Dakao Do

Dakao Do loves to move—be it dancing, running, jumping, or fighting. An avid gamer for the first 20 years of his life, Dakao played games of all sorts and rarely saw the light of day. Also a voracious student of history, he stumbled upon European swordsmanship in 2001 and has since led an action-packed life.

Dakao's 14-year martial arts background centers on longsword, but includes or at least touches on rapier, sidesword, sword and buckler, poleaxe, dagger, etc. HEMA topics. Additionally: baguazhang kung fu, muay thai, and capoeira. He is also an instructor in parkour, which complements his martial skills with fitness, movement, and body awareness.

Beyond the merely physical, Dakao uses movement under pressure to teach decision, perception, precision, adaptation—but most importantly, fun. Creating fun for his students and himself fuels Dakao’s passion to teach and excel in the sports (yes, sports) he loves.

[Class] Structure and Motion

Fast, maneuverable footwork is an essential component of historical fencing and martial arts. Correct skeletal alignment is the structural foundation on which safe, strong, fast fencing and fighting are based. Structure is present in all guard stances, movements, and strikes. This class will teach some fundamental principles of leverage for control, power, and safety in the fight. Building on that foundation, we will cover a variety of drills designed to improve footwork through the principles of overload, permutational analysis, and body awareness (proprioception). Simple (and cheap) tools such as ladders and cones will be demonstrated to provide drills to bring home to your club. High-intensity interval training for speed and cardio conditioning will also be covered.

Becca Boyd

Rebecca Boyd began fencing in 2008 with Baited Blade Classical Fencing in St. Peters, Missouri. There, she progressed through the classical weapons and began practicing historical weapons. In 2011, she attended the Fechtschule America in Houston, Texas and fell in love with Historical European Martial Arts/Western Martial Arts. Since then she has worked to develop herself as a classical and historical fencer, instructor, and event organizer. She has taught at seminars including Fechtschule America (Houston, TX), Schertkampf Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico), Sentiment du Fer (St. Peters, MO). In November 2013 she founded Second Intent Fencing, which offers two paths to students: classical (beginning with foil) and historical (beginning with rapier). She is a member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition (WMAC), the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance (HEMAA), and Esfinges.

[Class] From the Salle to the Field: Classical Fencing for Historical Practice

Everyone seems to have an opinion about classical fencing these days but to those with an open mind and a willingness to learn, they can—undoubtedly—function as an effective tool for further understanding and skill with the historical weapons. This class will briefly introduce the three classical weapons—foil, epee, and sabre—and then explore how their study can enhance our use of historical weapons including rapier and longsword. We will drill with a variety of weapons in a natural progression from classical to historical and students will see for themselves how the study of one naturally melds into a greater understanding of movement in the other. This class will also briefly touch on other benefits of using classical as a tool for teaching historical, such as increased comfort level and ease of transition for women into historical fencing and increased control for our more reckless fencers. This is a drill-based class.

Required equipment: Mask, jacket, gloves, rapier, longsword (or trainer), and an open mind. Classical weapons will be provided,

Jean Chandler

Jean Henri Chandler is a fencer and amateur researcher who has studied historical fencing for 15 years. He co-founded the fencing group SDA NOLA with Lenny Zimmermann in 2004. Jean has taught longsword fencing as an instructor at Fechtschule America in 2011 and 2012 and is active in the competition circuit, fencing in 7 tournaments since 2010. In 2012 Jean placed third in longsword at the Fechtschule America tournament in Houston. Jean is an amateur researcher with a special interest in the late medieval Baltic. In 2012 he gave a lecture on free cities and fencing masters at the BSG event in Boston. In 2013 he gave a second lecture on informal duels in central European towns at the Higgins Armoury in Worcester, Ma. In April, 2014 Jean gave a lecture at the Tenth Annual Symposium on Historical European Swordsmanship, at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies in the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Jean has published two peer reviewed academic papers. His first, on warfare and free cities, was published in 2013 the Acta Periodica Duellatorum. His second paper in the same journal was released at Dijon in May 2014, on the relation between craft and merchant guilds and armed guilds. Jean has also published several articles on the HROARR website out of Sweden. Jean lives in New Orleans with his wife Marjorie where he continues fencing training with SDA NOLA.


[Lecture] Small Unit Combat in the Late Medieval Period 


Sieges of castles, pirate raids on the open seas, river boat skirmishes on the Rhine and the Vistula, robber knights and warrior bishops.

Previously we have examined the context of fencing in social combat on the cobbled streets of late medieval towns. Now we have the opportunity to look beyond the town walls, to trek deep into the dangerous feral countryside of medieval Europe and out into the fraught sea-lanes of the Baltic and the North Sea. Here we will find many opportunities for death: sudden raids, pitched battles, devious tricks and bold stands, circumstances in which swords and other personal weapons come to the fore when guns and pikes aren’t always reliable. We will take a look at the small unit action, as seen in the records of Strasbourg, Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, Danzig, and in the letters and archives of the Hungarian Black Army and the Teutonic Knights. This will provide us a glimpse of another potentially realistic context for the fencing of the fight-books, or at the very least, some more entertaining insights into the perilous world of the medieval fencing masters.

Michael Chidester

Michael Chidester has been studying historical European martial arts since 2001. He was a member of the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts until 2006, where he achieved the rank of general Free Scholar and acted as the ARMA Provo Study Group Leader. Michael co-founded the True Edge Academy of Swordsmanship in 2009, and until 2011 was a senior instructor and senior researcher at its Provo, Utah branch. He has lectured on historical martial arts literature at Fechtschule America in Houston, the Iron Gate Exhibition of Historical Martial Arts in Boston, the Symposium on Historical Arts and Swordsmanship at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, and Life, the Universe, & Everything: the Marion K. “Doc” Smith Symposium at Brigham Young University.

