We’re extremely delighted to be able to bring the a good selection of workshops to Bladeworks this year.  As sabre is starting to get a good following on the island, this year we’re happy to be able to support this by having Keith Farrell teaching three full workshop on Scottish Broadsword/Sabre to give a solid day of training to anyone wanting to really focus on the weapon.  In addition to this, we have an array of excellent instructors from around the island offering workshops on their chosen weapons.  Full details about each instructor and each workshop will be added below.

Keith Farrell – Scottish Broadsword & British Sabre  —-  Nathan Gray – Destreza Fundamentals   —-   Paul Reck & Wayne Powers – Arming Sword & Buckler —- Andrzej Rozycki  – German Longsword  —-  Mattia Boiani – Sidesword & Dagger  —- Jan Hoffmann – Dagger & Knife

Keith Farrell (Liverpool HEMA, Academy of Historical Arts)- Scottish Broadsword and British Sabre

Keith Farrell is one of the senior instructors for the Academy of Historical Arts. He teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events, and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. His main area of expertise is fencing with the two-handed longsword according to the teachings of 15th century masters in the Liechtenauer tradition. However, he also enjoys fencing with the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword, with the sabre, and with a variety of different swords!

Keith has authored several books for Fallen Rook Publishing, including “Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick” and the award-winning “AHA German Longsword Study Guide”. He maintains an active blog at, posting at least once a week, and has also had several articles and interviews published in a variety of magazines and journals.

Workshop 1 – Fundamentals of Scottish Broadsword and British Sabre

Description: This session will look at the basic footwork, guards, and cuts of the system. It will set out the rationale that I follow when interpreting the sources and putting the information into practice, and it will give you a strong grounding in how to use a one-handed sword effectively.

Workshop 2 – Common Movement Patterns in Scottish Broadsword and British Sabre

Description: This session will look at some of the common movement patterns and sequences from the Napoleonic era source material. By understanding these movement patterns, you can force other people to “play your game” by your rules, and then you can break your own rules in your own time to take the advantage in the fight.

Workshop 3 – Disarms and Cool Stuff in Scottish Broadsword and British Sabre

Description: Although the general gist of the broadsword and sabre systems of the Napoleonic era tend towards simplicity and functionality, there are still some interesting examples of disarms and other fun and showy techniques. Although not representative of the system as a whole, they are nonetheless part of the tradition of fighting with a single handed sword, and so this session will provide some light relief to round off the day of training.

Nathan Gray (Gray School of Arms) – Destreza Rapier

Nathan Gray is the founder and head instructor of Gray School of Arms. Nathan has over 20 years of experience within varying styles of martial arts, representing Ireland successfully on 6 separate occasions and becoming a 4 time all Ireland champion in kickboxing and a 2 time European champion in Kung fu. Taking a break from the tournament scene Nathan began training in multiple forms of Kali and siliate under his long time teacher and friend Jon O’ Neill of the Naa fianna fin combat academy. Along with his study of the Filipino and Indonesian fighting arts Nathan began to study and explore the fighting arts of western Europe.

Nathan’s main focus today is on that of Western martial arts. Specializing in the Spanish system of La Verdadera Destreza under Master at Arms Ton Puey. In addition to teaching martial skills, he also lectures on the martial traditions of Europe, both from a martial standpoint and a cultural one. Among teaching martial arts, Nathan also instructs in fight choreography, recently having instructed alongside Highlanders Adrian Paul as well as many stage performers, Actors and extras for Vikings and other productions.  Nathan is also a full time writer-researcher, and features in and writes for Ireland’s leading Martial arts magazine Irish fighter.


Nathan’s workshop will be on the fundamentals of La Verdadera Destreza and using the medios and Atajo to manipulate the line and measure.  This will cover: What the Atajo are and how to use them, the 3 medios and their relationship to one another and using all three against opponents that are ether aggressive, defensive or both.  The goal of the workshop being to give attendees something they can use in their respective arts, rather then trying to teach them Destreza in two hours. Kit requirements are: preferably a rapier (note from Nathan: we can use anything even a fencing foil if that’s all some have) and fencing mask. Some equipment may be spare.

Paul Reck & Wayne Power (Goat’s Head Historical Fencing) –  Arming Sword & Buckler

Paul and Wayne are instructors at Goats Head Historical Fencing, an Historical European Martial Arts Club and Study Group based in the South East of Ireland who train regularly in Wexford. The group’s main focus is the German Tradition of Historical Martial Arts, specialising in Longsword, Sword & Buckler, and Dussack. While the group draws from many sources, their principle areas of study are the collected works of Joachim Meyer for Renaissance Longsword, Dussack, Polearms and Dagger, although they also include the works of Sigmund Ringeck for earlier Longsword traditions. For Sword & Buckler, their primary source is the earliest known Medieval Fighting Treatise, MS I.33.


