Classes

Series of photos of a demo bout by Tom and Steve

Whether this is your first WMAW or your tenth, this year's Workshop will expose you to a wide-variety of new ideas, skills, methodologies and research by some of the finest instructors in the Western Martial Arts community.

About the Class Categories

We are proud to offer a diverse curriculum of classes, lectures, demonstrations and workshops, aimed at a variety of skill levels. For newcomers, those without regular training, or attendees looking to refine their basics, we recommend you pay special attention to the Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA classes, which are being offered on Thursday to help prepare you for the rest of the weekend. Concurrent Pedagogical Training and Curriculum Development classes are being offered for those who wish to develop their teaching ability, and are specifically designed to help determine how to work with historical source material, what to teach, how to teach it, and how to translate those drills and exercises into practical application. The remaining General classes are broadly divided by topic: Medieval Weapon Arts (Pre-1500), Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts (Post-1500) and Close Quarters Combat, are aimed at a wide variety of interests and skill levels, and occur in roughly 60 min, 90 min and three hour increments. Finally, as in previous years, there will also be a number of Lectures & Presentations throughout the weekend, designed to help give historical context or to present new research.

As you review the class roster and schedule, remember that most classes must be pre-registered and have attendance limits. Classes that are not Lectures & Presentations have a maximum attendance of 40 students, unless otherwise noted.

Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA

Beyond Breakfalling

Instructor: Tony Wolf
Class Category: Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: None

This seminar presents a dynamic skill-system geared towards the challenges of performing safe, realistic throws and take-downs in the practice of historical European martial arts.

Many people, especially beginners, are hesitant about practicing throws because they are uncomfortable with taking falls, or are worried about accidentally hurting their training partners by throwing them. The usual "fix" is to run students through a course in basic breakfalling, often derived from Asian martial arts, or to simply "mark through" unbalancing techniques without following them though to their natural conclusion.

"Beyond Breakfalling" offers an alternative approach in which both partners take active roles in throwing and falling techniques, through an integrated series of exercises in Wolf System counter-balancing, alignment and weight-sharing. Having mastered these skills, even the most elaborate throws and falls can be enjoyably integrated into your training. As an added bonus, many people find that their general martial arts movement skills are enhanced through the confidence of knowing that they can both throw and fall safely.

Biomechanical Geometry: Lines, Spirals, Triangles and Waves

Instructor: Roger Siggs
Class Category: Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Towel, water bottle, notebook.

This course will introduce the participant to the use of biomechanics to analyze whatever art they are studying. Through the application of a few key principles, we will examine the basic fundamental movement patterns of Western Martial Arts. Experience with takedowns, rolls and falls is helpful, but not required. Students should come prepared for close contact with other participants, and the ground.

Body Mechanics for Medieval Martial Arts

Instructor: Sean Hayes
Class Category: Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Longsword & dagger for solo drills.

This class is a study of basic postures (poste or gaurds) together with tools for practicing them, including basic exercises to develop leg and core strength. We will cover body mechanics, movement and skill drills in solo and partnered drils, combined with the basic exercises necessary to strengthen and train for good body mechanics.

Body Mechanics for Italian Rapier

Instructor: Devon Boorman
Class Category: Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Attendees will require gloves, rapier, and mask.

Italian Rapier is a precise art that requires the setting of a stable and strong foundation to successfully execute its technique and apply its strategies. This session will help you build a stable base, efficient movement, strong alignment of joints and muscle groups, and an understanding of the hows and whys of rapier technique as it related to your body. Exercises will help you cultivate speed, precision, strength, and physical health. Come prepared for a good workout both mentally and physically.

Save your Joints!

Instructor: Guy Windsor
Class Category: Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Any sword. Ideally also a 6' stick (such as a short quarterstaff).

Martial Arts are hell on the joints if you don't look after them. Just as a Formula One race car needs more maintenance than an ordinary runabout, so do martial artists' bodies need more care and attention than that of those who don't train. In this class we will look first at the basics of absorbing impact from the sword through correct grip, and then cover the fundamentals of wrist and elbow maintenance, with massage and careful strength training.

The Swordsman's Workout

Instructor: Keith Jennings
Class Category: Body Mechanics, Physical Conditioning and Training for WMA
Class Length: 1 hr 15 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Students should wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a water bottle, towel, and note book. Please note that while there will be some working out involved, that this is primarily an instructional course.

As the great Elizabethan fencer George Silver said, the "exercising of weapons puts away aches, griefs, and diseases, it increases strength, and sharpens the wits". While the practice of historical fencing is in itself a fine workout, a properly structured strength and conditioning program will not only make you a faster and stronger fighter, but will also help to ensure that you stay healthy to be able to enjoy fencing for many years to come!

Often, starting a workout regimen can be very overwhelming. This class is designed to give students the tools to create their own workouts that are safe, fun, challenging, and more importantly, effective. Topics will include:

Close Quarters Combat

American Catch Wrestling

Instructor: Les Moore
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: The only equipment needed is workout clothing and shoes. Old people can bring knee pads. Young people will need them later.

This class will examine the fast-paced combat sport of American Catch Wrestling as passed down through Billy 'Pops' Wicks, Peter Freer and Dr. Tim Geoghegan. We will detail double wrist locks, keylocks, keylock leg scissors, toe holds, knee bars, and other painful thigh-slappers.

Ars Gladiatoria – Gladiator fighting and training

Instructor: Christian Eckert
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 2 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None, though a good level of physical fitness and knowing how to fall will be handy.
Required Equipment: Fencing mask or equivalent, gloves, loincloth (just kidding, comfortable clothing will do), notebook, towel and water bottle. Weapons: a sturdy rattan stick not shorter than 20" and not longer than 24".

This nearly three hour class will give an insight into how training inside a Roman LVDVS might have looked like. We will cover the differences of Gladiatorial fighting compared to warfare fighting, the rules of gladiatorial combat, the 'exercitium fortis' or basic fitness training, the use of the different swords and shields and the use of the trident.

Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes

Instructor: Tony Wolf
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 3 hrs
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: A sturdy crook-handled walking stick or 36 inch dowel with any edges smoothed away; fencing mask or similar face/head protection.

