Brass Frog Assault of Arms 2024

The 10th annual Brass Frog Assault of Arms will be held on June 21-23th, 2024 in East Haddam, CT.

Over the course of the three day event there will be classes and clinics dealing with the history and unique aspects of Victorian-era weapon systems and other topics.

Tournaments will include: a Team Event (Friday), Dueling Saber (Saturday), and Smallsword (Sunday). As the focus of Brass Frog has always been the classes, tournament participation is capped to ensure more than 50% of the event is devoted to classes.

Our goal for this year, as with previous years, is to host a fairly low key event where some of the country’s best fighters, teachers and researchers can get together and hit each other about the head with sticks and steel and share the Arts we love!

We have big plans for our 10th Anniversary!!

Venue, Hotel, and Meal Information

Event Venue

The event will be held at the East Haddam Town Office Complex at:

1 Plains Road, Moodus, CT 06469

Event Lodging

Housing is available at Cave Hill Resort at:

138 Leesville Rd, Moodus, CT 06469

WSTR is handling all the reservations and payments this year.  Please use the Event Registration Form for additional information and to reserve rooms.

Meals at the Event

We try to make it as easy as possible to attend Brass Frog.  The following food options are available during the event.  Light snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the event

Lunches are available Saturday and Sunday for $12

Friday Night Pizza – As with last year, this will be poolside at Cave Hill Resort after things have concluded in the gym.  $6

Saturday Night Dinner – This will be a catered event held at Cave Hill.  $20


Registration is OPEN!

The 10th annual Brass Frog Assault of Arms will be held on June 21-23th, 2024 in East Haddam, CT.

Registration Price is $50 for one day or $100 for all three. Registration discount for verified HEMAA members is available.

Please note: Cave Hill prices are PER PERSON, not per room!

Events include 3 Person Team event(Fri), Dueling Saber (Sat), and Duels at Dawn Smallsword (Sun) and other classes.

Brass Frog Rules


Judging is probably the most contentious aspect of any event – so we’re largely going to do away it!

  1. Fencers are expected to call hits against themselves (holds true for ALL events)
  2. Bouts will be managed by at least two ‘Seconds’ who will:
      • Start and stop the action of the bout
      • Watch for unsafe conditions/behaviors
      • Watch for uncalled hits – each Second will watch for hits on ONE fencer
      • Seconds will determine the timing of the afterblow, where applicable
      • Poll the fencers about Skill/Art points
      • Report the results to tournament staff
  3. Seconds have the authority to award points in the event of uncalled hits and/or rule infractions as well as settle disputes between the two fencers (the “I hit you First” issues)
  4. ALL Fencers are expected to serve as Seconds throughout the weekend

NOTE: For the Dueling Saber event we will be bringing in MOF judges who are familiar with priority rules to serve as directors.

Brass Frog AoA General Rules

  1. Use of excessive or brutal force is strictly forbidden. The first offense will result in a warning. The second (IN ANY FUTURE BOUT) will result in a loss of the bout. Subsequent offenses and any offense resulting in an injury where the injured fencer is no longer able to compete will result in ejection from the event, at the discretion of the judges and tournament staff.
  2. Prior to the start of any exchange the judging staff will ask if fencers are ready. The exchange will start when the judge calls “Fence!” The exchange will end when the judge calls “Halt!” Upon the called halt fencers must cease any aggressive actions and return to the appropriate side of the ring/piste.
  3. Bouts are to be conducted for a maximum of three minutes. Point limits vary by weapon event.
  4. Fencers are expected to call hits against themselves (holds true for ALL events)
  5. All attacks must be made while fully in control of the attacking fencers motion to be valid. Uncontrolled attacks may be considered as excessive or brutal force at the discretion of the judges and tournament staff.
  6. Thrusts (where allowed) – thrusts must land point-first on target. Thrusts to the mask should be pulled to avoid injury. 
  7. Cuts (NOT smallsword) – cuts can be made with the true or the first third of the false edge. Cuts made with the flat are not valid, but will cause a halt to be called. Cuts made with the strong of the blade will be considered as excessive force.
  8. Slices (NOT smallsword) – slices can be made with a push or pull of the blade to the arms or head and must be of sufficient force
  9. The back of the head is not a valid target in any event
  10. Disarms and dropped weapons are scored as a point for the fencer retaining his/her weapon.
  11. Leaving the ring/piste for any reason will result in a point for the opponent.
  12. Pommel strikes, punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes are not allowed
  13. Grappling is not allowed.
  14. Ignoring the directions of the judges or arguing with the judges will result first in a warning. Subsequent offenses (in any bout) will result in points being granted to the opposing fencer or loss of the bout.

Team Event

In this event, teams of three fencers compete in a relay match with cumulative scoring where every fencer competes against every other fencer in a series of nine “legs,” or bouts. The first team to score 45 points (or the team leading when time expires) is the winner.
The team event is essentially a race to a point target. The target increases by five in each of the nine “legs,” or one-on-one bouts within the larger team match.

The target scores are:
Leg/bout 1: 5
Leg/bout 2: 10
Leg/bout 3: 15
Leg/bout 4: 20
Leg/bout 5: 25
Leg/bout 6: 30
Leg/bout 7: 35
Leg/bout 8: 40
Leg/bout 9: 45

Each leg can end in one of two ways:
*Either team reaches the target score for that bout
*The 3-minute time expires for that round

  1. Each “leg” (bout) of the relay match consists of five touches (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.); the maximum time for each bout is 3 minutes.
  2. The first two opponents fence until one of them has scored five touches, within the time limit of 3 minutes.
  3. The next two opponents fence until one of their scores has reached ten touches, within the time limit of 3 minutes, and so on with successive bouts, cumulatively, of five touches.
  4. If by the expiration of 3 minutes of fencing time the intended score for the bout has not been achieved, the next two fencers take up the score where it was left off and fence up to the maximum score intended for their bout as normal, within the time limit of 3 minutes.
  5. The winning team is that which first reaches the maximum score of 45 touches, or that which has scored the greatest number of touches after the expiration of regulation time.
  6. If at the end of regulation time for the last bout the scores are equal, the match continues for a deciding touch, with a maximum time limit of one minute, fought for by the fencers of the last bout in the match. Before the fencing recommences the Director draws lots to decide who will be the winner if scores are still equal at the end of the extra minute.



This year’s smallsword tournament is modeled after dueling conventions in mid-19th century Germany.

  1. Format will be multiple rounds of pools, leading to a final pool of 6.
  2. Duelists will stand with their front foot behind lines set approximately at lunge distance apart. Seconds will stand at the side of each fencer (see Seconds’ responsibility for more information.)
  3. Duels are to 3 points. 
  4. Scoring:
    1. Thrust to the head or torso: 3
    2. Thrust to the arms: 1
    3. Crossing the opponent’s starting line: 1
    4. Disarm: 1
  5. Doubles will not be scored for either opponent and the pass will reset. If the fighters double 2 times, both fighters will be marked with a loss.
  6. Use of the offhand in parrying is permitted. Grabbing the opponent’s weapon or body is not permitted.  A thrust that hits at hand during an attempted parry may be called as a thrust to the torso (stapling).
  7. There will be no afterblows; see second’s responsibility for more information.
  8. If a person surpasses 3 points, it is still just a win and there is no additional benefit.
  9. There is no time limit; the duel will continue until one opponent hits 3 points, or 2 doubles have occurred.

Second’s Responsibility: The second’s job is to watch for hits on the opponent. Once their fighter has hit the opponent, the second steps forward between the two fighters using their weapon to halt action. In a duel, this was to prevent the opponent from striking the fighter with an after-blow. For the first round of pools, each fighter will be paired with someone from the other set of pools so that everyone will have an opportunity to be a second (there are 8 pools, 4 going at once).

Dueling Saber

1. Target area: Everything from the waist up, excluding the back of the head
Use of the offhand in parrying or grabbing the opponent’s weapon or body is not permitted.
2. Unless a single fencer hits, only actions that arrive with priority are considered valid
3. Priority Rules:
  • Priority is established when one fencer begins an attack, as indicated by threatening forward movement of the point or extension of the fencer’s arm.
  • In the event of simultaneous actions, no fencer is given priority
  • An attack which has failed (missed, fallen short or been parried) no longer holds priority
  • The defending fencer can obtain priority by parrying and riposting, a single-time counter or stop-cut/thrust that closes the line, or in some way causes the initial attack to not land
  • Breaking distance, causing the initial attack to fall short, and executing an attack
  • A parry or single-time counter that is deemed insufficient does not gain priority for the defending fencer
  • An insufficient parry/counter is one in which the initial attack still hits without changing the line of attack.
  • Priority will be determined by the referee, who will call the action as well as poll the judges.

