Longsword, court sword, wrestling, dagger, rapier, saber, and stick : 14 workshops will be held by the 10 following Swiss associations: Sub Brach, Säbelrassler, CAL, GAFSchola, HADU, ELAA, GAGSchola, AMR, Freifechten Basel and Gladius et Codex.
The workshops are now complete.
The instructor’s and the tournament’s commissions will also give workshops.
The program and the schedule will be available soon here.
Below you will find the presentations of the instructors, their association as well as the descriptions of their workshop : 12/14. The last workshops will be presented at the beginning of October.
Mathijs Roelofsen – GAFSchola
I am currently a PhD student at the University of Bern and my research subjects are the military organization of Swiss towns in the Middle Ages and 19th century military fencing in Switzerland. I practice at GAFSchola, an association founded in 2014 in Fribourg and which explores fencing from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. For several years GAFSchola has been exploring Swiss sources in the 19th century in particular.
1. Kickstarting Swiss Military Sabre Fencing – Preparation for the Assaut by GAFSchola
In 19th century Switzerland, sabre fencing was not only taught to the Swiss officers, but was also practiced as a sport. If military regulations and fencing manuals were used to train young people to defend themselves on the battlefield and physically train their body, the pinnacle of the teaching was the assaut, where students would show their worth as fencers. Like in actual fencing, the assaut was part of the sportive routine, were fencers fought for pleasure and determine, in large fencing contests, who was the best. However, finding rules related to the practice of the assaut in 19th century fencing clubs and events is difficult and military manuals usually only outline some aspects of this practice; solely one set of rules can be found in a sabre fencing manual, Emil Probstt’s Instruction sur l’escrime au sabre (Anleitung zum Säbelfechten) from 1887, which describes the concours d’escrime, linked to the federal military celebrations (fêtes fédérales) and established to judge of the young officers’ martial capacity. This workshop will thus focus on this rule-set and on other traces in military manuals to explore the practice of the assaut in Swiss military fencing; the attendants will first train basic movements to understand the core of the system, then will experiment one or several rule-sets. The workshop’s final purpose is to offer some fundamental tools for practicing Swiss military sabre fencing as a sport.
Michael Müller-Hewer – CALhistar
Born in Germany in 1955, I worked more than 20 years in Paris as an actor combatant, choreographer and specialist for Blanc weapons in cinema and theater. Since 1992, I teach stage fight and historical combat. In 1996 I obtained a five weapons fencing master’s certificate of the “Akademie der Fechtkunst Deutschlands”. The practice of the Celtic battle in Switzerland developed around my teaching at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) with the study group Cladio. Today I work at the “Cercle des Armes de Lausanne” with the group “CALhistar”. According to the tradition of itinerant Masters I give regularly workshops of Stage fighting and HEMA in France, in Germany, in Switzerland and in Italy.
2. The French fencing and the epee de cour (court sword) by CALhistar
The workshop is designed to present thrust technics of the 17th and 18th century court sword and foil of the masters Liancourt and Angelo and to clarify the difference between the duel fighting and the fencing in the fencing hall.
Finally, the court sword was a weapon that was developed from the rapier. Its lightness permitted a fencing game limited to the tip and to separate the parry from the riposte. The blunted sword which was used until there to the training had been replaced with the foil with flexible blade. Until the beginning of the 18th century, the foil blades were mounted in sword guards. With the exception of conventional French foils which owned no “pas d’âne”. At the end of 18th century, the guard in the form 8 was developed. It asserted itself very quickly,
because it represented only of the contours of the doubled mussel and was therefore the lightest of all guard forms.
Equipment: mask, jacket, light gloves. Weapons are supplied.
3. How to use a sabre by CALhistar
Captain Alfred Hutton published the book “Cold Steel” in 1889 with the intention of renewing the sabre fencing in England. Leaning from the Backsword and being inspired by the Italian rapier, he revised the system of Roworth.