In the year 1899, Edward William Barton-Wright founded Bartitsu as a process of cross-training between walking stick fighting, boxing, savate and jiujitsu. It was the first example of an eclectic self-defence system blending Asian and European combat styles, intended to beat hooligans and street gangsters at their own game.

Barton-Wright defined the principles of Bartitsu as:

(1) to disturb the equilibrium of your assailant; (2) to surprise him before he has time to regain his balance and use his strength; (3) if necessary to subject the joints of any part of his body ... to strains which they are anatomically and mechanically unable to resist.

He also noted that:

"It is quite unnecessary to try and get your opponent in any particular position, as the system embraces every possible eventuality, and your defence and counter attack must be entirely based upon the tactics of your opponent."

Drawing from a selection of classical Bartitsu unarmed and walking-stick fighting set-plays, we will take up the challenge implied by Barton-Wright's precepts of adaptability and improvisation, thereby continuing the "mixed martial arts" experiment that he began in late Victorian London.

"Belabour him as you see fit": Bartitsu combat improvisation

Instructor: Tony Wolf
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: Familiarity with the cane and unarmed sub-systems of Bartitsu.
Required Equipment: A sturdy crook-handled walking stick or 36 inch dowel with any edges smoothed away; fencing mask or similar face/head protection.

This class is a development of the material introduced in the "Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" intensive, dealing more specifically with the process of combining the various sub-systems of Bartitsu. We will practice spontaneity drills designed to "twist" the canonical self defense sequences as a bridge between pre-arranged set-plays and free bouting.

Functionalizing Ringen

Instructor: Jorg Bellinghausen
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: A working knowledge of ringen or abrazare, rolling and falling skills.
Required Equipment: Light gambeson or wrestling jacket with belt (a judo jacket will do), training dagger (preferably a Cold Steel Peace Keeper II rubber trainer), eye protection (at least a pair of impact-resistant sunglasses) notebook, towel, water bottle.

Practicing the various techniques of ringen or abrazare in set plays is one thing, applying those techniques spontaneously in a free-form environment is another. In this class we will use a simple partner drill with various add-ons to bridge the gap between drilling and freeplay.

"I've fallen, and I can't get up!": Applications of Fiore's Art from Positions of Disadvantage

Instructor: Roger Siggs
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: Fiore Experience is helpful, but not required.
Required Equipment: Light gambeson or wrestling jacket with belt (a judo jacket will do), training dagger (preferably a rubber trainer), eye protection (at least a pair of impact-resistant sunglasses), notebook, towel, water bottle.

Training in a martial art through set plays and 'kata' allows for a thorough understanding of how the material works and interacts- but what about when you've fallen, or on one knee, or even on your back? How do you make your Art work when it stops being 'play' and starts being 'real'. This course will detail how to apply the principles and actions detailed in Fiore's text to situations he doesn't explore- ground fighting, mistakes, and the dreaded 'oops'. Students should become prepared to roll around on the ground, close contact with other students, and to sweat.

Measure, Tempo and Control in Fiore's Dagger Play, or, Fun with Abrazare and Dagger

Instructor: Sean Hayes
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: A basic knowledge of medieval dagger and wrestling, either Italian or German.
Required Equipment: Rondell dagger, gorget, mask or helmet.

An hour and a half of fun with knives! We will work through the basic techniques of abrazare and dagger, covering the fundamental body mechanics necessary for success. (These techniques are also required for longer weapons use, and are very efficiently learned through the immediacy of hand-to-hand combat.) All nine masters of dagger will be covered, along with key plays. At the end we'll test our skills with a multi-partner, free-form series of exercises that adds variability and spontaneity to the exercise, teaches awareness skills, and really gets the blood flowing!

Requisites of Fiore's Daga

Instructor: Mark Lancaster
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: Familiarity with Fiore's system is preferable, but not required. Comfort with joint locks and throws is expected.
Required Equipment: Students will require a rondel training simulator, full face protection and it is recommended that gloves and neck protection is also worn. Some students may also prefer forearm padding.

This is an approach to looking at the martial progression of the dagger Remedies of Fiore dei Liberi from his four Requisites of Daga, rather than via the distinct Master Remedies that are commonly taught. The workshop with transition through strips, breaks and binds into Abrazare to show the decision processes, with judgement of timing and distance, that enable the learning progression required for all the Remedy Masters. As the workshop will be based around flowing realistic movement Students must be prepared for a high intensity of training including the probability of going to ground.

Ringen mit Mortstosse

Instructor: Jessica Finley
Class Category: Close Quarters Combat
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level:
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: A wrestling jacket, padded head protection, padded hand protection and mouthpiece are encouraged, but not required.

Fifteenth-century unarmed fighting techniques included a variety of actions: Not wrestling or punching, but using them in concert. This class will explore the anonymous treatise shown in the "Ringeck" manuscript describing a variety of punches, kicks and hip throws. We will practice these in concert exploring how one might string together punches and throws to have a cohesive succession of techniques allowing one to defend oneself and get away to safety.

Lectures

Armour Lecture

Instructor: Doug Strong
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None

[TBA]

The Art of Riding on Every Saddle While Kicking Ass

Instructor: Theresa Wendland
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None

The biomechanics of fighting on horseback are essentially the same as fighting on foot when the horse and rider are a single harmonious unit. The comparison of this unit to the fighter on foot can be best understood by examining the way horse and rider work together in motion. This lecture will introduce basic to advanced concepts of horsemanship and how they relate to the body mechanics of the unmounted martial artist as well as their direct relationship to fighting on horseback. We will discuss topics ranging from how to sit in various saddles to the execution of lateral movements, turns, and high levels of collection. We will end the lecture by examining the mounted sections of medieval German and Italian fighting manuscripts and applying these concepts of horsemanship to the practice of specific plays of the lance, sword, and abrazare/ringen.

Care and Maintenance of the Medieval Sword

Instructor: Craig Johnson
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 15 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None

[TBA]

Falling Under The Sword; What It Is, What It Means, and How To Teach It

Instructor: Paul Wagner
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: None. Although this is a lecture, it is planned to be be somewhat interactive, so feel free to bring stuff.