4. Bouts are to 3 points or 3 minutes

Skill/Art Points

We plan to recognize fencers who display a great deal of skill or art in their bouts, much as we we have done in past years. To accomplish this, fencers will be awarded points at the end of each bout and pool. At the end of each bout, 2 points may be awarded by the Seconds or Judges. At the end of each pool, fencers will be asked to identify the two fencers in their pool who they feel displayed the highest degree of Skill/Art in their fencing. At the end of each event the two fencers with the highest number of Skill/Art points will be awarded a ribbon that can be worn the remainder of the weekend while fencing.

Seconds/Judges and fencers should keep in mind the conventions of the weapon when awarding skill/art points.


Plaques for 1st to 3rd place in each event will be awarded. Ribbons will be awarded to the two fencers with the highest number of skill/art points in each event. Gift certificates and prizes from our sponsors will be awarded to the fencers with the highest total number of skill/art points and the to the fencers with the highest average number of skill/art points per bout. Door prizes will also be given out over the weekend

Equipment Requirements

A limited number of loaner weapons will be available for all events. For participants wanting to use their own training weapons please refer to the guidelines below. If you have any questions, please contact for clarifications

Team Event

The team event this year will use synthetic sabers and cutlasses.  Particpants will rolla D20 at the start of each match.  The lowest two rolls that are above 1 will be given cutlasses for the duration of the match.  In the event of a Critical Fail roll, the fencer must use their non-dominant hand.

Rawling baskethilt and Purpleheart Polish sabers will be available, as well as synthetic “cutlasses” from Purpleheart.


Weapons must have blades of no more than 35″ in length. Modern foil guards and French grips may be used. Standard foil and epee blades are acceptable, as are double wide epee blades. Castille smallswords/smarra and blades modified by A&A, Jacob Armoury and Benjamen Arms are acceptable.

Standard No. 2 epee blades mounted on ambidextrous grips will be provided.

Light gloves are required.

Dueling Saber

Blades must be no more than 35″ in length and no more than 350g.  Acceptable dueling sabers include: Hanwei Pecoraro, Radaelli, and Hutton Sabers, Castille 16mm and 20mm blades, Darkwood Armory dueling saber, VB Gymnasium v3+, Regenyei Duelist.  Note that some “spadroon” or short rapier blades do meet the requirements for length and mass and will be allowed.  Modern Olympic Saber blades will not be allowed.

Padded gloves are required for most sabers.  Heavier gloves are recommended in general, and required for guards that provide minimal protection.

Loaner weapons will be available and require heavier gloves.


Safety Equipment

All participants *must* have the following to participate in the tournaments:

  • Long athletic pants with no bare skin exposed (fencing knickers with long socks are acceptable – kilts and socks are OK too, provided no skin is exposed)
  • Non-marking athletic shoes
  • Three weapon fencing mask or better with back of the head protection
  • Minimum of a 3 weapon fencing jacket (additional torso protection is encouraged)
  • Testicular protection where appropriate
  • Rigid Elbow protection (Not required for Smallsword)
  • Rigid Knee protection (Not required for Smallsword)
  • Shin protection is not required (shins are not a target in any event)
  • Forearm guards (Not required for Smallsword)
  • Gloves for both hands
      • Dueling Saber: light padded gloves are the minimum (see above for exceptions)
      • Smallsword: light leather gloves
      • Team Event: Heavy hand protection (Lacrosse gloves are the bare minimum)
  • Throat guard

A limited number of loaner fencing plastrons, forearm, elbow, throat guards, and LAX gloves will be available.

Previous Classes


Pringle-Green’s Cutlass and Pistol – Scott Loescher

East Meets West: The Jiu-Jitsu of Alfred Hutton – Kyle A. Marrotte

Murder on the Back Beat – Ian Crowe

Bringing a Stick to a Knife Fight – Julie Olson

Scoundrels and Scallywags! – Patrick Bratton

Dance of the Whiskey Stick – John Borther and Trish Chiovari

HEMAA Instructor Certification


Instructor: Ashley Sciandra and Scott Loescher

Spadroon stuff!

Instructor: Scott Loescher

Board and capture french ships the right way!

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

Instructor: Patrick Bratton

Instructor: Julie Olson

“Never tell me the odds” – an introduction into Giuseppe Cerri’s footwork applications for self defense against multiple opponents. Bring four of your nearest and dearest for a round robin of sparring games that pit you in 1 versus many matches. Full gear required, batons provided. If you have daggers that would be helpful.

