09 July 2007
Awesome weekend

PICT0045, originally uploaded by la bête.

Fightcamp was superb. About 80 friendly, committed HEMAists and something like 20 workshops and informal classes plus a shed load of sparring.

My personal favourite moments were:

Mass recreations of the death of Kit Marlowe in my scenario class
Teaching 40 or so people how to walk correctly with a cane in my stick fighting class
Dr G getting people cutting to Hendrix
Stuart-Fach hammerfisting the Abomination in the head
Nikos' superb Capo Ferro class
A short personal instruction on the use of the companion weapon after Alfieri

Most important though was meeting up with so many old friends, making some new ones and having a fucking excellent time!


04 July 2007
FightCamp Ahoy

Gentleman Thug, originally uploaded by la bête.

This weekend will see the 3rd Schola Gladiatoria HEMA festival. Held in the delightful Royal Gunpowder Mills near Waltham Abbey, this event will bring together the cream of European instructors.

Can you tell I wrote the press release? I'm sooo looking forwards to this event. There will be some superb classes - The Abomination will be showing some grappling from Dutch 17th C texts, there will be pollaxe related jolies and all sorts of other fun. The Doctor will be taking his first event class and I'll be showing a few things as well.


23 May 2007
Dijon 2007 Teaser Trailer

Good Work from Paul B.

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Head Wounds In Middle High German Literature

Rachel Kellet is a member of the excellent Linacre School of Defence and is well known in HEMA circles as an superb scholar. She has just made available an article based on her talk at the SWASH event in Leeds earlier this year.

Excellent stuff. Understanding textual evidence is a problem for many and Rachel is one of the few who I think really understand how to use it (I know I certainly don't). Her analysis of text and the drawing out of the key information is very useful. I'm really looking forwards to the publication of her thesis next year.

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'Fightcamp' historical European martial arts event at the Royal Gunpowder Mills 6-8 July 2007.

On Friday 6th - Sunday 8th July 2007 Schola Gladiatoria ( http://www.fioredeiliberi.org ) will be hosting the 4th annual historical European martial Arts gathering at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey (just north of London): http://www.royalgunpowdermills.com/SpecialEventsList2007.htm

Fightcamp is a relaxed and friendly historical martial arts experience, with workshops and presentations by instructors from various respected and well-known historical martial arts groups, games and competitions, as well as informal freeplay and discussion. Workshops will cover documented European martial arts from the 13th to the 21th century.

This year will see people attending from the across the UK, from France, Sweden and elsewhere.

Fightcamp is open to members of all organisations (though we ask that you email us if you want to take part) and only costs £5 per person for the whole weekend (payable on arrival). People with minimal or no experience of western martial arts are welcome, as well as experienced practitioners.

Camping space is on-site and free, and there are on-site toilet facilities and wash basins. Near by are shops and eating/drinking establishments. The venue is also easily accessable by train from Stansted Airport (via Liverpool Street station), and also by rail and car.

The site is open to the public each day to observe the classes going on or ask questions of our representatives there. The public are not permitted to take part in the classes and are kept a safe distance from them. Hopefully this serves to increase the profile of historical European martial arts amongst the public, while at the same time enabling the students and teachers to be unhindered in their classes.

Fightcamp will open on Thursday night for people arriving and setting up camp. Workshops and events will run through Friday, Saturday and Sunday, covering a wide range of subjects, from medieval and renaissance sources, through to modern combatives (a programme will follow). There will be several casual and competitive freeplay events throughout the weekend, as well as test-cutting. A programme will come soon.
After the site has been closed to the public each evening there is space for traditional archery practice. Saturday night sees everyone gathering near the camping area for a main barbeque.

There will also be a jousting display present at the Mills at the same time as us.

You can see a few photos from the 2005 event here: http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=6099

If you are interested in attending the event then please email: schola-gladiatoria@hotmail.co.uk or matt_easton@hotmail.com

If you are interested in teaching at, or recommending a teacher for the event, then please also email one of the above addresses - we can always accomodate more workshops or presentations!