The Sword and Buckler manuscript now in the collection of the Royal Armouries in Leeds, England, has been traditionally referred to as the "Tower Fechtbüch", or "I.33" after it's catalogue number in the Tower library. is an anonymous German manuscript now in the collection of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. It is extremely significant as the earliest known surviving fencing manual, having been dated to the late 13th century, and presents a unique window into to world of early medieval combat. I.33 deals exclusively with the use of sword and buckler, and outlines a sophisticated, complex and potent fighting style.

In 2004 myself and Stephen Hand published an interpretation of I.33 called Medieval Sword and Shield, and in the introduction we wrote "Were we writing this book in a year, or five years, or twenty years time, there would be differences from the volume you hold in your hand." This has proved to be entirely accurate.

I.33 is a difficult text to analyze for a number of reasons. The medieval artwork is stubbornly two-dimensional and highly stylized, with the figures dressed in large, flowing robes, often making it difficult to even tell whether they are right or left foot forward. It is also, in essence, a tactical manual, and assumes a great deal of prior knowledge and skill that must be understood before the tactical approach the Priest recommends for overcoming the Ordinary fencer will make sense.

This seminar will present the theoretical found in I.33 approach in a general sense and show how you can then assemble the plays as they appear in the manuscript, and discuss how I.33 should be taught to modern WMA students.

Gladiator Nutrition

Instructor: Christian Eckert
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: None

One of the most important parts of training a Gladiator was nutrition. The Gladiator Experiment which also included the participants following a diet patterned after ancient sources such as Galen yielded some terrific results. This lecture will cover what we know about Gladiator Nutrition, what was done during the experiment, the results and their possible applications to modern-day martial artists and athletes.

The Gladiator Project

Instructor: Christian Eckert
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: None

The Gladiator Project was an archaeological experiment conducted at the the University of Regensburg from January to September 2010. The goal was to find out if it is possible to reconstruct the training methods and fighting skills of Roman Gladiators based on the surviving period data. This lecture will cover the archaeological sources of the experiment, the different types of Gladiators and the problems of recreating a historical fighting system with incomplete historical data.

Iberian Fencing: 1450-1714

Instructor: Puck Curtis, Erick Myers, Tim Rivera, Steve Hick, Charles Blair
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: None

This presentation will explore the scope of Iberian Fencing from the earliest known records in the 15th century through the War of the Spanish Succession. Included will be what we know about fencing prior to Carranza (Esgrima Antigua) based on citations in Spanish and Italian sources of passages from the works of Jaime Pons de Perpiñan (fl. 1450-1470), Pedro de la Torre (ca. 1474), and Francisco Roman (ca. 1532), and what we know of the commonly practiced tradition of Iberian fencing (Esgrima Comun) during the Spanish Golden Age, as recovered from descriptions in an anonymous MS (ca. 1580), Pablo de Paredes (1599) and Luis Godinho (1599), and as documented by writers on la Verdadera Destreza: Luis Pacheco de Narvaez (1600-1640), Nicolás Tamariz (1696), and Manuel Cruzado y Peralta (1702). The presentation will also survey the various movements within la Verdadera Destreza: Carranza and his followera, Pacheco and his followers, and those who do not fall neatly into either group.

Lays and Wards: Ochs, Pflug, Alber, and vom Tage

Instructor: Keith Alderson
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Beginning from the etymological origins of the terms for four primary 'leger' or 'huete' – this class is intended to be a focused examination of the wards found within the German material and how our understanding of the origin of these positions can help us to understand their application in the context of zufechten (breaking the wards), and der Krieg (fighting from the wards). Participants will learn about the literal meaning of the names; their sense within the fight; and their deeper interpretation as to the art of winding and fighting from the 'short sword.' Take away: the primary wards and their explanation in the glossae in 3227a.

My Kingdom for a Horse

Instructor: Theresa Wendland
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: None
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Notebook and pen

The idea of teaching mounted combat in a western martial arts school has been a long term or ‘sometime in the ambiguous future' goal for many groups. This class is intended to break down the basics of teaching mounted combat into a more digestible format. We will address the issue of significantly varying skill levels of riders and fighters-- how to teach fighters to ride, riders to fight on horseback, and simply starting from the ground up. We will also discuss the selection of suitable horses as well as the training of horses for combat. We will look at several weekend clinic formats for riders and fighters of different skill levels and finally, a lesson plan for a more long-term program.

The class will finish with a presentation by Devon Boorman of what it takes to incorporate a mounted combat program into your WMA school. He will discuss how the Academie Duello has successfully started their Cavaliere – Horsemanship program.

Old, Vulgar and Common: A Presentation and Demonstration of the Traditional Fencing of Iberia

Instructor: Steve Hick, Puck Curtis, Tim Rivera
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced

Presentation and demonstrations of what we know about fencing on the Iberian peninsula prior to Carranza (Esgrima Antigua), based on based on citations to the methods of Jaime Pons de Perpiñan (fl. 1450-1470), Pedro de la Torre (ca. 1474), Francisco Roman (ca. 1532), from citations in Spanish and Italian sources, and what we know of the commonly practiced tradition (Esgrima Comun) as recovered from an anonymous MS (ca. 1580), Pablo de Paredes (1599) and Luis Godinho (1599), and as documented by writers on la Verdadera Destreza: Luis Pacheco de Narvaez (1600-1640), Nicolás Tamariz (1696), and Manuel Cruzado y Peralta (1702).

Martial Arts Photography: Essentials for Education and Publication

Instructor: Adam Velez
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced

Our martial ancestors faced the same challenge as today's writers and instructors: how best to visually represent the martial arts on the written or printed page—conveying the necessary information, as clearly as possible, while still being artistically pleasing to the reader's eye. Our forebarers met this challenge by hiring skilled artists and illustrators—still an option today; however, the more readily accessible choice is the use of photography. Unfortunately, hiring a skilled photographer can be just as cost prohibitive as hiring an artist often was for our ancestors, thus leaving us little choice, but to do the work ourselves.

Thankfully, today's technology has made quality photographic equipment affordable and easily obtained; however, using it effectively isn't quite as simple. Photography is still truly an art and science all its own, and creating images that not only look good, adhere to basic photographic principles, communicate effectively, and still meet the demanding technical criteria of the professional publisher/printer, can prove daunting.

