Coaching in Theory and Practice | Andrew Somlyo

Andrew Somlyo || Lonin + Seattle Escrima || Seattle, WA

A look at both ideal models of coaching, coaching principles and skills, and discussion of the practical considerations involved in coaching a HEMA club
Discussion of coaching
Review of motor learning literature and coaching approaches
Practical considerations
Structuring practices- daily, weekly, monthly considerations
Integrating conditioning

Tactics-Based Drilling (With Swords!) | Amanda Trail

Amanda Trail || Traveling Sword-Whatsit || the woooorld

This workshop will introduce methods for creating and applying longsword drills to improve decision-making skills in the ring. Topics will include: benefits and disadvantages of closed and open drills, introducing appropriate levels of representation and variability within drills, and utilizing games to solve specific tactical problems. Students, coaches, and instructors are all welcome!

Gear: Longsword and protective gear (mask, gloves, and gorget, at minimum).

Marozzo’s Dagger Defense: A Modern Approach | Kaja Sadowski

Kaja Sadowski || Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly || Vancouver, BC

Hidden away at the back of Achille Marozzo’s “Opera Nova” is a list of 22 techniques for unarmed defense against a dagger attack. They’re often overlooked in favour of his swordplay, but Marozzo’s Presas are a fascinating and effective lesson in 17th Century self-defense.

This workshop presents the 22 Presas in a modern framework that draws out their common features, and develops them into a simple, coherent approach to dagger defense. We’ll cover the principles of these techniques, and work them against varying levels of resistance and threat. We will begin in their original historical context, and then look at how they can translate into modern knife defense with relatively little modification. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of Marozzo’s approach to combat, a sense of the ties between historical knife combat and its modern analogues, and some flexible tools to bring into your own self-defense training.

Gear: Synthetic and/or wood knife and dagger trainers (assortment of sizes/styles is preferred, so students can experiment with applying the same techniques to different tools).

The 5x5: A Framework for Tactical Drilling

Jordan Both and Justing Ring || Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly || Vancouver, BC

One of the biggest challenges in martial arts training is bridging the gap between controlled, pre-set drills and plays, and the fluid tactical environment of an actual fight. The 5x5 is a drill framework that teaches fighters to build effective counterattacks and defenses off of their natural flinch reactions, and to move fluidly and confidently under stress.

This workshop will introduce students to the basic version of the 5x5, which covers responses to position changes and advances, unarmed strikes with hands and feet, and common knife and grappling attacks. We’ll use this to build a toolkit of simple counters, and to use those counters to set up more complex follow-ups. Students will learn how to flow from an instinctive flinch to an effective counter, and from there to a fight-ending technique. We’ll finish by showing how to adapt the 5x5 framework to any weapon context, and leave you with a new training method that can enrich your existing training, no matter what art you practice.

Gear: Masks and approved weapon (training knife, dagger, dussack, foam stick) 

Making Durchlauffen Functional | Brent Lambell

Brent Lambell || Indes WMA || Portland, OR

This workshop will analyze and interpret the 4 major body wrestlings of the Liechtenauer tradition, collectively known as Durchlauffen or running through. While martially and historically functional, wrestling at the body while armed is tricky business so we will break down the techniques to help learn when and how to best apply them, both armed and unarmed.

No prior experience is required though this workshop is intended for experienced and novice fencers alike.

Equipment: sword trainer, mask and gloves.


Cutting with the Longsword | Tristan Zukowski

Tristan Zukowski || New York Historical Fencing Association || New York, New York

The cutting class is meant to introduce longsword practitioners to the utility of test-cutting tatami for feedback on, and validation of, 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 with more experience 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 will be available.

Introduction to Italian Rapier: Part 2 (Off-hand Weapons) | Shawn Fackler


Shawn Fackler || Loyal Order of the Sword || Portland, OR

The main objective of the second workshop is to educate and familiarize participants with the off-hand weapons associated with rapier combat. We’ll cover some of the historic sources and have hands-on practice fencing with rapiers coupled with daggers, bucklers, cloaks, and even your off-hand.

Some familiarity with rapier combat suggested, but not required.

