Mike Prendergast has participated in training, events and tournaments in Europe and the U.S. Initially studying Bolognese fencing, he has moved to specialise in the rapier style of Nicoletto Giganti. Mike has achieved the highest rank as a fencer in the SCA and is a Prefect of the Drachenwald Academy of Defence. He has also received the Society’s highest award for historical research and skill – the Order of the Laurel – for his work in interpreting and training historical fencing. Mike instructs in rapier and longsword with the SCA Shire of Dun in Mara and leads training in fifteenth century Italian martial arts with the recently-formed Historical Combat Academy, both in Dublin Ireland.
Foundation class – Rapier and Dagger principles and tactics according to Giganti
In this workshop we will work from Giganti’s initial tactical principles and advice through to his specific plays or drills to enable the fencer to apply these principles effectively in free fencing.
This workshop is suitable both for those who are new to rapier and dagger as well as for more experienced fencers looking for ways to enhance their rapier and dagger game.
Advanced – A Forgotten Weapon
The rapier is generally considered most effective when paired with a companion weapon. Daggers are very popular, also used are paired swords, cloaks, rotellas and even lanterns. However from the end of the Bolognese era in the late sixteenth century to the late seventeenth century one of the most popular medieval defensive arms is oddly lacking from rapier treatises – the buckler.
In this workshop we will examine the use of the bucker as a sidearm for rapier, referring to plays from a variety of manuals and presenting a system for its use.
(Some bucklers will be available for borrowing on the day, should participants be lacking one.)
Reinier van Noort
Reinier van Noort started modern (foil) fencing in 2003, but after being introduced to Medieval European Martial Arts in the summer of 2005 his life was changed forever. From 2005 until 2010, Reinier trained in longsword and other medieval martial arts with groups in the Netherlands, and since 2007 he has been increasingly active as a trainer. From 2008 until 2011 Reinier has also trained Kadochnikov Systema. In 2010 Reinier founded the School voor Historische Schermkunsten, the first HEMA school to focus on rapier fencing in the Netherlands. Reinier has published a number of translations of mainly 17th century fencing treatises.
Foundation – On being lazy
Fencing with the single rapier can be a complex and tiring activity – closing the line, parrying, disengaging, lunging, etc. In this workshop, which is based on the works of Bruchius and l’Ange, we will explore how using posture and basic principles we can be as lazy as possible in our fencing. Key questions will be “What do I need to achieve?”, and “What is the minimal effort I need to achieve that?” (while of course a more advanced question would be “What is the maximum beneficent effect I can achieve with the minimal effort?”).
Advanced – Caminiren, or Proceeding with Resolution
In the second part of his seminal work, Fabris describes a manner of fencing based on a continuous approach towards the opponent until he is hit. This Andare di Risolutione can be found in several subsequent German treatises as “Caminiren (mit der Resolution)”. In this workshop, we will look at this Caminiren, based on the works by Pascha, Schmidt, and Fabris. First, we will establish some basic principles, and next we will work on one of the rules. Throughout, we will also look at how Caminiren corresponds with the basic principles of other rapier styles.
Courtney Rice co-founded Valkyrie WMAA with David Packer in 2012. She has trained in Western Martial Arts for over a decade, and was the first woman to attain the prestigious Red Cord rank at Academie Duello. As one of the school’s top fighters, she has a well-deserved reputation as a fearsome wrestler with a killer guillotine, and has also demonstrated a high level of skill with the rapier and longsword. After a brief period of training for competitive Mixed Martial Arts, Courtney has shifted her focus to teaching and training within her own community. She has graduated from both Emily Carr University of Art and Design and will be the official photographer for the event.
Foundation – Strength and Mobility for Swordfighters
The workshop will begin with an introduction to gymnastic strength training and body postures, to help you develop an at-home exercise routine to build upper-body, back, and abdominal strength. We’ll use those foundations to build a solid, comfortable posture in the guard and lunge that’s suited to your body.
For the second half of the workshop, we’ll take the static positions and put them in motion. A series of footwork and mobility exercises will break your body out of its habitual movement patterns, and leave you with a new way to think about how your body moves and its relationship to your sword and your opponent.
David runs the London Longsword academy & Boar’s Tooth fight schools, he is a full time swordsmanship instructor in London. He teaches many things, you may have heard of him.
For his workshops Dave will be working on he exercises of Luis Diaz de Viedma in two parts. The first part will be on the method, the second workshops on the movements of conclusions.