Therefore, this class is essential for anyone using photography to represent the martial arts, especially in an educational context, with a focus on print-style media such as books, ebooks, class handouts, magazine articles, web tutorials, etc.

This class will present:

The Order of Things: Layout of a Medieval German Fight Book

Instructor: Keith Alderson
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner

Beginning with high medieval works on the art of reading and writing – this class is designed to be a general overview of how books were produced in the period from 'Pen to Press' and how this needs to inform our understanding of what they contain (especially as regards the use of vernacular) and how they are organized. Participants from all areas of interest are welcome. Take away: text and image in historical context.

Patterns of Remedy in Il Fior di Battaglia

Instructor: Bob Charrette
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner

The organization of the Gettty manuscript of il Fior di Battaglia follows a structured presentation, building on the foundational elements and adding complexity as learning progresses. It is far more than a notebook of lessons from getting someone "tuned up" for a deed of arms. This class will look at the structure of the manuscript, with an occasional aside to the other Fiore manuscripts, and how it works as a teaching program. Fiore's presentational program has interesting implications for our reconstruction of his art and even more for our restoration of it. Don't know the difference? Come and find out.

Que llaman estar nerbado: The Spanish response to the Italian fencing tradition, 1665-1714.

Instructor: Charles Blair
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced

The reign of Carlos II of Spain (1665-1700) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) was a period of intense activity and continued development for practitioners and theorists of both la Verdadera Destreza and Italian fencing. We will examine how the Italian tradition developed during this period and the various Spanish responses to the challenge it posed. Historical background will be presented to provide context and students of all skill levels from either tradition are welcome.

The Sentiments of the Sword

Instructor: John Sullins
Class Category: Lectures
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Pre-Requisites: Must be 21 or older!

Here we will come together as gentlefolk to sip brandy and discuss the past and future of the dueling sword, heavy sabre and the noble art of defense in all its glory. The seminar will be facilitated by Maestro John P. Sullins, a 25 year veteran of the struggle to bring the gentle art of the dueling sword and curved sabre back from the brink of extinction. Required reading: Secrets of the Sword, Baron Cesare Bazancourt. (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Sword-Baron-Cesar-Bazancourt/dp/188452818X) .

Bring a snifter, because the brandy is mandatory!

Medieval Weapon Arts

Better With Armour Than Without: An Exploration of Fiore's Armoured Combat Techniques

Instructor: Sean Hayes, Bob Charrette
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: A working knowledge of either Italian or German longsword
Required Equipment: Longsword, spear or poleaxe, rondell dagger, gorget, mask or helmet - armor not required! Additional Equipment: As much harness as you can bring!

"Better with armour than without" is a statement that occurs with enough frequency to be notable in Fiore's Amizare. He makes this statement primarily but not exclusively in dagger plays, and he gives us as the "extra" techniques for armoured work in sword, speak and axe in addition to the base training out of armour. Using this, we will learn to train for the way in which good armour augments technique by providing additional protection, and examine the differences armor of various configurations (light, heavy, partial) makes to the fight.

Burgundian Pollaxe: Introduction to the Chivalric Combat of Le Jeu de la Hache

Instructor: Jason Smith
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Pollaxe Simulator, Fencing Mask.

This class will form an introduction to pollaxe technique through the principles outlined in the 15th century manuscript Le Jeu de la Hache. The first portion of class will visit the manuscript, the guards, primary attacks and basic defenses. The second portion of class will be spent exploring the manuscript's core plays and counters, illustrating the overarching principles contained therein.

Cutting Combinations for Zufechten

Instructor: Jorg Bellinghausen
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: A working knowledge of German or Italian swordsmanship.
Required Equipment: Safe training sword, fencing mask, gloves, notebook, towel, water bottle optional: full freeplay gear.

Being able to safely get from out of range into attacking distance is an essential skill to have for any swordsman. One method for achieving this would be to enter while using combination cuts which put the opponent under pressure and either hit him right away, achieve a bind or put him under pressure so he is vulnerable to a follow-up attack.

Drawing on cutting patterns from Joachim Meyer's 1570 book and from the oldest surviving treatise of the Liechtenauer tradition, Hs. 3227A, the purpose of this class is to explain the reasoning behind this approach in detail and practice them hands on. Although based on techniques from the German school, these patterns are also useful for practitioners of others styles.

Enter the Krieg (and Stay There): Strategies in German Longsword

Instructor: Jake Norwood
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites:
Required Equipment: Longsword simulator (steel preferred), mask, heavy gloves, elbow protection

This hands-on course for unarmored longsword in the Liechtenauer tradition explores approaches for moving from the Zufechten phase of the fight into Krieg, and on building the skills necessary to do well and stay safe once you're there.

"Enter with a thrust without mercy!"

Instructor: Roland Warzecha
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 2 hrs 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None, but familiarity with sword and buckler is a plus!
Required Equipment: Mask, neck protection, steel single sword trainer, buckler. Thin leather gloves are recommended. Padded sword hand gloves or gauntlets may be used but are not required. Plastic and wooden swords will be tolerated but are not well-suited to learn biomechnical and physical concepts.

The class will deal with thrusting in medieval buckler combat. We will explore the according wards suited for delivering thrusts. Correct technical execution aswell as distance, tempo and tactics will be explained and practiced in detail. The second part of the work shop will take a close look at Halfshield, its tactical approach and how to deal with opposing thrusts. To this end, we will learn how to successfully overbind and shieldstrike, I.33's hallmark technique. Finally we will look into the according counters.

Exchanging the Thrust: An Exploration of the Mechanics of the Thrust and Counter Thrust in Armizare

Instructor: Devon Boorman
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Foundation in the art of Armizare
Required Equipment: Gloves, mask, and longsword waster.

Think you have a strong counter-thrust? Come and challenge it in this workshop focusing on this one straight forward action from Fiore's manuscript. Together we will explore and hone the key principals behind a strong thrust and its exchange. Learn to make your thrusts even harder to set aside, how to effectively exchange from nearly any guard, and how to identify weak thrusts and exchanges and exploit them in your favor.

Haupt-games: Learning Liechtenauer's Hauptstucke through Games

Instructor: Jake Norwood
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Longsword simulator, mask, heavy gloves, elbow and knee protection; torso protection recommended.