In 2010, Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Brigham Young University, with a minor degree in Military Science and additional coursework in Italian and Spanish. He developed a degree of fluency in the latter while living abroad in Mexico between 2002 and 2004. He is a member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition and a Lifetime Member of the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance; after serving as its principal designer and editor for two years, Michael was appointed to the newly-established position of Director of the Wiktenauer Project by the HEMA Alliance general council in 2012.

[Lecture] The Flower of Battle: Building a Bigger Picture of the Italic and Germanin Manuscripts


At the turn of the fifteenth century, Fiore dei Liberi composed an impressive fencing treatise offering a look at the most comprehensive Medieval fencing system known. This work survives to the present in four well-known manuscripts, but other than a treatise from the 1480s by an admirer of his, it was generally thought to be unique. However, in the past several years a number of other manuscripts have come to light from the same tradition, offering us new perspectives on both Fiore's work and the tradition that produced it. This lecture will offer some historical background on the tradition and its masters and also offer a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the different treatises that make it up.

James Clark

James Clark began in HEMA in 2003 as part of the German longsword program of MASHS. In 2008, he left and took up practice as an informal private practitioner. During this time of private practice found out about the Iberian manuscripts, and joined NoVA Assalto in late 2010, studying the montante and spadone with Steve Hicks and Steve Reich. The Iberian systems of Destreza Común and Esgrima Vulgar became a deeper and deeper interest over time. In 2012, he joined Old Dominion Fechtschule with Jessica Finley, and in 2013 joined Capital Kunst de Fechtens with Jake Norwood in order to take up the longsword and re-learn the German systems. While he enjoys the teachings of the German systems, his primary focus and study remains firmly planted within the Iberian systems of combat. In 2013, he went to Spain to train with AEEA Maestro Alberto Bomprezzi in order to be exposed to montante interpretations and training from a La Verdadera Destreza perspective of footwork and body mechanics for the montante. Through research, interpretation, and experimentation, he works in NoVA Assalto to create a compiled pedagogy and applicable system of use for the Iberian montante. In late 2013, he joined Capital Kunst Des Fechtens, where he still currently practices.

In 2012 James aided in teaching two classes on the spadone at Longpoint, in 2013 taught two montante basics classes at IGX and Midwinterfecht, and in 2014 he taught classes at Shortpoint, Fechtschule New York, and Longpoint.

[Class] Montante Strikes and Postures: The Utility of Postura Recta


In the first few rules of Figueiredo's Memorial, Figueiredo gives solo drills that seem to be teaching movements to aid the practitioner in general combat techniques. Pulling from Spadone and Jogo do Pau sources, I plan to teach how these first 6 rules in Figueiredo can be applied to learn to dynamically fight opponents one-on-one when armed with the montante. Please bring a mask and gloves. Previous experience using steel longswords, staffs/pole-arms, or montante/spadone is required for this class.



Dr. Fabrice Cognot

With a PhD in archeology, Fabrice Cognot entered the world of historical fencing as part of his academic research, and has since devoted much of his efforts in this regard. He is the founder and member of De Taille et d'Estoc, Burgundian association founded in 2001 for the study of European martial arts based in Dijon, and a member of the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition (HEMAC). In addition, he was associate commissioner of the acclaimed exhibition, "L'Epée. Usages, Mythes et Symboles" at the Cluny Museum in Paris in 2011, founder and current vice president of the IFHEMA, and one of the founders of the FFAMHE.

Although he and his asociacón develop all European weapons, he has made several videos and demonstrations of Burgundian ax, analyzing and disseminating the techniques described in Le Jeu de la Hache, manuscript Burgundian origin of the S. XV.

Besides being a frequent speaker on the European Tour (DryenEvent, Dijon, Witternheim, Fightcamp, 2nd World Championship Wide Open Longsword), he has also contributed to the filming of the documentary, Reclaiming the Blade, and is a published author and full-time bladesmith.

[Class] The French Rapier: How We Finally Managed to Make the Italian Rapier Work

Based on François Dancie's teachings, this class will explore the non-nonsense of French rapier play according to this Master - a street-savvy, reality-based twitch to the (mostly) Italian style that was earlier on very much in favor in France. Time depending, we shall play first with sword and dagger, and then with single sword (for such are things presented in Dancie's book). People should be aware that things can become quite close and personal, especially in the latter (who said 'brawling' ?).

Required gear : fencing mask, fencing jacket, gloves, cup/groin protection, sword, dagger, and functional knees.

[Lecture]"Streets of Blood": Dueling Culture in France in the Renaissance

A (hopefully) short(ish) lecture on fencing in France in the XVIth and XVIIth centuries : who, what, where and how - mainly based on selected examples of famous - or less-known - duels and encounters, but also accounts and academic research, which will help marking the significant, and specific, approach to fencing dueling in France in these times. From the "Salle d'Armes" of Dijon to the thousands of young noblemen slaughtering each other in joyous defense of honor (or pride ?), from grueling accounts of fights in which hot blood weighed more than skill and steel to gallant feats, we shall but barely browse the complexity and richness of the French ways of sword-playing in the Renaissance.

Keith Cotter-Reilly

Keith Cotter-Reilly is originally from Cork, Ireland. Through a long convoluted trek via Nagasaki Japan, he has ended up living in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He has an Electronic Engineering degree from Cork Institute of Technology in Cork, Ireland. Which is extremely useful for an instructor at an MMA/Fitness gym.

Keith is a 2nd degree black belt in Shodokan Karate and Wado-Ryu Karate and a purple belt under Prof. Roberto Traven in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Keith learned Shodokan Karate in Ireland and learned Wado-Ryu in Japan while he was an English teacher there. He started his BJJ journey in Japan also. Along with these martial arts he has practiced Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kyokushin Karate, and some Kendo. Keith has competed internationally in the various styles of Karate, as well as nationally in BJJ.

