System Highlight: Zack Wylde (1711)

A quick introduction of Zach Wylde's The English Master of Defence from 1711. What is remarkable about this particular fencing master's manual is his emphasis of being a well rounded fencer, wherein he covers smallsword, broadsword, quarter-staff, and wrestling.  For this reason he has become a favourite text for Provost Matthew Boyd, head instructor for … Continue reading System Highlight: Zack Wylde (1711)

Adventures in the Constraints Led Approach

The TL;DR version of this post is:Based on 2 terms (almost 20 weeks) of instruction, the Constraints Led Approach (CLA) is a better way to build skills that transfer to free fencing with pretty much no downsides. This afternoon, I decided to punch a simple question into ChatGPT and then use the output to guide … Continue reading Adventures in the Constraints Led Approach

5 Random Thoughts about HEMA 03/12/2022

Hi Folks, The other provosts at Stoccata have been nagging me about producing content pretty much since I joined their ranks. I don't think though that I'll ever be much for producing videos. So, I've decided to start using the Stoccata Blog to make some content every now and again. First up, a fairly random … Continue reading 5 Random Thoughts about HEMA 03/12/2022

English Knife Fighting – The Alehouse Dagger

It is a curiosity that British fencing sources are all but devoid of instructions on knife or dagger fighting. Continental medieval and renaissance sources generally spend a considerable time on defence from the dagger, both with a dagger and unarmed, yet no British source even mentions it, apart from a very brief and rather unsatisfactory … Continue reading English Knife Fighting – The Alehouse Dagger

Converting a Shinai Into a Spadone

Coming into 2015 we were looking at running classes on Spadone, and we needed a simple affordable simulator that students could train with. Whilst we could have used wooden batons, the ability to them in antagonistic drills would be limited. Enter the humble shinai which with a little bit of work can be turned into … Continue reading Converting a Shinai Into a Spadone

Making a Basket Hilted Shinai

Why a shinai? The "singlestick" or "cudgel" was a traditional training tool for the practice of English backsword, as well as being a weapon in its own right. Sporting singlesticks were made from light ash saplings, kept soaking in a trough of water to keep them flexible, and given leather or wicker basket-hilts. Armour consisted … Continue reading Making a Basket Hilted Shinai