Contact me at: email@example.com
or ring Mob: 206-218-4188
Please be clear and specific about the reason you are calling and ask for GLOCK.
The group has shut down in late October 2015 and I'm not planning on re-opening it. I've been struggling with a number of age/injury related issues and have, for most purposes, retired. These are shoulder impingements, frozen shoulders, tendinitis of the upper arm ligaments, creaking knees and back ache. These I put down to a long fighting career. At age 48, it's time to stop. My armour has gone into a crate and my swords, pollaxes and spears are now ornaments. Due to low leverage of the pommel weighted shortswords, I'm still able to do some gentle experimental work with shortsword and buckler. How I can handle this in the future is up for debate, though after a double hernia compounding the problems, I'm pretty much bollocked.
Here are links to local groups you might want to try out:
Seven Swords Guild - http://www.sevenswords.us/
Lonin - http://www.lonin.org/
Grit City HEMA - http://gritcityhema.tumblr.com/
OUR CORE STUDIES
ROYAL ARMOURIES MS1.33 - Sword & Buckler.
LIECHTENAUER - Longsword (Talhoffer, Ringeck, & Others)
We are able to train beginners up to the upper intermediate level in these core studies in the beginners session. An advanced session caters for experienced scholars.
FRENCH/GERMAN - Pollaxe, Le Jeu de la hache and German sources.
VIKING COMBAT- Sword & 36" Round Shield, Spear, Dane Axe, Scram, using Hurstwic DvD's and publications.
POSSIBILITES FOR THE FUTURE
ANGLO-AMERICAN - Military Sabre.
SCOTTISH - Highland Broadsword.
Single handed sword alone creates a completely different fight. Both of these styles are really good and have their own personality. We are looking at these and might bring them into play sometime in 2016. Let us know if you are interested.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We teach introductory German Longsword and Royal Armouries Sword & Buckler (1.33) as core studies. These are unarmoured technical systems that were used for judicial duelling. This means that it was one man versus one man with (most likely) matched weapons. A judicial duel might have been first blood, or to the death, or to some other agreed rule. Later duelling became more complex. We can deduce much of what might have gone on in the medieval battlefield from knowledge in the fechtbuchs but we must understand that duelling isn't battlefield. So to get a better idea of what battlefield skills were like, we have to move over to the fight-books that deal with armoured duelling. But still, these are duelling advisories. There's a lot of different weaponry used on medieval battlefields and there are rarely matched pairs going on. The greatest risk for a fighter wasn't always the man directly facing him, it was from his opponents friend stabbing from the side, for instance. Battlefield has its own wisdoms, such as don't fight alone, don't step ahead of the line, guard your co-fighters, take breaks to breathe and recover and much more. But when it comes to individual fighting skills, the fight-books are very very good at teaching us. We might then translate this into battlefield through learning a different context. And that's the really important word here, CONTEXT. I also don't see it as rational that medieval fighters would have chosen to go to war without armour. People grab for armour when it is available. And few would have been uniformly covered with it. So different degrees of protection mean that the targets for each opponent change and technique selection will change. Weapons might change. Why use a sword on a plate armoured opponent when a warhammer would floor him right away? Context. I'm convinced that armoured combat is the final product, with what we know of blossfechten being an essential part of the training.
We also use HURSTWIC Viking Combat DvD's as a core for our Viking weapons study. This is very interesting and leads into a study of the Icelandic sagas. I'd like to see the group experimenting more with spear and also Dane axe. Context is very important to both the Viking style of combat and also the medieval styles. We shouldn't isolate them from their cultures and cherry pick them as independent stand alone martial arts. Each weapon was to defeat armour of the time, each armour was to protect against a weapon from that time and culture. Knights and men-at-arms were products of their cultures, their fighting styles then the product of those fighters. If we ignore history, if we dump context, we lose sight of everything and end up with a commercial, stripped down piece of modern junk. It's tough enough being a modern person trying to figure the mind of the ancient man, if we intentionally ignore the evidence, what is there left? Perhaps Kendo or an eastern martial art would suit better? The H must be kept in HEMA, and it's not a small h either. The Viking style is heavily dependant on an ancient mindset and dare I say it, a deep rooted faith in the Aesir. I'm going to stop short of saying only those devoted to Odin or Thor will ever understand it truly. I think we are bright enough and educated enough to make some sharp guesses.
WHO WE ARE NOT
We are not Larpers.
We are not Cos-players.
We are not Theatrical.
We are not Sports fencers.
We are not the SCA.
We are not Gamers.
We are not a Ren-faire.
We are not a living history group.
We are not Reenactors.
WHO WE ARE
We are Historians.
We are Martial Artists.
We are occasionally equipment crafters (armour, experimental padding).
BLOSSFECHTEN: The Forgotten Schnitt
Whereas most schools focus on tournament style, we don't do that. If any of our scholars want to attend a tourney, they can do so, but as a guild we don't field teams or go under the badge. It has been said in one text, "if he is ordinary, he will attack the head," also, "a slice to the wrist will finish it." Essentially, we do the Hau, the Stich and the Schnitt; with a huge emphasis on targeting vulnerable spots with the schnitt, such as the jugular, femoral, inside of the wrist. With the pommel the targets are likewise as deadly. As for the head as a target, yes, it's a great target. But it's usually going to be heavily defended. There's much easier targets around. The effect of wearing hard masks in training is that many are hitting the head in preference to other easier targets because there's usually no bruising. Hits to the arms bruise and cause pain. So we might end up head-hunters when the idea isn't to score 3 points for a head shot and 1 for a hand, it has to be to wound and kill wherever we find the available path. Thrusts are also easily turned aside. Thrusts are dubiously inefficient at finishing the opponent; (http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/bloody.php).
We prioritise single time counter cutting and techniques that are fast. This places us as a martial group and not a sportive sword group. We welcome sports fighters, and we are not all 'martial' but our mindset is for the most different and might be counter productive to tournament success. So what use are we here in an unarmoured tourney? Not much really.
HARNESFECHTEN: Pole axe, Warhammer
Armour is expensive, but there are fine armourers out there who might help build a suit piece by piece. We can however practice armoured techniques (for the most) without the expensive armour. Targeting changes a lot with armour. I would like to introduce the Jeu De La Hache fightbook and commentary to our training. I'd hope that beginners would aim for blossfechten first, such as langenschwert and Sword & Buckler to get used to handling weapons and then move onto the more rational form of harnisfechten.
We have different members come along at different times. Here's a typical group photo from last year and some other memories from the album. We are really fellows, co-equals and all whereas we have fun, we are a respectful group. There is a Guild Constitution and a set of Bylaws, but these are merely in place should the population swell as many other groups have done in the last year or two. We are an informal friendly bunch and extraneous rules are not our thing. We have the capacity to undertake structured study that stretches over years, slowly taking you off into the depths of the ocean of details. But we don't like that. Some of our members like the informal manner we train in. We custom tailor each plan for the scholars. We will not allow more than 8 in one session. We want to keep quality very high and we want to maximise progress. Because we are not a business.
PSG has loaner equipment, but it tends to be munitions grade (lol). The money you would be spending on fees and lesson charges can go to pay for the costs of nice equipment for yourself.
Having high quality training equipment gives many benefits, mechanically and mentally.
We don't sell equipment. When you have been training with us for a while, a short list of items you will need will be handed to you. You can handle our items and decide what you want for yourself.
We have a small stock of old padding (gloves/vaums elbow pads) and some masks for immediate use.