The Cateran Society

An Comunn Ceatharnach

Four New Level I-Mentors


The Cateran Society is very proud to announce the successfull certification for Level I (Regimental Broadsword) of four members working in our Online Apprenticeship Program:
Lamont Glass, James Epperly, Randy Bayuk and Scott Goodgame of Black Bird Martial Arts (USA) are successfully certified as mentors for Level I. The training group already showed a very disciplined and technical skilled training with the Regimental Broadsword style and fullfilled the needed drills very good and also following all necessary corrections. All four fencers participated in two certification bouts each with fencers from other HEMA groups. They were bouting with Broadsword vs Broadsword and vs Long Messer. They all showed a very good technical understanding of the style and fought great bouts with good technique, honor and discipline.
Here you can see the bouts:


Congratulations, gentlemen, that was a really good job 🙂


Article on Military Sabre

We are happy to announce, that recently Broadsword Academy Germany instructor Heiko Grosse had the chance to write an article for the german history magazine Karfunkel Combat. The magazine is focussed on medieval history topics and published monthly. The combat issue focusses on military history and historical martial arts and is published once a year. Fpor the new issue Heiko wrote an article on the history and use of the Military Sabre (as well as Broadsword, Spadroon etc.). He already wrote an article on Donald McBane and the Battle of Killiecrankie for the issue of 2015.


Three new Mentor-Certifications

The Cateran Society is happy and proud to announce three new mentors certified within our Broadsword Academy program.

First of all Thomas Proctor, St.Louis, Missouri, USA is certified as Level II mentor (Old Style Broadsword). Thomas worked dedicated to achieve the next level and proofed in several certification bouts vs different opponents and styles, that he understood the basic and important principles of Level II. It is worth to note, that Thomas works every level of our curriculum ambidextrous, meaning with both right and left hand. Here you can see one of his certification bouts:

The second certification is for Andrey Yarovoy of the MacDougall Broadsword Academy in Krasnodar, Russia. Under the guidance of our Cateran Vitaliy Negoda MacDhùghaill, Andrey trained the Highland Broadsword, but originally he started on his own. Next to many other activities on the Cossack martial traditions, Andrey is a dedicated student of the Highland Broadsword. He won the 2016 Highland Broadsword tournament at the Highland Warrior Challenge at the Glasgow Green Highland Games in Glasgow, Scotland and was one of the organisers and referee of the Shermicii International Broadsword Tournament in 2017. He also was one of the oraganisers of Cuan na Scithia (The Cup of Scythia), the first Russian cup competition in the Scottish ancient and traditional warrior team sport of Camanachd (Shinty). He took the 2nd place at the Highland Warrior Challenge at the Glasgow Green Highland Games in 2017. He is certified as Level I mentor (Regimental Broadsword).


And finally the Broadsword Academy Manitoba, Canada is proud to announce that Justen Russell has been certified as a Mentor in Level 2 of our curriculum. This second level focuses on the Old Style of Highland Broadsword. Specifically the works of 18th Century swordsmen like Thomas Page, Donald McBane and Andrew Lonnergan.


Congratulations to all of you, gentlemen, well done!

Noble Science Germany I

The Noble Science event was founded by Martin Oz Austwick in UK over 5 years ago and is dedicated to the unarmed european combat traditions. Predrag Nicolic, long time instructor of Zornhau HEMA club with specialization on Medieval Wrestling, is one of the regular instructors there and the idea came up to establish national branch events of the Noble Science. So the Noble Science Germany I was born.


Predrag kindly invited me to this event after I taught a workshop on Highland Broadsword and Backhold Wrestling at the ZornFest, the summercamp of Zornhau e.V. I gladly accepted and after our great seminar with Zane Grey from paisley, Soctland in November, I was also boosted with input and highly motivated.


The Noble Science Germany I offered workshops on various european unarmed combat styles, like Pankration (Mark De Fazio), Bartitsu (Alex Kiermeyer), Savate Genovese (Oliver Janseps), Pugilism (Christoph Reinberger) and Medieval Wrestling (Predrag Nicolic). Unfortunately due to my work I only could attend the two day event on sunday. The seminars took place in the training halls of the Jugendherbergszentrum Ronneburg, which is a combination of youth hostel and sportscamp with indoor and outdoor gyms and fields, sauna, swimming pool etc. The training halls have big windows with an amazing view on the nearby Ronneburg Castle and the surounding beautiful landscape. Great atmosphere to train.