Inspired by the work of the Captain we go to see how to use a slashing weapon and how to control the blow. Beginning the work in fixed measure, we will leave it very fast for actions in movement.
Equipment: mask, jacket, light gloves. Parts of weapons are supplied. Other light one-hand weapons can also be used.
Andreas Zürcher – Sub Brach
Andreas Zürcher has been larping since the cinematic release of Return of the Jedi practicing historical fencing since 2012, occasionally taking the role as an instructor since 2013 and started Sub Brach in Olten in 2014. Before starting HEMA he practiced Judo as a youth and Schläger and Sabre fencing during university. Since then he has given workshops on sabre, dagger, dussack, staff, sword and buckler and longsword.
Sub Brach is a Hema club with trainings in Solothurn and Olten. The main aim is to avoid german longsword monoculture and P.H. Mair like the plague enjoy Long Knife, Sword and Buckler, Staff, Dagger, Dussack , Poleaxe, Wrestling, Sabre and whatever else strikes our fancy. We believe in risk aware consensual kink and the ability of grown people to manage and qualify themselves that overregulation and paternalistic handholding in he long run will only damage Hema.
4. The Staff of Joachim Meyer by Sub Brach
An introduction into the Staff techniques of Joachim Meyers Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens. We will do drills looking at basic guards, footwork, general staff handling and plays with a focus to gain a feel for the style of staffplay done by Meyer as opposed to eg the Cod Guelf 83.4. Bring good hand protection use of a helmet is advised.
Equipment: all skill levels, we will have a dozen spare staffs, bring good hand protection use
Instructors : Andreas & Sibylle Zürcher
5. The Staff of Cod.Guelf.83.4 Aug.8º by Sub Brach
The Second Part of This New Art-Rich Fencing Manual, Codex Guelf 83.4 August 8º is a German fencing manual created in 1591. It treats the typical Freifechter weapons but shows no connection to the Liechtenauer school of fencing. The workshop takes a look at the staff techniques in the manual. We will do drills looking at basic guards, footwork, general staff handling and plays with a a focus to gain a feel for the style of staffplay done by Cod Guelf 83.4 as opposed to Meyer. Bring good hand protection use of a helmet is advised.
Equipment: all skill levels, we will have a dozen spare staffs, bring good hand protection
Instructors : Andreas & Sibylle Zürcher
Ferdi Hutter – Säbelrassler
The hema – club “Säbelrassler” was found in 2006 in Winterthur. We started training with good old bokken and shinai, and without any protection – gear. We soon mixed our training with all the martial arts – styles our members trained before. And we do that until today. Since 2018 we own a dojo and train HEMA 4 times a week.
6. Wrestling by Säbelrassler
No weapon ready – no weapon left – kick in de groin not allowed – we can help.
In our wrestling workshop we start with a very simple drill that we use in our training to prepare our students for infight – action. From that drill we show you several options do create distance from your opponent or execute a take down.
The Säbelrassler mix modern martial arts like Krav Maga, BJJ, Judo, Boxing, etc. with HEMA. Join us – sweat with us – it will be fun.
Bring along a clean shirt for changing clothes after the workshop and your groin protection – that will do.
Born in France in 1980, I started modern fencing at the age of 6, which I kept practicing until recently, having trained in various clubs and countries, competing at regional and national levels. After some tries at theatrical fencing, I discovered historical fencing in 2003, joining the group Zornhau in Germany and started learning mainly longsword and dagger. In 2011, I joined the Associacion Catalana d’Esgrima Antigua (ACEA) in Barcelona, where I start learning Verdadera Destreza. In 2014, I also joined the group Gagschola in Geneva focusing there on longsword and wrestling. I have since hold several classes about Verdadera Destrez.
GAGSchola is a HEMA association founded in Geneva in 2009. Its main focus is the study, interpretation and application of fighting techniques directly from historical sources. Sources are ubiquitous in our training sessions and all participants are asked to propose and discuss interpretations, regardless of their levels of practice. We study various periods and weapons, from German medieval longsword to ringen, dagger, 19th century self-defence and stick fencing.
