You’re A Teacher, but Now What? - An Exploration of Teaching Methods || Anna McGarry

Anna McGarry || Austin Historical Weapons Guild

Weapons: None

So you’re a teacher! You have skills and an understanding that set you apart as well as a drive to share your knowledge with those around you. This is a noble pursuit and while enthusiasm goes a long ways, it doesn’t always answer the questions of “What do I teach this week?” or “Why can’t <Insert Sword Student Name Here> understand what I am trying to teach?” It can be daunting to structure a sword program, present material in teachable chunks, or distill down to a set of teaching goals. This workshop aims to demystify, enlighten, and offer all the sweet hacks years of teaching experience can bring. Culture crafting, beginner experience, lesson goals, movement initiation, and how it applies to swinging swords will all be touched upon in this hour long workshop. The concepts presented are designed to spark conversation, new ideas, and refresh one’s practice.

Breath, bones and gentleness: Coaching, Teaching and Creating Martial Arts for Clients with Disabilities, Limitations and Chronic Illness || Jon Mills

Jon Mills || Kunst des Funkelns

Weapons: None

This 2 hour workshop will cover how to create a lasting and sustainable martial arts practice for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses, drawing on Jon's background as a martial arts instructor with a disability, internal martial artist and client centered coach.

In this hands-on class we will cover:

-removing entry barriers

-understanding and adjusting movement patterns

-creating empowering systems for all levels of engagement

-incorporating breathing and mindfulness into practice

-warm up, cool down and self care strategies including stretching, self massage and mental health check ins.

-working standing, from a chair, or on the ground

-implementing these as both a coach and athlete.

Maghrebi Stick and Sabre Fencing (HAMA) || Da'Mon Stith

Da’Mon Stith || HAMAA & Guild of the Silent Sword

Weapons: Maghrebi Sabre (Nimcha) and a stick roughly 36" to 42" long

In this workshop we will explore the of Al Matrag a form of stick fencing practiced in western Algeria and Morocco. According to the Cheikhs (Teachers) the stick was used to prepare the warriors of the Maghreb (North Africa) for the sword. In fact there appear to be a number of correlations between the modern practice and the drills and movements feature in the Mamluk treatise: Kitāb al-makhzūn jāmiʻ al-funūn (The treasure that combines all arts).

Syllabus vs System: The Teachings of Johannes Liechtenauer || Michael Chidester

Michael Chidester || Wiktenauer


Johannes Liechtenauer, grand master of the oldest known German fencing tradition, recorded his art in a 358-line poem called the Zettel. To unlock the secrets of this poem, we rely on the writings of his students and associates, as well as later masters in his tradition.

This lecture consists of two parts. The first will explore the different kinds of fencing manuals that have been preserved and how they relate to and inform each other, tracing the evolution and expansion of this literary tradition from early recordings of the Zettel, through the process of glossing and commentaries on the glosses, and eventually into lavish illustrated artbooks.

The second part will take a step back from the raw instructions in those sources and consider what they tell us about the fencing system itself. It will argue that the Zettel and its glosses are not intended to describe a system of fencing in an orderly or comprehensive fashion, but rather contain a syllabus for teaching that system to students. At the same time, clues in the text can lead us toward an understanding of the shape and nature of the system or method of fighting that underlies that syllabus, and suggest ways in which we can escape the trap of "fencing according to the lessons".

Giocco Stretto: Where All The Fun Happens || Kimberleigh Roseblade

Kimberleigh Roseblade || The Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts

Weapons: Longsword

Giocco Stretto is where a lot of fun things come into play in Fiore’s art. It is here where we find blade grabs, disarms, pommel strikes, and throws. In this workshop we will look at how to identify which plays of giocco stretto are available to us in any given moment, based on our measure (distance) and how to recognize where- and how- to enter based on the cues and space given to us by our opponent.

This workshop is best attended by students who already have some familiarity with the longsword- be it Fiore or, KdF.