Instructor: Nick Hinton



Instructor: Jason L. Cook

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

2019: Introduction to Cerri Baton

Instructor: Julie Olson

Students will be introduced to Giuseppe Cerri’s Baton (two-handed stick) fighting method. While this weapon is regaining popularity in Europe as a sport “fencing” weapon, its roots are from peasantry self-defense. The class will teach the basics of the weapon, including movement, attacks, parries, and tactics against multiple opponents. If time allows, we’ll explore how to use this weapon against other types of weapons.

Bio: Julie Olson began studying German Longsword with Athena School of Arms in 2013. It was during attendance at Brass Frog 2015 that she was introduced to – and fell in love with – baton, and she is thrilled to be teaching this year! Julie has also dabbled in Italian Rapier, Broadsword/Military Sabre, and Dagger. Julie has received top-5 placements at a few regional/national tournaments, as well as Technical Excellence awards. She is one of the head instructors at Athena and Event Director for Iron Gate Exhibition.

2019: Dynamic Parries and False Edge Work in Hungarian Hussar Sabre

Instructor: Russ Mitchell

This class will provide a refresher on basic parries in the Hungarian system that Russ learned from Prof. Hidan Csaba, and then continue the class into dynamic parries (aka, what to do when the opponent changes lines mid-strike or you’ve misread the opponent’s intent), and on the various ways the false edge is deployed within the system.

As with last year, the emphasis with this instruction is on retention of material, not merely a whirlwind tour of “Sexy Fencing Tricks.” The class will assume that students either attended last year or reviewed the video materials available but is going to be “less ambitious” on paper in order to guarantee that there’s time to reinforce basics to the greatest degree possible, with additional material held in reserve to be taught pending the students’ ability to absorb and perform the material.

2019: German Sabre Peculiarities

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

This class will explore the application of a set of techniques by examining not only how the the Berliner Turnschule deals with them, but also how they were used in other systems in the region.

Required equipment: Mask, jacket, elbow protection, appropriate gloves, training saber (steel, plastic wood) – the more curved the better.

2019: German Stoßfechten According to Kreussler’s Principles

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

Wilhelm Kreussler developed a system of fencing in the early 17th century that dominated German thrust-fencing until the end of the 19th century. Aside from the Kreussler family dynasty, which included more than 20 Fencing Masters, his system was taught throughout the 19th century by two branches of the tradition: The Roux family and the Berliner Turnschule. In this class we’ll touch on the basics of German Stoßfechten according to principles established, but never written down, by Kreussler or his family. We’ll then look at a family of techniques that two contemporary Masters had very different views on, present both their cases, and let you decide on the usefulness.

2019: Footwork Explained

Instructor: Eddy Louis

In my lecture on Footwork, I’ll be teaching various styles of movement, and introducing the context in which one might employ them with a few examples to go home with. During the lecture I’ll introduce various exercises, and training tips to help build strong balance and fluidity in one’s fencing. When you leave the class you should have a grasp of the foundation of solid footwork, and how to self diagnose your movements so you can continue to improve on your own.

2018: The Joinville System of Baton

Instructor: Maxime Chouinard

The Joinville-le-Pont School of Gymnastics and Fencing opened during the Second French Empire n order to create a unified body of knowledge to teach physical skills to soldiers. This is where the famous Joinville style of French Baton was created in 1852. The Joinville system became one of the most popular military programs in the world, with its formula exported everywhere from the United -States to Japan. This class will cover the teachings found in the Manuel de Gymnastique as well as elements from masters who gravitated around the school.

2019: Introducing Monsieur La Boëssière

Instructor: Victor Markland

Arguably Smallsword had reached its zenith by about 1800. Most of the influential instruction manuals such as Angelo, Girard and others had been published years before. By the time “Treatise on the Art of Arms” is published in 1818 daily carry for civilians was passing out of style. However the memory of those we would think of as icons of the Golden Age of Smallsword lingered. Chief among these would be the legendary Chevalier Saint Georges.

We are fortunate to have in this text not only a detailed account of his longtime friend but the full course of training that Saint Georges undertook at the hands of the elder La Boëssière, the fencing master mostly remembered only as the inventor of the mesh fencing mask. La Boëssière’s method of teaching and the elegance and effectiveness they create has long deserved more attention. He emphasizes adherence to principles, speed and precision, opposition, attacks from distance, and taking advantage of your opponents lost time. It is that refined and demanding style and the unique interactive method of the elder La Boëssière that we will explore in this class. I can guarantee that by the end of the class you will know what it means to fence in the style of La Boëssière. I just cannot guarantee you will fence as well as Saint Georges.

