The Cateran Society

An Comunn Ceatharnach

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.


BAG at ZornFest 2017

The Broadsword Academy Germany was invited to teach a class on Highland Broadsword and Highland Backhold Wrestling at the Summercamp of Zornhau e.V. in Ronneburg, near the castle of the same name. Zornhau is one of the oldest HEMA-clubs in Germany, real pioneers who focussing on medieval swordsmanship and weapons and wrestling. Due to they are the BAG´s neighbour club the pathes of our groups often crossed within the last years, holding a seminar on Highland Dirk, exchanging in sparring and with their several instructors. Zornhau and the BAG want to work together more in future.


The workshops was in two parts, first we did Backhold Wrestling Basics with several warm-up games and studied some techniques like the Backheel-technique, the hank and Buttock. After that we gave the Zornhau members a Best of Broadsword-workshop of another 1,5 hours to show them the wide range of Highland Swordsmanship.

It was an entertaining and great training day, thanks to all Zornhau instructors and participants.

The workshop ended with a Broadsword bout to show the audience how the concepts work in freeplay. Even the connection to Backhold Wrestling became obvious with a takedown at the end of the bout, a Backheel technique.

Highland Broadsword Crash-Course

Beginners who pick up the Broadsword and start their training often asked themselfs, where to start. Of course, the Broadsword-Lessons of the Cateran Society are always a good start. However for a basic understanding of the fundamental principles that all manuals share, this video crash course by our Level IV-Mentor Jay Maas (Broadsword Academy Manitoba, Canada), is a great start:

It is not only interesting for those starting in our Apprenticeship Program, but also for anyone generally interested in martial arts and history, who would like to know what Broadsword fencing is all about.

Summer-Seminars in Germany

The Broadsword Academy Germany was invited to various seminars this summer. At the Krav Maga Crosscamp in Günzburg (Bavaria) they held a class on the Highland Broadsword use. Thanks a lot to the Krav Maga Union and especially our friend Thorsten Schindler for the inviation. Thanks to all participants and instructors.

In Dietzenbach the BAG held a seminar on fighting with the Scottish Dirk. We were invited by Mark DeFazio, who is an instructor for Human Pankration and Jujutsu next to other martial arts. Mark was giving a seminar on Traditional Italian Knife Fighting and after that we introduced the participants to the Dirk. It was a very interesting and entertaining seminar day. Thanks a lot to Mark, the Asia Fitnesspark and all participants.

New Mentor in Canada

The Cateran Society is happy to announce that  Dana Sweetman (Aurora, Canada) earned his Level 1 certification. Dana is a dedicated student of the Highland Broadsword under the mentorship of Heiko Grosse since 2014.


Dana not only proofed his fighting skills and technical level in several bouts against other martial artists, he also runs a continuously growing Broadsword-class with dedication, helping his students to improve their skills more and more.


Besides the single sword, Dana already worked with Broadsword & Dagger, Broadsword & Targe and the scottish Clamshell-Greatsword too. Here you can see some of his work:

Congratulations, Dana, well done!

New Level 2 Mentor

Chris Dyer (USA) has earned the certification as a 2nd degree mentor. Chris proofed his technical level and skills in several certification bouts under the guidance of his mentor Heiko Grosse. Chris used the Highland Broadsword in old style against various armed opponents. Weapons he faced were the  Sabre, Rapier and Arming Sword. He has also established a regular Broadsword class in his own club, Reborn Fitness ( too. He will move on in the program with Level 3 (Broadsword and Targe, Double weapons).


Congratulations, Chris, good job.

New Level 2 mentor certification at the West Finland Broadsword Academy

We are pleased to share a new promotion for the West Finland Broadsword Academy:


Tero Ulvinen has earned his certification as a 2nd degree mentor. Tero is not only a dedicated student of the Highland Broadsword under the guidance of Timo Seppälä (Cateran and WFBA head-instructor), but also a very good mounted archer and swordsman. He also won the Hakkaa Päälle mounted broadsword tournament of the Equestrian Martial Arts Club in 2016.

Tero proofed his technical level and combative skills in several certification bouts under the guidance and supervision of Timo Seppälä (Cateran, WFBA head-instructor). Tero used different weapons including spear, sword and shield and Highland Broadsword against four opponents from the Viking Society Wolves of Faravid. He fought 12 bouts altogether, with the Broadsword alone in Old-Style Tero fought 4 bouts. The main certification bout of three minutes fighting time was with Juha Ojala.

Great job! Congratulations!

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