What is living history reenactment?
Basically as reenactors, Jorth Gar aims to recreate the arts, fighting, lifestyle and culture of the Viking dark ages as close as possible to what it would have been like. Authenticity is vitally important to achieve this, and can be seen in our equipment, clothing and encampments. History from archeology, sagas, finds, artworks, manuals and culture is our tool to make this happen. Through study and display of the past, reenactors aim to educate and show the general public what life was like Viking times.
What does Jorth Gar do?
Jorth Gar has many facets to its operation. Our main aim is to be active in both public and private reenactment events around Australia, and to portray Viking culture to the best of our abilities. Public events are organised shows, that can have any number of reenactment groups and public attend them, and see Jorth Gar having a living encampment display (smithing, cooking, games, camping, crafts etc.), running fighting performances (both field battles and heroic combat) and talking to members of the public. Private functions can have any number of reenactment groups camping, fighting and having fun, free from technology and modern living (living the life). Jorth Gar also runs training for warriors each week, has craft nights most weeks as well, and has a number of living history projects it works on. Jorth Gar also run 1 public and 1 private show themselves each year, to compliment the larger ones they do.
Is it full contact fighting?
Yes. Fighting is full contact, but it is a martial art which members train to be good and safe at. Real weapons are used, but they are blunt, and are used within strict guidelines, aimed to make it as safe as possible, but without taking away the thrill of battle. Within these guidelines, it is still a very competative and fun sport. You do get hit a lot, but armour and training save most real damage. Like any sport, it is not risk free and injuries can occur.
What age do I have to be to participate or join?
Fighters need to be at least 16 years of age (with parental consent for ages 16 and 17) to be able to fight at shows. If under 16, you may still be able to train with us, but your parent or guardian must also be a registered member of Jorth Gar, as we will not take responsibility for minors. Civilians (non-combatants) can be any age, and we have many large families that have joined Jorth Gar who say that it has been life changing for them (as it brings their family closer together, free from technology and makes them part of a even larger family). You will find more about joining us here.
What are the costs involved?
There is an annual membership fee, which covers membership and public liability insurance (cheap). Other then that training and participation is free. Petrol to get to shows, clothing and equipment are the only other costs, but they can be collected over time, and the group is there to help you get the best gear possible (as we make 80% of it ourselves). Find out more about costs here and more about our joining requirements here.
Can my family join?
Yes, as long as they reach the minimum standards of dress and equipment for the group at shows, and contribute to the group as regular members.
Do I have to fight?
No, unless that’s the path you want to take. Instead you could be a civilian, and work at perfecting crafts and non-fighting displays like smithing, weaving, woodworking, archery, etc.
Is Jorth Gar a military organisation?
No. However we do portray a professional military organisation, being the Varangian Guard. We train in ancient battle techniques, soldierly skills, fighting and maneuvers, but we are not a real life military organisation.
Is Jorth Gar a religious cult?
No. Although we have a Pagan focus, actual religion is a individual’s choice. We don’t enforce anything upon you, so please don’t enforce anything upon us. Our Pagan focus gives us an identity as a group that believes in our ancestors, the earth, all creatures, and our individual free, adventurous spirits (no crazy modern concepts are thrown into the mix :). Just like the Vikings of old.
Where do I start?
Simply contact us to see if training is on, and organise to come out and see us. We can talk more to you there, and can go through any information you need to know.