Workshop: I.33 And The Mechanics of The Bind

In this workshop we will examine the mechanics and nature of the bind. We feel that the management of the bind is the core of i.33 and its plays and in this workshop we intend to explore how the bind can be exploited to defeat the opponent, while remaining safe.

We will look at how to enter into the bind, how to win it, how to regain a lost bind, and how to exploit the bind to further strike the opponent.

The workshop will be quite informal, will almost certainly contain colourful language and will be operated at a low intensity. It is our hope that all participants should leave with a good sense of how to manage the bind and remain safe in a sword & buckler fight, and it is out intention to have everybody sparring at a low intensity with minimal protection by the end of the workshop.

Requirements: Arming Sword, Buckler, Mask, Light Gloves. (There should be some spare swords and bucklers available on the day)

Andrzej Rozycki (Cork Blademasters) – German Longsword

Andrzej is a founder and the head instructor of Cork Blademasters. He teaches early XIV/XV Century “Kunst Des Fechtens” tradition, system of combat that involves fighting with multiple weapons (knives/daggers, variety of one handed & two handed swords, polearms) as well as unarmed combat (ringen). While his main focus is on longsword as a main weapon representing the core of the system, he also teaches military sabre systems that blends together old (medieval) and new (modern) styles of fencing.

Workshop: Ort as a centre and the core of the sword fight

(…) ‘At first learn and know that the Ort of the sword is the centre and the means and the core of the sword. All techniques start and end with the Ort’ (…) Ms 3227a

This session will explain the measure and dynamics of longsword combat: how to use proper body mechanics to launch a safe attack, how to defend against the attack and how to keep yourself safe during dynamic exchange by using the core principles of Liechtenauer fencing: Ort, Bind, Weak & Strong of the blade.

Mattia Boiani (Sala D’Arme Achille Marozzo – Ede) – Sidesword & Dagger

Mattia started to practice in SAAM in 2010. In 2014, he moved to Ireland where he trained for three years with the Cork Blademasters club. In 2016 he achieved the 1 st Level Instructor recognition from HEMA Ireland and the year after he was recognise of the title of ‘Aiuto Istruttore’ (Help Instructor) from SAAM. He recently moved to Netherlands, where he decide to open his own club.

Workshop: Sidesword and dagger

The workshop will focus on the fundamental of sidesword and dagger from the Bolognese school. We will learn how to use the dagger in combination with the sidesword, how to defend against simple attack and how to counterattack them. All the teaching will be linked to the techniques of Manciolino and Marozzo.

Jan Hoffmann (Tremonia Fechten – Dortmund) – Knife & Dagger

Jan is head instructor for knife and dagger of Tremonia Fechten in Dortmund, Germany.
Having trained Ju-Jutsu for several years, he had decided to look into weapons based martial arts and eventually discovered HEMA for himself in 2012 when he visited the AHA in Glasgow to study the broadsword. After returning to Germany he found Tremonia Fechten and started studying the longsword, but soon focused his own studies on Ringen, Bowie Knife fighting and its roots in Spanish and Scottish arts and eventually the Italian and German dagger sources.
Jan’s interests lie mainly with one-handed weapon systems and – obviously – first and foremost close quarter systems like knife and dagger.
As a HEMA instructor his focus is more on the Martial Art itself and its realistic training than on tournaments and the Martial Sport side of HEMA. In this, he tries to comprehend historical systems in their context whilst looking for modern (e.g. forensic or biomechanical) insight to bolster his hypotheses and improve his training methods.

Workshop: Knife and Dagger Fighting – Beyond the Sources

This workshop is concerned with what actually constitutes the foundation to understanding and training short weapons in the European Martial Arts. With the sources mostly focusing strongly on specific techniques instead of explaining how to train them and what context they are taken from, these techniques are often used inefficiently and fighters are in many cases not prepared for genuine attacks.

I want to present the basics of fighting with short weapons and illustrate how to train techniques from historical sources with selected techniques from Italian fencing master Fiore deì Liberi and German masters from the Liechtenauer tradition such as Huntfeltz and Liegniczer. Instead of following a certain treatise through, the selection is thematic to focus on a basic set of relatively simple and easy to learn techniques, which gives us the opportunity to elaborate more on basic questions, such as for example:
What principles does fighting with short weapons adhere to? What are the aims of the attacks? What is the underlying mindset? What do I have to mind considering a decent defence? …

This workshop is aimed at both, beginners who want to learn the basics as well as more experienced fighters, who want to collate and expand on their training premises and methods.

Required gear: Fencing Mask
Recommended gear: Throat protection, back of the head protection, thin gloves (against blisters)
Optional gear: Training knife or dagger (a set of training weapons will be provided, bringing your own means you can train with what you’ve got in your club and make sure we don’t run out of weapons), thick gloves, fencing jacket, gum shield, knee protectors, elbow protectors, blood transfusion, surgeon, life insurance,…