The medieval group meets Monday and Wednesday evenings.
- 7-8pm Longsword and Dagger basics
- 8-9:30pm Longsword, Dagger and other weapons intermediate practice
Check the calendar to see which practices are accepting new participants – click on each practice title for details. There is no equipment needed as we have equipment to loan to newcomers. All newcomers must sign a safety waiver before participating.
The loft is available before practice, and participants are welcome to show up early to warm up and practice.
We focus on longsword and dagger combat techniques drawn from the medieval sword fighting art of Fiore dei Liberi. We use historically accurate steel practice weapons. Activities include
- Martial basics: balance, power, effective movement and positioning, adaptation
- Foundational technique such as footwork, guards, parries, and strikes
- Essential grappling and empty-hand techniques, including safe falling
- Partner drills designed to build competency in various attacks and defenses from and to various guards and positions
- Free option drills for learning adaptive response to the enemy’s actions
- Free-fencing (dueling)
Fiore’s art is transitional. In other words, each part builds on the other. Our focus is mastery of sword combat, but attaining that is predicated on mastery of basic martial tactics seen in the empty-hand and dagger sections of Fiore’s treatise. The sword work layers on top of this foundation and in turn, strengthens it. Our group works from an organized curriculum, while tailoring the practices to the interests and needs of those present.
Getting started in our group
Check our calendar for available practice times. You are welcome to come watch and participate. Newcomers sign a waiver form, get a brief orientation and then are able to participate in practices for a few weeks for free while they evaluate whether the club and the practice group is a good fit.
What we ask of newcomers is a time commitment to participate fully in the group, plus a small monthly dues payment (currently $48/month paid via Paypal). There is some equipment you will need to acquire over time, but we have club gear that you can borrow until you purchase a sword and the right protective gear. See our Gear recommendations for details on equipment.
For our workouts, expect vigorous exercise, precise coaching, and an exciting and focusing martial activity. If you’re interested, then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to cross swords with you soon!
Curriculum and approach
We work through an organized curriculum drawn from the diligent scholarship and coaching of Guy Windsor, a historical fencing expert who has dedicated his life to the study of Fiore’s art. Our group also leans on the coaching methods of Rene Latosa, whose Filipino martial arts concepts blend well with Fiore’s close-fighting approach.
We are a club, not a commercial school, and as such our focus is providing a venue where people who want to learn to sword fight, can get the coaching they need, train with like-minded people, and borrow and eventually acquire the right training gear. We have the right equipment, technical background, and training approach to practice this ancient and deadly art safely, and to bring people to competency over time. As with any martial art, attaining mastery in sword fighting is a lifelong endeavor. It requires time and commitment on the part of the student.
Fiore dei Liberi
Our technical syllabus connects back 600+ years ago to northern Italy, where a master of arms known as Fiore dei Liberi published his complete art in a set of meticulous and beautifully illustrated manuscripts. He documented a complete system of knightly combat including concepts and applications for empty-hand, dagger, longsword, pole weapons, and mounted combat. Our focus is on the unarmored dagger and longsword material, which provides a huge variety of techniques and applications that are useful in free fencing.
Fiore’s art of knightly combat addressed realistic, deadly encounters involving sharp, dangerous weapons during an era when medical treatment was extremely primitive. Individuals laid their life and honor on the line, and even the survival of their families. It was real life and death stuff. Practicing with the mind of a knight, with bravery, enthusiasm, diligence and care, is a great focusing exercise. For many of us it is an essential diversion from the complexities of the modern lifestyle.