Nova Features Master Swordsman John Clements

Last week PBS/Nova did a special on the blade titled “Secrets of the Viking Sword” which featured our good friend John Clements of ARMA and Reclaiming the Blade fame. Billed as the ultimate weapon of the Middle Ages, a sword both prized and feared; this was a fairly good Nova episode detailing the production of a particularly fantastic Viking sword, The Ulfberht.

At the start of the episode it felt as if almost watching Reclaiming the Blade with beauty shots of the sword, moving music and narration such as… “the secrets have been lost but now… they are being brought back to life”. The quality was very good and at the beginning John Clements was featured prominently. As the show progressed however we saw less and less of John and unfortunately never got to see the final sword in action, something John could have added great insight to. To all the Reclaiming the Blade and martial arts fans out there, we would be interested to know what you thought of the Nova show. Overall we thought it was very good.  John came across as a credible expert (which of course he is) and Nova always produces high quality stuff.

Nova Production Description: The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings’ rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle. But how did Viking sword makers design and build the Ulfberht, and what was its role in history? Now, NOVA uses cutting edge science and old-fashioned detective work to reconstruct the Ulfberht and finally unravel the “Secrets of the Viking Sword.”

Watch the Nova episode here and let us know what you think: