Presenting useful information on the workshops at the Convention. A bit about the instructors, compulsory equipment and recommended equipment on said workshops.

Please take it as read that all weapons are to be blunt. If you want a gauge to determine bluntness, think of how you'd like your naked hand run along the edges and points.

The instructors of the NZ WMA Convention.


Listing those teaching workshops

A very brief bio and workshops each individual instructor will be undertaking and equipment requirements for those workshops.

Introducing Bob Charron

Bob is our guest presenter at the 2008 Convention. He hails all the way from Wisconsin in the good ol' USA. Bob is recognised as a, if not the, foremost expert on the subject of 14/15th century Italian master of arms, Fiore dei Liberi. Fiore dei Liberi was the instructor at arms to Nicolo d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. His book, Flower of Battles, is comprehensive in covering over 300 individual techniques over a variety of subject matter.
Bob runs his own school, called the St. Martin's Academy and has been a key WMA presenter at numerous overseas conventions for many years. We are delighted in having Bob here in New Zealand at long last. This has been a plan since 2003 and only now have we been able to execute this plan. Bob is a fantastic and enjoyable teacher that we can personally attest to. We believe we are spoiling, you the attendee, rotten with Bob.
Bob will not only cover the physical aspects behind the three known manuscripts of Flower of Battles, but also the philosophy and noble education that are heavily intertwined with this system. It is truly a delight to behold.

The unarmed section or abrazare of Flower of Battles

Fiore dei Liberi starts off two of the three manuscripts with wrestling. So we are starting off with wrestling. When we state wrestling we are not just restricting ourselves to what most people think of wrestling, but also includes all manner of strikes and dirty tricks (by modern standards)
No special equipment is required. Just wear something that can withstand the rigours of wrestling.

Dagger according to Flower of Battles

The dagger section actually comprises the largest portion of Flower of Battles. As such we would be remiss to omit such a large chunk of Fiore dei Liberi's system.
For this workshop you need a dagger-like weapon. Ideally do not use steel as steel is extremely unforgiving and painful if you neglect to take in the health of your training companion. The ideal piece of equipment is a wooden dowel of approximately 18 inches (45 cm) length.

A fencing mask is recommended, but not required.

Sword in one hand

The sword in one hand on foot material is actually quite short in the manuscripts, but due to the general love of this weapon in the community we are thoroughly covering its use.
For this workshop you need an appropriate weapon. The depictions of this sword are identical to the longsword section so if you only have the longsword, don't fret.
Recommended equipment are (hard) wooden wasters, a padded jacket and a fencing mask.

Sword in two hands

The second longest portion of the mauscripts is the longsword. This is also what most people are after when they think of medieval fighting. However all the prior material on Fiore dei Liberi up to this point is fundamental. Fiore dei Liberi wrote an unified system (hard cheese Professor Stephen Hawking, they thought about this in 1409AD). Everything you learn in unarmed, dagger, and sword in one hand is applicable to the longsword, and consequently what you will learn in longsword is applicable to the rest.
For this workshop you need an appropriate weapon.
Recommended equipment are (hard) wooden wasters, a padded jacket and a fencing mask.

Introducing Callum Forbes

Callum is the head instructor for the Upper Hutt School of European Martial Arts, owner/manager of the Upper Hutt Martial Arts Academy and President of the Kukjae Hapkido Federation of New Zealand. Callum holds a 6th Dan in Hapkido which he has been studying and teaching for over 25 years. Callum is also the secretary of the International Jousting Association and is one of the driving forces behind the resurgence of jousting as a modern sport around the world. Callum's interest in Western Martial Arts began in 1997 with attending a workshop on George Silver in Australia. He would later specialise in Tower Manuscript I.33 Sword and buckler and Fiore dei Liberi's unarmed portion (and you can probably guess one of the main proponents of getting Bob Charron over here).

Tower Manuscript I.33 (sword and buckler)

This anonymous German manuscript written mostly in medieval Latin is the oldest known European fencing treatise. It was written circa 1300AD with dates ranging from 1280 through to 1340. It is a highly detailed and complex system of plays between a priest and his student, and eventually between the priest and Saint Walpurgis (a woman). The manuscript only covers sword and buckler, but don't let that fool you into thinking it is simple. It is staggeringly involved and will challenge any myths one might have about the crudeness of European medieval fighting.
You will need a sword and a buckler for this workshop.
Highly recommended is a fencing mask or equivalent. I.33 is a face seeking system
Recommended are padded jackets, leather gloves, and wooden wasters.