The Link Between Ties and Takedowns: Penetration || Mike Panian

Mike Panian || Swordfighters Martial Arts and Self Defence

Weapons: Wrestling, Unarmed

Wrestling skills include: Entering, Obtaining Control, Penetration, Takedowns, Ground Control, Escapes and Reversals, and Destroying the Resolve of your Opponent. In HEMA grappling people often get hung up in the tie. The often have a sense of the takedowns that are possible but they do not know how to penetrate- to move from tie to takedown. "Penetration" is to take your opponents centre and it includes the manipulations necessary to create the opening before going in. We will work on penetration skills in this workshop.

Beating Burn Out: How to Be a Better Teacher, Coach, and Training Partner || Kiana Shurkin

Kiana Shurkin || xKDF

Weapons: None

This workshop will include an overview of both introspective and practically applicable strategies to improve as a mentor in HEMA. Participants will be provided with tools aimed at increasing their usefulness to fellow practitioners of all experience levels, allowing them to get the most out of training with newer students, and helping to mitigate instructor burnout.

Pollaxe for Dagger || Andrew Somlyo

Andrew Somlyo || Lonin

Weapons: Pollaxe, Dagger, Unarmed, Longsword

A brief discussion of the idea that the Italian tradition of the 15th and early 16th century (Fiore, Vadi, and Monte) is distinguished by the concept of universal motion applicable across abrazare, dagger, sword in one and two hands, and polearms. We will look at how the same motion derives actions in pollaxe, dagger, and longsword, and explore learning strategies in which the practice of each can improve the other. We will look at how they function as movement guides for the beginner and special physical preparation for the more advanced trainee

Using Marozzo's Spadone to inform Longsword based tactics, techniques, and concepts || Jan Deneke

Jan Deneke || Tosetti Institute for Mixed Martial Arts

Weapons: (Longsword/Montante)

We will look at Achille Marozzo's third book on the great sword. Specifically, the first assalto. We will look at the most common elements shown in that flourish, such as withdrawal, combined with a false-edge cut to the hands, striking from above, while stepping with the opposite leg, stepping across the center line with your strike and setting up effective leg cuts. We will then try to compare these elements with your existing system for two-handed swords (typically the Longsword). The goal is for the student to glean greater understanding of their existing system by looking at tactical approaches from Marozzo. These approaches might be integrate-able into their existing system.
The lesson will start with a demonstration and a lecture, followed by paired drills to learn the techniques. The class will end with slow-speed free-play to try out the techniques transmitted (if number of participants and time allow for that).

Fantasy Babe Armor of the 14th and 15th Centuries || Kendra Brown

Kendra Brown || CHEMAS


Humans have been captivated by badass women, and badasses with more complex genders, for as long as we've had the concept of "badass." Throughout history, artists have depicted popular characters posing dramatically wearing impractical armor. If you have ever wondered what armor shaped like breasts looked like in Medieval France, or how Joan of Arc's harness was exaggerated during her own century, or how many ways you can add armor to a cotehardie, this is the talk for you.

Understanding the Body: The Internal Secrets of Traditional Martial Arts || Maija Soderholm

Maija Soderholm and Dillon Beyer

Weapons: Wooden staffs/swords, pads, shields.

Luo De Xiu, head of the Yizong school of Chinese Internal Arts, said that the most important part of any system is hidden somewhere no one would expect, in the warm ups. Why? Because you do them every time you practice.

This workshop will explain and share a set of exercises that will vastly improve your proprioception, align your structure, so the planet is working for you, and not against you, and will help you practice into old age, by keeping your knees, hips, and spine, healthier.

We will look at the commonalities between the principles found in these exercises in Japanese, Chinese, and European martial practices, and show how these alignment principles can increase power, speed, and agility.

Fiore's Furious Five: The Foundations of Abrazare || Kimberleigh Roseblade

Kimberleigh Roseblade || The Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts

Weapons: Unarmed

Abrazare is the foundation of Fiore's art. Everything that comes after - from dagger, to longsword, the poleaxe - all has their foundations in Abrazare. In this workshop we will look at the basic guards and footwork used in Fiore's system and explore the first five plays of Abrazare. We will look at how these five plays easily flow from one to the other and we will learn how to recognize when the opportunities to execute them present themselves in the grapple.

