Introduction to Destreza for Sabre || Matthew Howden

Matthew Howden || Historic Combat

Weapons: Sabre

In 1808, Don Simón de Frías published his Tratado Elemental de la Destreza del Sable. It was not only the first treatise in the Verdadera Destreza tradition to address the sabre as its primary weapon, but also the first fencing treatise to be published in Mexico. This class will provide a brief taste of Frías' methods for analyzing, structuring, and executing the fight with sabres in hand.

Docciolini's Single Sidesword || Joshua Bradshaw

Joshua Bradshaw || Southampton Historical Fencing

Weapons: Sidesword

Docciolini's single Sidesword reads like a how to guide on not dying in a sword fight. With the cuts thrusts and stances boiled down to simple principles, some nifty footwork, grapples and throws it's a great way to get into this wonderful weapon. Whilst the system works well with a rapier it definitely feels more comfortable with the shorter broader Sidesword blade.
Learn how to control your opponents blade, sneaky sfalsatas and how to grapple your opponent to submission or as a way to open them up for a well placed thrust.
This workshop is great for beginners of experienced sidesword/rapierists looking to try out a new system.

Crawl, Walk, Run Part 1: Coached Sparring and a Guided Tour of Ringen Fundamentals || Stewart Sackett

Stewart Sackett || Drei Wunder WMA

Weapons: Wrestling

This class is designed based on feedback from last year's event to give people of diverse backgrounds and skill levels a chance to practice ringen together. Advanced practitioners will be given time enough to play and converse, while beginners will be walked though the basics at a non-threatening pace. The focus of instruction will be building the ability for people to participate, rather than teaching specific techniques. The class will be divided into 3 sections: Pins and Escapes, Breakfalls and Standing Up, and Standing Wrestling. Each section will include introductory instruction and demonstration, ample drilling/free sparring time, and a time for questions/discussion/feedback/advice.

Binding Mechanics with the Longsword || Guy Windsor

Guy Windsor || Swordschool

Weapons: Longsword

In this class we will cover the various ways that the swords may cross, and what to do about it when they do. We will pay special attention to the differences between blunt and sharps swords and their behaviour in the crossing, and the psychological difference between crossing against a sharp weapon versus a blunt.
This will be done from a Fiorean perspective (tutta spada, meza spada, punta di spada; zogho largo, zogho stretto), but is equally applicable to Liechtenauerean swordsmanship, and indeed any other system of fencing.
This is the key skill to master to avoid double hits.

Marozzo's Longsword || Joshua Bradshaw

Joshua Bradshaw || Southampton Historical Fencing

Weapons: Longsword, Montante

Marozzo seems to be better studied for his sword and buckler and dagger/grappling works, however the spadone da due mani section is an oft overlooked gem. Sitting right on the border line between longsword for duelling and the larger two handed spadone this system allows you to swing a six foot sword like a loon or snipe your opponents hands to pieces in tournament fencing.
We'll be working on the first few plays as paired drills and single person drills to get a feel for blade flow and footwork.
You can bring a standard feder and a montante to this workshop.

MS I.33 - Sieges and Wards: What does it all mean? || Anthony Buonomo

Anthony Buonomo || Austin Historical Weapons Guild

Weapons: Sword and Buckler

Not your usual introduction class to MSI.33, this time we'll be laying the groundwork for understanding the (assumed) intentions of the systems. Most people who have looked at the manuscript (and even some that haven't) are aware that I.33 has wards and sieges (or obsessions, whatever) but then mistakenly take this framework and apply some sort of longsword knowledge over the top of it. We'll talk a bit about why this is wrong and what we should be doing instead.
Yes, we will probably review the 7 wards and a siege or two, but I promise we won't go over 'falling under sword and shield' for the thousandth time.

Please come prepared with: a sword-like object you can hold in one hand (shorter is better, Overall Length of 35" or so is great); a buckler; masks and gloves are strongly recommended.