This dynamic workshop for unarmored longsword focuses on learning and teaching Grandmaster Johannes Liechtenauer's chief techniques, or Hauptstucke, through asymmetric games focusing on sparring and practical application. No previous experience with the longsword is required, but expect to sweat and get beat on!

How the Hell do I Attack: Entering Combat in the Swordplay of Fiore dei Liberi

Instructor: Greg Mele
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Familiarity with any tradition of longsword fencing should be able to mimic the guards and learn the actions, whether or not they know the terminology.
Required Equipment: Steel longsword simulator, mask, heavy gloves. Although not required, a gambeson or jacket to provide padding for the arms is recommended.

Most martial arts begin by teaching the student how to defend, and the medieval material is little different. This is because it can be very dangerous to break measure and initiate an attack against a trained opponent. Nevertheless, the reality of combat means it is sometimes necessary to attack first. Looking at advice found in different parts of Fiore's work, we will see how his system can use the ideas of provocation, feint and second intention attacks – fundamental actions of all good fencing to break measure, seize the initiative and hold it.

Indes is a Sharp Word

Instructor: Jessica Finley
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: This class is OK for beginners, but an understanding of the basics of Winding and familiarity with German Longsword terminology will be helpful.
Required Equipment: Masks, gloves and longsword trainers required, Messers and/or Arming swords trainers also encouraged, so that we might explore these same techniques with another weapon.

Working from the bind is technically simple. One moves between four different guards (and sometimes Langenort as a fifth) and yet this movement often seems complex. Oftentimes one finds themselves unsure of which guard to transition to, which movement to use, which foot should lead, or how quickly to move. This class will explore the techniques and counter techniques from the bind, including Winden, Duplieren and Mutieren. Special emphasis will be given to learning drills to take home which can help to develop the Fuhlen needed to decide how one should wind (or not!).

The Inverted Left Hand Grip in German Longsword Play

Instructor: Christian Henry Tobler
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Low to Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Fundamental experience in longsword fencing
Required Equipment: Mask, gloves, and a longsword, preferably steel.

A number of German fight books feature illustrations of fencers with the left hand inverted from its usual position on the grip of the longsword. These have been dismissed in the past as artistic anomalies. Recent research, begun by Hammaborg's Dierk Hagedorn, has shown these illustrations to be more prevalent than previously thought and that the inverted grip provides considerable advantage in several situations. This class will review the evidence for the inverted grip and present reconstructions of it use.

Largo: Getting Cross with Fiore

Instructor: Rob Lovett
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Comfort with the longsword is a must, familiarity with Fiore's poste and blows is assumed
Required Equipment: Students will require a rebated steel longsword; hand and head protection.

Entry into Fiore dei Liberi's Largo plays requires a good transition from the Master Battle fight. This workshop will take the reality of getting to the real incrossada by examining the options for crossing at Master Battle and how that fight should flow to construct and control the incrossada itself. By showing the true transition from Master Battle to Master Remedy at Largo the workshop will open into the Remedy plays of Largo as well as showing essential links into Stretto.

Martial Magic!

Instructor: Guy Windsor
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Facility in some sort of sword art.
Required Equipment: Mask and sword (any kind).

There are a host of tiny tweaks to technique that allow experienced martial artists to apparently break the rules. In this class we will look at some of them, and cover ways of training that will dramatically shorten the length of time it takes to perform these feats. We will focus especially on ways of holding the sword to allow impact to be absorbed, to improve power generation, and to eliminate (up to a point) the necessity of having an advantage of leverage to control the opponent's sword. We will also, if time allows, look at ways of creating specific expectations in our opponent through body language, in order, of course, to defeat them.

Messer Fighting from the Glasgow Fechtbuch

Instructor: Christian Henry Tobler
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner
Intensity Level: Low
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Mask, gloves, a messer or arming sword.

The 1508 Fechtbuch held in Glasgow 's Scott Collection is a compendium of numerous treatises, including an illustrated edition of the Ringeck longsword commentaries. Less known is that one of its sundry contents is a small anonymous treatise on the messer. Comprising but eleven techniques, this small curriculum teaches simple defenses for every type of basic attack with this formidable, and quintessentially German, weapon. This two hour class will expose the student to the entire set of techniques – essentially a tool for learning important messer basics in one day!

Monte's Levata: A Simple Cutting Sequence with Many Applications

Instructor: Greg Mele
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Any background in the longsword, spadone or montante
Required Equipment: Steel longsword simulator, mask, heavy gloves. A staff or staff-weapon and an arming sword and buckler are not required, but suggested.

Writing in the late 15th century, Pietro Monte was likely a Spaniard in Italian service. His fencing instructions are somewhat unique in that they are not an instructional manual, but rather short chapters of tactical advice on a broad range of weapons. As with other masters of the period, at the center of the art is the two-handed and arming swords, the former being a weapon roughly the length from the floor to the wielder's armpit.

In this class we will look at Book I, Chapter XIV of the Collectanea, which forms Monte's instruction on the two-handed sword, and teaches a simple combination of actions called the levata, which Monte says is at the root of the art of fencing. We will look at this action first as a solo cutting exercises, then variations of the same, then as a series of partnered drills that show how to apply the same sequence as both attacker and defender. Finally, we will look at the levata as it might be used with disparate and variant weapons.

Stretto: The Complete Close Fight

Instructor: Rob Lovett
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 2 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Comfort with the longsword is a must, familiarity with Fiore's poste and blows is assumed
Required Equipment: Students will require a rebated steel longsword; hand and head protection.

Entry into Fiore dei Liberi's Largo plays requires a good transition from the Master Battle fight. This workshop will take the reality of getting to the real incrossada by examining the options for crossing at Master Battle and how that fight should flow to construct and control the incrossada itself. By showing the true transition from Master Battle to Master Remedy at Largo the workshop will open into the Remedy plays of Largo as well as showing essential links into Stretto.

To Strike and not be Struck

Instructor: Guy Windsor
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 3 hrs
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Some longsword experience in either Fiore's art or the Liechtenauer system is recommended.
Required Equipment: Mask, sword and gloves.

