- Arto Fama (Zwaard en Steen)
- Daniel Ciupka (Bellum Nobile)
- Eline Spek (Zwaard en Steen)
- Henric Jansen (Historisch Vrijvechten Nederland)
- Maarten Van der Auwera (Sumus Soldani)
- Max van den Ekart (Zwaardkring)
- Ties Kool (Historisch Vrijvechten Nederland)
- Ton Puey (Academia da Espada)
- Yannick De Smet (SwArta)
Arto Fama: Very vague general advice and practical guidelines, from Liechtenauer and Musashi
To capture the art of movement and combat in words seems an eternal struggle. Sources of very different origin share a similar problem: trying to explain in words and writing, something that should be shown by hand.
In this workshop we will try to find meaning in the words passed down to us through the ages. What can we learn from the general wisdom, advice and sometimes excruciatingly unclear statements? How can we put it into practice?
During this exploration we will use some very simple and practical tools for training. When training becomes a bit more structured and simple, we might find ourselves left with enough focus and attention to explore some of the more clouded and obscure aspects of fighting with the longsword.
Make sure to bring a Longsword (Feder), Mask, throat guard, some form of chest protection and gloves. Optional for more playful/explorative drilling: jacket, elbow protection and heavy gloves, leg protection.
Eline Spek: The coach: your secret weapon
Weapon: Longsword and/or pen
This workshop will be about the secret weapon in your corner during sparring and/or tournaments: your coach. First, we’ll look at it from the coaches point of view. How are you going to help your fighter win or grow? With everything that’s happening in a fight, where will you focus on? Then, we’ll discuss different styles of coaching and some tools you can use.
As in any relationship, it is good to communicate what works for you personally. And what better way to communicate, than with swords! So, we will use rounds of sparring to help you figure out your personal coaching style and the tools that work for you.
You can follow this workshop as a coach (no gear needed), a fighter (bring your own sparring gear and longsword) or you can switch between the roles (recommended). No previous coaching experience is needed, all levels of fighters are welcome. Intensity of sparring can be scaled to your preference.
About me: I’ve been training longsword for almost 7 years. In my normal life and work I’ve done quite some coaching and I’ve found that those skills transfer well to coaching fighters in HEMA. Looking forward to sharing that knowledge with you!
Daniel Ciupka: The thrust in Sabre-fencing
The Sabre is known for it cuts but also the trust with a curved weapon should not be neglected and can make a surprisingly good move.
In this workshop we will cover the general context as well as some fancy exercises.
Minimum Gear: Sabre, fencing mask and light gloves.
Henric Jansen: Parry-feint-riposte: on improving your counter-attack
Is your first attack always parried? Do people always just do a step back on your initial feint? And is your riposte predictable, because you just regress to the simplest cut you were taught? In this workshop we will consider one possible solution to that problem: setting up a complex counter-attack, combining feints and actual attacks to conventional and unconventional openings. At the end of this workshop you will be better at spicing up your ripostes and striking your opponent precisely where you want to.
Minimal gear: Your own sabre, but I will try to bring some extra nylon sabres. Regarding protection: the more, the better. We will end with a sparring game, so for full enjoyment I advise you to bring everything you have.
Maarten van der Auwera: Simple footwork
People tend to overcomplicate footwork, which slows you down. In this workshop, we won’t.
For this workshop, I expect you to have full gear and a longsword. I also expect you to know the basic Liechtenauer techniques.
Max van den Ekart: How to make choices under stress
We all have seen matches where the most exciting thing that happened was a thrust beside all the oberhauws. I believe this is not something people do on purpose but because of stress that happens during a match.
When doing a sparring match or even joining a tournament it can be quite intimidating knowing that there are many technics you can use and people expect you to use them. This can be quite difficult and might make it so that you put a lot of pressure on yourself which might make it even worse.
The same goes for a match you really want to win.
In this workshop we are going to look at a few key components:
- How to use different skills during the match
- How to change your plan and style during a match
- How to recognize when to change how you are fighting
To join this workshop it is required to have some experience with sparring under stress. This should be stress measured by your own standards. So this can be technical sparring which causes you stress or a tournament bout. You don’t have to know all the books that there are but it will be required to have several different techniques you can use.
This workshop will require upper body gear including a mask, throat guard, gloves, jacket
Ties Kool: Strength through structure
A good structure builds a strong foundation to fence with. Whether it’s defensive or offensive, controlling your position and being able to apply pressure through your sword is important in order to make your technique work. We will look at footwork, core mechanics and the use of your whole body in fencing.
Ton Puey: The attempt to control the opposing sword in the late Verdadera Destreza
Weapon: Rapier (better cup hilt or big shell hilt)
The attempt to control the opponent’s sword in a physical or imaginary way is the main basis of the philosophy of the school of Verdadera Destreza. Let us try to understand why and how to do it from the instructions provided by the different late authors to apply it today.
Yannick De Smet: It is only a Zornhau if it is from the Bavaria region of Germany. If not, it is just a sparkling oberhau.
This workshop tries to instill the idea that the zettel and associated glossa are mere examples of how each of the “named” techniques in the Liechtenauer tradition could be performed. Once you gained sufficient practice with these in static, predictable environments as set out in the glossa, it is your job to apply them in more murky, realistic situations. This is not dissimilar to how masters of renaissance portraits would teach their apprentices how to paint: start by repeating a single detail, say an eye, for a few hundred times on an empty canvas. After this, you might be ready to paint an eye in a specific portrait by the master, taking into account the specific situation that is presented there.
This is the way we are going to approach this workshop, of course we do not have time to repeat all the techniques set forward by the glossa hundreds of times. I trust you have already done so, and can now perform most of these in a static, predictable environment. What we are looking at here, is how we can adapt or select these techniques (still using the glossa as a guideline) to be able to use them in modern HEMA sparring. For this we should have an understanding of why our static, drilled interpretation is not working in sparring. There might of course be many reasons why sparring diverges from blossfechten or the drills we do, but for the sake of brevity a few glaring examples were selected, in the hope that these are somewhat relatable.
As this is a longsword workshop, centered around sparring and its differences to drills, full sparring gear will be required. You can always follow along without gear, just to get acquainted with the principles.