2019: Introduction to Cavalry Sabre

Instructors: Patrick Bratton, and Nickolys Hinton

This class will look at the basics of cavalry sabre in two different time periods. Earlier Napoleonic sabre will be introduced using the 1795 Marchand British Dragoon Manual, then we will look at late 19th Century sabre from both the 1873 Italian Cavalry Regulations and Maisello’s 1897 Sabre Fencing on Horseback. It will give students a basic understanding of how sabre actions are different from horseback and how techniques changed over time. We plan on having horse simulators for people to try from.

2019: Up Close and Stabby with Meyer

Instructor: Andrew Kilgore

Joachim Meyer was a 16th century German Cutler and Fechtmeister who is attributed with at least three manuscripts covering a wide range of weapons. This class will examine the Dagger section of Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens (“A Thorough Description of the Art of Combat”). Students will be introduced to essential guards, techniques, and concepts that tie Meyer’s system together. Special attention will be given to broad martial concepts that can be applied across systems.

2018: Valville’s Franco-Russian Saber

Instructor: Maxime Chouinard

Alexandre Valville is a French fencing master who published a treatise on cut and thrust fencing in 1817’s Saint Petersburg. Valville was a product of Old Regime fencing, but is probably one of the most well-traveled masters of his era, having learned fencing not only in France, but also in the UK, Italy, Hungary, Germany and even took the time to learn a type of African double stick fighting. His method is unusual for the time, as it is closer to the more complex systems of the 17th and 18th centuries and presents many engaging guards not presented by other 19th century authors. In this class, we will take a look at some of Valville’s peculiarities including his guards, feints and voltes.

2018: Ernst Seidler’s 1843 Fechten mit dem Säbel

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

The system described in Seidler’s 1843 manual evolved from German academic cut-fencing during French occupation of Prussia and treats the heavily curved m1811 light cavalry saber separately from the straight Kürassier sword. After a brief review of the system’s fundamentals we’ll explore several of the more advanced and unusual topics covered in the manual.

Required equipment: Mask, jacket, elbow protection, appropriate gloves, training saber (steel, plastic wood) – the more curved the better.

2018: Neapolitan Spada

Instructor: Patrick Bratton

Italian fencing in the 18th century is often overlooked as a forgotten period between the rapier of the 17th century and the classical foil of the 19th century. However, there are manuals from this time that show the changes in Southern Italian fencing from the late rapier of the 17th Century through the Neapolitan spada in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and then to classical foil and epee. This class will give an introduction to Neapolitan spade of Terracusa, Rosaroll and Grisetti, and reference to later texts like Parise. It will cover guard positions, variations of footwork, simple attacks and parries, and actions on the blade.

2018: Bartitsu Concepts

Instructor: Chris Gregurich

Bartitsu is a Historical European Art principal created by Edward Barton Wright in 1899. Bartitsu was a combination of Pugulism, Savate kicking, Jujitsu & Swiss wrestling, later incorporating Vigny La Cane, making this one of the first mixed martial arts. This class will cover the concepts of using these Arts as a whole element, not just cane fighting. So concepts of use of this system will be explained and taught.

Christopher has been studying Traditional and Historical Martial Arts for almost 30 yrs. He holds a 3rd dan in Kenpo karate and specializes in Historical and Modern Cane Arts such as Bartitsu, Cummingham, Irish Bata(Cuman Bahta). He has studied under Ken Pfregner and Antrim Bata under Danny Hoskins and Maxime, Filipino Kali base under the Detroit Dog Brothers group and Historical Western Arts with Dr. John Lennox.


Hussar Military Sabre

Instructor: Russ Mitchell

This three hour workshop provides traditional instruction in Hungarian hussar sabre, with an emphasis on clearly distinguishing it from other lineages and making sure that students have enough mastery of the basic movements and principles of the system that they are able to retain it for private practice on their own afterwards. Gear required is minimal: any curved stick or practice sabre is acceptable. Protective gear may be worn as desired, but it is not required.

Russ Mitchell teaches a method of hussar military sabre and fokos (long-handled axe) which survived in in a “broken lineage” in 20th-century Transylvania. He consults for Boyovyi Hopak USA and has been involved with various WMA since the mid 1990s. Russ teaches privately and is the founder of “Great… Plains Sword and BBQ” a HEMA umbrella group based in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area.

