Underhanded Dagger from Down Under: A Modern Approach to the Knife with HEMA Roots || Jude Ledesma

Jude Ledesma || F3 Sword Academy / Straight Blast Gym

Weapons: Dagger

A simple approach to the reversed (ice pick) style dagger grip so prevalent in so many HEMA systems. An exploration of which I believe can greatly benefit HEMA training. Developed by edged weapons expert Raymond Floro, FFS, draws its basis from Kalis Ilustrisimo (a Filipino Martial Art with distinct European Martial Arts influences), Late 19th and early 20th Century Combatives, and Modern Combat Sports.


Rondel Dagger / Edged Dagger / Knife

Adapting a posture similar to those found in the sources, but with a different emphasis.
- Footwork
- Grip

- Angles of Attack
- Unique Arrangement and Priorities
- The "Forward" Thrust
- An Inverted Slash (Not what most would expect.)

- Don't chase the blade
- Turret Defense

- Footwork is King

Urban Violence in Late Medieval Germany || Charles Lin

Charles Lin || Capital Kunst des Fechtens

Weapons: Dagger, Sword, Spear

In this class, we will examine several scenarios that are inspired by the legal and social norms for violence in 15-16th century German cities. Ambushes, bar fights, and altercations with the town guard - our scenarios will form a bridge between the context of violence we gather from academic historical sources, and the techniques we find in Fechtbücher of the period. We will discuss the impact of these scenarios on our interpretation of techniques, and the importance of legal and social norms in determining how weapons were used.

Adaptive Training: Making Your Technique Work with the Body You Have || Kaja Sadowski

Kaja Sadowski || Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly

Weapons: Unarmed, Any

One of the unique challenges of HEMA is figuring out how to take historical techniques with a single, often stylized, illustration and a minimum of text, and make them actually work for the broad range of bodies that exist in the real world. If you've ever found that a "standard" guard in your system gets super painful after an hour of training, or that some cuts really don't work the same for people with breasts, then this workshop is for you!

We'll start with some internal self-assessment tools that you can use to figure out why a particular position or movement doesn't feel good. Is it just new and weird, or is it really not working with your range of motion or your body shape? Is it disagreeing with an injury, disability, or other physical limitation? Once we've built a framework for figuring out why doing a thing sucks, we'll add some ways to try to make it suck less. You'll learn how to make small mechanical adjustments that can make you more comfortable and effective, without compromising the tactical intent or accuracy of a technique. In the last part of the workshop, we'll troubleshoot some specific problems suggested by students, so bring your least favourite and least comfortable movements to share.

This workshop is open to students of all experience levels, and all training backgrounds. Please bring whichever weapon you work with most often. We will not be sparring, but we will be moving around a bunch with our training weapons to better understand how they get along with our bodies.

Intro to Jousting || Robert Odekirk

Robert Odekirk || Lonin


Primarily a demonstration and Q&A session. This will consist of a jouster and a couple of ground crew. After a short lecture, a breaking quintain will be set up and the jouster will break multiple lances on the quintain. After breaking the lances the jouster and ground crew will field questions and the students will be allowed to approach the horse. No students will be allowed to ride. Side lot next to the acrobatic school will work well

Set-up equipment will be:
A tilt
The breaking quintain
Lance and breaking tips
Wood chips to provide safe footing for horse
Rakes, shovels, broom and bags for transporting and cleaning up wood chips

Come as You Are, As you Were, As I Want You to Be || Alex Spreier

Alex Spreier || High Desert Armizare

Weapons: Dagger, longsword, rapier, sabre, dussack, whatever you want to #FightPlayLearn with!

Come explore four basic principles of combat as expressed by Fiore. We will start with looking at four plays with the dagger, then explore how that play looks with other weapons and mixed weapons. We might even bring in how other Arts handle the same situations. Bring your weapon of choice, gloves, mask, and water. Not just for longsword people!

Intro to Historical Research || Rebecca Glass

Rebecca Glass || NYHFA


This lecture is geared towards those who are new(er) to the HEMA and historical research communities, and those who've wanted to get involved in the research aspect of HEMA but have absolutely no idea where to start. We'll discuss the basics - topic selection, how to identify sources, primary vs secondary sources (and the pros and cons of both), how to discern biases in sources, issues with languages and translation, and how one might draw - and present - conclusions from your sources.

Stabby Knife Time with Team Valkyrie || Team Valkyrie

Team Valkyrie || Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly

Weapons: Dagger, Knife

Knife fighting is about a lot more than just techniques. Sure, there are lots of different ways to stab someone, but the enormous variety of living knife fighting traditions in the world is defined largely by rhythm, mindset, and how fighters manage the deadly balance between avoiding or mitigating hits, and taking control of the fight. Join the team from Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly for an in-depth exploration of different tactical approaches to knife dueling.