Gear Requirements: Mask, gorget, gloves
Suggested Gear: fencing jacket or gambeson, rapier and any off-hand weapons (limited loaners available)

Introduction to Italian Rapier: Part 1 (Single Rapier) | Shawn Fackler

Shawn Fackler || Loyal Order of the Sword || Portland, OR

The main objective of this first workshop is to educate and familiarize participants with the basics of Italian rapier combat. We will survey the popular Italian masters (e.g., Agrippa, Capo Ferro, Giganti, Fabris, etc.), examine various rapier blades used in HEMA to understand the different techniques and styles associated with the blade types, and then move onto practical instruction covering the principles of rapier fencing.

This workshop includes a seminar-style workbook that each student will be able to use for the workshop and take home. No experience is necessary.

Gear Requirements: Mask, gorget, gloves
Suggested Gear: fencing jacket or gambeson, rapier (limited loaners available)

The Jews in HEMA - an historical context | Rebecca Glass

Rebecca Glass || New York Historical Fencing Association || New York, New York


We'll start by looking at two images of the Glasgow Fechtbuch as a prologue. The fencers in these images are wearing a badge that is curiously similar to the mandated Jewish badge.

From there some brief introductory remarks will be made concerning background and research limitations. We'll then explore the definition of what it means to be considered Jewish, both in today's world and how it was seen in the middle ages, and why that becomes important. 

We'll look at  an overview of Jewish relations with the Holy Roman Empire, and note how while the 15th and 16th centuries may have been the nadir of Jewish Leben in western Europe prior to the 1930s, it was also the start of the Jewish golden age in Poland-Lithuania. The provenance of the Liechtenauer tradition includes cities and towns that are now in modern-day Poland.

We'll then focus our lens further by looking at laws regarding Jews and arms, as well as incidences where it was noted that Jews flouted the laws (as well as Gentiles). How seriously were these laws obeyed? Did Jews serve in any German/HRE armies? What about elsewhere?

Lastly, we'll circle back to Ott Jud and company. Now we have some context for their world - where can we go from here? We still need more research to draw any firm conclusions, so let this be an invitation to anyone who is interested.

We will conclude, time-permitting, with a Q and A.

Bagels and Lox will be provided, please let Rebecca know of any food allergies ahead of time.

Lashkroba - Further Lessons in Georgian Sword and Buckler | Mike Cherba

Mike Cherba || NW Armizare || Sherwood, OR

Last year's class on Georgian Sword and buckler introduced the style through the lens of the work "Parikaoba" by Elashvili.  This year's class will briefly review the primary guard and strike mechanic, and then move on to the use of combinations and the thrust.  Specifically we'll be looking at three main concepts.  

  • The attacks into the lower body, how to make them, how to cover against them, and how to open an opponent up to them.
  • The thrust, Elashvili ignores it.  Where do we put it back in when building on his text?
  • Opening up the forearms and elbows to a strike.

Gear: we will require mask, sword, and buckler. (in a pinch a singlestick, sans hilt will work as a sword)  As before, swords with short crosses or no cross are preferred.

Tosses and Takedowns | Michael Panian

Michael Panian || Swordfighters || Canada

Practice in some of the common wrestling throws and takedowns. Throws and takedowns can be classified as passive or active. They work by controlling the top, the middle, or the lower part of your opponent's body through penetrating, unbalancing and/or destroying their root. This workshop will begin with ways to practice sensitivity and control of your opponent's balance. We will follow with representative throws and takedowns. The many ways to throw or takedown can be organized into just a few "themes" which facilitates wrestling under pressure. We will build on the basics from the other workshop but this workshop can be taken as a standalone class.

Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Basic wrestling skills for western martial arts

Michael Panian || Swordfighters || Canada

Wrestling basics for the beginner and for those interested in improving their wrestling performance. Wrestling can be thought of as a series of decision points which are like the junctions or branches on a tree. Each branching point requires a choice and what you choose dictates the opportunities that you have at the next decision point. The main decision points are entering, taking control, penetration, and takedown. Learning this approach turns wrestling into a goal driven intuitive process. This way of thinking can be applied to other grappling arts and martial arts in general.

Page to Play | Kit

Kit | New Zealand/UK

An investigation into 3 plays, framed within the Lichtenaur zettel and Silver's paradoxes 14 & 16, but taken from a variety of sources. The focus will be on principles and literal interpretation, staying as close as possible to the text, and looking at how different perspsectives can change meaning through the conversation, resulting in different approaches to any given play. 

Gear: mask and steel sword, optionally light gloves, and no other protection.