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Please see the event program for an overview of all workshops. 

Please ensure you are aware of the assumed knowledge and required equipment for the workshops you would like to attend, as described below.  

Saturday, 23rd April 2016


Foundations for grappling

Smallridge, Peter (KDF)


Aimed primarily at those with minimal or no grappling experience, or at experienced grapplers who want a warm up for the weekend, this workshop aims to provide a preparation for those looking to work on their wrestling skills - whether for Ringen, Bartitsu, Abrazare, Glima or other historical grappling system.


We’ll addressing the demands of grappling, including a variety of applicable exercises to help build the required physical attributes, as well as technical knowledge ranging from breakfalls to the principles of balance and base.


Assumed knowledge: None.

Required equipment: Athletic clothes and water required. 



Hendtrucken: Arm Control in Meÿer's Longsword

Pope, Danny (Fechtschule Victoria)


While control of the hands using slicing and pressing movements is seen in select plays within the Liechtenauer, it is considerably more common and explicitly described in the devices presented by Joachim Meÿer in the 16th Century, especially in his comprehensive text of 1570.


Through application and technical instruction participants of this workshop shall investigate a variety of the arm control hand-works described by Meÿer, including slicing, pressing the hands, over-gripping, wrenching, and some wrestling at the sword This will be examined in the context of the fechtschulen of Meÿer's era and will consider the differences in application of arm control using a feder as compared to a traditional longsword.


The workshop will consider canonical examples of these methods from Meÿer's text, and will afford participants the opportunity to explore the application of these methods in a controlled environment.


Assumed knowledge: A basic level of understanding of longsword usage is required; eg. basic cuts, stepping, and parries.

Required equipment: Participants should have some basic competence with the longsword to make the most of this workshop.



The long the short and the flat of it

Holgate, Mark (Adelaide Sword Academy)


Drawing from Joachim Meyer’s 1570 work this workshop looks at the when, where, why and how to use blows with long and short edges and the flat. These skills are critical to unlocking clean, dextrous handling of the longsword in freeplay, and provide a fantastic variety of techniques to employ. The focus will be on working through a series of progressions to get you integrating these techniques into your fencing without over loading you with options.


Assumed knowledge: Participants should have some basic competence with the longsword to make the most of this workshop.

Required equipment: Fencing mask and longsword/feder/simulator required. 



Coaching through the concepts

McDonald, Stuart (GLECA)


This workshop will explore how to optimise the learning experience for your students by coaching according to concepts rather than concrete specifics. When you understand how the mind uses conceptual thought more than specifics to recall information and learn movement patterns, the power of this approach becomes obvious.

Coaching Through the Concepts will help optimise teaching for the greatest breadth of people (culture, background, experience, knowledge etc) while allowing you to focus the details to whichever specific system you're teaching (historical text, the fight and the student's unique starting point).


Assumed knowledge: A working understanding of the fundamental principles of the fight: distance, timing, measure, line (inside/outside, online/offline).A system that you're already teaching or thinking about teaching.Coaching experience of individuals and groups is preferable.A keen interest in language, communication, and humble, creative learning.

Required equipment: Light gloves, fencing masks, paper, pen/pencil. One weapon of choice. Mouthguard if unarmed combat is your coaching interest.



English pugilism

McDermid, Stuart (Stoccata School of Defence)

For the English Gentleman of the 19th Century, boxing was known as the Science of Self Defence. It was so effective that even the French adopted it and incorporated it into their own methods. 

Pugilism played multiple roles in society. It was a spectator sport, a form of manly exercise, a way of settling disputes without resorting to sword or pistol and the aforementioned self defence. 

Participants will learn enough about the style that they can move on and conduct their own research. Drills will be undertaken covering blows, stops, parries slips and more.


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners. Please don't be shy.

Required equipment: No equipment required. A mouthguard and some kind of boxing glove are desirable (12-16oz gloves are best but any glove is better than none).



The beauty of mixed weapons

Ingulf Kohlweiss (INDES Salzburg)


The beauty of mixed weapons. Dagger against Sword. Messer against Staff. Sword & Buckler against Rapier. Sometimes you are short, sometimes long, sometimes slow and sometimes fast. By experiencing these differences we learn to understand fundamental principles of fencing more deeply.


In this workshop we try to apply the ‘Allgemeine Lehre’ (=general lesson) from the Liechtenauer System to different weapons. It includes important principles for timing, binding, distance, body structure and how to deliver a strike. First we want to have a look at these priniples in exercises, where the weapon can be changed (several times). The workshop will end in a playful sparring with different weapons..