His first introduction to HEMA was at home in Cork with some re-enactment friends who taught him some basics. After forgetting about it while living in Japan, he stumbled upon videos of Swordfish and from there other people doing HEMA related training. Since then Keith has been training as best he can primarily in Longsword and Dussack.

He is the head instructor for the Atlanta Freifechter group. They primarily study the works of Joachim Meyer, with other late 16th century sources for addition material, for their weapon training. The main source for Ringen is the wonderful book by Fabian Von Auerswald.

Midday Brawlers: a HEMA Wrestling Clinic

Midday Brawlers is a workshop designed to introduce a framework of practice methods to students of unarmed HEMA. This workshop brings together three experienced wrestling instructors who will provide valuable wrestling drills, techniques and concepts for participants to take home and utilize with their local HEMA groups. In the spirit of the workshop's inspiration (the infamous Midnight Brawlers) this three hour clinic will end with light-hearted, coached free wrestling.

Charles Deily

Charles began studying HEMA in 2003 after sport fencing and coaching, and was a founding member of Schola Saint George Boston Area in 2006, eventually becoming SSG's first Free Scholar of the sword. Currently he runs Boston Armizare as primary instructor, studying and teaching Fiore's arts in dagger, grappling and longsword. Besides initiating the BSG (Boston Sword Gatherings which eventually grew into IGX) and teaching there, Charles has taught classes on Armizare in Massachusetts, Texas and Georgia. He is a member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition.

[Class] A Vor and Nach Model in Fiore's Dagger, Grappling and Sword

This class will show a flow model for understanding Fiore dei Liberi's (and other!) manuscripts, with parallels in the German and Bolognese traditions and medieval orthopraxis. With these principles, students new to Fiore often end up predicting the next included play, and finding the techniques both physically easier to execute and more intuitive. Students need a mask, gloves and training sword, with a training dagger helpful but not required.

William Frisbee

Bill Frisbee has been studying historical European martial arts since 2009. He currently is the owner and lead instructor of New Hampshire KdF, which is part of the XKDF Network. Bill has an extensive background in the Japanese martial arts, including his 2nd Dan in Shaolin Kempo Karate, several years of experience in shikendo and Aikido as well as an extensive history in the study and use of Japanese weaponry.

Bill has been focusing on developing more interest in Harnischfechten within the WMA/HEMA community and has done much outreach with the community to bring a better understanding of the art of European combat in armor to others.

He is a member of the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance, and currently lives in New Hampshire.

[Class] Harnischfechten:  Why Every HEMA Practitioner Should Try It

In the day of the longsword people didn’t just train in un-armoured fighting (Blossfechten), they also spent just as much time learning fighting in armour (Harnischfechten). Harnischfechten is a vital part of understand the way of the longsword and gaining key insight into the Historical European Martial Arts. This clinic will serve as an introduction into 14th and 15th century arms and armour and the range of skills required to use each properly.

Equipment and Experience: If you have 14th thru 16th century armour bring it! Wear it! Otherwise, have a good waster (please no feders), hand, neck and head protection.


Nathan Grepares

Nathan Grepares began his training under Scott Brown and has been studying German Longsword for over three years. Since he began, he has travelled to Europe a number of times for training. He is a member of Sword to Sword in Houston, Texas, and for the past year and a half, he has assisted Dakao Do with instructing new students, as well as working alongside experienced students to discover new and innovative drill concepts.

[Class] David and Goliath: How to Conquer Height Discrepancies

This workshop will teach shorter fighters how to deal with taller opponents. Utilizing common concepts such as footwork, timing, and distance. The class will analyze specific applications of said concepts through the perspective of shorter fighters. Basic knowledge of Longsword biomechanics are recommended, as well as masks and gloves.

Tim Hall

Tim Hall is an instructor of the Historical Swordsmanship program at the Virginia Academy of Fencing. Tim has trained in various grappling arts for most of his life and is an avid practitioner of the Liechtenauer tradition. His primary focus has been reviving ringen, and his extensive grappling background has allowed him to develop, shape and teach the ringen curriculum at VAF. Tim has taught classes on ringen at both Longpoint and Fechschule New York. He also organized and ran the wrestling competitions at Longpoint 2013 and 2014.

[Class] Midday Brawlers: A HEMA Wrestling Clinic

Midday Brawlers is a workshop designed to introduce a framework of practice methods to students of unarmed HEMA. This workshop brings together three experienced wrestling instructors who will provide valuable wrestling drills, techniques and concepts for participants to take home and utilize with their local HEMA groups. In the spirit of the workshop's inspiration (the infamous Midnight Brawlers) this three hour clinic will end with light-hearted, coached free wrestling.

Steven Hirsch

Steven Hirsch has been playing with swords since 2006 and studying martial arts since 1998. He now runs his own training facility - Athena School of Arms. Since he started playing with swords he has stopped having other hobbies—just variations on playing with swords like making kit and researching medieval combat. He has a B.S. in Exercise & Health Sciences and is a USA Weightlifting certified Sports Performance Coach. He is currently working on a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

[Class] Structure and Motion

Fast, maneuverable footwork is an essential component of historical fencing and martial arts. Correct skeletal alignment is the structural foundation on which safe, strong, fast fencing and fighting are based. Structure is present in all guard stances, movements, and strikes. This class will teach some fundamental principles of leverage for control, power, and safety in the fight. Building on that foundation, we will cover a variety of drills designed to improve footwork through the principles of overload, permutational analysis, and body awareness (proprioception). Simple (and cheap) tools such as ladders and cones will be demonstrated to provide drills to bring home to your club. High-intensity interval training for speed and cardio conditioning will also be covered.