Re-introducing Colin McKinstry

Colin was the former head instructor of the Auckland School of European Martial Arts, and is now the head instructor of the Wellington School of European Martial Arts. He is also the informal president of the New Zealand Schools of European Martial Arts due to no one voting or no one else doing it. He has been actively pursuing the reconstruction of European Martial Arts since 1997 and has been badgering other people into doing it since 1998. His specialities are numerous due to having no life outside Western Martial Arts.

Capo Ferro (Italian) rapier

In 1610AD Ridolfo Capo Ferro produced one of the most famous fencing treatises of all time Gran Simulacro dell'arte e dell'uso della Scherma. It covers the weapon which the English called rapier. It is regularly cited as a text that helped evolve into modern fencing, however do not be fooled into thinking it is modern fencing. While a modern fencer might be at home with some of the techniques, there are many that will astound. This workshop will only be focussing on this fencing treatise.
You will need a long rapier and fencing mask for this workshop. It is quite impossible to do this workshop without a fencing mask.
Recommended comes a padded jacket and leather gloves.

Bare knuckle boxing

These workshops will focus on numerous boxing treatises concentrating on the London Prizefighting system. The system that predated the Marquis of Queensbury rules from which modern boxing is descended. While there are some commonalities to modern boxing London Prize fighting is quite a different beast. This style is also well suited to self defence and for those wanting self defence this is a very good style to learn.
No special equipment is required, however a boxing mask and extremely basic martial art padded gloves are helpful to beginners.

Self defence with a walking stick!

This style of French la canne differs from the more formal Gentlemanly oriented version. This style was designed for the street to be used against all manner of thugs. This was a system first devised by Pierre Vigny towards the end of the nineteenth century.
A metre long hard wood stick or walking stick is required equipment.
A fencing mask comes with strong recommendation.

Introducing Marinus Ferreira

Marinus comes from the Martial Art Combat Society in Pretoria, South Africa where the speciality is the Liechtenaur corpus of material. A particular passion of Marinus is the langes messer or in English the falchion alongside the German longsword. He is currently a student of the University of Auckland and instructor of messer at the Auckland School of European Martial Arts.

German falchion or messer
In the 15th century a priest by the name of Johannes Leckuchner wrote two treatises exclusively on the messer. Marinus' material of work will be covering the 16th century reprint of Leckuchner (Lebkommer) as well as the Dusack material from 16th century fechtmeister Joachim Meyer. The messer forms a critical part of the Liechtenaur corpus material for those interested in the late medieval German guild of fencing.
Given that falchions are quite rare for most people single handed swords will suffice.
Wooden wasters, fencing masks, padded jackets, and leather gloves come with strong recommendation.

Re-introducing Tristan Leslie

Trisan was the former head instructor of the Hamilton School of European Martial Arts and is currently an instructor at the Auckland School of European Martial Arts where he teaches German longsword and his particular speciality Burgundian pollaxe. Tristan has even undertaken learning 15th century Burgundian French so he could (and did) translate the anonymous Burgundian manuscript Le Jeu de la hache d'armes.

Burgundian Pollaxe

These workshops will be focus on the anonymous Burgundian manuscript Le Jeu de la hache d'armes and on Tristan's personal translation of said manuscript. This style of pollaxe is particularly interesting as it was focussed on tournament fighting. Even more fascinating that this sport was rather lethal where the main targets are where either the armour is deficient or non-existing. OSH would have had a field day back then!
Ideally you will have a pollaxe. Ideas for making a safe pollaxe can be found here and here. It is possible to do these workshops with a 6ft long hardwood dowel if those instructions prove too difficult.
Coming strongly recommended is either a hockey goalie or fencing mask.

On a final note we will be endeavouring to bring excess equipment. However we cannot be expected to provide enough equipment for everyone. If you want to maximise your chances of participation, it is recommended you secure your own weapons and also the recommended equipment.
We look forward to seeing you there,
- The Upper Hutt and Wellington Schools of European Martial Arts team