7. Some elements of Destreza related to the use of the dagger with the rapier by GAGSchola
This workshop will highlight some differences between the Italian and Spanish ways to use the dagger.
After practicing some necessary footwork and defining some key elements, we will focus in particular on the action of “encomendar”: what does it mean? How to execute it as a 1st or 2nd intention ?
While previous knowledge of fencing with the rapier is welcome, it is not mandatory.
Equipment: mask, jacket, light gloves, rapier and dagger.
Emilie Pollet-Thiollier and Laurent Ott – GAGSchola
Emilie Pollet-Thiollier and Laurent Ott and both members of GAGSchola, respectively since 2016 and 2011. They are members of its committee and participate actively as instructors to the organization of training sessions.
8. Learning dagger fighting from late medieval Germanic sources: a comparative approach by GAGSchola
The aim of this workshop is to look at the dagger teachings of three different Germanic sources (Andre Liegniczer, Codex Guelf and Paulus Hector Mair) and compare some of them to highlight the similarities and differences between the fighting systems they propose. This workshop is both an introduction to dagger and an attempt to open the discussion about the diversity (or lack of diversity) of dagger fighting systems through time within the Germanic corpus of sources.
I started HEMA twelve years ago in Hungary, Ars Ensis. I’m living in Zürich for 7 years and during that I was always visiting HADU for trainings, and for the last 2-3 years as an instructor as well, with main focus on longsword and rapier.
9. Meyer Longsword: Schlüssel vs Eisenport
In this longsword workshop we will check how to fence from the Schlüssel and how it can be broken by it’s natural counter: the Eisenport.
Skill level: All
Equipment: Mandatory: sword or feder(preferred), gloves, mask; Optional: sparring jacket (light sparring gear for full speed excersises)
I’ve been interested in the HEMA method for six years now, with the Association Médiévale Romande, which I initiated and co-founded. During my studies at the Lausanne University, I also co-founded the Unil’AMHE, a university association that searched to bridge the academic and practical worlds. Since 2017 I organise the Swiss Blades with the AMR in the Neuchâtel canton. My favourite Weapon is the Longsword, but I am also interested in other, mainly medieval, combat systems.
The Association Mediévale Romande is a NGO regrouping 45 people, whose objective is to valorise the Swiss romand medieval patrimony with voluntary work, animations and cultural manifestations. It’s in this associations that a commission dedicated to HEMA was created in 2014
10. Survive a combat with the noble art of VO2Max by AMR
During this workshop, we will study the physiological principles at the base of a physical effort and understand by which means be can improve performance and endurance. In a second time, we will put those principles to the test with HEMA practice and some specifically designed exercises
Equipement: Sport clothes, longsword, padded jacket, mask and gloves
Dominik Eaton – Freifechter Basel
Being a student of philosophy and social anthropology Dominik Slater Eaton thought that he didn´t do enough useless and fun activities so he decided to start HEMA. He has been instructing Longsword for three years, Rapier, Sidesword and Bartitsu for two years, Sabre for one year and finally Dussack and Quarterstaff for two months. Having drawn inspiration from classical fencing and “not wanting to be hit” he enjoys interpreting sources of any kind.
Outside of HEMA, Dominik also does HAMA, in particular Zulu/Nguni stick fighting which he spent six weeks learning in the province of kwaZulu/Natal of South Africa.
Lastly, Dominik enjoys teaching wrestling to his five year old daughter and might soon be teaching a HEMA class for children.
11. A duellists perspective by Freifechter Basel
Taking the approach to fencing of 19th century duellists and applying it to historical sources across the board leads to certain basic changes in the mentality and the general attitude to the game of fencing. This workshop will be about how the experiences of fencers such as Jules Jacob and Alfred Hutton may serve as a vantage point to interpreting older sources. The main focus will lie on the use of the longsword (and similar weapons which are primarily used in a two handed fashion) in particular on one-handed techniques of the wide measure. The main argument being that using such a weapon only with both hands on the weapon will limit its reach and thus curb the defensive potential of the weapon.