Dueling Sabre Tactics

Instructor: Ken Mondschein

This three hour workshop, which assumes that students will already be familiar with the basic mechanics of cuts, thrusts, parries, moulinets, beats, engagements, and the lunge, will deal with how to attack the opponent while remaining safe oneself. Topics to be covered include: Use of engagement, feint,or action on the blade to close distance; finding the blade on recovery; time of the hand and time of the foot; tactical footwork; the half-advance; targeting the advanced target; second intention and countertime; indirect and compound ripostes; counterattacks and the feint in time; and both deploying and dealing with the point in line.

Binding with the Messer

Instructor: Christian H. Tobler

This 90 minute class will provide students with a grounding in how to play from the crossing of two swords, in this case, the falchion-like German messer. The principles trained here will however be applicable to all swords, and especially single-handed ones. Central to the decision-making process applied once the swords meet will be the precept of Fühlen (Feeling) – the reading of the opponent’s intent based upon the pressure they apply in the bind. Equipment: A steel messer or arming sword, a fencing mask, gloves Intensity level: Moderate

Fixed Bayonets!

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

This class aims to introduce a simple system of bayonet fencing in use during the latter half of the 19th century. In this period of time the advancement of firearm technology led to the decline in the importance of the fixed bayonet as a battlefield weapon. Still, it was an important part of any infantryman’s training. We’ll be looking at the use of the longer socket bayonets affixed to rifled muskets, usually topping 72″ in total length. By the end of the class we hope you’ll agree with the assertions that the fixed bayonet is more formidable weapon than either the lance or the sabre, and that a well-trained infantry soldier has little to fear from a cavalry soldier!

Required equipment: Mask, jacket, gloves. A variety of Bayonet trainers will be provided. Additional torso protection is strongly encouraged.

Combination Attacks with the Highland Broadsword

Instructor: Christopher Scott Thompson

Christopher Scott Thompson is the author of several books dealing with Highland Swordsmanship. A resident of Portland, Maine, Thompson is the president of the Cateran Society, a national organization that promotes historical fencing with Highland weapons.

Meyer Dagger Fundamentals with some additional thoughts about structure for both Fiore and Meyer dagger techniques

Instructors: John O’Connor and Don Kindsvatter

Joachim Meyer’s dagger techniques include reliance on the dagger hand for defense which is a significantly different approach than that used by Fiore and others who rely on the empty hand to block an attack. This class will explore Meyer’s use of blocking and hooking in response to attacks in order to gain control of an opponent’s weapon and set up follow-on techniques. The class will cover responses to overhead attacks to the head and chest as well as lower attacks to the body; the use of the dagger in both icepick and saber grips and switching back and forth. The class will focus on drills to build timing and distance skills and included some structured sparing. Mask and gloves are required to participate.


Fixed Bayonets!

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

This class aims to introduce a simple system of bayonet fencing in use during the latter half of the 19th century. In this period of time the advancement of firearm technology led to the decline in the importance of the fixed bayonet as a battlefield weapon. Still, it was an important part of any infantryman’s training. We’ll be looking at the use of the longer socket bayonets affixed to rifled muskets, usually topping 72″ in total length. By the end of the class we hope you’ll agree with the assertions that the fixed bayonet is more formidable weapon than either the lance or the sabre, and that a well-trained infantry soldier has little to fear from a cavalry soldier!

Required equipment: Mask, jacket, gloves. A variety of Bayonet trainers will be provided. Additional torso protection is strongly encouraged.

Henry Angelo’s Scottish Broadsword Fencing

Instructor: Jonathan MacKenzie Gordon

Come learn the basics of the fearsome Highland Basket-hilted Broadsword and learn the fencing techniques of famed 18th Century Fencing Master Henry Angelo. This workshop will explore the footwork and cutting techniques of the Angelo system while getting an introduction to Angelo’s 10 Lessons of the Highland Broadsword, which is considered the foundation of basket-hilt fencing. There will also be an opportunity to handle other Scottish weapons such as the Claymore, the Targe and the dreaded Highland Dirk.

Equipment Required: Basket-Hilt Trainer or Equivalent (some will be provided), Fencing Mask, Jacket, and Gloves

Hope’s New Method of Swordsmanship

Instructors: Steven Hirsch

“No People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French” – Sir William Hope, A New, Short and Easy Method of Fencing, Chap. IV

Disgusted with the prevalence of double hits in French dueling, Scotsman Sir William Hope created a new system of smallsword fencing; one intended be safer in the fight and easier to learn. Created around the turn of the 18th century, it is a simplified and conservative system. It is not as pretty but it is more secure. His system is also intended to work with a cutting sword such as a spadroon. This leads to a style equally suited to any contemporary sword. The class will introduce the key elements of this approach to the fight.

