Our two Longsword classes are targeted at adults, focusing on physical conditioning and control with the most widely-used weapon in modern HEMA. All experience levels train together during this class, with experienced members frequently paired with newcomers to provide assistance.
This class alternates between the one-handed components of the kunst des fechtens (KdF) system. The buckler is a small shield carried as a self-defence tool for nearly 400 years. The messer is a sword-length knife popular as a side arm in early renaissance Germany. Sword and buckler fencing emphasizes control of the opponent's weapon before striking, while messer involves many aggressive, close-range actions such as grapples and disarms.
The 'Scottish Class', as we call it, focuses on 18th-century weaponry tied to the backsword traditions. This sword often fought against a bayonet rather than another sword, which had a significant impact on the systems which were developed for its use. The two weapons are trained side by side during drills in this class.
This class focuses on the use of the rapier in the Italian style, as well as the off-hand weapons (dagger, buckler, and cloak) commonly paired with it. Rapier fencing requires precise control of distance and timing, and makes use of actions which are rarely seen in other systems, such as the lunge. Former or current Olympic fencers will feel at home with a rapier, and avid fans of The Princess Bride will find this class a dream come true.
This class focuses on the art of harnischfechten (armored fighting) from the kunst des fechtens (KdF) system. This class involves the use of the longsword held in a halbschwert (halfsword) grip, as well as the use of polearms such as spear and poleaxe. Armor is the most physically demanding subject that we train. You do not have to own your own armor to join, as we have plenty of loaner armor to get started with.
The medieval German folk wrestling art of ringen is quite popular at our school and is excellent for improving body awareness and physical fitness. Ringen is directly applicable to grappling situations which arise in sword-based weapon systems, and is extremely useful for longsword and messer fencers intent on competing in tournaments. These classes are open to wrestlers of all experience levels. If you have previous grappling experience, we highly encourage you to give ringen a try.
This class is designed for homeschool kids and teens. This is a great class for making friends and socializing while learning coordination and gaining better physical fitness. The class focuses mainly on longsword, but other weapons are also studied on occasion. Recommended for ages 11 and up, although numerical age is less important than simply having the physical strength needed to handle a synthetic longsword.
Duration: Two days
Our beginner's course is designed to introduce brand-new students to the world of historical European martial arts. This two-day course provides an overview of the three main weapon systems practiced at our school. Students are introduced to the basic concepts and body mechanics which appear in every weapon system we train, including footwork, posture, stances, guards, and cutting mechanics.
This course is limited to ages 14 and older - younger students should begin with our youth class. All necessary gear, such as synthetic weapons and fencing masks, is provided by the school. At the end of this course, students will be well prepared to attend any of our regular classes.
Wednesdays 8:00-9:45pm (replaces free sparring hour)
Duration: Eight days
Our tournament prep course is mandatory for students intending to represent our school in competition. This class combines serious physical excercise with high-pressure drills focused on preparing students for common situations they will encounter during tournament fencing. Students wishing to join this class must own a full set of their own sparring gear and a steel longsword.
Entry by invitation only
This is our advanced class, which focuses on understanding of and proficiency in the complete KdF system. This class requires potential students to compete in at least one tournament, then pass an entry exam by showing proficiency in any two of the arts of the KdF systems (for example, longsword and messer).