Instructors

Instructors

We are still developing our final roster of instructors, so please check back for updates!

Devon Boorman

Devon Boorman has been practicing Western martial arts for more than 20 years. He has won international competitions, taught workshops and seminars throughout the world on both the study and practice of historical techniques and on practical combat implementation, and has been actively involved in translation and interpretation projects of extant texts. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques. Devon is the co-founder and director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay in Vancouver, Canada, the largest centre of its kind in the world.

Mike Cherba

Mike has been a sword nut since he first discovered his grandfather’s foils at age 11 and begged for lessons.  In college, Mike transitioned away from Olympic fencing, first to theatrical swordplay, and shortly after, discovering Joseph Swetnam’s manual and diving head first into historical fencing.  In the early 2000s Mike moved to Eugene Oregon and Trained in Fiore and classical fencing with Maestro Sean Hayes for several years before moving to Portland and founding NW Armizare to train up practice partners.  It was while living in Eugene that Mike first discovered Elashvili’s text, “Parikaoba”, about Georgian Sword and Buckler.  This launched a ~15 year effort in translation, interpretation, and seeking out and working with the scholars in Georgia who have been working to preserve and restore Lashkroba.

Puck Curtis

Puck Curtis began studying historical fencing in 1992 and researching Spanish swordplay in 1994.  He is the cofounder of the Destreza Translation and Research Project and the primary author of From the Page to the Practice – Fundamentals of Spanish Swordplay.  Currently living in Folsom, California, he has taught historical fencing for over 20 years with a special focus on the Spanish traditions.  He tested and received his certification as a Master at Arms before a traditional board of fencing masters with the San Jose Fencing Master’s program in 2008 and has expanded the tradition by examining a number of instructors, provosts, and fencing masters.  In addition, he has presented seminars at major HEMA events, fought in numerous public exhibitions, and has served as a guest examiner for schools certifying historical fencing instructors.  His current project is uniting the rigorous training and pedagogy of the classical Italian school with the theory and practice of the Spanish True School to preserve the tradition, develop new leadership, and share the art with today’s western martial arts community.

Loreen Mattis

Loreen Mattis is the Education Program Administrator for Chivalry Today Education Program and one of the head coaches for its Western Martial Arts program, San Diego Longsword. She began her practice in 2017 and has extensively studied the fighting arts while continually focusing on the growth of her own practice and that of her students. Her weapons of choice are the longsword and spear in both armored and unarmored combat. As a professional high school educator, Loreen uses her teaching background to develop lesson plans for these fighting arts that are accessible to a wide variety of HEMA practitioners and their various learning styles. Her goal is to create a studio culture that is culturally responsive, supportive, and inviting to all students interested in collaborating in pursuit of friendship and mastery of Western Martial Arts.  

Gregory D. Mele

Greg is best known within the Western martial arts community for co-founding the Chicago Swordplay Guild in 1999 as formal venue to study historical European swordsmanship and its adjunct arts. In October of that year, he also organized and hosted the first Western Martial Arts Workshop as an attempt to promote these arts amongst practitioners throughout North America. The oldest and most respected of workshop of its kind, WMAW now draws participants from three continents.

Besides WMAW, he has been an invited instructor at seminars and symposiums in California, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and the Royal Armouries in Leeds, UK, and has also taught a number of private seminars in both the USA and Canada. He is the co-author and editor of the Flowers of Battle, a multi-volume translation & edition of the surviving corpus of manuscripts by Fiore dei Liberi and a co-founder of the International Armizare Society.

Eric Myers

Eric Myers is a Master at Arms in classical Italian fencing, certified by the San Jose State University Fencing Masters Program in 2008. He teaches classical and historical fencing at the Sacramento Sword School, and at the Sonoma State University Fencing Masters Certificate Program. He is a cofounder of the Sacramento Sword School.

Maestro Myers began fencing in 1984, and researching Historical European Martial Arts in 1997. Since 2005 his historical research has focused on the martial arts of Spain and Portugal, and in 2010 he co-authored (with Steve Hick) a monograph and translation of the 17th century “Memorial of the Practice of the Montante” by Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo. Since then he has continued his research and translation activities, and has co-authored or collaborated several books on Iberian fencing. He has taught from these and other works at several large, international WMA events.

John O’Meara

John O’Meara studied modern foil and epee at McGill University, and as an actor trained in stage combat and choreography with the New York Fight Ensemble. His love of history, swords and the mystique of the duel all came together when he joined the Chicago Swordplay Guild, where he has headed and developed the Renaissance fencing curriculum since 2001. He is the Guild’s first Provost-at-Arms, a rank he earned through his long years of teaching and curriculum development, examinations as well as a public display at arms in February of 2017.

