Winter War Maneuvers

It has been a long time since we posted anything about melee, so for a change of pace, I thought I’d provide a recap of a melee training that I ran recently. I was not initially planning on attending the event (5 hour drives are the new normal for event travel, but it’s a bit […]

So, You Want to Learn to Fence…

Actually, this will end up being more about learning in general, and how to effect skill and knowledge development as an autodidact. Most of us are, to one degree or another, self-taught, and so having a better understanding of how to learn without direct instruction is invariably useful.

Before we begin, you must accept and […]

HMA: Training Maxims

Recent holidays have prompted a reflective mood.

I began teaching formal HMA rapier classes in April of last year (mostly at the urging of a more senior HMA guy. When I protested that I didn’t know enough to teach, he assured me that knowing more than anyone else was good enough). I’d spent much of […]

Recruitment and Retention: because it is illegal and ineffective to kidnap people and make them fence me.

So at Master Wistric’s elevation I spoke with him about my time thus far as a Gleann Abhann rapier fighter. My sentiments were something along the line of “Well the events are very far away… blah blah blah when I do make it to events the rapier fighters only fight for a little bit and […]


Giacomo has a funny story he’ll tell. It goes something like this:

Determined to broaden his skills, one evening Giacomo decided to sew a seam on his pants. His wife set him up with a sewing machine, gave some basic instruction, and left him to it. Manfully, Giacomo applied himself to the task. He held […]

Relevant Factors

I’ve been asked to elaborate on an idea I had not too long ago, and I’ve found that it coincides well with a few other ideas I’ve been fleshing out recently, so all of those things are being combined here.

First, a simple assertion: height, more specifically reach, is very advantageous to fencing. Yes? I […]

Cognitive Distortions That Impede Improvement

Since you have a human brain, you should know that it does not really work all that well most of the time. Sure, it’s amazing and wondrous and a genuine marvel of evolution, but it is nonetheless marred by all sorts of biases that are very useful for keeping a hunter-gatherer alive and are less […]

My Weekend at Dante’s

The last week in January Gawin and I headed up to Maestro Dante’s for some one-on-one intensive training. Ben helped. Snow covered the ground and the wind chill had us in the single digits, but our love of Atlantia kept us warm.


We expected drills, and Dante delivered in spades; there were nine. These […]

Fencer Retention

It’s nearing that time of year when, according to longstanding tradition, we make improbably lofty promises to finally rein in our degenerate ways and become the paragons of courtesy, fitness, temperance, and/or martial excellence we all know we could be. It’s likewise nearing that time when we recognize that another year of degeneracy never hurt […]