Brass Frog Assault of Arms 2023

The 9th annual Brass Frog Assault of Arms will be held on June 23-25th, 2023 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: Mixed Weapon (Friday), 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!

Brass Frog is a New England Sword Gathering (NESG) event and is part of the growing Broadsword League.

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 $10

Friday Night Pizza – As with last year, this will be poolside at Cave Hill Resort after things have concluded in the gym.  $5

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


Registration is OPEN!

The Assault of Arms will be held on June 23-25, 2023 in East Haddam CT

Registration Price is $45 for one day or $90 for all three. Registration discount for verified HEMAA members is available.

Events include Mixed Weapon (Fri), Saber (Sat), and 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 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

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 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. Thrusts – thrusts must land point-first on target. Thrusts to the mask should be pulled to avoid injury. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. The back of the head is not a valid target in any event
  9. Disarms and dropped weapons are scored as a point for the fencer retaining his/her weapon.
  10. Leaving the ring/piste for any reason will result in a point for the opponent.
  11. Pommel strikes, punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes are not allowed
  12. Grappling is not allowed.
  13. Ignoring the directions of the judges or arguing with the judges will result first in a warning. Subsequent offenses in the same bout will result in points being granted to the opposing fencer or loss of the bout.

Brass Frog AoA Mixed Weapons

This tournament will be a period appropriate (1800s) mixed weapon event. The weapons that will be used are: sabre, smallsword, and spadroon (see descriptions below). Swords will be available to use during the tournament. Before each bout, each competitor will spin a wheel and one of the three swords will be selected. You will use this weapon for this bout only, and when you fight your next competitor, you will spin again! This event will push your limits as a sword fighter, as each bout can be a completely different pair up. You will need to use your knowledge of the weapons (strengths/weaknesses), distance, timing and all other skills to work your way through the event. While this can seem daunting, we are hoping you are open to expanding your skills as a fighter and learn through the different match-ups!
This year we are doing something slightly different: you will not know the scoring system! There will be pre-selected judges who know the scoring system, and only they will get that information. During the matches, no points will be called out and winners will not be announced. Fight well, and you will do well!
There will be two rounds of pools and then a final pool with the top six fighters.
Wins/loses will be posted after the event for information.
A bout will end when one of the three conditions is met:
4 passes have been completed
3 minutes have passed
Each pass will continue until one or both competitors complete a scoring action and halt is called.


For the first time in a LONG time, we’re changing the Saber rules!  Rules will include the the Afterblow AND Failure to Defend.  Details to follow


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

There will be at least 3 pools with all competitors and then the top six compete in the final pool.

Prior to duel: Duels would begin with an insult to honor. Two people would go back and forth with insults until one person called the duel.

To represent this, we have a fun activity planned for Saturday night!

Set-up: Duels are set up so that the two people stand at a lunge distance apart. Tape will mark where the fighters front foot toe will start. Seconds will stand on at the side of each fighter (see seconds responsibility for more information).

Advantage: In a duel, if person A called for the duel, due to an insult person B said, person B would have advantage. Person B had to make the first move, and person A COULD NOT do anything until this happened.
For the FIRST POOL ONLY, advantage will be awarded based on the insult Battles from Saturday night. All insults will be ranked from best to worst and the fighter with the better insult will have advantage in the first pass only (see scoring for number of passes information). The other fighter MAY NOT do anything until the first fighter makes their action. Actions include any action with the blade or body. Once the first action has been taken, the fight continues as normal.

Scoring: The fight will end when one of the fighters reaches 3 points. Scores will be marked as either a win or loss (not by the value of points).


Thrust to the head or torso: 3
Thrust to the arms: 1
Crossing the opponent’s starting line: 1
Disarm: 1

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.

There will be no afterblows; see second’s responsibility for more information.

If a person surpasses 3 points, it is still just a win and there is no additional benefit.
There is no set amount of time or passes; the fight 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).

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.


Medals 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

Quality weapons will be provided for Smallsword and Mixed Weapons. For participants wanting to use their own training weapons please refer to the guidelines below. If you have any questions, please contact for clarifications

Mixed Weapons

This will be a period appropriate mixed weapons tournament. All weapons will be provided. Safety gear must be appropriate for saber.


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.

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 (Not required for Smallsword)
  • Forearm guards (Not required for Smallsword)
  • Gloves for both hands
      • Smallsword: light leather gloves
      • Mixed Weapons/Saber: 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


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

Stay Tuned for more instructors and Class Descriptions!!

Julie Olson

Patrick Bratton

Scott Loescher

Jeremy Steflik

Kyle Marrotte

Ian Crowe

John Borter and Trish Chiovari

Nathan Weston

More to come!

Once you Pop, the Fun Don’t Stop: William Pringle-Green’s Recommendations on the Use of Cutlass and Pistol in Naval Boarding Actions from 1812

You are hereby requested and required to attend this class at the Brass Frog Assault of Arms. In this class you will learn about the Right Honorable William Pringle-Green and his recommendations to the Admiralty in 1812. You will learn how Pringle-Green suggested training sailors and marines in the use of the cutlass, and how a flintlock pistol could be used more effectively in conjunction with it. You will then learn how to fight as a group in a boarding action against a hostile vessel. Finally, you will practice what you have learned in group melees to simulate these naval engagements. I await your attendance with the greatest enthusiasm.

