Saturday 9:30 – 11:10 (Main Hall)
“Sword and Board Highlander Style”
(Broadsword & Targe)
Ben Hamilton of Saorsa Swords

If you thought broadsword couldn’t get more awesome, think again!

The Broadsword and Targe, the iconic weapons of the Highlanders. A true all rounder weapon used in 1-1 duels, Clan skirmishes and battlefields all to devastating effect.

Initially, we will look at the weapons in the context of single combat. With drills and games that will give you a good functional framework for sword and Targe. Then, we’ll switch to looking at some of the cooler “techniques” to show the Targe in all it’s glory! Before the most chaotic, but fun, section. The Highland Charge!

You will need a synthetic sword with hand protection as well as a mask and wrist guard. There are a moderate number of Targes to borrow but if you have your own small strapped shield then feel free to bring it. Synthetic swords will also be available to loan as well as fencing masks. Fencing Jackets are recommended as you may be able to get more out of the class.

Saturday 9:30 – 11:10 (Training Room)
“Punch Faces, Make Friends”
Chris Halpin of the York School of Defence

This session will introduce you to the noble art of classical pugilism from the days before the Marquess of Queensbury ruined the fun.

You will be taken through basics of stance, movement, proper striking, defence, and the joys of chancery (yep, back then you could grab the opponent and throw them down in a boxing match!). In contrast to past years, we’re going to strip down the technique list to focus on a handful of fundamental strikes, defences, and chancery to allow for more repetitions.

All experience levels are welcome. A box/cup/groin protection for those who require the use of one, along with a full face headguard would be useful. There will be some spare head proection available for loan.

Attendance at this class is mandatory if you wish to enter the classical pugilism tournament unless discussed previously with Chris.

Saturday 11:20 – 13:00 (Main Hall)
“The Highs and Lows of Longsword Life”
(Meyer’s Longsword)
Lauren “Danger” Shaw of the Calgary Fellowship of the Sword

Yes, yes, we all know longsword is basic, over-studied, and interpretations can be fraught with debate.

That doesn’t mean we can’t have a fun time and learn some pretty cool tricks for sparring! And no, we are not hand sniping. We’re looking at some key areas that can make you a better fencer with any weapon.

Join me, Lauren Danger Shaw, for a dive into the late 16th Century where we understand the sneakiness behind Zornhau, find the key to using the Key, get our footwork sorted and remember that a sword with two edges means use both edges!

As well, we’ll understand that even defence can be an attack, and the opponent cannot be given an opening even when we retreat out of measure.

You will need a mask, gloves and a longsword. I think the YSD has some loaners, and patience for an instructor who is bad at maths but likes to ramble a bit about physics.

Saturday 14:00 – 15:40 (Main Hall)
“Crash, Bang, Wallop! Fake fighting and why you should love it just as much as the real thing.”
(Unarmed Stage Combat)
Victoria Clow of Saorsa Swords

Stage Combat is an art in itself and takes inspiration from pugilism, sword masters like Alfred Hutton and Eastern martial arts like kung fu, wing chun and aikido. In this session, we’re looking at unarmed work … because it’s really fun.

Now I’ve not got much time to convince you of that so we’re going to cram in everything we possibly can into the session. We’ll look at punches, slaps, hair pulls, wall slams, table slams, breakfalls … maybe even some choreography to finish it off – who knows!

Throughout the session, you’ll learn what keeps you and your partner safe, some of the differences between stage and screen combat and the techniques that sell the fight.

Saturday 14:00 – 15:40 (Training Room)
“It’s Not the Size, it’s What you do With it”
(Langes Messer)
Kelly Anderton of the Medieval Combat Group

Premise- During the medieval peasant revolts in the Holy Roman Empire revolutionaries were unlikely to have been evenly armed with the professional soldiers sent in to quash their rebellion. How could they respond when armed with a messer against a professional soldier with a longsword? Was it a fair fight? Were they doomed to failure? Let’s see!

Equipment- mask, messer, gloves, even light ones but something.

We’ll make use of the club longswords too but since the aim is to see how to succeed using a messer against a longsword (because messe is bestest) I’d like everyone to have a messer to try that side of the drill.

Saturday 15:50 – 17:30 (Main Hall)
“Nowt As Queer As Cloak”
(Sidesword & Cloak)
Duncan McNulty of the Bartitsu and Antagonistics Forum

Whilst the cloak is undoubtedly the second worst off hand weapon in Bolognese sidesword fencing, with the worst being the lack of an off hand weapon, with a little training it can be a useful defensive tool. This session will look at three separate applications of this stylish fashion accessory and how you can integrate it into your fighting styles. Of course. we have to start with a look at cloak and dagger! For this we’ll be looking at what Achille Marozzo has to say on using the cape as an accessory to a short blade. From there we’ll jump to the much later work of Giovanni dall’Agocchie to explore the long cloak being used as an improvised shield when armed with a sidesword. Sadly, neither of these make good use of just how swishy a cloak is! So, the final section will be an introduction to an amalgamated, non-historically accurate, system of cloak drawing on both the Italian sidesword tradition as well as some flare from the Spanish matadors. The result is a suitably flashy use of the off hand cloak that should be part of every swashbuckler’s arsenal.

As well as the usual fencing gear you’ll need a large dagger (wooden spoon will do), a sidesword (although an arming sword or any one handed blade should do the job), a long cloak (or something like a beach towel) and a small cape (but a hoodie will substitute in fine).