Crawl, Walk, Run Part 2: Coached Sparring and a Guided Tour of Ringen Fundamentals || Stewart Sackett

Stewart Sackett || Drei Wunder WMA

Weapons: Wrestling

This class is designed based on feedback from last year's event to give people of diverse backgrounds and skill levels a chance to practice ringen together. Advanced practitioners will be given time enough to play and converse, while beginners will be walked though the basics at a non-threatening pace. The focus of instruction will be building the ability for people to participate, rather than teaching specific techniques. The class will be divided into 3 sections: Pins and Escapes, Breakfalls and Standing Up, and Standing Wrestling. Each section will include introductory instruction and demonstration, ample drilling/free sparring time, and a time for questions/discussion/feedback/advice. This curriculum was created to function as one long class, but could be presented as a series of 3 workshops if necessary.

The Violence Ladder: A Stress Testing Model for Realistic Training || Kaja Sadowski

Kaja Sadowski || Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly

Weapons: Unarmed, Dagger/Knife

Stress testing is an essential component of all martial training, whether you're preparing for a HEMA tournament or a real-life self defense scenario. It's also one of the hardest things to get right, and a tool that many students and instructors are wary of incorporating because of the risks that come with doing it wrong. The Violence Ladder is a straightforward framework for understanding the different kinds of violence that you might want to train for, and building some simple, effective stress tests for them.

In this workshop, we'll work through the entire ladder, taking you from friendly, partnered play all the way up to dealing with a life-or-death threat. You'll get a feel for what adrenaline does to your mind and body, and learn how to work with it safely in a controlled training environment. We'll cover the principles of stress tests and scenario training, how to think about the violence that you're training for, and how to build trust and safety while challenging yourself and your training partner. By the time we're done, you should have some concrete tools to take home and incorporate into your own HEMA and martial arts practice.

This workshop is open to students of all experience levels. All of the stress testing work is done on an opt-in basis, and students who don't want to participate in every drill can still get a lot out of watching. If you've experienced violence or trauma in the past and are concerned about triggers, please speak to Kaja before the workshop, and she'll help you navigate the session safely and make sure there are no surprises.

Knock 'em Off Their Feet || Dillon Beyer

Dillon Beyer

Weapons: Unarmed

We will cover the mechanics of takedowns from top-to-bottom, laying a foundation for an intuitive understanding of throwing, to provide a play-based framework and training method to allow the students to improvise takedowns under pressure. We will cover the fundamental groundwork that allows a takedown to happen (balance, alignment, base of support, etc), no matter the style or system, and explore the strategies involved in creating or exploiting the necessary conditions for effortless throws. The smallest students should wind up able to toss the largest, with relative ease, style and grace.

Rhythm and Timing in Broadsword || Nathan Weston

Nathan Weston || Athena School of Arms

Weapons: Broadsword

This class will help students fine-tune their timing when fencing with the broadsword. A broadsword match often falls into a natural rhythm of parry and riposte. By feeling this rhythm and changing it at the right moment, we can maximize the effectiveness of our attacks and defenses. This class will explore several methods of changing our timing, and provide drills for further developing these skills.

The class will draw from Scottish broadsword sources, but the concepts
are also applicable to backsword, saber, and singlestick.

Required equipment: mask, gloves, forearm protection, and a single-handled training sword, ideally with a basket hilt

The Joy of Rapier: How to Find Pleasure with Only One Hand on Your Weapon || David Packer

David Packer || Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly

Weapons: Rapier

Learn to love with one hand.

There is no greater pleasure in my mind than to fence well with the rapier. All combat arts and weapons have a unique and beautiful aspect to them that reaches deep into the soul and rewards. In this class the soul of the Valkyrie approach to rapier will be explained. We will cover the fundamentals of how to kill, how own space, how to move, how to with opposing blades, and how to practice with a rapier.

We will touch on elements of understanding from Marozzo, Capo Ferro, and Viedma's Destreza in order to find our own path to excellence with the ultimate sword.