Marco is best known for his work as a swordmaker but has also been an active fencer in different clubs, for the past ten plus years, during his travels (Fisas; Associazione Romana d’Armi; Macdonald Accademy of Arms; Sussex Sword Accademy). The rapier has been the main focus of his studies both from the point of view of the intrinsic dynamics of the weapon and how those affect the fencing techniques.
Foundation – Controlling the central line
Finding the sword, binds, oppositions, controtempo and everything you need to know (or we have time to do) to create your opportunity to attack and counter-attack whilst avoiding a hit.
Q&A – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about swords, but were afraid to ask.
Marco will be giving a Q&A for one of his slots:
We will be taking your questions on the day and Marco will answer as many as he can in the time allowed. Ask anything, except for when your sword will arrive…
Rob Runacres is the lead instructor at the Renaissance Sword Club. His main passions are for rapier and sidesword, styles which span the mid sixteenth to late seventeenth centuries. He has taught a variety of workshops in Europe and the United States, including rapier and cloak, rapier and dagger and sidesword and dagger.
The main historical masters he studies are Salvator Fabris, François Dancie, Girolamo Cavalcabo, Francisco Lórenz de Rada and Giovanni dall’Agocchie, as well as other Italian, French and Spanish sources. He has translated a number of French treatises, including L’Espée de Combat (Dancie, 1623),Treatise or Instruction for Fencing (Hieronyme Cavalcabo 1597) and Le Maistre D’Arme Liberal (Besnard, 1653).’
Advanced – All in the Hips: Offline Movement & Alternative Plays in Rapier & Dagger
Rapier and dagger is a dynamic form that can be argued to allow great range of movement than in sword alone. This workshop will introduce students to alternative forms of movement to those of the traditional lunge, girata and pass. This will derive from mechanics of late sixteenth and early seventeenth century French and Italian Masters, such as Dall’Aggochie, Cavalcabo, Dancie and Fabris, as well as new research from the manuscript ascribed to Pedro De Heredia.
Francesca Terminiello is lead instructor at The School of the Sword’s Godalming chapter, having studied Bolognese swordplay and rapier since 2010. She has a further interest and some experience in renaissance dagger-fighting, Bartitsu and BJJ. Fran has instructed at several high-profile events in Britain, Europe and the US; and has placed and won in a number of international tournaments.
Foundation – Picking up the rapier: your first encounter.
Many people are coming to the IRS2016 for a full immersion in rapier. If you have only ever looked at a rapier or barely held one, this is for you. This workshop will take you from the ground up, and give you an overview in rapier philosophy and practice. From the anatomy of the sword, the grip, postures and movements, this class aims to make you rapier savvy and begin those first steps towards understanding the weapon and its concepts.
Matt has been studying with the School since 2011 and in 2014 established a new chapter in Reading. Teaching primarily rapier and its companion weapons from sources such as Franceso Alfieri and Salvatore Fabris, Matt also has a particular interest in the application of rapier & cloak. Matt has competed and placed in multiple tournaments in the UK and Ireland.
Advanced – The versatility of Fabris’ cloak
An introduction to using the cloak as both an offensive and defensive weapon based on Salvator Fabris’s 1606 treatise. In this class you will learn how to use the cloak tactically for defence, to exploit tempi, invite with an opening, find the opponent’s sword, deal with cuts and how to throw the cloak.
Requirements – A rapier and a cloak, large towel or other large piece of fabric.
Piermarco is an instructor at the School of the Sword, Godalming UK. His research interest is focused on sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian swordplay. He has an extensive knowledge of technical manuals from the period, including a number of widely overlooked works. Along with Kevin Maurer he was recognised as “Best Researcher” in the inaugural HEMA Scholar Awards of 2013.
Among other research, he has unearthed and translated (co-authored) the “lost” second book of Nicoletto Giganti (1608), unearthed the lengthy manuscript treatise of Giovanni Battista Maffani (1629) not listed in any fencing bibliography, published an English translation (co-authored) of Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri’s La Scherma (1640); a transcription and English translation of Giuseppe Colombani’s L’Arte maestra (1711); and a transcription of the Biblioteca Trivulziana Cod.256 (c.1680).
Pim has enjoyed success as a competitive fencer, winning a number of international competitions, primarily in the disciplines of single rapier, and rapier and dagger, including winning gold twice at the rapier and dagger competition at Swordfish in consecutive years.
Pim will be available for tutored sparring and one-to-one coaching during the freeplay periods throughout the weekend.