Eugen Karel

Eugen started training historical martial arts in the German tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer in 2006 with Dreynschlag. Since 2010 he is a member of Dreynschlags trainer staff with main focus on Longsword. Besides Longsword he also studys fencing with the Dagger, Messer, Sword & Buckler (Liegnitzers plays) and (surprise!) the Quarterstaff of Paulus Hector Mair. He also did some interpretation on the Sickle, the Club and the Scythe.

[Class] What Paulus Hector Mair Could Do With His Staff

This workshop has two main goals: First – the basics of quarterstaff-handling. Strikes, thrusts, parries, counters, distance Second – the other focus lies on the unique way Paulus Hector Mair is describing techniques: What he says compared to what he does not say, the way he changes the person he is addressing, how the pictures are related to the text, his footwork. We will begin the class with basic drills and work ourselves up to the more complicated and advanced combinations described in the MSS Dresden C93 (“Dresden codex”) and the Cod. 10825 (“Vienna codex”) Needed equipment: Fencing mask, well-padded gloves (simple leather gloves will NOT be sufficient), a cup, and a staff made from hard wood (preferably beech) or rattan with app. 30 mm diameter and app. 170 cm length.

Don Kindsvatter

Don Kindsvatter began his HEMA practice over ten years ago at the Higgins Armory Museum where he was an active member of the Higgins Sword Guild and regularly performed demonstrations for museum guests with longsword and other weapons. He has been a member of Forte Swordplay for the past six years and has worked with John O’Connor on interpreting techniques from various sources. Don is also the scribe for the Cambridge Historical European Martial Arts Study Group which interprets medieval combat manuscripts. They have recently completed a translation of the Jörg Wilhalm Hutter manuscript and are currently working through Florius de Arte Luctandi.

[Class] Longsword Trapping from Jörg Wilhalm Hutter

A series of plays from the versetzen section of the 16th century manuscript of Jörg Wilhalm Hutter was the inspiration for this class. Hutter shows trapping your opponent’s longsword, which then allows you to close the distance while remaining covered and get into range to apply additional techniques such as throws, disarms, or slices.

Hutter describes the techniques of trapping your opponent’s sword between your own sword and your leg. His illustrations show the opponent in the Alber (fool) guard but suggests that these techniques can be used against the “four guard” which we have taken to mean fool, plow, ox and high.

John and Don will lead the class through drills using the trapping techniques against the lower and upper guards and the bind, and work through the steps of closing, trapping and grappling. The text does not describe how the combatants got to the positions shown in the manuscript but the interpretation suggests that this is a snapshot of a dynamic encounter.

Jared Kirby

Jared teaches traditional Classical & Historical Fencing as well as Personal Defense & Knife. Come study a variety of historical European weapons or unarmed arts.

Currently the fencing instructor at SUNY Purchase, he also teaches on going classes in the Tri-State area. Mr. Kirby is the editor and one of the translators of Italian Rapier Combat, the first complete, professional translation of Capo Ferro. He wrote the introduction for, and edited The School of Fencing, one of the most popular fencing treatises of the eighteenth century, authored by Domenico Angelo and annotated by Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez. Most recently “The Gentleman’s Guide to Duelling” was released in February 2014 which marks Jared’s third publication.

As a Provost of Arms (assistant master) through the Martinez Academy of Arms, Jared is a certified fencing instructor in the use of: Italian rapier, Spanish rapier, French foil, Italian foil, Italian dueling sabre, dueling sword, French small-sword, Traditional rapier, poignard, Contre-Pointe. He is also an Expert Knife Instructor through the School of Two Swords and teaches Personal Defense classes and private lessons on a regular basis.

[Class] Fencing l’huomo bestiale

Typically we focus on using the sword to fence another skilled swordsman, yet, more often than not in tournaments we are forced to go in against ruffians and l’huomo bestiale (the bestial man). This seminar will focus on how to apply your art and science to deal with unpredictable sword slingers, vulgar fencers, and thugs. Bring your weapon of choice and learn how to deal with the uncouth!

Michael-Forest Meservy

Michael-Forest Meservy is the lead scholar and head instructor of the Noble Science Academy. Michael-Forest initially began his study of the longsword in 2001 while attending college. Upon relocating to Nevada in 2007, he formed the Noble Science Academy, and began an intensive study of the longsword of both Fiore and Liechtenauer. In the following years, he has studied a number of other European martial traditions, and has expanded his study of the longsword to include Codex Wallerstein and Paurñfeindt, in addition to honing his skills as a fencer and instructor. He is also an advocate for Folk Wrestling in HEMA, and teaches the only regular class on Scottish Backhold in the Western US. Michael-Forest holds an MLitt in Medieval History from the University of Glasgow.

[Class] Midday Brawlers: A HEMA Wrestling Clinic

Midday Brawlers is a workshop designed to introduce a framework of practice methods to students of unarmed HEMA. This workshop brings together three experienced wrestling instructors who will provide valuable wrestling drills, techniques and concepts for participants to take home and utilize with their local HEMA groups. In the spirit of the workshop's inspiration (the infamous Midnight Brawlers) this three hour clinic will end with light-hearted, coached free wrestling.

[Class] Feeling and Winding: The Sword in the Bind

At the center of the art of the longsword is the principle of feeling. This course will emphasize movements at and from the bind, covering basic techniques such as Mutieren, Duplieren, and other responses to the various kinds of bind in both the German and Italian longsword traditions.