Ton Puey

Ton Puey is the technical director and Master of Arms of Academia da Espada, focused on the study of la Verdadera Destreza with the weapons of the moment of greatest splendor of the discipline, such as the rapier sword, alone or combined with dagger, buckler or rodela, and polearms in addition to work in the interpretation of the rules of the montante of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the study and interpretation of the other current fencing of the peninsula, especially the, so far , the , only treaty not belonging to the Verdadera Destreza preserved, the “Art of Fencing” by Domingo Luiz Godinho. In addition to his usual work as an instructor in A Coruña, Galicia, he has taught seminars in France, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Greece, USA, Mexico, Australia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, China, Portugal and Spain In 2015 he is recognized as Mestre de Armas by HEMA Portugal and in 2018 as the first Non-Italian Historical Fencing Master by the Italian Fencing Federation.

Marco Quarta

Italian born and raised, Marco have been practicing IMA traditions since a young age, especially the arts of fighting with sticks, daggers, knives and unarmed. He is a founder of the Nova Scrimia brotherhood in Italy and Maestro at the historical fencing research group Scrimia Scuola d’Armi. In addition, Marco has a background in a wide variety of martial arts, especially fencing and grappling arts, including Judo and Gracie BJJ. Since late Nineties, he has been researching, teaching and promoting IMAs with publications, lectures, festivals, tournaments and seminars at Italian and International Universities and at fencing/martial art symposia in Europe and North America. He is also a founder of “Hic Sunt Leones”, a fighting club based on traditional fencing assaults, duels and ritual combats.

Marco has a personal interest in symbolic and philosophical aspects of western martial arts and in fencing traditions. Professionally, Dr. Marco Quarta is co-founder and CEO of longevity biotech companies aiming to extend lifespan and health span. He is also a biomedical scientist at the School of Medicine of Stanford University, California. He teaches Italian martial arts (IMAs) in the San Francisco Bay Area.

James Reilly

James Reilly began his study of martial arts in his early teens. His first focus was on western boxing, later moving on to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At 20 years of age, he joined the Armed Forces where he achieved the rating of Navy Chief after just 5 years of service. He began his study of historical swordsmanship in 2009, after stumbling across the highly acclaimed documentary “Reclaiming the Blade.” He joined the HEMA Alliance as an individual member in 2011.

James is the Principal Instructor of the Goliath Historical Fencing Academy. He is a student and teacher of the tradition of Kunst Des Fechtens founded by Johannes Lichtenauer. He has taught private seminars and at major historical fencing events across the United States and Internationally, and holds the Fechter rank by the MFFG in Longsword, dussack, dagger, wrestling and rapier.

Rob Rutherfoord

Rob Rutherfoord is the Bolognese instructor at the Chicago Swordplay Guild, founded in 1999, making it one of the oldest HEMA clubs in the United States. Rob has been studying historical fencing for over 20 years, practicing the arts from the early 16th to early 17th centuries, both in the Italian and German systems of fence. He is the author of “The Art and Practice of 16th-century German Fencing” covering the use of Joachim Meyers rapier, which he has taught internationally to Meyer clubs around the world. Rob is a regular instructor at WMAW (Western Martial Arts Workshop) as well as a repeat instructor at VISS (Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium). He places the theory of fence at the core of his instruction, letting the techniques discover themselves through rigorous application of sound fencing theory.

Christian Henry Tobler

Christian Henry Tobler has been a longtime student of swordsmanship, especially as it applies to the pursuit of the chivalric ideals. A passionate advocate of the medieval Liechtenauer School, his work in translating and interpreting Sigmund Ringeck’s commentary in 2001’s Secrets of Medieval German Martial Arts firmly established him as an important contributor to the growing community of Western martial artists. With over seven books, two training DVDs and numerous articles to his credit, he remains at the forefront of bringing the study of medieval Fechtbücher to life.

 

Mr. Tobler lives in the United States, in rural Oxford, Connecticut, with his wife Maureen Chalmers, where he teaches a weekly class on Medieval German combat, surrounded by far too many books and pieces of arms and armour for the size house that they live in.

Davis Vader

Davis Vader started training with the Chicago Swordplay Guild in 2006 upon learning of the existence of historical fencing manuals and the people who study them. In 2017 he was among the second pair of students from the organization to attain the rank of Free Scholar of Armizare. Showing an early aptitude for the unarmored spear, he has branched out his studies to include armored fighting, various other polearms, and Bolognese swordsmanship. Having taught at the CSG, Milwaukee Academy of Swordplay, and online classes, he is thrilled to be on the WMAW roster again. When not doing martial arts, his next favorite form of exercise is trail running. Despite his surname, his principal fencing interests do not involve lightsabers even if they are elegant weapons for a more civilized age.