I headed to Ronneburg in the early morning and after breakfast my workshop on Highland Wrestling started. I introduced the participants to the basic stance and rules of Highland Wrestling and we trained to push, pull and change position from the Backhold. After that we started to fight for position and to get under the left arm with our shoulder to lift and throw the partner from there. After that we trained if we cannot go under the left arm of our opponent with our right shoulder, turning into a headlock. From there we trained a simple throw. We also trained a simple tripping takedown and the position were it is best used. The final technique I showed the attendants was the Backheel technique.


Here you can see impressions of the seminar:

The seminar ended with some Highland Wrestling bouts and I was happy to see many participants attending. The fighters were able to put into practice what we trained before and so we all enjoyed some really nice bouts. Of course, I did my part and also had a bout, which was great fun. Here you can see some of the highlights:

After my own workshop there was a class on classical Pugilism with instructor Christoph Reinberger. Being a Pugilism enthusiast since I became interested in HEMA, this was a highlight for me. The class was really interesting and we learned some important basics with bareknuckle punches, parrys and ducking as well as the Chancery hold, escaping the Chancery and the cross-buttock throw from the full chancery hold. It was awesome.


After lunch I had to leave the event back to work. It was a great first Noble Science in Germany and I hope many will follow. I want to thank Predrag and Zornhau for the invitation and organisation of the event and also all instructors and participants. It was great to meet some old friends and making new ones.

(All pictures by Zornhau e.V.)


New Level 3 Mentor: Chris Dyer (USA)

Chris Dyer (USA) has earned the certification as a 3nd degree mentor. He already has established a regular Broadsword class in his own club, Reborn Fitness ( Chris showed his skills with Broadsword and Targe and other Double weapons like Sword and Dirk in his regular training reports. His successfull certification bout with Sword and Targe versus Rapier and Dagger under the guidance of his mentor Heiko Grosse can be seen here:

Congratulations, Chris, well done.


Highland Wrestling Seminar


The Broadsword Academy Germany was very happy to invite Zane Grey from Paisley, Scotland (yes, THE Paisley where fencing master Archibald Macgregor lived) to hold a workshop on Highland Wrestling or Scottish Backhold Wrestling. It was part of the 13th Human Pankration workshop Hessen, kindly hosted by our friend Mark De Fazio at the Asiafitnesspark Dietzenbach, not far from our own gym.

The day started with a workshop on stand-up fighting with strikes and kicks based on the ancient greek/roman pankration style by Mark and later followed by our friend Thorsten from the Krav Maga Union Team, who showed aspects of takedowns and groundfighting basing on Pankration, but also Catch-as-catch-can Wrestling.

Zane and me arrived at time to Thorsten´s workshop, unfortunately we missed Mark´s part. I picked-up Zane at his hotel near the main station in Frankfurt and we headed over to Dietzenbach, which is not that far, but takes a while. During the drive we already had time to talk a lot about Highland Wrestling, Scotland and everything else which came in mind. Zane is a great guy, not only physically, but a really nice guy with a big heart.

Zane and me where building a training-team, when we paired up for Thorsten´s techniques. I was really lucky, because as an experienced wrestler, Zane helped me a lot to understand and performe the several techniques we trained with Thorsten. He started with Judo as a kid, but also trained Freestyle Wrestling and Catch-as-catch-can before he started with the scottish style of Wrestling. So a lifetime of experience he shared kindly with me.

We did level-changes against different punch attacks and closing the distance to get into clinch-position. From here we trained a variation of a single-leg and hip-takedown and various positions on the ground to dominate and control the opponent. We also did an arm-lock and leg-lock from there. It was really great for me, because I did not train wrestling and groundfighting for at least one year due to several injuries.

After a break the workshop on Highland Wrestling started. Zane gave us a really interesting insight to the history and culture of the scottish wrestling style. Listening to him was like a travel back in time and the stories about shieldmaidens on the western islands, highland clans and gatherings where really entertaining and interesting. Especially the warrior academy called “Fortress of Shadows” was amazing the audience and participants.


