American Bowie Knife

Instructor: Peter James

Weapons covered: Big Knives

Equipment requirements: A big knife simulator, mask and gloves

The methods of close quarter knife combat which are peculiar to the dreaded American Bowie knife are outstanding examples of “sophisticated simplicity”. It is a descriptive term which captures the deadly, but relatively easy to learn movements of the Bowie methods. The result is a clever, deceptive, means of fighting one or more opponents. This session will provide you some food for thought on different techniques that makes the Bowie deadly. Other types of knives such as daggers, folders and tantos cannot perform the maneuvers and cuts that the Bowie knife methods demand in order to be successful in close quarter combat.

Bolognese single sword

Instructor: Gindi Wauchope

Weapons covered: spada / sidesword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and sidesword

This class will explore some of the distinctive elements of fencing with a single sword in the Bolognese tradition, with special reference to Giovanni dall’Agocchie’s 1572 text, “Dell’Arte di Scrima Libri Tre”. We will go through examples of the basic parries, the tactical framework, and how to win a duel with only thirty days of training.

Crooked and Short: A new approach to Winden

Instructor: James Buchanan

Weapons covered: Longsword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and longsword

This workshop will look at a ‘new’ approach to Winden at the sword in the Liechtenauer tradition. Specifically, we will be looking at how to use a more turning focused Winden technique and how this technique closely resembles the mechanics of the Krumphau and Kurtzhau. This will identify the advantages of this methodology over ‘traditional’ Winden.

While this class will teach Winden in the context of Longsword fencing, the concept of Winden has applications across many weapons and it will be of benefit to anyone seeking to learn to fence in engagement with the opponent’s sword

Cutting it fine (Caucasian Shashka)

Instructor: Martin Kraskov

Weapons covered: Caucasian Shashka

Equipment requirements: mask, glove, and Caucasian Shashka (Sabre or Messer with no handguard)

An examination and overview of the use of the Caucasian Shashka, focusing on cutting immediately from the draw, sword manipulation exercise and an examination of the strategic elements that make up combat on foot with a weapon that is immediately divisive in its reception by practitioners of sword based martial arts.

Exercises for the bâton à deux bouts

Instructor: Graeme Anderson

Weapons covered: quarterstaff

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and quarterstaff /staff (>150 cm). A Greatsword may also be used for some of the techniques.

A few of the solo exercise forms for the French quarterstaff and similar weapons and a brief look at practical applications concentrating on  the use of the leading hand and grip changes used for thrusts and blows for this 16th to 19th century weapon but also including some of the stances and footwork patterns.

Fighting in the style of the priest: an interpretation of the 1.33 manuscript

Instructor: Michael Brown

Weapons covered: sword & buckler

Equipment requirements: Mask, gloves, sword & buckler

‘…I counsel in good faith that he who assumes the guard should bind immediately after the siege, as it isn’t good to lag, or to do any of the things by which he might be saved’.

The Tower manuscript 1.33 is one of the earliest surviving fighting manuscripts. The manuscript is written from the point of view of a priest, who gives us techniques, advice and insight into the art of sword and buckler fighting.

This workshop presents our interpretation of the fighting style outlined in the manuscript. It covers how to stab and bind the common fencer, the plays of the obsesseo and how to escape the binds, along with presenting our interpretation of falling under the sword and the unillustrated counter.

Fiore’s sword in two hands

Instructor: Gindi Wauchope

Weapons covered: longsword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and longsword

Fiore’s Armizare is a combat system where 20% of the techniques solve 80% of problems. This class will cover those 20% techniques including a tactical tree, key footwork and guards, and useful grappling actions and if there is time we may also look at some of the same actions in the context of other weapons/situations.

Fundamentals of English Wrestling

Instructor: Matthew Boyd

Weapons covered: unarmed combat / grappling

Equipment: TBA

In the British Isles knowing how to wrestle seems to have been almost assumed cultural knowledge. Indeed, George Silver (1599) wrote that if two men of equal skill with the sword meet the man who is the better wrestler has a great advantage. Zach Wylde (1711) notes that Wrestling is “”highly necessary and convenient to be Understood.”” Thomas Parkyns (1727) writes that wrestling “”is of great utility to such as understand the smallsword.

This workshop presents an introduction to British wrestling using Silver, Wylde and Parkyns as primary sources studying grips, holds and throws to back up your skill at arms.