Attendants of the workshop are asked to bring their own swords and protective gear. Participation is possible without full protective gear.
Simon Favre – ELAA
ELAA is an old club in the swiss scene and had to reinvent itself multiple times for everybody to enjoy learning in it. The club’s goal is to give everybody an opportunity to evolve according to his capacities and be accompanied in the exploration of this vast universe.
The practise of historical fencing for the show brings the fighter to expose themselves to the assaults without any kind of protection, and therefore, they need to be more attentive to the weapon and space management.
12. Managing pain during the exchange
Pain is an integral part of life, and everybody has to experience it regularly. Developping muscles brings muscles ache, over training brings muscle tear. The border between what makes us grow and what leaves us with sequels is sometimes hard to grasp. The practise of Fencing exposes us, in a well-defined frame, to punishment. This punishment brings out automated responses that we should know, so we can better anticipate them and not be surprised by them. This workshop will be focused on sparring exchange, on how to manage pain, and how to recognise pain in your partner.
Equipment: Feder, sport clothes (Some Feder can be borrowed)
I started HEMA fencing around 2002. Ever since I’ve been following the tracks of sword fighting at every opportunity, especially at seminars and workshops. As a hands-on person, decrypting sources is not my strength. I believe the different techniques can’t be viewed isolated, but must be regarded in a more complex context. This gives me a very distinctive point of view, which can be beneficial in its own way. The base for this is a good understanding of movement, context, motivation, timing, mechanics, perception and emotion while fighting.
In 2004 I started training at “Gladius et Codex” in Zurich and since 2008 I’m a instructor there. My courses are heavily inspired by Thore Wilkens PET training principles and the philosophy “all fencing origins from the wrestling”.
Currently I’m studying at the university for teacher education in Zurich (Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich) to become a primary teacher where I’m working on my thesis “HEMA fighting for children”.
13. Schwert und Schild – Basics – Koordination – inspired by PET Training by Gladius and Codex
From the first strike up to the first Schildschlag.
We will have a look into the basic movement principles of fighting with 2 weapons (yes, a shield is also a weapon) and coordinating these two heavy things in your hand. While the time in the workshop ist limited, I will still show you several useful exercises to improve your coordination and free movement with the sword and shield/buckler/dagger. In addition to this, we will focus on three-strike combos and work towards the principles of the Schildschlag, as shown in several places in Tower-Fechtbuch I.33 . A lot of the exercises origin from ideas of Roland Warzevka, Thore Wilkens and Collin Richards. The idea of the workshop is to give beginners and former beginners an entrance into sword an shield fighting, so they can continue to improve at their own trainings and also to give the professional shield fighters an insight into alternative training methods, complementary to the pure book study.
Requirements: I will bring as many shields and training swords as I can. But if you have one or i can borrow a shield and a sword, it would be great if you could bring it along. Remember: The lighter, the better! Shield recommended maximum 2kg, better 1kg. Sword one-handed, the shorter, the better. Don’t try the exercises with a long sword or a superheavy sword or shield.
We will start with some basic wrestling techniques, nothing harmful, but make sure you can dodge strikes =)
…and a Guest from Belgian :)
I am Maarten, one of the instructors at Sumus Soldani. I have been doing HEMA for about four years and have won a couple of tournaments by now. I mainly do longsword, but I also like sword and buckler. Next to HEMA, I did teaching studies at college and try to apply what I know to HEMA.
14. Lecture on “Didactic principles for improving learning and teaching HEMA”.
My lecture will handle the didactic principles, which are seven principles that your teachings should conform to as much as possible. It is not specific to any weapon, so it should be useful for most instructors. I also focus on how you can use these principles as a student as studying can be seen as teaching yourself. So if you are interested in improving as a teacher and student, don’t hesitate to come. (There will be a break for if you want to run away too.)