Then the practical part started. Several students and instructors from different martial arts and sports where taking part at this event, not only as participants, but also some spectators joined to watch from outside the mats. I was really happy to meet the first instructor again who introduced me to wrestling in general some years ago (before that I had only done some groundfighting). He is now teaching a german league wrestling team and was really interested to see the Backhold style in action.

Zane taught us the basic grip and stance of Highland Wrestling, which is already interesting itself. You have to hold your opponent with your  left arm over his right and your right arm under his left. This over- & underhook-position is where the fight starts. Zane explained to us, that this style is easy for beginners as well, because they are “forced” to take the closest hold in wrestling right when they start. Other wrestling styles starting from the outside position with no hold give the chance to “run away” and avoid a clinch for a long time.


Another speciality of Backhold wrestling is, that once the hands are closed in the grip, the wrestlers are not allowed to let go. So if one fighter breaks his grip, he looses the round. This not only demands a lot of strength and hard grip, but also gives interesting possibilities to perform throws and trips. The reason for this traditional grip could be, that in weapon combat if a grappling situation happens, you do not want to give your enemy the chance to use his weapon or pull out a dagger.

We trained from here basic exercises of pushing, pulling and spinning, which is all important to perform big powerfull throws and stand very good grounded. Zane showed us the Backheel throw, a headlock-throw, a simple, but effective tripping technique and some other techniques.


You can see the complete video of the seminar here:

The training day ended with some bouts between the participants, which where a lot of fun and we had the chance to use some of the material we´ve learned before (or tried to use it):

The seminar ended way to fast, because it was really interesting. Zane is an excellent wrestler and teacher and we all were amazed by his workshop. Although I´ve already trained some other wrestling styles before a bit, but Highland Wrestling with the Backhold-grip is really the most exhausting in my opinion. But it is great fun too 🙂

After I picked-up Zane´s lovely family at his hotel, we´ve met again with some of the attendants and instructors to have a traditional german dinner at the Sonnenhof Restaurant. It was a wonderfull evening with very good food, lots of conversation and laughing, some hardcore Hessian special dishes 😉 and good beer and applewine.

The next morning we´ve met again with some of my students and guests from the seminar to have two hours of Highland Broadsword practice at our regular dojo. I introduced Zane and the other guests to the basic footwrok, cuts and guards with the Broadsword, later we did some advanced techniques and close-quarter fighting too.


Time passed to quickly and in the early afternoon I drove Zane and his family back to their hotel and had to say goodbye until the next time. And for sure there will be a next time 🙂 Highland Wrestling is not only a lot of fun and exhausting combat style, but also there are many deep connections to our scottish swordsmanship, which Zane and me want to uncover in future more and more. So the exchange between Wrestling and Swordsmanship will go on, as will our friendship 🙂

Thanks a lot to Zane for coming all the long way to us from Scotland, thanks to Mark and Thorsten to make that happen and their workshops too. Also many thanks to all participants and spectators for a great weekend.


1. St. Martin Conference, Blademuseum

Dr. Sixt Wetzler, the co-director of the German Blademuseum in Solingen ( kindly invited me to participate at this conference, after we met at the 5th International Sabre Symposium in Hamburg. The conference was the first of a series bringing together interenational researches on bladed weapons and martial arts. The topic of this first event was “Fight Books in comparative perspective”. I had the chance to present a poster on the use of Highland Broadsword and Targe after Donald McBane and Thomas Page in comparison to the Penicuik-Sketches. It was a great honor for me to represent our combat art next to the many international academics and experts there.


I was heading to Solingen by train and my personal highlight was to travel along the Rhine River Valley with its marvelous castles and beautiful old towns. Although I already visited the Rhine several times and know its beauty, I never had the chance to drive through by train, which is a special experience, even in November, when the foggy, rainy weather and the colored leafs of the trees made it a mystical experience.

In Solingen I was kindly picked up by our B&B host Mrs. Wirth and my friend Adrian Baschung, who is working for the Swiss National Museum in Zürich. We already know each other since a seminar on german sabre fencing with our friend Marcus Hampel and also had a good time at the last ISS. Mrs. Wirth kindly drove us to the museum, which is in the old town of Solingen.

Solingen, as many know of course, was one of the most famous centers for blade smiths in Germany next to Passau. Many blades for Highland Broadswords where produced here. And still it is known for its excellent knife blades of course. I already visited the museum many years ago for an exhibition on japanese blades, but I forgot a lot, so it was cool to be there again.