Dr. Ken Mondschein

Ken Mondschein received his PhD in History from Fordham University in 2010 and his fencing master’s certification in historical fencing from the US Fencing Coaches’ Association in 2013. A well-known scholar of the history and culture of fencing, he is also certified as a Prevôt in modern foil and épée. Ken has studied fencing and historical martial arts for almost twenty years, and has competed successfully in several local historical fencing tournaments. He also holds a second-degree black belt in traditional Japanese karate and is an avid equestrian and beginner jouster. Besides being the lead instructor of Worcester Historical Swordsmanship, Dr. Mondschein is a college professor who was a 2008–2009 Fulbright scholar to France, a Visiting Fellow at Harvard from 2009–10 and at UMass Amherst’s Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies from 2010–12, and was a Research Fellow at the Higgins from 2009 until the Museum’s closing in 2013. Besides numerous other writings, invited talks, and conference presentations, he is the translator of Camillo Agrippa’s rapier treatise (Italica Press, 2009; revised edition, 2014), as well as a book on the Getty manuscript of Fiore dei Liberi (Getty Publications, 2011), a book on the Italian school of the two-handed sword (SKA Swordplay Books, 2012), and an edited volume of academic essays on historical fencing (2014). He has several other works forthcoming.

Dr. Mondschein’s academic work concentrates on what fencing books can teach us about European history, and he is widely known as one of the foremost experts in this field. His extensive experience in higher education includes "Medieval Swordfighting: History and Practice" at Westfield State University—a unique class that combines the academic and the physical.

[Class] Tactical Footwork for Longsword

The fundamentals of fencing are space and time, and controlling both depends on effective footwork. In order to seize the tempo—to act in the vor—we must create a moment when the adversary is between movements and unable to act—in other words, force him into the nach. So, how do we use footwork in a tactical manner to achieve this? Even in the most detailed record of longsword fencing that we have, Joachim Meyer only gives rather vague advice on tactical footwork. This class will apply some modern fencing concepts (which are actually seen as far back as sixteenth-century Italian treatises) to gain insights as to how to dominate the adversary in the zufechten and thus become a more effective longsword fencer. We will be doing drills to sensitize us to “seeing” the moment, and then learning some tactical footwork applications to sucker the adversary into going right where (and when) we want them. Along the way, we will also be learning how to drill more realistically—dynamically from movement, rather than statically from unrealistic poses. (If you’re in the tournament, feel free to come drill with us; the class is very modular and will keep you warm between bouts—and if you’re a rapier fencer, these concepts are also applicable to rapier.)

Charles Murdock

Charles began training in martial arts in 1980. Since then he has trained in several styles of karate, akido, taijitsu, jujitsu, and budo arts. He discovered HEMA in 2008. After a discussion with John Clements, he decided that ARMA was not the way to go so he joined the Meyer Freifechter Guild in 2009 and founded the Grünberg Freifechter as a study group of the MFFG in early 2010. The group is focusing on the longsword section of Dr. Forgeng’s translation of Joachim Meyer’s 1570 treatise. Presently, Charles is working hard to convey to his group the functionality of the deeper stances in Meyer and how they translate into efficient movement and power generation.

[Class] Meÿer Longsword Drills


Using the sixteen cut pattern, secondary cuts, handworks and devices from Meÿer's 1570, we will explore footwork and blade movement patterns. We will also explore Meÿer's ties to both the common fencing and Lichtenauer traditions through these drills. Any level of experience, equipment commensurate with desired level of contact, training sword (feder or longsword).



John O'Connor

John O'Connor has been practicing HEMA for over 12 years. His interest began at an early age through exposure to gaming and military history, which has since evolved into a serious exploration of practical weapon martial arts. John was one of the founding members of Forte Swordplay, where he has studied a variety of both armed and unarmed arts, with a general focus on the longsword art of Kunst des Fechtens. He is well known for being the resident "master builder" of the group, where in addition to his regular responsibilities of managing and equipping the organization, he has also developed a number of HEMA training tools that have been publicly tested in tournament, including the O'Connor sparring dagger (in partnership with Purpleheart Armory) and the O'Connor sparring spear, both featured at IGX 2013. As a professional IT consultant, he has further applied his technical skills to helping Forte Productions produce their HEMA Series Livestreams.

Recently, John has been re-evaluating a number of Paulus Hector Mair's weapon form interpretations, and presented some of his findings at the Paulus Hector Mair Memorial Fechtschule, namely a class on Mair's Flail (complete with prototype O'Connor flails!).

[Class] Longsword Trapping from Jörg Wilhalm Hutter

A series of plays from the versetzen section of the 16th century manuscript of Jörg Wilhalm Hutter was the inspiration for this class. Hutter shows trapping your opponent’s longsword, which then allows you to close the distance while remaining covered and get into range to apply additional techniques such as throws, disarms, or slices.

Hutter describes the techniques of trapping your opponent’s sword between your own sword and your leg. His illustrations show the opponent in the Alber (fool) guard but suggests that these techniques can be used against the “four guard” which we have taken to mean fool, plow, ox and high.

John and Don will lead the class through drills using the trapping techniques against the lower and upper guards and the bind, and work through the steps of closing, trapping and grappling. The text does not describe how the combatants got to the positions shown in the manuscript but the interpretation suggests that this is a snapshot of a dynamic encounter.

Axel Pettersson

Axel Pettersson has been training in HEMA since 2002 when, age 17, he joined the local ARMA club run by Hans Jörnlind and Nils-Erik Fahlvik in his hometown of Falun. In 2006 he moved to Gothenburg to attend university and joined Gothenburg Historical Fencing School under head instructor Anders Linnard. In 2007 he started to teach German Longsword in the GHFS beginner’s class and in 2009 he joined Anders to teach the advanced class. His main focus is on early German Longsword, especially Sigmund Ringeck, he also does extensive research on Ringen and Joachim Meyers Longsword, Dussack and Rapier.

Always looking for beauty and the “flow” in fencing, the combination of heritage, artistry and efficiency is what draws Axel ever deeper into the world of Historical European Martial Arts. Axel travels regularly to teach Historical Fencing, having to date taught fencers, martial artists and stunt fighters in 15 countries, as well as having advised on movie and theater fight choreography. He is a part of the crew behind Swordfish, the largest HEMA tournaments in the world.