Assumed knowledge: Participants should be able to do the 3 Wunder with different weapons, should be able to deliver controlled strikes to the body in sparring situation and have fun while moving. Level 6 (1 Beginner | 10 Expert).

Required equipment: Soft gloves, fencing mask, throat protection. Bring as many weapons as possible. Full sparring equipment is optional. 



Marozzo's dagger fencing system

Cullinan, Richard (Stoccata School of Defense)


The Bolognese dagger was described by Achille Marozzo as being perfect for wounding or defending oneself. Marozzo in his manual Opera Nova from 1536 has left us a brief but highly effective and comprehensive dagger fencing system. This system is noteworthy for it's primary use of the underhand grip as opposed to the usual overhand or icepick grip shown in most medieval or renaissance dagger fencing manuals. This class will work through the basic principles of Marozzo's dagger fencing system, showing the primary offences and defences that he uses.


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for dagger beginners, however familiarity with Italian fencing nomenclature will be useful.

Required equipment: Fencing mask, forearm protection and a dagger (12-16” / 30-40 cm blade length) required. Torso protection such as a plastron or padded fencing jacket is recommended. 



Don't forget the Vor play! Exploiting the 3 phases of combat

Denby, Chris (VSA Brisbane)


This workshop will cover exploiting all aspects of combat across the 3 basic phases of the fight: Zufechten, Krieg and Abzug.


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is both beginner and experienced-fencer friendly. Principles are universally applicable, however German terms will be used (English translation available on request).

Required equipment: Gloves, fencing mask and a weapon are required. Examples will be given using long sword but feel free to use your primary choice of weapon. Full sparring equipment is recommended. 



Sunday, 24th April 2016


Plenary: The importance of footwork

Ingulf Kohlweiss (INDES Salzburg)


In Zufechten there is a certain line of distance between you and your opponent, when crossed the  danger begins. Either you can hit, or your opponent can hit, or both. To measure and control this distance - feel the possibility to hit / feel the threat of being hit -  is an important but not an easy thing to do. Footwork is the key and in a real fight your life would have depended on this skill.


Nevertheless in our training footwork is sometimes left aside. Therfore in this class we will do many footwork exercises to make ourselves agile and moveable. I not only want to show that footwork is important but can be exciting and fun.


This class will demand and train precise footwork and coordination. It will be exhausting for brain 

and body, and it will be fun.


Assumed knowledge: Nil. Almost anyone can do this workshop. 

Required equipment: Longsword or other weapon required. 



Hutton's earlier sabre

Hendry, Tim (Stoccata School of Defence)


This workshop will look at the sabre fencing described in Alfred Hutton's 1882 work Bayonet fencing and Sword Practice. This method is more simple than that in Hutton's later manuals and provides a window into the wonderful world of 19th Century British sabre. Great for fencing enthusiast, historians and steampunk adventurers. A video of the system by the presenter can be found at


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for beginners upwards.

Required equipment: Gloves, fencing mask and a 19th century sabre, backsword or single stick.



The fight of binder and bound: The binds in 1.33

Brown, Michael (AAF)


“Binder and bound are opposed and angry / the bound flees to the side, I try to follow”

This workshop will cover how the binds in 1:33 are used to control an opponent, through looking at hard and soft binds and “falling under the sword”.


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for those new to shields through to experienced buckler fighters. Some experience with swinging a sword required.

Required equipment: Gloves, fencing mask and a single cut & thrust sword (simple hilts preferred) required. Bucklers are needed, and a small number will be available for loan.



Meyer's rappier

McDermid, Stuart (Stoccata School of Defence)


Meyer's Rappier was a system stuck between two ages. 
There was the influence of Liechtenauer, whose methods were conceived hundreds of years before Meyer wrote in the 16th Century and we also have the influence of new methods of rapier fencing coming out of Italy.

In this workshop, we will explore the rappier system from the very beginning. Participants will be taught how to stand, move, cut, and parry as a springboard for their own research into this uniquely Germanic method. 
For absolute beginners we are going to start at the very start so you won't be left behind. 

For veteran followers of Liechtenauer this method provides a means for you to spar on equal terms with English and Italian fencers, whose single handed weapons are normally much longer than yours. As is usual with Meyer insights from one weapon will teach you about the others Even if rappier isn't your thing it will teach you about Longsword or any other weapon you practice.


Assumed knowledge: None.

Required equipment: Fencing mask, weapon required. Chest protection, vambrace, hockey glove or better, are recommended.



Radaelli sabre fundamentals: The six Molinelli

Walker, Shannon (Victorian Historical Combat Academy)


Radaellian sabre was the official sabre system for the Italian cavalry and artillery regiments in the late 19th Century. 
It is notable for its use of circular cuts from the elbow - the Molinelli (singular Molinello) - as the main method for practicing blows.