Each of our coaches will introduce you to an aspect of short-blade fighting that exemplifies their approach to the duel. You'll get a lightning-fast introduction to six distinct martial solutions to the same problem, get to workshop and refine your favourites, and then pit them against each other in controlled sparring. This is a collaborative, play-oriented workshop that will build your understanding of the essential elements of every knife fight, and train your ability to adapt and learn under pressure. Spend a couple of hours immersed in the endless possibilities that are available when it comes to stabbing people.

This workshop is open to students of all experience levels and backgrounds. Comfort with light sparring is an asset.

Liechtenauer Recital Hour || Rebecca Glass

Rebecca Glass || NYHFA


This will be a recitation of the full Liechtenauer zettel, followed by a group discussion on why recitation is important to the tradition and tips and tricks for memorizing it (and a little bit of public speaking in general). We'll also digress into discussions of language & translation, and how mnemonics work - why memorizing the zettel can help a student remember the different techniques and their proper application.

Walking the Fine Line of Realism || Mike Panian

Mike Panian || Swordfighters Martial Arts and Self Defence

Weapons: Longsword

“If you are too realistic someone gets hurt. Back off and it gets to unrealistic and doesn’t do any good. The basic idea is to strive for realistic technique and feeling with enough structure to ensure safe practice to allow someone to train for many years. Practice should enhance health, not take it away. Because we cannot really fight, everything is a method of practice designed to teach us something you can use in a real fight. So do not lock into the structure or the method of practice and instead search for what the practice is trying to teach you. Control your attacks until your opponent can defend against a real attack. A real attack is a goal in practice not a beginning." ( from the essay "The Relevence of Karate to Everyday Life", by Don DePree)

Designated sparring is when the attacker is chosen ahead of time for each encounter. The rule set and the attack targets are often specifed as well. By doing so, some aspects of sparring become less real while other aspects can be studied intensely. Focusing on Longsword, I am going to share several types of designated sparring that can be utilized for other weapon types as well.

Just Add Horse: Measure, Breadth & Tempo in Mounted Work || Jennifer Landels

Jennifer Landels || Academie Duello

Weapons: Longsword or Sidesword

Fiore dei Liberi provides us with a beautifully complete weapons system from unarmed combat, through short and long weapons, to mounted combat, with actions and concepts that are often interchangeable between weapons. However, the speed, dimensions, and differing mobility of a horse add complexity and restrictions to mounted combat that are not found in ground-based combat. In this workshop we will explore how single-handed sword actions need to alter when taken to the saddle. As well, we will look at which actions translate seamlessly and are your ace in the hole, regardless of where you're fighting from.

Body Mechanics of Cross-hilt Tie-Ups with Two-Handed Swords || Ellis Amdur

Ellis Amdur || Araki-ryu

Weapons: Longsword

We will be working on the body mechanics of tie-ups. For many styles, this is the last place one wants to be. For others, this is where the fight starts. There are some very sophisticated ways of using the body to exert maximum pressure on the opponent, and furthermore, move during the tie-up in a way that is virtually un-trackable. This is based on the teachings of the Araki-ryu, a 16th century tradition transmitted to modern times, that could be termed 'grappling with weapons.'

Judicial Dueling and 15th Century Martial Arts || Michael Chidester

Michael Chidester || Wiktenauer


In the late 14th century, various strands of sporting and fighting tradition converged into a new kind of judicial duel. It was somewhat disconnected from the trials by combat of the Middle Ages, and also from the culture of honor dueling that arose in the 16th century. This judicial dueling culture developed and evolved over the course of the 15th century, and in 1476 Italian jurist Paride del Pozzo published his attempt to compile and organize all of the precedents and customs that he could find.

This lecture will discuss the dueling codes and customs laid out by Pozzo and compare them to the teachings we find in fencing manuals of the early-mid 15th century, from Fiore to Kal, and argue that this sort of duel could be the primary context that these arts were intended for.

Knight Camp (Ages 5-15) || Amy McIntosh

Amy McIntosh || Dravenritche

Weapons: Small children, foam swords

Participants will learn a beginners overview of early sword training focusing on a brief history on use of boffers and the waster sword discussing their role in historical sword fighting. Each participant will learn the historical importance of waster training and basic attack and defend drills. We will be playing several sword games such as, capture the flag, and defend the gate to have fun building teamwork, skill, and confidence. This workshop will be at minimum a half hour in duration and can be extended as time and participants allow. Types of games and activities to ensure safety will be changed and adjusted based on participant numbers, age, and skill level.