Minimum equipment is standard modern fencing gear; as well as a foil, epee or smallsword simulator. A light saber or spadroon is also acceptable. Loaner weapons will be available.

Grand Baton

Instructor: Ken Mondschein

This will be an introduction to the “Joinville” method of two-handed stick, the living descendent of longsword which is still taught traditionally. Subjects taught will include moulinets for offense and defense, methods of stiking, tactical drilling, and rules. This will be a light-contact class; students should bring a fencing mask or equivalent, stout but flexible gloves, body protection (minimum of a gambeson) and a shin protector.

Dragoon Saber on Foot

Instructor: Professor Mark P. Donnelly

One often sees tournaments advertised as “Heavy Saber” which indicates, in reality, that it is not lightweight dueling sabers (Radaelli, Pecoraro, etc). What these tournaments are really addressing are light infantry sabers in the manner of Hutton, et al.. Heavy sabers, on the other hand, certainly did exist for battlefield use and while commonly designed for light (flanking) cavalry were also taught for use on foot. This session, therefore, will focus on the use of dragoon saber on foot. Depending on time constraints, we will explore the use of saber in terms of technique and tactic as well as its use versus officer’s spadroon or fixed bayonet on foot.

An Introduction to the Gentlemanly Art of Bartitsu

Instructor: Professor Mark P. Donnelly

In 1898, Edward William Barton-Wright announced the formation of a “New Art of Self Defence”. This art, he claimed, combined the best elements of a range of fighting styles into a unified whole, which he had named Bartitsu (a portmanteau of his own name and jujutsu). Barton-Wright had previously also studied “boxing, wrestling, fencing, savate and the use of the stiletto under recognized masters”, reportedly testing his skills by “engaging toughs (street fighters) until (he) was satisfied in their application.” He defined Bartitsu, therefore, as meaning “self defense in all its forms”.

Classes and Lectures

Russ Mitchell

Scott Loescher

Jeremy Steflik

Kyle Marrotte

Ian Crowe

Martin de Jong

Anouk Post-de Jong

Jonathan MacKenzie Gordon

More to come!

Don’t Fragging Stop, Soldier: Fixing Artifacts in HEMA Sabre
Instructor: Ian Crowe
Contrary to what people may want to believe, HEMA has many, many artifacts in it that come about because it’s a sport. This class isn’t going to fix all of them, but it can try to fix one of them. Stopping. Think about your average pass. Fencers can have confidence that so long as they defend one afterblow attempt, they’ll probably win the pass. The problem is it’s easy to make a hit if one becomes immortal almost immediately after, and thus set up and control are far less important than reading any treatise would imply. Through the use of a drilling concept, this class will attempt to break that habit. And force you to read past page two of Roworth.

Operationalizing Ferdinand’s Broadsword Lessons
Instructor – Jonathan Gordon, Maryland KDF

Class Description – John Ferdinand was a fencing master based in Edinburgh, Scotland and published his Sword’s-Man pamphlet in 1788. Ferdinand’s twelve broadsword lessons are heavily influenced by Andrew Lonergan’s 1771 The Fencer’s Guide and are intended for students who are already familiar with the basics of measure, footwork, basic feints and combination attacks.

Class Goal – The goal of this class is to provide experienced fencers with launching points for dealing with a variety of scenarios and select lessons will be used as baselines to discuss successful decision making during a variety of scenarios, including tournament applications.

Requirements – Students will need a mask, gloves and a broadsword, saber or spadroon trainer and should have some familiarity with military saber and broadsword manuals.

Taming the Flying Mare: Reviving the lost art of Irish Collar and Elbow Wrestling
Instructor: Kyle Marrotte
Coiléar agus Uille, anglicized as Collar and Elbow, was arguably the most popular style of wrestling in Europe and the New England for almost the entirety of the 19th century. But, by the 20th century, the sport was already considered a dying art, and today in Modern Ireland, most have never even heard of it. What caused the popularity of this unique form of folk wrestling to skyrocket, and vanish into history nearly as quickly? In this class, we’ll take a look at this important-yet-forgotten part of Irish history, learn theorized recreations of some of the techniques, and engage in some free-sparring utilizing its modern ruleset.

Required equipment:
Mouthguard is highly recommended
Wrestling jacket. Limited quantities and sizes available to borrow. JF Ringen Jacket or Judo / BJJ Gi preferred; a fencing jacket can possibly be used at your own risk. If you truly have no jacket available, jacketless variants of techniques can be taught individually.