[Class] Longsword: Working from All Guards


One endemic trend in modern HEMA is the reliance on only two guards, right vom tag at the shoulder, and left pflug. These are natural and effective guards to use, but complete reliance in only these two guards will also Hanåker your development as a fencer.

In this class we will learn to use all four of the main Liechtenauer guards, both for offence and for defence, generating an improved ability to fence Indes no matter where we end up in the fight, and creating new ways to improve our skills and close openings in our game.

Required gear: sparring gear + weapon

[Class] Strength and Explosive Training for Historical Fencers

In this class we will cover a couple of strength and explosive exercises for historical fencers. Since we do not have any equipment we will focus on how to use body weight and our swords to train.

Jake Priddy

Jeremy “Jake” Priddy is the owner/ instructor for Body and Blade Swordsmanship in Martinsburg, WV. As a martial artist, he is a former member of the Association of Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA), and has been teaching various combat styles for over 20 years.

Jake also teaches stage combat, has been the choreographer for a number of independent productions, including an upcoming pilot for The Learning Channel, and was the Fight Director for the Rude Mechanicals Medieval and Renaissance Players at Shepherd University for 6 years.

Currently concentrating on the Liechtenauer tradition of German longsword fencing, Jake also holds a 3rd dan rank in Niten Ichiryu Kenjutsu and a black sash in Poekoelan Tjiminde. In addition to studying HEMA, Jake holds a master’s degree in history, concentrating in 10th- 15th c. English and French social culture. His thesis, As Tufa to Sapphire: Gendering the Roles of Medieval Women in Combat is currently in publication and will be available at the end of July.

[Class] Steeling the Center: Movement and Initiative in Liechtenauer's Longsword Traditions

Steeling the Center: Movement and Footwork in the Liechtenauer Tradition,” will focus on medieval body mechanics and historical modes of movement as they apply to longsword fencing. Students will drill on footwork, body and blade mechanics, and interpretations of how those mechanics apply to the ideas and interpretations of fuhlen and indes, and what those terms mean to modern martial applications of fencing. Focus will be the development of balance and timing, as well as speed, agility, targeting, and power generation.

Students will need a mask, gloves and training sword (feder or blunt). A gambeson will be recommended for full participation in a few exercises, but not required.

Omar Rodriguez

Omar’s martial roots are deep and began as a child. He began studying Karate-Do at the age of six, eventually reaching the rank of black belt. While studying for his second dan, Omar eventually had to leave that art to focus on his university studies. Later he went on to practice two of the eighteen disciplines of Ninjutsu, Taijutsu and Kenjutsu.

Omar’s HEMA career began in 2008 with study of German longsword. He founded a HEMA group called Hermandad de Guerreros (HEGUE), also known as the Brotherhood of Warriors. He later went on to co-found and become a lead instructor at the Elite Fencing Club México (EFC).

Omar has participated in several national and international events over the years, including the Encuentro de Artes Marciales Europeas at Toluca (European Martial Arts Gathering), Schwertkampf Mexico 2013 (Hosted by EFC), First Open International Gathering and Fechtschule America in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (where he was one of the instructors), Combat Con, and more recently Sentiment Du Fer 2013 (where he also was an instructor.)

His current studies are focused mainly on German longsword, Spanish and Italian rapier, English saber and Highland Broadsword.

[Class] Principios Básicos de la Verdadera Destreza (Basic Principles of Verdadera Destreza)

In Spain there were two fencing schools; The primal fencing also called Destreza Común or Destreza Vulgar (end of the Fifteenth century) which is connected with the Italian school and Verdadera Destreza (Mid-sixteenth century).

In 1582 Don Jerónimo de Carranza, a noble Andalusian, devoted Christian, and a skillful fencer, publishes in his book “De la Philosophia de las armas…” a new system for the sword fencing he developed. This practical and effective system, used geometry and maths to explain some fencing concepts with an impressive accuracy and precision.

His most famous student, Don Luis Pacheco de Narváez, succeeded Carranza and was the fencing master to the King of Spain. Pacheco was responsible for authorizing other fencing masters in Spain and is perhaps the most prolific fencing author in history with several books and over 1400 pages of text on fencing to his credit.

This Spanish fencing method was extended to the Spanish colonial empire in the New World. There are Destreza Authors, as well as documented masters in México, Peru, Ecuador and Philippines.

At this class we will focus on Verdadera Destreza and we will learn and understand some typical terms in the native language such as Compases simples y compuestos, Tretas particulares, Atajo, Movimiento oblicuo, Conclusión, and Tretas Generales

Jeremy Steflik

Jeremy has been studying HEMA since 2006 at WSTR and has been a lead instructor at the club since early 2011. His background in classical and sport fencing – starting in 1997 as a competitor and later a coach at the University of Rochester and Weslyan University clubs – heavily influences the training pedagogy at WSTR. Training techniques in context is stressed, so that students learn both how to DO the technique and how to USE the techniques tactically in a fight. In addition to the teen and adult program at WSTR, Jeremy has recently started two youth groups at local schools, putting swords in the hands of kids as young as six.

He doesn’t get around the tournament scene as much as he’d like, but he has won or made it to the finals in many of the events he’s entered, including a previous BSG event and Longpoint. Though the longsword has been his primary focus during his time at WSTR, he also contemplates the riddle of steel using the dussack, dagger, rapier, smallsword and sabre and has a keen interest in diving into Meyer’s rappier and Lecküchner’s messer in the future.

When he doesn’t have a sword of some kind in his hands, Jeremy enjoys bladesmithing, using a hammer and a forge to create all manner of sharp and pointy things, traditional archery and hunting with his longbow (Mmm… venison), leatherworking, and working in his shop where, though his two small children take up much of his time, his collection of hand planes and chisels still get the occasional workout.

