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Copy from his website:
I did. My name is Mike Rasmusson, and I am a longsword addict.
The event that led to this strange longsword fascination was a trip to a sword smithy in the Black Forest in 1995 while taking a week off to visit friends between business engagements in Germany. The smith was a direct line descendant of the official weaponsmiths in the service of the local barons, whose ruined castle Burg Geroldseck still overlooks the valley. The smithy is driven by two waterwheels driving three hammers and a forge bellows. This guy make some nice swords, the traditional way, expensive but very nice.
On returning to Toronto, I told my boss, David Cvet, about the swordsmith. Dave's eyes lit up and he asked "Did he make any BIG ones, like two-handers?" I said yes, he did. Dave said he wanted one of those.
I never managed to get the smith's price list but the discussion that ensued informed me that Dave was really into big swords. This was confirmed when he proudly showed me his birthday present one day, a Wallace Claymore replica. Dave seemed to remember that I had a mild interest as well when he and Brian McIlmoyle formed AEMMA in 1998. I was one of the original crop of students later that year.
It was fun. I stuck with it and even quit smoking because of it. I started to read the manuscripts, then started to translate some of them. I stuck with the training and R&D effort or two years before branching off to study other swords and continue work on the manuscripts with non-AEMMA fencers. That was two years ago. At the current time this is an independent research project with a quasi-academic nature.
The gold panther on red field is the regional arms of Scania, my paternal ancestors' home.