We are proud to announce our newest event, Alba Fecht. This event will be dedicated to the German Longsword Traditions, with world class instructors and the only German Longsword Triathlon in Europe.
Whole Event - £100
Classes Only - £70
Longsword Triathlon Only - £50
The first two days will consist of lessons from our guest instructors, with open sparring on offer too. The final day will feature our Longsword Triathlon, more information on both parts of the event can be found below and will be added to in coming weeks.
Both the Friday and Saturday will consist of a number of classes from our guest instructors. There will be 3 classes on both days, each being taught by one of the instructors.
We will endeavour to only ever run one class at a time, if a particular class is over subscribed in which we will re-run it during the event so everyone gets a chance to do it.
More information on each class will be available soon
Tea Kew - Using the Sprechfenster
A common frustration in sparring is trying to make one’s opponent stay in the bind, when they instead want to constantly cut round. When somebody fences like this, it can be very difficult to find opportunities for the more interesting plays from the manuals. Tucked away at the end of Liechtenauer’s recital is a short section about a position known as 'sprechfenster' - the speaking-window.
The plays here are particularly good for punishing an opponent who leaves the bind to attack again, so can be used to make them play our game. This class will examine the sprechfenster plays given by Ringeck and pseudo-Danzig, with a focus on applying them in sparring. We will look at how to enter with good structure to set up these techniques examine the necessary details to execute them effectively.
Required knowledge: basic longsword cuts, thrusting and parrying in longpoint. Familiarity with the zwerhaw and experience in sparring will both be useful.
Necessary equipment: Steel longsword/Feder, mask, and gorget. Additional gear recommended to allow working at higher intensity.
Andrzej Rozycki - Thrusting in opposition in Liechtenauer Tradition
During this class we will learn how to thrust (or threaten with a thrust) safely through the bind which is the the core concept of the whole liechtenauer tradition. Starting from the basic body mechanics and guards, then going deeper into the concept of a bind and using it to set the blade aside in both offensive and defensive scenarios. Then we'll expand a bit more and work on a possible variations from the bind - how to disengage (durchwechseln) or pull back (zucken) depending on the opponent's actions and how safely counter-thrust using any of the aforementioned techniques.
Required Knowledge: none, we'll start from the basics so everyone should be able to adapt.
Necessary Equipment: Steel longsword/Feder, Jackets, plastrons, masks and gloves. External plastron highly recommended as we'll be thrusting a lot which tends to be a bit unpleasant.
Alex Bourdas - The Zwerhaw: mechanics, applications and counters
The Zwerhaw is one of the Five Strikes and, according to the 3227a, no other strike is as efficient, fierce, complete, or good as the Zwerhaw. This makes it very important to ensure we are applying the Zwerhaw with optimal mechanics, so we can get the best use out of it, and that we are able to intelligently apply the Zwerhaw in different tactical situations. It is also important that we can effectively counter the Zwerhaw and its plays in sparring, and that as an attacker we bear those potential counters in mind when using the Zwerhaw.
Required Knowledge: Basic longsword cuts and parries.
Necessary Equipment: Steel longsword/Feder, Mask with back of head protection, and sparring gloves.
An overlay is strongly recommended. Participants can wear additional kit if they want to practice at a higher intensity.
Matthew Malcolm - Short Summary: Vor, Nach, and Indes. Weak and Strong.
These common principles of the Liechtenauer system should underpin all the technique we use. But often these principles are not explored in detail. Instead it is easy to focus on ‘plays’ without delving more into the tactics and mechanics behind these.
"Before" and "After", these two things, all other skills spring from these.
"Weak" and "Strong", "Instantly", mark well these words.
So you can learn to work skillfully and defend yourself.
This workshop will explore one way we could consider vor, nach, indes, weak and strong as they relate to a simple action; the first nachreisen. This will be broken down into:
• Tactics – making an educated guess of my opponent’s actions.
• Weak and Strong – mechanically positioning oneself with Meisterhau to drive an engagement.
• Vor, Nach, and Indes – examining this exchange at different time points to understand how one action functions at each stage of the engagement.
Required knowledge: Meisterhau prior knowledge of Vor, Nach, indes, Weak, and Strong is desirable
Necessary Equipment:: Steel longsword/Feder, Masks, sparring gloves, gorget, jacket.
Initially you might want to have a box / chest protector and solid elbows and knees on too because we will start with a short period of sparring.
The following information may be subject to change.
A Longsword Triathlon consists of three competitions. Exact rules for each component will be released soon.
The first is a Longsword Tournament with fighters begin split into pools with the best advancing to the elimination rounds, this is most likely the type of tournament you are most familiar with.
The second is a Paired Technical competition with competitors teaming up and performing a variety of techniques with a partner (of their choice), being awarded points depending on how well they execute the techniques.
The final component is a Cutting Competition. Here competitors will be required to perform as many different successful cuts on 2 tatami mats, the more you successfully execute the more points you will receive.
Prizes will be awarded to the 3 best competitors from across all the components of the Triathlon, with additional prizes being awarded to the best of each category.
The following equipment is mandatory if you wish to compete in the Tournament portion of the Longsword Triathlon.
CEN 1 Mask with back of head protection (full overlay is recommened)
350N Rated Jacket - this must be a jacket designed for HEMA and does not include “light” jackets such as the SPES Officer’s Jacket and Red Dragon Light
Shin and knee protection
Forearm and elbow protection
Heavy Gloves such as Sparring Gloves, SPES Heavy Gloves, Koning Gloves etc. NOT Red Dragon Gloves or any other Lacrosse style glove
Groin Protection (mandatory only for Males)
Chest Protector (mandatory only for Females)
Steel Feder or Longsword, free from major damage and defects. All swords must have a rolled, spatulated, flared or other integral safety tip, if this tip is less than 1cm wide the sword must then be tipped with sturdy leather or a rubber blunt secured with strong tape. Maximum length: 1500mm, maximum blade length: 1100mm, maximum weight: 1800g.
All mandatory equipment must be made by reputable manufacturers and free from any modifications that reduce it’s ability to protect you and others from harm.
You may wear any additional protective equipment at your own discretion.
Head Judges and Event organisers will have final say on whether kit is suitable or not, if you are in doubt please contact us before the event starts and we may be able to advise you.
A more extensive explanation will be coming soon, but for now here’s what you should know. Instead a “normal” rule set that gives fighters points based on scoring hit to particular locations, fighters will instead be judged on their Assertiveness, Defensiveness, Clean Hitting, and Technical Variety.
This is an experimental system which aims to reward technical fencers that some of us have wanted to try for a couple of years and we are still refining the exact rule set that will be used.
Each competitor will be given 2 tatami mats with which they will be required to perform as many different cuts with a Sharp Longsword (provided) as possible.
You may only attempt each cut once, unless you manage to perform every cut with enough tatami mat left to perform at least 1 more cut - in this case you may re-attempt cuts you previously failed.
The cutting competition will be performed in the same pools of 6 as the Tournament. The order of competitors in the group will be chosen randomly. The sword will be resharpened by staff at the beginning of each pool.
More information will follow.
NOTE: There will be strict safety precautions that all competitors will be required to follow on the day for the safety of all present. These will be explained on the day and any competitor that breaches the precautions may by immediately disqualified for the Cutting Competition or even the Longsword Triathlon as a whole. and asked to leave the venue immediately.
Paired Technical Competition:
More Information to come.