This workshop is to beginners- especially those new to Fiore and to abrazare. Those with experience in wrestling, ringen, or glima would do very well in this workshop even if they have no experience with Fiore's unarmed system. Equipment necessary is one's body- which most people have already!

Hans Medel's Meisterhau: For the Non-Conformists || Kirsten Argyle

Kirsten Argyle || True Edge Academy

Weapons: Longsword

Gloss of the gloss, commentary on commentary, meta of meta! Hans Medel's take on Liechtenauer's Blossfechten is understudied in part because it is incomplete and (likely bigger) part because it seems to fly in the face of the traditional plays of the Master Cuts. Experience a strange world where Ringeck and Psuedo-Danzig's agreed-upon, well-trod technique is the variant or "not as sensible" to Hans.

If you ever wanted your faith in the one true Kunst Des Fechtens tested or never really had any, this class is for you! If you want Master Hans to "build upon and better" your master cuts, this class is for you! If you don't know your KdFs from your Flowers of Battle, this class is for you!

Making HEMA Awesome for Everyone || Lonin & Valkyrie

Kaja Sadowski, Beth Hammer, Tanya Smith and more!
Moderated by Shane Malone


Many discussions of diversity in HEMA start and end with identifying and calling out problems like discrimination, harassment, and barriers to entry. That's an important first step, but real change comes from building training environments that don't just discourage problem behaviors, but actively cultivate better ones and support a broader range of students. So how do we do that?

Join our panelists for a lively conversation about their experiences building diverse, welcoming, and fun training communities. What worked? What didn't? What was the process of culture-building actually like? You'll come away with some practical tools for looking at your own training environment and making it better, and with some great stories of trial and error and success.

Haupthauwen, Dempffen, and Versetzen || Wren Floyd

Wren Floyd || Krieg School of Historical Fencing

Weapons: Longsword

This workshop will cover the Meyer's little discussed chief cuts (haupthauwen), dempffen (suppressing), versetzen (parrying, as a cut), the lines of attack from MS Var. 82, and how to apply them to simplify your fencing decision tree against any attack from zufechten (the approach or onset.)

The simplest cuts work better than you might think.

Nguni Warfaire || Henry Hill

Henry Hill || HAMAA

Weapons: Spears, both long (umkhonto) and short ( Iklwa )spears and bucklers.

Ever curious about Historical African Martial Arts? In this workshop you'll focus on a style found in Southern Africa. You will get a crash course on Nguni (zulu) stick fighting, and using those skills with the spear!

Giant Slaying 101: Strategy and Tactics for Small-Framed Fighters || Kiana Shurkin

Kiana Shurkin || xKDF

Weapons: Longsword

This workshop will provide fighters with tools to maximize the advantages of their builds when dealing with larger, taller, and more aggressive opponents. A discussion of mindset and approaches to training and conditioning will give way to an overview of drills and techniques from which participants can draw when developing individual approaches to addressing discrepancies between themselves and their opponents. Minimum gear requirements include a mask, gloves, hard knee and elbow protection, and a feder. Full tournament kit recommended.

GET ON UP: Hitting the Ground and Surviving to Fight || Jude Ledesma

Jude Ledesma || F3 Sword Academy / Straight Blast Gym

Weapons: Unarmed

Throws and "Grapples" are not necessarily fight enders. And if you're on the receiving end of one of those techniques, they don't need to be.

One of the biggest plusses of HEMA study is the acknowledgment of the importance of wrestling. There are a lot of "living traditions" that fail in this respect. However, even experienced wrestlers lack a way to frame the skills and techniques in the broader context of combat.


Hitting the Ground Safely.
Priorities once Thrown / Survival Strategy.
-- Posture
-- Pressure
-- Possibilities
Getting Back to your feet. Ground Fighting does not necessarily mean staying on the ground.
-- against resisting opponents
-- who are still standing
-- who are also off their feet
-- with and without weapons
Priorities against multiple attackers
A comparison of Modern and Historical sources.
Suggestions for further study.