Double hits are the curse of fencing and usually come from failing to identify a threat. In this class we will examine the crossings of the sword in Fior di Battaglia, and use them to determine the optimum action to take in the given circumstances. We will look at them first as static positions, to help us determine the exact conditions, then work on creating specific crossings to exploit as both attacker and defender, and lastly develop training methods for reacting accurately to unforeseen crossings.

Two German Approaches to Buckler Combat: Lignitzer & I.33

Instructor: Roland Warzecha
Class Category: Medieval Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Mask, neck protection, steel single sword trainer, buckler. Thin leather gloves are recommended. Padded sword hand gloves or gauntlets may be used but are not required. Plastic and wooden swords will be tolerated but are not well-suited to learn biomechnical and physical concepts.

This class will predominantly deal with the most common attack in sword fighting, that is striking from the sword shoulder. Students will practice correct technical execution, distance and tempo. We will examine how the buckler changes the preconditions of a fight and how to respond to this. The second part of the work shop will compare the different tactical approaches of the according plays in Lignitzer's and I.33's teachings.

This class is designed to get across some of the most important concepts in medieval buckler fighting.

Pedagogical Training and Curriculum Development

From Drills To Freeplay: Putting Practice Into Practice

Instructor: Bill Grandy
Class Category: Pedagogical Training and Curriculum Development
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Low
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Fencing mask and longsword/single hand sword minimum. If you have gear for freeplay, please bring it. At the end we will be calling up volunteers to demonstrate some of the freeplay games.

When studying historical swordsmanship, learning the set, cannonical plays of the masters is naturally important. But what next? People often complain that their free fencing looks nothing like the drills they've practiced. This class will take students through a number of drills to help bridge the gap between the structured plays of the masters to the chaos of free fencing. These are designed to help historical fencers become more fluent and dynamic with their techniques, and to teach their bodies to remember tactical decision making under pressure. It will also introduce forms of freeplay "games" that can help isolate and improve specific actions and strategies.

Although this class can be applied to any and all weapon styles, we will be using the longsword or single handed cutting sword (such as an arming sword) due to their wide availability. Therefore students should have an intermediate understanding of their weapon, regardless of style. (i.e. the student should already understand the primary footwork, attacks, defensive counters, etc.)

Safety and Liability Issues in Teaching Fencing

Instructor: Ken Mondschein
Class Category: Pedagogical Training and Curriculum Development
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Low
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: None

A brief lecture and roundtable discussion of best practices designed to keep you out of the emergency room—and the courtroom. Based on the USFCA's liability training, but with a special emphasis on the situations and risks inherent to western martial arts.

Starting and Running a School of Western Martial Arts

Instructor: Devon Boorman (Moderator), Sean Hayes, Guy Windsor
Class Category: Pedagogical Training and Curriculum Development
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level:
Intensity Level:
Pre-Requisites:
Required Equipment:

What does it take to start a school of Western Martial Arts and then be successful with it? In this panel discussion, Devon Boorman, Guy Windsor, Sean Hayes, will speak about their experiences starting their own schools and then seeing them to their eventual and continued success. The discussion will cover topics including where to start, how to find a good location, marketing your school, building your curriculum, developing instruction, and keeping your books in order.

Tactical "Options" Class for Rapier

Instructor: Ken Mondschein
Class Category: Pedagogical Training and Curriculum Development
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Please bring a rapier; full safety gear, and some form of additional padding, preferably a coaching plastron; and, if possible, a student.

This will be an intermediate class teaching a method of drilling that enables us to take the raw data from fencing treatises and turn them into a workable, internalized system of fencing. Thus, though we will be using the rapier, the principles involved are broadly applicable to any weapon. To gain the most benefit from this class, students should have passable footwork, a good lunge, a developed sense of timing, and an understanding of rapier terminology, principles, and mechanics.

Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts

Bolognese Sprezzatura: Must-Know Fundamentals of Bolognese Sword and Buckler

Instructor: Tom Leoni
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Safe single-handed sword simulator (best if it allows you to finger the ricasso), small rounded buckler, fencing mask or helmet, gloves. You will not deliver or receive hits to the body, so a jacket or chest protector is optional but not strictly required

Do you really think you know the fundamentals of Bolognese sword and buckler? And even if you do, does your body?

For the more experienced swordsman ambitious to firm up his basics, as well as the beginner wanting to start on the right path, this class is an intensive on what you must know to successfully tackle the actions of Manciolino and Marozzo.

From precise formation of the guards to efficient, martial-looking steps; from powerful cutting and thrusting mechanics to building intent in your actions; from positive, sure parries in all lines to accurate ripostes; from entering a crossing to safely performing a take-off; from provoking tempi from the opponent to exploiting them successfully--these are the basics you will drill in this class.

In addition, you will learn how to use your off-hand weapon (the buckler) as taught by the great Bolognese masters.

The main goal of this class is to let you develop a sense of mechanical precision, outward elegance (looking like the book), and effortless sprezzatura in the style of the men who invented the word.

Canne de Combat

Instructor: Les Moore
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 2 hrs 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Fencing mask, hand, torso, and shin protection. A cane is required, but there will be some available if you do not have one.

This workshop will examine the basics of Canne de Combat, the fast-moving contact stickfighting sport associated with the art of Savate. It is a highly energetic art akin to fencing but focusing on impact as opposed to the edge or point. We will cover basic movements, attacks, parries, ripostes, cane manipulation, combinations, and themed sparring.

The Closed-Hilted Guardant Fight

Instructor: Mark Hillyard
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Loose clothing suitable for training, heavy duty fencing mask, fore-arm protectors (not strictly necessary), one-handed sword: arming sword, broadsword, or backsword (for this class doesn't need to be a back sword).

Guardant is a guard which is not used in many historical systems of fence. This class will introduce the basic techniques, tactics of how this guard is to be employed. The main sources for this class are the works of late 16th century gentleman, George Silver.

Drawing Your Sword

Instructor: Mark Hillyard
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Loose clothing suitable for training, heavy duty fencing mask, gorget (recommended), one-handed sword: arming sword, broadsword, or backsword (for this class doesn't need to be a back sword).