Fundamental principles of combat with large shields

Instructor: Stephen Hand

Weapons covered: Sword & Shield

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and sword and shield (some loaner shields may be available)

Despite showing vastly different sizes and shapes of shield, the duelling shield sections of various 15th century German manuals and the sword and rotella sections of 16th century Italian manuals show identical guards and parries. These guards and parries are also illustrated in earlier medieval artwork indicating a continuity in the style of shield use over many centuries. This class outlines the system of shield use described in the 15th and 16th century manuals and is applicable to all large flat or gently curved shields.

Get Bendy with your Friendys!

Instructor: Lauren Ings

Weapons covered: The human body

Equipment requirements: The human body

This originally started as an informal stretching session with friends being invited. In the morning and night I will be running stretching classes. They will have selected stretches but I am more than happy to work to individuals needs as well. If you have any ideas that you would like to share with the class you are more than welcome to do so. A yoga mat is not required, however, may increase comfort and range of exercises we can play with.

How to get the Most out of Highly Limited Sparring Time

Instructor: Stuart McDermid

Weapons covered: Any HEMA suitable weapon.

Equipment requirements: Any HEMA suitable weapon. Full sparring kit desirable but not essential. (We can do this with boffers if necessary)

Making the most of your sparring time is not just about maximising the amount of useful time everyone spends working. It’s also about the structure of your practice, and what is expected of those who are not currently sparring.

This workshop will need a number of volunteers to actually do some sparring so that the method can be demonstrated. These people will receive coaching so this is a great opportunity to get some coaching from a new perspective.

How to train Meyer

Instructor: Mark Holgate

Weapons covered: single and two handed swords

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and a single handed sword or longsword

Joachim Meyer is one of the first historical masters to give us structured drills for practice. Everyone knows the “Meyer Square”, but less practitioners use the set of drills outlined in his Dussack section. These four drills are enormously beneficial in developing effective movement and power generation for fencing. This workshop will apply these actions to two handed weapons as well as single handers. It will also outline the connections between these drills and many of Meyer’s other techniques.

Introduction to Saviolo

Instructor: Stephen Hand

Weapons covered: rapier / sidesword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and sidesword or rapier

In 1595 the Italian fencing master Vincentio Saviolo wrote the first comprehensive fencing manual in English. He described a hybrid rapier system combining Italian and Spanish principles which so disgusted George Silver that it prompted him to write Paradoxes of Defence. This class outlines the basic principles of Saviolo’s system of single rapier.

Introduction to Theatrical Combat

Instructor: Adam Garden

Weapons covered: sidesword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and sidesword

An introduction to the techniques used to create the illusion of violence for performances.

Learning not to hit: Fixing engagement distance in German Longsword

Instructor: James Buchanan

Weapons covered: Longsword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and longsword

A persistent criticism of longsword fencing, particularly the Liechtenauer/German tradition is the overabundance of double hits. A principal cause of this is that fencers often commence their fight too close, intending to strike their opponent immediately. It is uncertain that this approach is supported by the Zedel and glosses. As an alternative, this workshop will provide an argument for commencing engagement from a longer measure, how this keeps us safer and how this is supported by the texts.

This class is suited to longsword fencers of all stripes, but especially those familiar with the words and techniques of Johannes Liechtenauer.

Marozzo’s Dagger Presa

Instructor: Richard Cullinan

Weapons covered: dagger

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and a dagger (some loaner daggers will be available)

Marrozo’s dagger presa in the last book of his Treatise ʺOpera Novaʺ are a succinct guide to unarmed defence against the dagger. In this class we’ll be taking a systematic look at Marrozo’s methods for dealing with the dagger, and building knowledge of an elegant solution to the problem of facing a dagger unarmed.

Molinetti actions with Spadone (Greatsword)

Instructor: Richard Cullinan

Weapons covered: spadone / greatsword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and greatsword or staff (~150 – 180 cm)

Applications of the molinetti with the spadone, which is one of the primary ways of developing powerful blows with the weapon. This class will help you develop an understanding of how the action can be used in offence and defence, as well as being a vigorous workout.

Radaellian Sabre Fencing on Horseback

Instructor: Sebastian Seager

Weapons covered: sabre

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and sabre

Giuseppe Radaelli was responsible for reforming the cavalry sabre system used by the Italian army in the latter half of the 19th century. His revolutionary method consisted of using the elbow as the main point of rotation in the cuts and accompanying all movements of the sabre with movement of the torso in order to produce power and increase the reach of the blow. This workshop will explore the cavalry system based on Radaelli’s method as taught in the Italian army (sans horses).

