It was a near-perfect day Tuesday by the river at Head of Falls in Waterville. The sun was shining in a blue sky and three men and a boy were jousting with fake swords on a grassy knoll.

“Once a week we come out and practice,” said Jonathan Knock, 45, of Albion.

He explained how the swords are made with a PVC pipe base covered with a foam swimming noodle and then duct-taped to keep it together.

The homemade fake swords used by Jonathan Knock, 45, of Albion, friend R.J. Attwood, 35, of Fairfield, and Attwood’s nephew, Beau, 11. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

The jousters call themselves “The Light Club” and meet at 4 p.m. Tuesdays at the north end of the RiverWalk at Head of Falls, just west of the amphitheater. They encourage others — people of all ages — to just show up and join them.

It looked like fun, this activity Knock called “sword play,” inspired by the lightsaber weapons from “Star Wars” and sword fights held in Medieval times.

“I have always liked Medieval stuff, and I do blacksmithing for fun,” he said.


Light Club members love the meeting place they chose right next to the Kennebec River, where a warm breeze wafted through the area on Tuesday.

“It was a central location,” Knock said. “It was a nice spot and my friend, Don, just moved here and was looking for fun and exercise. It’s great exercise. There’s a lot of balance and, after 15 minutes you’re huffing and puffing more than you should be, but it works on muscle movement and control and teaches you how to work with somebody else.”

R.J. Attwood, 35, of Fairfield, play sword-fights Tuesday with his nephew, Beau, 11, at the RiverWalk at Head of Falls in Waterville. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

R.J. Attwood, 35, of Fairfield, and his nephew, Beau, 11, were having a ball as they poked and swatted and whacked each other with their play swords.

“It’s fun,” Attwood said, catching a breath. “It’s just fun and energizing. It’s something new to learn and have fun with. It’s a good way to play and exert some energy.”

He and Beau laughed and groaned as they jousted around the knoll.

“This is my first day,” Beau said. “My uncle just mentioned it, so I came. It’s fun.”


Attwood said he and his parents and sister and her family recently moved from California to Maine, a state he had never visited previously.

“My parents were tired and we were just tired of living in California, so we just moved,” he said. “I like it so far.”

Attwood is a plumber. Knock and Tio Newell, 18, of Albion, work in construction. Newell was joining the group for the first time.

“I think it’s fun,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it, but it tires you out very quickly.”

R.J. Attwood, 35, of Fairfield, play sword-fights with his nephew, Beau, 11, at the RiverWalk at Head of Falls in Waterville on Tuesday afternoon. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

He recommended those who have never tried sword fighting to take the plunge. He offered some friendly advice to newcomers: “Don’t overthink. Just go in with no expectations and have fun and be willing to learn. If you overthink, it’s going to be 10 times harder.”

Knock said people who want to try the activity shouldn’t worry about coming with equipment, as The Light Club has plenty to share.

“I expect them to come and not have a sword,” he said. “That way, they can come and see what it’s all about and what they want to do.”

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 35 years. Her columns appear here Saturdays. She is the author of the book, “Comfort is an Old Barn,” a collection of her curated columns, published in 2023 by Islandport Press. She may be reached at For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story