This class will cover various 16th and 17th century treatises about drawing your sword from the scabbard and immediately engaging (and hopefully) offending your opponent. The class will also cover counter techniques. The techniques are of a moderately difficult and therefore time will be made available to perfect the techniques.

English Quarterstaff, Part I and English Quarterstaff, Part II

Instructor: Paul Wagner
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: None
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None for Part One, but note that Part Two presupposes either familiarity with the staff or having taken Part One.
Required Equipment: You will need gloves (to prevent splinters) and a staff of between 7 and 9 feet long, depending on stature; an average person will require an 8 foot staff. A quarterstaff is a stout wooden pole used for combat, and was noted as an English speciality, remaining in active use throughout the middle ages and Renaissance, and well into the modern era. In England a quarterstaff was a large weapon, usually of oak or ash, between 1¼ - 1½ inches thick and, according to various Masters, between 7 and 9 feet long. It was thus a solid and relatively heavy piece of wood, designed to disable an opponent with a single effective strike.

All the great British fencing masters recognized the quarterstaff as superior to any other weapon in single combat. Zachary Wylde wrote "for a Man that rightly understands it, may bid defiance, and laugh at any other Weapon" and MacBane agreed, noting "whoever is Master of the Staff may Defend himself against any one man with Back or small Sword, as has been often Experienced."

The English method of staff combat was recorded in a number of fencing manuals. The primary ones are George Silver's Paradoxes of Defence (c.1599 ), Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defence (c.1605 ), Joseph Swetnam's The Schoole of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defence (1617) and Zachary Wylde's The English Master of Defence (1711), with Donald MacBane's The Expert Swordsman's Companion (1728) and Archibald MacGregor's Lecture upon the Art of Defence (1791) providing some additional information. Even earlier is the Cotton Titus Ms. (British Museum, MS Titus A. xxv, f. 105) from the late 15th century, which comes in two parts, the "Strokez off ij hand swerde" and "Strokes atte þe ij hande staffe". In addition, there are several later sporting staff manuals, including Thomas McCarthy's Quarter-staff: a practical manual (1883), R. G. Allanson-Winn and C. Phillipps-Wolley Broadsword and Singlestick with chapters on Quarterstaff, Bayonet, Shillalah, Walking-Stick, Umbrella and Other Weapons of Self Defence (1890), and a number of Boy Scout publications dating into the early 20th century.

These classes will introduce students to the principles of the English quarterstaff, primarily from the works of George Silver, but drawing form the other sources as well. Part One will look primarily at offensive techniques, and Part Two will be primarily concerned with defences.

Getting from Due Tempi to Stesso Tempo in Italian Rapier

Instructor: John O'Meara
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Knowledge of the basic techniques of Italian rapier (guards, footwork, lunge) will be assumed
Required Equipment: Practical rapier simulator, mask, gorget, jacket, gloves

Though much maligned, the 2-tempo parry-risposta is a foundational technique of Italian rapier. It lies at one end of a defensive continuum that has the simultaneous parry-and-counter at the other. In this class we'll learn to make the parry-risposta fast, strong and efficient through close attention to structure and geometry, and then use this as a basis for a natural and effective stesso-tempo defense.

Gioco Largo (Wide Play) to Gioco Stretto (Narrow Play) in Bolognese Swordsmanship--with either Single-hander, Longsword or Spadone

Instructor: Tom Leoni
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 3 hrs
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate to High
Pre-Requisites: "Must-know Fundamentals of Bolognese" class strongly recommended. Or, basic knowledge of Liechtenauer (German) tradition. Basic comfort-level with wrestling (if you don't like your personal space being invaded, this class is not for you). All take-downs will be safe, controlled, and their scope dictated by your own comfort-level.
Required Equipment: As a weapon, you may bring a single-handed sword made safe for training (langes Messer OK), plus and optional small rounded buckler; or you may bring a medieval longsword, bastard sword or a spadone--also made safe for training. Wasters OK. Fencing mask or helmet, and gloves.

In this class, you will have a chance to bring your favorite weapon and truly understand the concepts of gioco largo and gioco stretto. Bring your single-handed sword (langes Messer OK) with or without buckler, your medieval longsword, or your spadone, and learn or refine the way you transition from wide to narrow play.

We will use the universal rules taught by Manciolino and Marozzo to:

As the masters say, failing to understand the narrow play may put you in the position of being chased around by the opponent, while you flee across the salle fearing what lies beyond the safe confines of wide play.

Also: Please, do come to class clean and smelling good--for your partner's sake. Bad BO or last night's garlic dinner are illegal weapons against a wrestling partner!

Introduction To German Staff

Instructor: Bill Grandy
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner
Intensity Level: Low to Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Staff approximately 6-8 feet in length and fencing mask. Gloves are recommended.

The quarterstaff is one of the quintessential weapons of all cultures. Not only was it a readily available item for all classes, but it also taught the foundations of all polearms. Learn the basics of this universal weapon based on the early Renaissance German masters.

Introduction to Grand Bâton

Instructor: Ken Mondschein
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: 5' staff, approx 1" in diameter. This will be a light-contact class; students should bring a fencing mask or equivalent, stout gloves, and body protection (minimum of a gambeson).

An introduction to traditional European stick forms, with emphasis on what they can teach us about longsword/greatsword and polearm mechanics.

Introduction to the Curved Heavy Sabre

Instructor: John Sullins
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Minimum-At least one year experience in any sword system, optimum-one or more years experience in classical fencing.
Required Equipment: : Thick padded protection for the torso, upper legs, groin, and weapon arm. Neck and shoulder protection, cup, chest protectors, are required. A curved sabre is highly recommended, a straight bladed weapon will not be able to do many of the actions we will be studying. Note that sadly, the Hanwei Radaelli sabre has a very disappointing blade and not at all recommended for this class. Good results can be obtained by adding a curved blade to the Hanwei hilt. Blades are available from Darkwood Armory (http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/), and Alchem Incorporated (http://www.alcheminc.com/fencing.html). Wooden trainers can also be used I have had good luck with trainers made by William Skyhammer (http://www.skyhammer.com/) he has a tracing made from my antique blade and can make a wooden replica for you.