Right, left and down; power generation & defensive structure for Meyer’s Rappier from the Lund Codex

Instructor: Kimito Wynn

Weapons covered: rapier / sidesword

Equipment requirements: mask, light gloves, and sidesword / arming sword

As written in his 1568 book, Meyer’s rappier represents an attempt to codify an indigenous Germanic cut and thrust tradition, while the systems has superficial similarities to Italian side sword traditions an examination of power generation and defensive body mechanics reveals a distinct system entirely consistent with the German fencing theory.

Single Handed Sword According to Andre Paurenfeindt

Instructor: Stuart McDermid

Weapons covered: Any single handed sword under about 38 inches in the blade.

Equipment requirements: Mask, gloves, and any single handed sword under about 38 inches in the blade.

Andre Paurenfeindt occupies a unique place in the Lichtenauer Tradition. His messer in particular is unique in that it is not just a messer system but is designed for any single handed sword including the “thrusting sword”. As an introduction to the system, we will explore selected plays and will work with both matched and mismatched weapons to see just how universally they can be made to work.

16th century movement: Swords, Clowns, and Contra posto

Instructor: Mark Holgate

Weapons covered: single and two handed swords

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and a single handed sword or longsword

Drawing from contemporary ballet and clowning as well as fencing texts, this workshop looks at 16th fencing in the larger context of its broader movement culture – increasingly athletic and dynamic, with a radically different approach to movement, whether combative or expressive, than our own. We will be examining (and practising) physical actions including open body actions and contra posto, as well as mental aspects like structured improvisation.

The Neuroscience Behind Learning and Memory in Martial Arts: How can we Optimise our Training?

Instructor: Brett Kagan

Weapons covered: N/A

Equipment requirements: N/A

The performance of martial arts requires adept control over our own bodies, shaping them to perform specific tasks. What is often overlooked is how we also literally reshape our brain to facilitate this. This workshop will cover, in brief, the neuroscience behind how we learn, remember techniques and train reactions. This will include a simple explanation of different brains regions related for memory storage and how we may access them more quickly. The workshop aims to provide practitioners the knowledge to enhance their future development by increasing their understanding of how to train their brain along with their body.

Spear and Shield – a workshop on the use of the single-handed spear and large round flat shield

Instructor: Peter Radvan

Weapons covered: spear & shield

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, spear, and shield

This will be a workshop on the use of the most ubiquitous weapon combination of the Ancient World and post-Roman Europe. For a number of reasons, not least being lack of written documentation, spear and shield is one of the least understood weapons in HEMA and Historical Re-enactment. This workshop endeavors to overcome this by use of the rich illustrative documentation available, coupled with my own practical research.

Swashbuckling! How weapon design changed the English buckler fight

Instructor: Paul Wagner

Weapons covered: sword & buckler

Equipment requirements: sword, buckler, mask, gloves

During the 16th century something very strange happened to English bucklers. This class will look at what happened, and why, and how it effected the use of the weapon during the classic “”swashbuckling”” period when:

“all the high streetes, were much annoyed and troubled with hourely frayes, of sword and buckler men, who tooke pleasure in that bragging fight; and although they made great shew of much furie, and fought often. Yet seldome any man hurt….”

Twirling, twirling towards freedom!

Instructor: Daniel Collins

Weapons covered: montante / greatsword

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and greatsword or staff (~150 – 180 cm)

Do you often find yourself fighting numerous goons in a narrow street? How about on a slightly wider street? A gangplank? Well we’ve got the solution for you! In this workshop we will cover a basic introduction to the use of the Iberian Montante in a variety of different spaces. Never again will you fall victim to the problem of a big sword in a small passage.

When Angels Dance in Angles and the Importance of Dynamic Movement: A Perspective on Thibault’s Rapier

Instructor: Brett Kagan

Weapons covered: rapier

Equipment requirements: mask, gloves, and rapier

Gérard Thibault wrote one of the most elaborate sources on rapier combat, painstakingly utilizing geometry and logic to defend his unorthodox style of swordsmanship. However, the magnitude of the work coupled with many unique actions is both blessing and curse, often overwhelming prospective students and leading them to overcomplicate movements. This workshop will explore the dynamic movement that underpins Thibault’s system before highlighting the simplicity of the key principles of the system. The workshop aims to provide practitioners with the ability to translate these principles into their chosen styles or aid them in their own pursuit of Thibault’s work.