Provisional list of instructors:

Confirmed -
Matt Easton - Schola Gladiatoria (UK)
James Marwood - Schola Gladiatoria (UK)
Nigel Plum - Schola Gladiatoria (UK)
Gordon Hart - Schola Gladiatoria (UK)
Dave Rawlings - Boar's Tooth Fight School (UK)
Pete Samworth - Boar's Tooth Fight School (UK)
Fabrice Cognot - De Taille et d'Estoc (France)
Milo Thurston - Linacre School of Defence (UK)
Anders Linnard - Gothenburg Historical Fencing School (Sweden)
Paul Bennett - Independent (UK)
Mike Stillwell - Independent (UK)
Martin Austwick - Independent (UK)
Chris Stride - School of Traditional Medieval Fencing (UK)
Herbert Schmidt - Ars Gladii (Austria)
Herman Singh - Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara (UK)
Jim Sephton - The Grange (UK)
Phil Marshall - School of the Sword (UK)
Jonathan Miller - Linacre School of Defence (UK)
Nick Thomas & Michael Thomas - Academy of Historical Fencing (UK)

Possible others -

Philippe Willaume - School of Traditional Medieval Fencing (UK)
Mark Donnelly - Society of the Study of Swordsmanship (UK)
Rob Lovett - The Exiles (UK)

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16 May 2007
HEMAC annual event Dijon, France, 3-6 May.

You may have noticed a little hiatus on my part. This has partly been due to me attending the excellent HEMAC event in Dijon. This is orgainised annually by the fine fellows from De Taille et d'Estoc.

There are some pictures here.

It was a simply wonderful event with some truly excellent martial artists in attendance. My personal favourites were in no particular order:

Dave Rawling's excellent I.33 class - There is a reason this guy is THE authority on I.33. He is a simply amazing martial artist. Check out his DVD as well. Top notch stuff.

Colin Richard's Shield workshop. I only got to watch part of this but it was pretty damn impressive. Colin certainly knows his stuff.

Matt Galas' fascinating lecture on Belgian fencing guilds. He really, really should publish soon! Matt has published a report of the event here.

And last but not least catching up with guys I have not seen for ages, meeting new guys (Like Scott B and Jeff T who travelled over from the US) and having a simply amazing time.

I did teach 3 classes which went pretty well - one on knife, one on stick and one on stress. They all went well, although the screamy, shouty prt of the stress class had to be put on hold for 20 minutes to allow the relaxation class next door to finish. Who'dathunkit?

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15 February 2007
Sad News

Ramon Martinez reports the following sad news:

Dear All,

It is with sadness that we report the death of Mr. Patri Pugliese. Mr. Pugliese passed from this life on the afternoon of Sunday February 11, 2007. For those of you who did not know Mr. Pugliese was the first person to make photo-copies of historical fencing texts available to the public. He did this as a service to those who are
interested in classical and historical fencing. He was never motivated by profit or personal recognition but by his love for fencing and history which was instilled in him by his late mother and teacher Ms. Julia Jones who was the fencing coach at Hunter College for many years and student of the great fencing master Maestro Julio Martinez Castello.

The importance and significance of Mr. Pugliese's contribution to the resurgence in the interest in classical and historical fencing cannot be emphasized enough. It was due to his generosity and efforts that many of those who are involved today in the study of the historical fencing treatises got their start. He was also one of the first pioneers in the serious and systematic study and reconstructions of the methods that the great masters of the past left in their written works.

Mr. Pugliese will be sorely missed by all those who knew him as well as those who did not know him personally. He was one of the first who breeched the wall of fencing mythology and opened the gate for access to the truth.

Patri, we offer a Grand Salute to you and like the legendaryswordsman and poet Cyrano De Bergerac, we pray; "...that when you enter before God, may your salute sweep all the stars from the blue threshold..."

Ramon & Jeannette Martinez

Condolences can be sent to Barbara, Antonia and Julia Pugliese at:

39 Capen St.
Medford, MA 02155

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a 529 College Fund set up at
Fidelity for Antonia and Julia's college education by sending a check
payable to "Patri's Girls" to:

Janet Baker
173 Highland St.
West Newton, MA 02465


13 February 2007
LSD Manuals

I should have linked this earler but this is the rather excellent collection of texts provided by the Linacre School of Defense.

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A few interesting WMA Articles

Ignoring the slightly cringey dressing up, there a few interestng articles on the Cateran Society site.

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03 February 2007
The Other Cold Steel

And since we're on the subject, here is Hutton's Cold Steel.

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29 January 2007
Coaching Discussion

Over on the Schola Forum.

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24 December 2006
Cool New Blog!

From a fellow Schola G forum member - Laches.

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Wine and Cheese to the rescue
The Camera Never Lies?
Observer accused of fabricating comments
Hennesy Hammock
Awesome weekend
FightCamp Ahoy
A Quiet Mugging
Muhammad Ali with a Blackjack
Religious Hatred. Again.

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