I am, and shall remain your most humble and obedient of servants,

Scott Loescher

Singlestick gloves and mask required
Jacket and elbow protection recommended
Weapons will be provided. Don’t bring your saber, it is too long!

East Meets West: The Jiu-Jitsu of Alfred Hutton

What if I told you that Jiu-Jitsu, the “gentle art” from Japan, could arguably be considered HEMA?

Wait, please, put down your pitchforks! I can explain!

At the turn of the 20th century, the martial entrepreneur Edward Barton-Wright gathered together martial artists from around the world under one roof in London. There, Alfred Hutton, one of the great swordsmen of the Victorian age, was trained by the famous jiujitsoka YukioTani in the style of Fusen-ryu Jujutsu. The pamphlet that Hutton later published, “Examples of Ju Jitsu, or Japanese Wrestling”, was one of the first times a Westerner taught the art, and will be the topic of this class.
This class will cover throws, escapes, and submissions detailed within Hutton’s pamphlet, along with some fascinating history. We will also draw some connections between Hutton’s described techniques, and similar techniques from medieval wrestling manuscripts and modern jiu-jitsu.
Students should be comfortable being in close contact with their training partners, comfortable having joint locks and chokes applied (optional), and ideally have some grappling and throwing experience, although the basics of safety will be covered at the start of class. All techniques can be done in normal athletic clothes (No-Gi) without need of any additional equipment.

Murder on the back beat: Understanding Tempo through Music

There’s a dirty secret to fencing – you don’t need a huge bag of tricks to win, just have to be good at timing. A statement easier said than done. With true time, false time, tempo, contratempo, vor, nacht and so on it can be next to impossible to understand when to attack and when to not. So let’s add a new way to think about timing that’s sure to be clear – through music theory. Don’t worry, if you played a recorder in elementary school, you probably grasp enough about music for this class. By comparing the fight to a song, this class aims to teach the appropriate time to attack, counter attack, employ counter time, broken time, and more. At the end, you should be able to employ all manner of devious ways to disrupt your opponent, without needing to memorize a million and one plays.

Class is aimed at sabre, but concept is applicable to all weapons. Recommended gear is hard plates on all your joints, a mask and a sabre (like object), but a jacket lets you open it up.

Bringing a stick to knife fight:

The later portion of Cerri’s treatise of the italian baton (two-handed stick) is a series of chapters that teach the fencer how to use the baton against different types of weapons – knife, sabre, axe, ROCKS – in this class students will receive a brief primer on the basic movements of the baton and then apply them in sparring exchanges against non-baton weapons. Full gear is required, bring your favorite non-baton weapon with you! Non-baton weapons will be OK’d by the instructor. (No longswords please).

*Full gear is required, bring your favorite non-baton weapon, as well as at least one soft glove.

Scoundrels and Scallywags! 18th Century Gentleman’s Self-Defense!

This class will cover the overlooked “encounter” plays from various smallsword manuals.  Not the high art of salle play, but the odd and unusual self-defense plays. This class will draw upon classic works like Girard, Angelo, and other texts. It will cover the use of the smallsword against heavier weapons like sabres and rapiers. In particular, it will focus on the use of the smallsword with a lantern at night, and will give participants to opportunity to fence while using a historical candle lit lantern.

Equipment needed: light kit (mask, light jacket, and gloves), smallsword/foil/epee/etc, and if you can bring them: cloak or coat, short stick or cane, and a flashlight and/or lantern.

Doyle Irish Stick Fighting (nicknamed Rince an Bata Uise Bheatha, or “Dance of the Whiskey Stick”) is a devastatingly effective two-handed combative system developed well over 200 years ago by the Doyle family in Ireland.  This system was brought into Canada in the early 1800’s via a Doyle who settled in the rough and tumble landscape of the Atlantic’s Newfoundland coast.

This will be a portion of the HEMAA IC program.  Either one of the learning modules or the practical assessments as determined by the HEMAA IC team prior to the event.  Program and contact information can be found Here

Schedule of Events and Classes

Preliminary schedule subject to drastic changes and additions 🙂


The Mixed Weapons tournament 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!

Registration Form

The Assault of Arms will be held on June 23-25, 2023 in East Haddam CT

Registration Price is $45 for one day or $90 for all three. Registration discount for verified HEMAA members is available.

Additional charges for meals and Lodging at Cave Hill Resort are tallied at the end of the registration process.

Registration is not complete until both the registration form has been submitted AND the registration fees have been received. Additionally, sponsor discount information and tournament slots will not be released until payment for a room for the event Resort (or confirmation of different housing arrangements) has been received.

** Non-binding - used for scheduling purposes. Days are tentative and subject to change until the schedule is finalized.