really think about what we wanted and how we wanted to do it. It gave us the time and permission to take things slowly, to concentrate on what we thought was important. And between us, it wasn’t the same thing! But being able to disagree and narrow down what really was vital and a key part of how we got to where we are today.
For many of the things we needed, we looked to friends and local businesses. We got an amazing set of business photos from Victoria Rose Photography, an absolutely perfect pair of logos from Lyn Sneddon at Potion9Design and some wonderful weapon shots from Scot Morrison. All of these people helped to make Saorsa what it is today and we can’t thank them enough.
Saorsa means Freedom. It is pronounced “soor-sah” or “soor-sha” depending on the accent of the speaker. We decided on this name because, when we really thought about it, that was everything we wanted to bring to the table.
Firstly, the use of Scots Gaelic. It is an immensely old language and richly connected to the history of Scotland. Both Ben and I have a huge passion and connection to Scottish history and we knew for certain we wanted to bring that to Saorsa.
Secondly, its meaning: Freedom. We believe that everyone, no matter their gender, size, age or ability, can swordfight. We want to create a space that allows everyone to feel welcome and valued and allow them to develop and progress in their own way and time. It was also important to us to provide a space to let Scottish Broadsword flourish again! Delivering quality coaching to create quality fighters who are just as passionate as us.
After all, being able to feel confident that your body can do what you’re asking of it and that you’re capable and self-assured – what is that, if not freedom.