From Fencing Salle to Fo’c’sal: Will your fencing techniques keep you alive in a naval boarding action?
Instructor: Scott Loescher

Picture this: you are the child of a well-to-do family in England during the late 18th century. You’ve diligently studied the foil with your fencing teacher, and you might have even read a manual by Angelo or Roworth. So far, this probably sounds pretty similar to your HEMA training doesn’t it?

Well now your father tells you that you’re going to join the Royal Navy. Soon you find yourself gunwale to gunwale with an enemy ship. You left your foil at home, so you draw the spadroon or saber your father bought you if you’re lucky or a cutlass from the wrack if you weren’t, and you fight for your life!

Your training has been focused on dueling, but now you are faced with a wall of sailors ready to cut you down. Will the skills you learned in the salle save your life in a boarding action, or will your body be condemned to the deep wrapped in sailcloth with a 9lb cannonball between your feet? That’s what we’re going to find out!

Requirements: Steel saber/spadroon/cutlass trainer. Saber tournament gear from the waist up.

Instructor: Jeremy Steflik

The ability to think on your feet while fencing or fighting, to probe and analyze your opponent’s skills and tactics and to develop strategies to counter them, is what separates good fencers from great fencers. It’s a skill that needs to be developed and honed.

This class will explore drills and exercises to promote higher level thought while fencing, for beginners and advanced students alike.

We’ll be using sabers for this class (dueling or military) so please come equipped with appropriate gear.

Instructor: Russ Mitchell

Instructor: Anouk Post-de Jong

Explaining to the Americans why Colin is wrong (aka, the Spadroon is awesome)’

What a peculiar workshop title, you say. And I suppose that is true! But it is a workshop with a history.

As I transitioned from longsword to sabre, I was the only one in the Netherlands who was interested in Roworth sabre, so I reached out through Facebook to a fella named Colin Fieldhouse if you could answer ‘some’ questions regarding this British source. The result were hour long conversation and a new friendship.

The friendship took a dent when I discovered that the spadroon was not as terrible as some (read; Colin) had described to me, and he could hardly contain his disdain when he discovered I started to do more and more spadroon.

He was so full of disdain that he invited me to teach at his event to teach spadroon. Not once, but thrice! These workshops were a great success, and were called; ‘Why Colin is wrong’, ‘Why Colin is still wrong’ and ‘Proving once and for all why Colin is wrong.’

Of course this was all a jest, and our friendship was hardly affected by my preference for this peculiar military weapon, but in honor of this series of workshop I will now explain to you why the spadroon does not deserve the hate it has received for centuries and why in fact it is a rather fun weapon compared to the broadsword and sabre.

We will dive into the spadroon section of Roworth’s Art of Defence (1804), we will compare the spadroon to the broadsword and sabre, so that in the end you will be able to explain to Colin why he is wrong and discover why the spadroon is awesome.

Instructor: Martin de Jong

Assistant Instructor: Anouk Post-de Jong

In this workshop you will learn how to fight with a klewang as taught in the KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army) regulation from 1937. This iconic short type of sabre was used in close combat situations in the various environments of what is now present day Indonesia. You will learn basic movements with and without weapons, cuts, thrusts and parries with the klewang and how to use the carbine in the off-hand active and passively. We will practice this in solo and group exercises.

Did you know that the US Navy has a model similar to the klewang?
It is the P1917 US Navy cutlass.

Level: all levels.
Gear requirements: For the left hand a medium-heavy glove. For the right hand Red dragon glove and/or heavier. Fencing mask. Throat protector.. Full gear is optional when practicing. When sparring after class, full gear is required..
Weapons required: a pair of klewang and carbine trainers per each participant.
If you have your own trainers please bring them (no fencing rifles).
If you don’t have them, sabers, cutters and cutlasses (because of the length) (steel/synthetic) will also suffice. A couple of loaner klewangs will be provided.

HEMAA Instructor Certification Practical Exams

There will be several opportunities throughout the weekend for attendees who have started the HEMAA Instructor Certification Program process to complete the practical teaching portion of the program in person. Please contact and Cc for scheduling.

Schedule of Events and Classes

Preliminary schedule subject to drastic changes and additions 🙂


The Team event will start Friday afternoon.

The Saber tournament will start Saturday morning

The Smallsword tournament will start Sunday morning

Classes and free sparring throughout the weekend!