[Class] Fixed Bayonets!


This class aims to introduce a simple system of bayonet fencing in use during the latter half of the 19th century. In this period of time the advancement of firearm technology led to the decline in the importance of the fixed bayonet as a battlefield weapon. Still, it was an important part of any infantryman's training. We'll be looking at the use of the longer socket bayonets affixed to muskets, usually topping 72" in total length, as well as the shorter rifles and sword bayonets that began to be issued during this period. By the end of the class we hope you'll agree with the assertions that the fixed bayonet is more formidable weapon than either the lance or the sabre, and that a well-trained infantry soldier has little to fear from a cavalry soldier!

Required equipment: Mask, jacket, gloves. A variety of Bayonet trainers will be provided.

Brian Stokes

Brian Stokes is currently the head master of the Schola San Marco, a group of clubs devoted primarily to the art of Fior of Friuli. He started his career with the sword in 1971 when he began training in Olympic fencing and participated in many a tournament. In 1977 he began training in the art of the Japanese sword, which he still presently does. Until early 2002 he exclusively practiced the art of iaijutsu, earning the rank of rokudan. In 2002 he was admitted as a disciple of the Suio Ryu of Iai Kenpo, one of the oldest extant battlefield traditions of Japan, restarting he training in an historically accurate mutli-weapon tradition. Starting in 2000 he also began his study of the western martial arts.


Brian is an ardent researcher, always seeking books and manuscripts that may be yet unknown to the Western community. To date he has uncovered the existence of three manuscripts, one on fencing, one on tournament rules, and one on the arms and armor. He is the owner of a number of early renaissance books including many 1st editions.

[Lecture] The Fiore Getty Manuscript: An In-Depth Look


In his magnificent work Fior di Battaglia, now held at the Getty museum in California, Fiore dei Liberi memorialized his martial art. Through the years the true brilliance of this master’s art has been uncovered by those devoted to his combat methodologies. As will be noted in this seminar offered by Brian Stokes, arguably the leading researcher into this specific manuscript, Fior di Battaglia is a very meticulously edited work and as such should be meticulously studied. The question one should be asking is not what are the combatants doing but rather why are they doing it in the method as drawn. That said this seminar will not be focused on Fior’s combat methods but instead upon the positions of the bodies of the combatants as seen in Fior’s work and how these positions relate to the perfect application of physical advantage through the correct position of hand, feet, and body. As such this seminar should be of interest to anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding into why combatants appear in the way that they do in martial arts manuscripts and books from which we study.

Fran Terminello

Fran is an instructor at School of the Sword, where she has studied Bolognese swordplay and rapier for the last four years. Together with her husband, Piermarco, Fran gave a workshop at HEMAC Fiorentia 2014, the first of its kind teaching techniques from Giganti's 'lost' second book of 1608. This is a work which Piermarco discovered, translated and published in 2013 with Joshua Pendragon. In March this year she demonstrated some of these techniques at a lecture delivered by Piermarco and Joshua at The Wallace Collection, London UK.

In 2013 Fran co-founded Waterloo Sparring Group, with members from HEMA clubs all over the south of England. So far in 2014 they have collectively won six medals at two international events in one weekend.

As 'Agent in Europe' Fran helps to manage Esfinges, a worldwide organisation for women in HEMA, and is a strong supporter of inclusion in the HEMA community.

Fran placed 3rd in women's longsword and 3rd in rapier at SWASH 2013.

[Class] Gioco largo (wide play) in Bolognese Sword and Buckler

This class will focus on dynamic drills and natural movement to improve combinations, parrying and countering in the Bolognese tradition. Some knowledge of any sword and buckler system is helpful but not essential.

Piermarco Terminello

Piermarco Terminiello is an instructor at the School of the Sword, UK. His research interest is focused on sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian swordplay. He has an extensive knowledge of technical manuals from the period, including a number of widely overlooked works. Along with Kevin Maurer he was recognised as “Best Researcher” in the inaugural HEMA Scholar Awards of 2013. Among other research, he has unearthed and translated (co-authored) the “lost” second book of Nicoletto Giganti (1608), unearthed the lengthy manuscript treatise of Giovanni Battista Maffani (1629) not listed in any fencing bibliography, published an English translation (co-authored) of Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri’s La Scherma (1640); a transcription and English translation of Giuseppe Colombani’s L’Arte maestra (1711); and a transcription of the Biblioteca Trivulziana Cod.256 (c.1680).

He has helped bring HEMA to a wider public, having previously lectured at the Wallace Collection, in London UK; and published a paper in the long-established peer-reviewed Journal of the Arms and Armour Society.

He has enjoyed success as a competitive fencer, winning and placing in a number of international competitions, primarily in the disciplines of single rapier, and rapier and dagger.

[Class] Two Swords from Palladini, Altoni, and Docciolini

Contrary to the popular imagination, combat with two swords it is not a modern conceit, but appears in no fewer than eleven known treatises, counting Italian sources alone. No mere novelty, Di Grassi judges two swords as the strongest combination short of polearms, while Palladini recommends them as particularly adept at dealing with multiple opponents.

Different masters suggest a variety of methods. The Florentine masters Altoni (c.1540) and Docciolini (1601), and the Bolognese master Palladini (c.1600), appear to present a common approach.

Arguably the most intuitive historical method, these masters taught two swords as the first discipline after the sword alone. Not only a strong combination in its own right, which trains and conditions both arms; this method of fighting with two swords clearly conveys didactic principles, which can then be transferred to the dagger, or other companion weapon.