This workshop will teach students the three guards of Radaelli sabre and the six basic Molinelli. We'll then focus on using the Molinelli as ripostes from various parries. By the end of the workshop students will have a basic understanding of how the Molinelli are used within the Radaellian sabre system.


Assumed knowledge: While it will be helpful to have some knowledge of basic fencing terminology, this workshops is designed for newcomers to HEMA or those who have some experience with HEMA but have never used a sabre before.

Required equipment: Fencing mask required. Participants may supply their own sabre, or may use one of a limited number of singlesticks that will be available for loan.



Auerswald at arm's length

Smallridge, Peter (KDF)


Aimed at providing an introduction to Ringen, we'll be working primarily from the 1539 Fabian_von_Auerswald manual, beginning from the “Zufechten” and exploring strategies for taking grips and dealing with an opponent’s grips, working through arm drags to entries for body locks, leg trips and takedowns.


Assumed knowledge: None, but experience with breakfalls (as taught in Introduction to grappling), will be useful.

Required equipment: Athletic clothes and water required. A mouthguard and groinguard are preferred. 

A note regarding  clothing: If you don't have a grappling jacket (either Ringen or judo/jiujitsu), you could wear a hoody you're willing to risk getting torn, or we will be no-clothing-grips versions of everything. Try to avoid wearing a baggy tshirt if not wearing a jacket. 



Introduction to the 19th Century Short Blade

McDermid, Stuart (Stoccata School of Defence)


The Frenchman, Emil Andre was a prolific author of martial arts and self defence material in the late 19th and Early 20th Century. His subject matter (some as co author or editor) spanned such diverse topics from epee duelling, to savate, knife, improvised weapons, and to authoring books on street defence. Eventually, he even co-wrote a book on bayonet for the french army. 


In this class, we will be taking material from two sources on the use of the short blade. The first and primary is Andre's own "The Art of Self Defence in the Street with and without Weapons", and the second (which is referenced by Andre directly) is Manual del Baratero which was probably authored by Mariano de Rementeria y Fica. The beauty of the former is that it is a manual specifically designed to be learned from and whilst very simple, is very clear. 

In this class, Students will learn the characteristics of the weapon, as well as how to attack and defend with both hands or with an improvised shield in the off hand.


Assumed knowledge: None.

Required equipment: Some kind of short blade simulator (a boffer is best) and, a hat, towel or jacket to use as an improvised shield are required. 



The fight of binder and bound: Escaping the bind

Brown, Michael (AAF)

“These three are for the priest: durchtrit, mutacio gladii, or with the right hand he may seize sword and shield. (Plate 4)”

This workshop will cover how to escape the bind, stepping - though, change of sword and the grapple.


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for those who are are practiced with sword and buckler or have completed 'The fight of the binder and bound: The binds in 1.33'.

Required equipment: Gloves, fencing mask and a single cut & thrust sword (simple hilts preferred) required. Bucklers are needed, and a limited number will be available for loan.



The false edge parry in Bolognese swordsmanship

Cullinan, Richard (Stoccata School of Defense)


The false edge parry is one of the most distinctive actions used in Bolognese Swordsmanship, and could be considered it's defining action that separates it from other fencing systems. The class will focus on this distinctive action, exploring how it is used to control the various attacking lines whilst charging the sword for a rapid riposte.

Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for beginner to intermediate HEMAist, familiarity with Italian fencing nomenclature will be useful.

Required equipment: Fencing mask, forearm protection and sword (<37” / 94 cm blade length) required. Torso protection such as a plastron or padded fencing jacket is recommended. 



Monday, 25th April 2016


Plenary: Baritsu? Bartitsu? The history and the myth of the Bartitsu club

Smallridge, Peter (KDF)


The “Bartitsu Club” of London was active for less than four years, yet in the last fifteen years Bartitsu has experienced a surge of interest amongst both HEMA practitioners and the general public. No small part of this can be attributed to Sherlock Holmes, and to a greater interest in Victorian and Edwardian England in pop culture. Amongst the fictionalised versions and adaptations of Bartitsu, there’s a risk of obscuring the larger than life origins and reality of the historical Club and its practice.


Enjoy your Sunday (now Monday) morning coffee with a lecture on the diverse strands of martial practice that came together in turn of the century London to form a visionary martial arts club ahead of its time, what was produced in its brief flowering, and the different flavours of recreation and resurrection that are emerging from the modern revival.


Assumed knowledge: Nil.

Required equipment: Sit back and enjoy your coffee. Moustaches and bowler hats are not mandatory.



