Historical fencing, like any martial art, is a great equalizer. Perhaps even more than any other martial art. Because weapons like swords negate a supposed male-physical superiority quickly, radically and clearly. While brute strength may be helpful at the beginning, it becomes less and less important as the skill progresses. This was already known in the 14th century.
„dorvm get lichtnawer fechten noch rechter vnd worhaftiger kunst dar / das eyn swacher mit syner kunst vnd list / als schire gesigt / als eyner starker mit syner sterke / worvm were anders kunst /“
For fencing becomes a real and true art when a weak man wins with his art and cunning as well as a strong man wins with his strength. Otherwise, it would not be an art.
8 March 2020 is International Women’s Day. It reminds our society that equality is far from being achieved. Although the New Marx Brothers have the male name of a medieval brotherhood from Frankfurt am Main, neither our attitude nor our thinking is medieval.
Therefore, together with the club Zornhau from Offenbach, we invite you to an event by women for women, or rather by fencers for fencers.
Date and Location
8 and 7 March 2020 from 10:00 (10:00 admission) to 20:00
Gymnasium of the Werner von Siemens School, Gutleutstraße 333-335, 60327 Frankfurt am Main
We got some limited space in the Frankfurt Youth Hostel for those who want to stay overnight. The space is in 4 beds rooms with a shower, where only fencers from this event stay. Register soon to take advantage of the special prices.
Support women in need!
The event is financed by the participation fees. Should there be a surplus, it will be donated in full to the Frankfurt association for the purpose of women’s shelters. The women’s shelters help women who are affected or threatened by violence or who are in a social emergency situation.
There will be a raffle at the event, with which we want to increase the donation. We raffle off vouchers, training weapons, equipment and much more. The normal price already includes the pre-order for a raffle ticket. The raffle tickets are sold exclusively at the event itself.
The “Women’s Day – Sword Day” is aimed at beginners and experienced fencers. Workshops, sparring and lectures are planned to which we have invited very successful external trainers. The topics will probably be long sword, long knife, wrestling and dagger. So a wide spectrum of historical fencing will be covered.
The program may change until the middle of February. We will keep this website up to date.
Sina Klausnitz (Germany)
Sina is not only a graduate restorer and the museum director of Mylau Castle, but is also well versed in the art of armed combat. Besides Taijutsu she leads a practice group for historical fencing. For the German Professional Association of Historical Fencing (DDHF) she has taken over the honorary position of Equal Opportunities Officer.
Lecture / discussion forum – in preparation
Sparring and more
In addition to the workshops and the forum, we want to offer two opportunities to improve your fencing skills and possibly break new ground.
- Coached sparring
In accompanied sparring, the fencers receive direct feedback from a trainer and can therefore immediately start improving.
- Choose Your Weapon
Here it is a matter of becoming familiar with weapons that are otherwise hardly or not at all practiced in training. You can get to know them for 10-15 minutes with a trainer or an experienced fencer who knows how to use them.
We are really happy to have these highly respected international workshop instructors at our event.
A good amount of workshops will be held in English because of the instructors not speaking German. Depending on the amount of international guest the other workshops will be held in English as well. All instructors are happy to assist in English, if the workshop language maybe German.
Karin Verelst (Belgium)
Karin has practiced historical fencing for over a dozen and martial arts for more than twenty years. She was the founding president of the Belgian HEMA Federation SBSN. She is a popular and successful workshop leader at several HEMA events like HEMAC Dijon. Karin’s focus is on the longsword, wrestling and dagger. Finally Karin is active as a researcher and scholar in studies of historical fencing. She holds her workshop in English, even though she speaks some German.
Workshop: Three tricks, they all to wrestling
The transmission of the oldest European combat systems poses particular problems in their interpretation as a system. Many basic topics, such as footwork and posture, are mentioned quickly or not at all. This could give the modern observer the wrong impression that the fighting systems of Liechtenauer and Fiore have no solid basis and are merely heuristic catalogues of more or less effective techniques. We will see that this is wrong: The techniques in Liechtenauer’s Rings and Fiores Abrazare reveal a distinct awareness of body mechanics and especially of the use of planes and axes of movement both in the construction and the efficient execution of techniques.
Our workshop will deal with some basic throws and take-downs as well as their counter-actions from both the wrestling and the abrazare curriculum. We will show how they can all be understood and learned effectively by considering the existence of three stable, transverse triangles along the longitudinal axis of the body. Performing a technique amounts to breaking the symmetry (structure) of one of these triangles in the position of the opponent, which changes the position of its central line and thus provides the opportunity to perform the technique successfully. Interestingly, the same structural requirements apply to unarmed combat and the two-handed longsword, although the difference in scale must be taken into account.
The workshop is suitable for beginners and advanced students and does not require any weapons or masks.
Gerhild Grabitzer (Austria)
Gerhild has been working on the subject of the Middle Ages in general and the long sword in particular for ten years. Show fight and armour fencing after Czyner were the beginning. With sport fencing and boxing she keeps herself fit and takes suggestions with her. Without armour she is on her way to Lichtenauer with the long sword.
Workshop Info – in preparation
Gerhild’s workshop will probably deal with the long sword. The content is still being worked out.
Deandra de Looff (Netherlands)
Instructor Info – in preparation
Deandra will hold her workshop in English.
Workshop 1 Shieldmaiden – Two Weapons
In this workshop we will focus on the struggle with the early medieval circular shield, commonly known as the “Viking” shield. The aim of the workshop is to familiarize the fencers with the fight with two weapons. Especially with the shield as second weapon. The fencers can be sure that you will leave the workshop not only with this understanding, but also with a feeling of amazement and interest for the weapon and a well-trained left shoulder. This workshop is very suitable for beginners in this weapon combination.
Workshop 2 Shieldmaiden – Working with the Shield
The second workshop focuses more on the shield and how it can be used in fencing. The shield can be used to bind the opponent so that the defence is opened. It can be used offensively to attack, or as a way to get into the scale without exposing. This workshop is intended for the participants of the first workshop, or for fencers with some experience with a second weapon like a shield or buckler.
It is required: Mask (optional: one-handed sword, light gloves, neck guard). We have some round shields for rent, but if you have a round shield with a diameter of about 75cm, please bring it with you.
Adina Mihaita (Romania)
Adina teaches longsword (German language sources) in Bucharest. She is a certified trainer (methods and practices for adult education) and is preparing for the trainer training program of the Academy for Physical Education and Sport in Bucharest. She has 7 years experience in Karate and trained sabre fencing for one year before she discovered HEMA in 2016. Adina will hold her workshops in English.
Workshop 1 Hips don’t lie
Basic principles of handling the longsword according to the sword mechanics (applied to the body of the modern woman). Exercises that focus on the correct cutting and moving.
Suitable for beginners and advanced swordsmen who know that you have to practice the basics over and over again.
Workshop 2 Sparring and Feedback
Coaching, constructive feedback and SMART-goal setting in HEMA with a practical approach in highly intensive thematic sparring exercises Requires full sparring equipment, but best of all it is applicable to any weapon. Coaching and goal setting are important, regardless of the weapon being studied.
Suitable for advanced and other fencers who have sparring experience and equipment
Dorothea Paulekuhn (Germany)
In 2001 Dorothea began to gain her first martial arts experience in karate. She has been fencing at Historisches Schwertfechten Nordhessen since 2013 and is particularly interested in long sword, dagger and rapier, but also in the theoretical and practical reconstruction of fencing techniques on horseback.
Workshop Info – in preparation