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At the end of their melee practice, Viking Invasion members raise their weapons as they chant “Jomsborg! Jomsborg!” to end their weekly training session at Veterans Park. Viking Invasion is an organization devoted to perpetuating the spirit and traditions of the Viking Age. Members learn to wield weapons of the age and to craft and maintain armor, along with other skills. 

Viking Invasion holds court at park

On Sunday afternoons in Veterans Park, the clash of steel swords and axes upon wooden shields can be heard along with the rustle of chainmail as Viking Invasion holds its weekly fighters and hearth practice.

Viking Invasion is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the Viking Age, which lasted in Europe from roughly 793 A.D. until 1066 A.D., to life through their learning and practice of period craft and traditions as well as live steel fighting.

Before the start of weekly fighter practice, Medbh Miller gets help from Trey Hatt to quickly repair her forearm guards with a needle and thread. 

The group is a chapter, or “jomsborglag,” of the Útland Storm within the Army of Jomsborg, a worldwide organization that formed roughly 30 years ago in the United Kingdom. With a number of chapters affiliated with the group it divides the world into five “Storms”— East, West, Útland, North and South — that comprise the Army with a mutually elected “Jarl” acting as the head of the organization. Útland Storm, or “Outer Lands,” encompasses North and South American lags, which include the Viking Invasion chapter. There are Vikings all over the world that belong to the organization, even in countries like Chile.

Clinton Dale demonstrates proper striking method with his sword during an instruction break in the weekly fighter practice. Dale is one of a select group within the worldwide organization who are tested for this role on their superior fighting, public education and speaking skills. 

While the group trains in order to keep up their skills, these weekly meetings in Veterans Park are as much for training as they are socializing. Viking Invasion is, at heart, a group of like-minded people who have formed long-lasting friendships through the group. At practices, members good-naturedly trade jokes and rib each other about their skills or visit with members from out of town as they warm up or spar.

Potential recruit Kevin Gates, 50, watches another potential recruit practice as he learns to properly wield swords and shields.

When they can, Viking Age holds public demonstrations, often at public libraries and local festivals, with swordfighting and booths full of crafts and information for adults and children to entertain and inform. Often the fighters will bring weapons so that any children in the audience can try their hand at being Vikings themselves. In this way they work to keep the history of the Vikings from being erased from the memory of the people and to celebrate their contributions to our modern world.

For more on Viking Invasion, visit their website.

Christopher Cadena rests his hands on a shield covered in black cloth that signifies a recruit. Only full members of the Army of Jomsborg can wear the full cross on their shields.

Útland Storm Commander Dave Kilbourn watches fighters practice for the first time after his return from inducting a new lag into the storm in Chile. 

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666