[Lecture] Italian Treatises from 1510-1640, with a Study of Palladini's Unpublished Manuscript

In excess of thirty treatises on fencing were written in Italian between 1510 and 1640. This talk provides a comparison and overview of the contents of these treatises. In particular it examines the manuscript work of Camillo Palladini (c.1600). This appears to be a syncretic system, with elements identical or analogous to those in a number of disparate Italian sources; namely the Bolognese School, the Florentine School of Altoni and Docciolini, the treatise of Camillo Agrippa, as well as later rapier sources.

Chris Thompson

Christopher Scott Thompson is the author of several works on the use of the Highland broadsword and other weapons, including Broadsword Academy, Highland Broadsword, Highland Knife-Fighting, and Highland Martial Culture. He is the President of the Cateran Society, an organization devoted to researching and practicing the historic Gaelic martial arts.

[Class] Highland Broadsword Tactics

Highland Broadsword Tactics is an introduction to the use of the basket-hilted Highland broadsword through the study of ten high-percentage bouting tactics selected from the manuals of Henry Angelo, Thomas Mathewson, Thomas Page, Andrew Lonnergan and the Highland Officer. These techniques are all easy to learn and apply under pressure in a bout.

Christian Trosclair

Christian Trosclair is a student of movement. He has spent over 20 years studying variously Bagua, Capoeira, Xingyi, Silat, Shaolin Longfist methods, Aikido, and Systema, as well as the classical indian dance, Bharata Natyam, Flamenco and Yoga. He is an instructor for System D'Armes, New Orleans (SDA NOLA) and has taught at Fechtschule America, Fechtschule New York, Longpoint, and BSG. He has been a Liechtenauer practitioner for nine years and is an avid translator. He is the Technical Director of the Wiktenauer project and a former Governing Council member of the HEMAA. It is his aim to aid others in discovering the fundamental movements and theories of medieval combatives.

[Class] There and Back Again: Zufechten to Kreig, Five Cuts and Five Words

Codex Döbringer (MS 3227a) is terse, rich, paradoxical and has a unique point of view of Liechtenauer's verse. We explore the power of this gloss through application of the Five Cuts through the Five Words. We examine it's pedagogy, context and the differences from the 15thC Künstbuchen. There will be partner drills and movement drills. Gloves, mask and weapon are minimum gear requirements.

Harry Winter

Harry began with HEMA in 1999 at the “Liechtenauer Fechter” aka “Dreynschlag” ( where he still is a member. Since 2001 he has been the main trainer and initiator of reconstruction of techniques of the so called “German school” of the 15th century. In 2002 he began his first translation of the Codex Wallerstein, and soon after the manuscript of Sigmund Ringeck and Peter von Danzig followed. In the same year he was also invited to teach in France (Dijon DTedT) and Germany (Ochs). He also initiated the so called “DREYNEVENT” ( which has become one of Europe’s - ormaybe the world’s - biggest annual HEMA events. In 2004 he worked with other clubs to found the Austrian federation for historical fencing of which he is the chairman. For the last 10 years he has followed his passion, trained, and taught mainly German longsword, German dagger, and Lignitzer’s sword & buckler. Harry’s favourite weapon is the dagger and he is working to improve his abilities and knowledge of this weapon every day. In 2013 he was one of the initiators of the foundation of the IFHEMA – the International Federation for Historical European Marts Arts.

[Class] Dagger Plays of Lignitzer and Wallerstein

We will discover some dagger plays of Andreas Lignitzer and the Codex Wallerstein. We will include wrestling, punching, throwing, kicking and levering into the plays. We will break the plays down to the simplest ways of functionality and efficiency. Please be aware that this is dagger, so it will hurt. :)

[Lecture] Piercing the Veil of Academic Fraternity Fencing (aka Mensur)

Fraternity Fighting: History, rules, weapons, protection and training. The meaning of this lecture is to show you the development of the fratenity style of duelling. Why they fought and fight, how they train. What are the rules and which weapons and safety gear they use? We will show pictures and paintings of duels and will also explain why there are even in our multimedia generation are so few videos.

[Class]Plays with the Messer from the Codex Wallerstein

We will take a look to the eight plays from the Codex Wallerstein. Why they are working. How they are working. And how to make them instinctively working.
Required equipment: Messer simulator (aluminium or blunt steel would be best), fencing mask. Gloves are optional.
Required skills: It would be preferable if students are used to handling single handed weapons and know some german terminology, but in fact everyone can join.

Tristan Zukowski

Tristan Zukowski has had a lifelong interest in swordsmanship. His formal training in German Longsword began in 2009, under the tutelage of New York Historical Fencing Association (NYHFA) Director Michael Edelson. Since 2011, Tristan has been an active instructor at NYHFA’s Brooklyn and Delhi branches, as well as the Poughkeepsie Study Group. In 2013 Tristan became the Head Instructor of the Akademie des Heiligen Schwertes, the HEMA division of Sword Class NYC and an affiliate of NYHFA. A proponent in the martial aspect of sword arts, Tristan’s curriculum focuses on body mechanics and precise manipulation of the weapon: drills, sparring, and test-cutting are all used to refine and validate technique. He also sees the tournament scene as valuable: both as an opportunity for practitioners to test their abilities in a dynamic environment, and as a wonderful mode for community-building.

[Clinic] Cutting with the Longsword

The cutting class is meant to introduce longsword practitioners to the utility of test-cutting with tatami for refining and validating technique. Focus will be on body mechanics, particularly the generation of power and maintenance of edge alignment via hip rotation and subtleties of grip. Diagonal descending cuts (e.g. Oberhau) will be the primary focus, as the principles employed there can later be extrapolated to all other cuts; those who have attended this class previously will also be given an opportunity to examine other cuts, and/or combinations of cuts.

Requirements: A blunt longsword (steel is preferred, but any waster is suitable); a sharp longsword (subject to approval by the instructor for safety concerns). A loaner sharp may be available.

There is an additional fee for this class ($MONEY per mat.