Saturday 15:50 – 17:30 (Training Room)
“Dussack: The Mutant Sabre Vol. II”
Ethan Bateman

So remember last year when I taught a class on transforming dussack plays into sabre plays? Well I’m doing it again this year!

“Aren’t you just recycling material, Ethan?” I hear you ask. “Why can’t you come up with something new this year?” For the same reason I can’t maintain a stable relationship; I just don’t know how.

So buckle in for some more HEMA bullshittery with Uncle Ethan!

Equipment list: Mask Some kind of single-handed cutting sword simulator (dussack, sabre, messer, stick, whatevs) A willingness to not take anything seriously ever!

Sunday 09:30 – 11:10 (Main Hall)
“The Art of Controlled Freeplay”
(Steel Swords)
Lauren Ireland of the York School of Defence

At the York School of Defence all students are required to become competent in the art of freeplay with minimal protective equipment to receive their scholar’s prize, and it is only after over a year of training when they begin to progress to free-scholar that we add in heavy gambesons, fencing jackets, big gloves and similar. We will work through the York School of Defence rules for minimally protected freeplay to ensure that everyone is safe, controlled and happy with the concept and we will gradually build up our speed through the class until we are working almost at full intent with just light gloves and a mask.

Attendance at this class is mandatory if you wish to sign up for the fencing tournament in the afternoon (unless previously discussed beforehand with Chris) as it uses the same format, just under tournament conditions.

Although the class format is designed for cutting weapons rapiers, smallswords and the like are free to attend but since no jackets are worn you MUST control your blows and work a bit more with the cut than the thrust than you usually would.

There will be a limited number of masks and swords available to loan.

Sunday 09:30 – 11:10 (Training Room)
“From Head to Toe”
(Catch Wrestling)
Ella Banken of the York School of Defence

A catch wrestling class where we’ll explore a variety of holds and locks going from the head to the toe(s) – literally! – to twist and control your opponent into various uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing, positions.

Please note that this class will involve holds of the head, including choke holds.

Any and all experience levels are welcome. Sensible clothing (no zips, pockets or anything that might get caught) and clean socks (which may optionally be worn under wrestling boots) are required. Please remove all jewellery and make sure nails are trimmed before the class.

Sunday 11:20 – 13:00 (Training Room)
“Mighty Mice and Cunning Cats”
Jennifer Garside of Black Boar

The fight for women’s right to vote was complicated and messy, and quite often included actual battles between Suffragettes, police forces and the occasional angry mob.

Join Jen and Lauren as they teach you how to bravely defend yourself against men twice your size, or how to stop determined women from invading the houses of parliament and the complicated and topsy-turvy relationship between the two.

Expect to be thrown about, hit with truncheons, and greeted by an angry mob…. Or you could learn how to be a suffragette.

You will need a mask, gloves, a willingness to get up close and personal, and a selection of your best protest songs and rallying cries. Some masks will be available to loan.

Sunday 14:00 – 15:40 (Main Hall)
“Death by swan hat: A (swan) dive into Fiore’s Abrazare, Dagger, Una & Dua mano sections.”
(Mixed Weapons)
Chris May of the Exiles

You will need a mask, gloves, longsword, and dagger (loaner kit will be available).

You often see Fiore described as a holistic system but what does this mean and how important is it really to study every section of the manuscript?

Well flap along to this session and find out!

We will be looking at how Fiores manuscript is a full system that works together across multiple weapons with all the eye gouging groin kicking and general nastiness that this entails.

Sunday 14:00 – 15:40 (Training Room)
“Dynamic Dagger 2: My Dynamic, More Dagger
Jo York of the Hotspur School of Defence

Medieval daggers are fun, stabby, pointy things, and whilst most of us are familiar with techniques for their use from various manuals, how many of us stop and think about putting their use into context and exploring how body mechanics can make our dagger more effective?

As the session title suggests we will work on dynamic movement and mechanics with the dagger in order to make you r stabbings and shankings more successful. No knowledge of any of my previous sessions is required, this lesson is open to everyone.

You will need a dagger simulator and a fencing mask, along with a willingness to explore rolling around on the ground a bit with your training partners. Dagger simulators and a limited number of masks will be available to loan.

Sunday 15:50 – 17:30 (Main Hall)
“Big Stick Stück”
Ross Bailey of the Medieval Combat Group

A play (or several) with staff material from some of the early German language sources. We’ll have a look at how the early staff techniques hang together, how we might take bits apart and put them back together or bounce things off each other, and how they sit alongside the rest of the early German language fencing material.

We’ll also get intentionally sidetracked by Robin Hood tropes, mechanics, how Archimedes would have loved the quarterstaff, and the general advantages of having a really, really big double-ended lever to inflict on training partners, friends and enemies.

You will ideally need a mask, gloves, and if you have your own stave you are welcome to bring it however there will be plenty of 6 foot loaners available. There will be a limited number of mask and gloves available to borrow.

Sunday 15:50 – 17:30 (Training Room)
“Hydraulics, Heretics and HEMA: Getting Weird with Elmslie”
James Elmslie

An exploration of the military-industrial-complex of the medieval and renaissance age, discussing the social, political, cultural structures which drove the technological development of arms and armour in the period, and discussing ways in which the Martial arts were a reflection of those developments.

Equipment required for this will comprise of comfortable chairs, and tributes of pictures of cats to the speaker.