The conference was a gathering of various experts from different fields and there where excellent talks and presentations by all speakers there. Some highlights for me were the analysis of grappling scenes in old Norse Sagas by Qays Stetkevych, M.A. (University of Cardiff/Iceland), the Judicial combat in mid-13th century Catalonia by Cornel-Peter Rodenbusch, M.A. (University of Barcelona / University of Tübingen), the talk by Henry Yallop, M.A. (Royal Armouries Leeds) about the training manuals of the British Cavalry, Dr. Bok Kyu Choi´s (Korean Institute for Martial Arts) keynote about the illustrated martial arts manuals from Korea and the presentation of an old fight book of the Yagyu-Shinkage-Ryu by Michael Mattner, M.A. But all the other talks and presentations where very interesting too. For a complete list, please see the following link:

The presentation of my own poster worked well and I have the feeling, that the participants liked what I did. It was the first time for me to attend such a conference and do a presentation in this specific way, but I am happy with the result.


Another highlight of course was the exhamination of old fencing books, owned by the musuem, but not shown to the public normally in their collection. We were allowed to read, photograph and film the books. The museum owns a fine collection of famous originals like fight books by Thibault, Angelo, Marozzo and many others. One highlight for me was an old kendo-manual from the second half of the 19th century. But as I was told, there are many other fight books in their storage to be explored in future.

Of course the weapon collection of the Blademuseum itself is amazing and we had the chance to walk as much as we wanted through the museum even after regular closing time. Greek, Celtic, Roman, germanic and Viking swords are presented as well as many medieval and renaissance weapons, lots of Sabres and Smallswords and of course wonderfull knifes. To have a look at the museums collection, here is the video:

For all the photos I kindly invite you to visit my facebook-photoalbum:


In the evening we had an awesome Indian buffet and it was cool to have it while sitting at tables in their weapon collection. After that many of the attendants headed to a nice Irish Pub around the corner and celebrated and discussed more with good Irish beer and other things.

It was an honor for me to participate at this event and I would like to thank Dr. Wetzler again for his invitation as well as his collagues of the museum for the great job to host this conference. Congratulations and gratitude to all speakers and researchers as well as participants there, it was truely a great experience. I am also happy how many great contacts were possible to made there and the connection of researchers of all kinds is amazing. I am looking forward to exchange and discuss with them more in future.

All pictures and video with kind permission of the


New Broadsword Video Series

The Broadsword Academy Manitoba and the Broadsword Academy Germany started two new video series recently.

Jay Maas will guide you through the Lessons of Thomas Page (1746):

And Heiko Große just started videos on the practical use of Broadsword and Targe according to Donald McBane (1728), Thomas Page (1746) and the Penicuik-Sketches (1745/46) and other sources:

New Cateran in Canada

The Cateran Council is happy to announce, that Jay Maas of the Broadsword Academy Manitoba is certified as Cateran. Jay is a dedicated student of the Highland Broadsword and other scottish weapons and very good instructor to the students of his group.

He showed his high technical level and deep understanding of our art in several sparring bouts with his students, but also befriended instructors from other schools. He fought not only with the Broadsword, but a wide range of weapons like the Dirk, Kopesh and others, as well as in unarmed Pugilism. He well deserved the position as Constable of the Galloglass recently. Here is one example of a very fine bout with Stoccata-instructor and Broadsword-veteran Paul Wagner (Australia):

Jay did a great job with his instructional video series, interpreting and teaching the Broadsword lessons of Captain G. Sinclair´s “Anti-Pugilism” (1790) and showed the deep historical insight needed as a Cateran in our art. Here you can see his complete instructional video series:

We are very proud of Jay and looking forward to see more of him in future. Well done, Jay, congratulations!

New Video section and Channel

The Cateran Council decided together with Cateran-founder Chris Thompson to restart on youtube with a new official video channel. This incluedes a new section on this blog page, which is “Instructional videos” (link see below).

In this section we will present to you our instructional videos from the official Cateran Society youtube-channel, but also from branch schools of our society. These are instructional videos for the Broadsword Academy Apprenticeship Program, full interpretations of historical manuals and also little training videos with helpfull adivces and detailed help on specific topics by all Caterans taking part.


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