Workshops for Points North 2019: Longsword

Workshop #1: Instruction on Giving Private Lessons by Scott Nichols

Workshop Description

The purpose of a private lesson is to teach for technical and tactical development, make corrections, consolidate and refined skills. This class for instructors will focus on 3 things:

  1. How to give a lesson
  2. Developing pedagogy 
  3. Understanding open and closed loop actions
Additionally, there will be a brief introduction to the Nichols Motivation Grid, a tool to help understand your relationship with your athlete.

This workshop is targeted at instructors and those who aspire to teaching swordplay, but all participants are welcome.

About Scott

Head Coach at Peterborough Multi-Sport Club, Scott Nichols has been fencing since the late 1980’s and has several years of competitive experience. His love of sword fighting began after seeing the 1977 blockbuster movie Star Wars. He is mentored by Fencing Master Claude Seguin who has had a long and illustrious career in Canadian fencing. In August 2012, he earned his Level 3 Foil Coach accreditation, and has completed his National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) and has completed certification through the CSIO (Canadian Sport Institute Ontario). 

Scott is also the Chair of the Domestic Development Committee for the Canadian Fencing Federation and is spear heading a national developmental program for clubs across the country.

Workshop #2: Considerations for HEMA Physical Conditioning, by Matthew Claxton

Workshop Description

Matthew will present his ideas on HEMA conditioning.  His approach is informed by over two decades of practice as a physiotherapist, Ottawa Swordplay’s culture of safety and vision of the “Art” as well as personal experience rehabilitating his own various training related injuries. He’ll also try to convince you that Ott and Lichtenauer would agree with him.

About Matthew

Matthew Claxton is a practicing registered physiotherapist by day and an enthusiast of all things Lichtenaur by night (and weekends!).  He’s been training in HEMA for 6 years and plans to do it well into his retirement. Matthew’s favourite way to exchange ideas about Swordplay is with actions not words.

Workshop  #3: Meyer’s Work with the Flat, by Philippe Mandeville Gauthier

Workshop Description

Joachim Meyer's 1570 treatise, Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens or A Thorough Description of the Art of Fencing, better known under the name The Art of Combat as translated by Jeffrey L. Forgeng, has a very particular approach to the longsword. In the late 16th century, the weapon was more an artifact of the past and a training tool than anything else. Thrusts are entirely forbidden in the system, and are replaced by complex techniques to abide with rules of tournaments of the period and street-fighting laws. 

The focus of this workshop will specifically on strikes of the flat as taught by Joachim Meyer, and will hopefully introduce you to a new way to hurt your opponent without actually killing them! 

*Note : Feders are preferred to blunts for this workshop.

About Philippe

Philippe started practicing HEMA in 2013 at La Compagnie Médiévale, in Montréal. With a marked interest in history, he quickly started picking up books and treatises in the subject, reading anything from Fiore to Hutton but having a marked preference for German Longsword, and Joachim Meyer's works specifically. 

He started teaching in 2016, and since then has worked with his colleagues to grow the community in Montréal through both La Compagnie Médiévale and the Montréal Sword Meisters tournament.

Workshop #4: Vantage Over the Taller Man by Craig Shackleton

Workshop Description

"In the true fight with the longsword, the man of less than mean stature hath the vantage over the taller man."

Common wisdom has it that in all swordplay, the taller fighter has the advantage. The title of this workshop pastiches George Silver, who in fact said "Four invincible advantages consist in a tall man against a man of mean stature. Long reach. Short course. Length of weapon. Large pace." among many similar statements. While the advantages of size and reach must be recognized, there are specific advantages in fighting with the longsword for the fighter with shorter reach. Craig will demonstrate these advantages and the manner of fight to best exploit them.

About Craig

Craig Shackleton has been researching and training in medieval European combat since 1997. In 2000, he founded the organization which eventually became Ottawa Swordplay. Most of Craig's early sword training came from Scott Nichols, now of Peterborough Fencing Club. 

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