In early September I will be leaping aboard an aircraft with a spring in my step, as I will be off to see my friends in Seattle (again). The pretext for this merry jaunt is attending the awesome SwordSquatch event for the first time. This is the third Squatch, and for the last couple of years in early September my social media feeds have lit up with a cacophony of praise for this event, which makes me a) very proud of my students who run it and b) rather jealous that I didn't get to go.
This year the stars have aligned, and from September 7th-9th I'll be there, along with some really good instructors.
I'll be teaching the following classes:
Rapier and Dagger. 11am Friday 7th
Weapons: rapier, dagger, mask.
Managing one weapon at a time is challenging. Managing two at once is an order of magnitude more so. In this class we will go through through my rapier and dagger skills progression, starting with games to encourage rapid learning, and building up to specific plays from Capoferro (or other masters). Students will come away with a system for practising and teaching control of both weapons at once, and new insight into the rapier and dagger systems they study.
This class will suit both experienced rapier and dagger practitioners, and those who have never used this weapon combination before.
Research and Recreation lecture. 1.30 Friday 7th
Weapons: bring any you like, but you won’t need them unless you really hate the lecture. Definitely bring questions though.
Research is what makes our art Historical. The process of developing workable fighting systems from historical sources is relatively new, and in this lecture I will cover what to look for in a source, how to approach that source, and how to glean useful technical and tactical instruction from it. We will also cover how to use translations, and how to organise the material into a training syllabus, if there is time.
If you have questions about a specific source, please make sure you bring a copy of that source, and if you are using a translation, bring a copy of that too.
Problem Solving for Any Weapon. 11am Saturday 8th
Weapons: this class is weapons agnostic; you will need the weapons and protective gear (and partner) required to set up whatever problem you are trying to solve. If you’re not sure, bring a longsword and a mask.
Skill development is a matter of diagnosing problems and solving them. The mantra for this class is “run a diagnostic, fix the weakest link, run the diagnostic again”. We will begin with surveying the class for problems to solve, and then applying my approach to solving them.
This will include:
- How to run a diagnostic drill (if you don’t know what the problem is, you can’t fix it)
- Distinguishing between technical and tactical problems
- Setting up corrective drills, specific to the problem
- Coaching practice
- Practising at the optimal rate of failure
There is no minimum experience level for this class: if you’ve been training long enough to encounter a difficulty, then that’s sufficient.
With all my classes the content is heavily student-lead: I am a consultant, not a tyrant. If I were Fiore dei Liberi, that would make you the Marquis of Ferrara. So if you're planning to come, feel free to prepare questions or problems beforehand. I'll be around all day every day, and within the limits set by jet lag and other biological constraints, I'm there for the students. If you can't make my classes (because you just like other instructors more, that's ok, I understand, my feelings aren't hurt at all, honest) then come find me betweentimes and I'll do what I can to help.