In this class we will cover all the basics required to begin fencing with the curved heavy sabre (broadsword). The class will focus on the classical Italian pedagogy, largely form the Radaellian perspective distilled into a system appropriate for those just learning and a great refresher for more advanced saberists. Topics will include, basic cuts and thrusts. Opening moves in the duel, actions on the blade, defense, counteroffense, and finishing the encounter.

Martial Magic!

Instructor: Guy Windsor
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Facility in some sort of sword art.
Required Equipment: Mask and sword (any kind).

There are a host of tiny tweaks to technique that allow experienced martial artists to apparently break the rules. In this class we will look at some of them, and cover ways of training that will dramatically shorten the length of time it takes to perform these feats. We will focus especially on ways of holding the sword to allow impact to be absorbed, to improve power generation, and to eliminate (up to a point) the necessity of having an advantage of leverage to control the opponent's sword. We will also, if time allows, look at ways of creating specific expectations in our opponent through body language, in order, of course, to defeat them.

Montante: Variations on Themes or At the Montantes of Madness

Instructor: Eric Myers, Steve Hick, Tim Rivera
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Recommended experience with the Spadone or Montante.
Required Equipment: Spadone or Montante Trainer. There will be limited or no contact; no protective equipment will be needed. Everyone will need a LARGE two handed sword or equivalent -- long swords are REALLY not a good substitute. Instructors will provide some weapons for use.

So many people, so many ways. Examination of the common contextual themes among the different authors of the Montante, similarities and differences in plays against other montante, shield men, narrow and wide streets, open places, protection of important persons or ladies, shoggoths, etc. This will be drawn from De Figueiredo, Godinho, del Toro, Lovecraft, and other authors.

Class is primarily directed to participants who have some familiarity with the weapon and the system, tyros are welcome, but the class willassume familiarity.

Safety: These weapons are large and dangerous if not used with consideration; no equipment currently and generally available can adequately protect people if care and consideration is not taken. Unsafe behavior will be strictly forbidden and will cause the individuals asked to not participate, but they may still watch.

The Movement of Conclusion: Spanish Hilt Grappling

Instructor: Puck Curtis, Eric Myers
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Fencing mask, jacket, gloves, and a sword that can be held in one hand. (Longswords are also welcome in this class for the unorthodox practitioner.)

One of the universal methods of defense within the Spanish tradition, the movement of conclusion is a technique that can destroy an adversary or permit the skilled duelist to end the fight without bloodshed. We will begin by applying the conclusion from the adversary's advantage and use this as a lens for our understanding of second intention actions. The class will continue with conclusions executed from the swordsman's advantage, and finish with conclusions from each of the general techniques (or actions on the opposing blade) described by Pacheco. Some of the final actions are almost certain to make your training partner flinch the first time you try them. The class will be structured so that no previous Destreza experience is required. Students will gain a working knowledge of Spanish hilt grappling and how it relates to actions on the opposing steel. While the canonical tradition used single-handed swords ideally suited for both thrusting and cutting, the same techniques will also work remarkably well with the longsword and practitioners wishing to try a rough and tumble taste of the Spanish tradition are also welcome to attend.

Move Your A$$: A Void Intensive

Instructor: Treyson Ptak
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 30 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Knowledge of the basic techniques of Italian rapier will be assumed.
Required Equipment: Practical rapier simulator, mask, gorget, jacket, gloves.

Ahhh, voids, love 'em or hate 'em, they are an integral part to effectively fighting with the rapier, and a technique which every fencer should have in their arsenal. We'll look at why the void works, what makes it work, and what makes this possibly a more desirable option than other actions. This intensive will focus on the different types of voids performed, when to preform them, how to set them up effectively, and when to move your a$$ when you get caught flat-footed.

So you got yourself into a duel: Learning the 19th century dueling sword

Instructor: John Sullins
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 1 hr 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner (The less experience the better!)
Intensity Level: Low
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Padded protection for the torso, upper legs, groin, and weapon arm. Neck and shoulder protection, cup, chest protectors, are required. A fencing Epee is sufficient but an Italian Smarra would be ideal. Smarra Blades and hilts are available from Darkwood Armory (http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/).

What would you do if you had a train for a duel to be fought the very next morning? This was a problem faced by many during the 19th century. It was easy to offend someone's honor but most people still neglected the study of the sword until the very last minute. In this class we will learn the most simple and effective method for surviving and winning in this desperate situation. We will learn this system then fight a series of one touch duels to see who learned the most.

Survey of Destreza, Now with Rada Kung-Fu Grip

Instructor: Puck Curtis, Eric Myers
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 2 hrs 45 min
Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced
Intensity Level:
Pre-Requisites: None
Required Equipment: Fencing mask, jacket, gloves, and a sidesword or rapier.

Students will learn a survey of Destreza as described by Pacheco and Ettenhard with additional information from Rada. Using science as the basis for the tradition, Ettenhard's explanatory text provides today's swordsman with all the fundamental elements of the Spanish tradition in plain language. Pacheco's extensive writing is condensed into a nuanced and usable system of fencing that allows a student to quickly grasp the concepts and apply the tradition. We will begin with simple geometry and use this to explore the Spanish science. We will then follow with the guard, simple attacks, footwork, distance, defense, and actions on the blade. We will incorporate elements of Rada's pedagogical approach in the presentation of some concepts. The participants will be encouraged to think critically about the material as we apply it to proposed martial situations.

Tutta Coperta: Fabris' Use of Rapier and Dagger

Instructor: John O'Meara
Class Category: Renaissance and Early Modern Weapon Arts
Class Length: 2 hrs 45 min
Experience Level: Intermediate
Intensity Level: Moderate
Pre-Requisites: Knowledge of the basic concepts, mechanics and techniques of Italian single rapier.
Required Equipment: Practical rapier simulator, dagger simulator (flexi-blade not necessary), mask, gorget, jacket, gloves.

Salvatore Fabris' 1606 fencing treatise is unique among its immediate contemporaries in elucidating the theory and practice of Italian rapier and dagger. Central to his system is the idea that both weapons should form a unified defense, supporting each other in an offensive/defensive synergy. In this class we will explore Fabris' basic concepts, through a close look at the guards and lunge-counters that are the building blocks of the system, and put them to the test in a series of progressive drills.