Sidesword according to dall'Agocchie

Wauchope, Gindi (The School of Historical Fencing)


Giovanni dall’Agocchie was one of the last published masters of the Bolognese tradition. He taught sword alone as his primary weapon style and included a brief but comprehensive form to practice the principles of fencing with the sword alone. This workshop will teach his fundamental footwork, attacks, defences, and tactics and how to put them together in his assault (form) for solo practice.


Assumed knowledge: This workshop is suitable for anyone with some experience in sword based martial arts.

Required equipment: Fencing mask and single handed sword with rubber or leather stopper. Ideally the sword should have the capacity to put one finger over the quillons safely.



Indes - from Vor to Nach and back again

Ingulf Kohlweiss (INDES Salzburg)

The Vor is the situation in which you have the initiative. You act actively and threaten the opponent, attack and determine the course of the fight. The Nach is the other situation in which your opponent has the initiative. He acts actively, threatens you, attacks and determines the course of the fight. You are forced to react and you have to take care about your safety before you can attack your opponent. The Indes is the change from Vor to Nach and the other way around.


In this workshop we want to improve our understanding of Vor, Nach and Indes in simple exercises from the Liechtenauer System. Based on these simple exercises, we want to address more complicated timing questions like "Counterattacks into the Vor" and "Feints into the Nach". Our Goal will be to deal with unexpected changes in Tempo and fast changes between Vor and Nach.


Assumed knowledge: Participants should be able to do basic strikes, positions and defences with footwork. Level 4 (1 Beginner | 10 Expert).

Required equipment: Easy Gloves, fencing mask, longsword (any kind of simulator). Full sparring equipment is optional. 



Fundamentals of LaVerdadera Desteza

Reichmann, Sean (Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship)


The workshop will be based on Puck and Mary Curtis’ translation and interpretation of the 14 actions of single-handed swordplay in La Verdadera Destreza. La Destreza is an Iberian fencing style first described by Carranza around 1569, and which was in use for more than 300 years.


Assumed knowledge: The material will be delivered in a condensed format to fit the timeframe, so although no prior Destreza experience is required, competence with handling a rapier or sword will be helpful.

Required equipment: Fencing mask or safety glasses, gloves, rapier or complex hilt sword. Jacket or gambeson optional.



The Vier Versetzen in Krieg

Buchanan, James (Fecthschule Victoria)


In the Liechtenauer tradition, the Vier Versetzen ("Four Parries") represent a conundrum. They are often interpreted as breaks of guards or attacks that can be used against people moving through those guards; usually in the zufechten ("onset") phase of the fight. However, this seems contrary to their naming which in turn is inconsistent with a system which in general disapproves of parries. 

This workshop will provide an alternative interpretation. It will provide exercises on use of the the Vier Versetzen in the Krieg (War) phase of the fight, in particular when the swords are bound. It will explore how through use of fúhlen (feeling) the Vier Versetzen become more consistent as defences against winding at the sword and/or disengagement from the sword.


Assumed knowledge: Willingness to be hit in the face (under a mask) with a longsword is required. A basic understanding of the four primary guards presented in the Liechtenauer Tradition (vom tag, ochs. pflug and alber) and the Vier Versetzen (krumphau, zwerchau, schielhau and scheitelhau) will be helpful. There will be some use of German terminology however, this is primarily in a label function.

Required equipment: Fencing mask and longsword/feder (or simulator) required. 



Physiologically safe progressions (Conditioning)

McDonald, Stuart (GLECA)


A look at the physiological basis for tissue growth and repair in the human body, the importance of slowly developing this and how to apply that knowledge in a stepwise and safe fashion for swordplay - whether cut or thrust. Physical conditioning is one of the most important factors for prevention of injury in HEMA. Learn about the importance of appropriate gradual progression to allow the nervous system, bones, muscles and other connective tissues to adapt. Learn some practical ideas for how to apply this knowledge in your very next class.


Assumed knowledge: Anyone can do this class, although it will be directed toward school heads, instructors and coaches. Anyone curious about physical training to enhance their HEMA experience will get some good stuff from this workshop, too. Likewise, anyone interested in injury rehabilitation or prevention will benefit.

Required equipment: Loose, comfortable clothing. Paper, pen/pencil. An open and curious mind. If you have a yoga or pilates mat, please bring that along if you can. 



The Grounds of George Silver's True Fight

Jones, Gareth (Fitzroy College of Arms)


George Silver's descriptions of True and False Times are often discussed in respect to HEMA and has informed many styles, but did you know that Time is only one of his four Grounds? This workshop will discuss the fundamental principles of Silver's True Fight in a broader context that will be applicable to martial artists of any style.


Assumed knowledge: None.

Required equipment: Fencing mask and single sword required. 



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