The Cateran Society

An Comunn Ceatharnach

Archive for the month “December, 2018”

Cateran Society 2018 – Recap

The year 2018 was a great one for the Cateran Society and the Broadsword Academy Germany. Our numbers are growing constantly and we have many dedicated groups and members, participants in the Online Apprenticeship Program and good contacts to many HEMA groups worldwide. The Cateran Society can be proud to have Caterans, Mentors and apprentices all over the world, in Canada, USA, Russia, Indonesia, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Germany and more, all dedicated to training and research. So it is no wonder, that with the constant progress we were able to certify a lot of new mentors and Caterans this year. Another amazing thing was two members of our program participating in the TV show “Forged in Fire – Knife or Death”, a sword cutting test show. Kenneth Tucker´s episode 5 of season 2 already aired on October 31, while Joshua Campbell will be seen in Season3. You can see Ken´s performance here. Congratulations again to all of you.

 

In the field of research the biggest achievement was publishing the book „Scorners of Death“, which is dealing with arms, armor and combat methods of the medieval gaelic warriors in Scotland and Ireland. This co-authored project by Christopher Scott Thompson, Randall Gustits, the late Ken Pfrenger and me was published by Falling Rook Publishing in Scotland, thanks to Keith Farrell and his team, who did a great job. So the book is in the best hands and in its „homecountry“ 🙂 More informations here. Additionally I was proud to see my article on the History and Use of the Military Sabre fully published in the german historical magazine Karfunkel Combat No. 14.

 

I would also like to thank Jay Maas, Cateran of the Broadsword Academy Manitoba and point out his hard and dedicated work. No one within the Cateran Society (and also outside) was so active in making full video interpretations of various Broadsword manuals and much more. He also makes it possible, that the first Cateran Society Broadsword Gathering will happen in Canada 2019.

 

Another amazing project was to create a training Broadsword prototype with Chris Adams of Balefire Blades. This was a new experience for us and it was awesome to exchange with Chris and work out the marvelous Angelo prototype, which will result in a final model soon.

 

The BAG was also very active in teaching and promoting our combat arts at various national and international seminars and workshops. 12 workshops and events in total, giving classes and seminars on various topics. We taught Highland Broadsword and Backhold Wrestling at the Krav Maga Crosscamp, Human Pankration Workshops and Ars Martialis Workshops in Hesse and Bavaria. We held a seminar with the Freifechter in Cologne on Sword and Targe and I participated again at the Noble Science Germany II hosted by Zornhau to teach Highland Wrestling. We also did a class on the Highland Charge at the Dog Brothers Woodscamp. We also invited over our friend and brother Mark De Fazio to widen our horizont and learning some Italian Knife Fighting.

 

An absolute highlight for me personally and as an instructor was of course the three days seminar on Highland Broadsword and Targe with Show of Arms on the beautifull island of Malta, which resulted in the founding of the Broadsword Academy Malta with three new mentors.

 

Another highlight was the International Montante Symposium hosted by Drey Wunder, where I held a lecture about the history and use of the scottish twohanded sword. The BAG also went to the German Blade Museum in Solingen to have a Sword-handling session with original Broadswords of different types, which was awesome. The International Sabre Symposium in Cologne was another highlight, although due to work I could not give my class on Backsword & Dagger, but several BAG members attended the event at least and had a great weekend.

 

I want to thank again all organisators, instructors and participants of these events, who I can call my friends and comrades with all my heart.

 

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What more there is to say? I am very proud and happy to be the 2nd president of the Cateran Society, a non-profit association of dedicated enthusiasts worldwide. Even though many of us are far away from each other, we are united in our love for the Scottish Martial Heritage, history, traditions, swordsmanship and fighting. You are all doing a great job and I am looking forward to more seminars, workshops, books, articles, videos, mentors, caterans and hard working members 🙂

Merry Christmas, happy Holidays, good Jul and a happy New Year to all of you, your families and friends. Keep up your dedication and spirit!

Cheers from the Broadsword Academy Germany 🙂

New Mentor certifications

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We are very happy to announce a lot of new mentor certifications from our various groups before New Year quickly.

The Caledonian Broadsword Academy of Baton Rogue is proud to announce that Dave Ray and Cooper Roddy are now certified for Level I: Regimental Broadsword. Additionally their Level I Mentor Sam Irving will lead the newly found Caledonian Broadsword Academy of New Orleans.

The Broadsword Academy Niagara is also happy too announce the Level I certification for Michael McKenna.

Thomas Lee Proctor of St. Louis Broadsword Academy passed all requirements for Level III: Broadsword & Targe (and other double weapons) and is now certified as a mentor in this level too.

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Finally we are happy to announce the certification of Joshua Campbell for Level 2: Old Style. He will work on with Level 3: Broadsword & Targe.

Congratulations to all of them 🙂

Broadsword & Targe Seminar – Cologne

The Freifechter in Cologne kindly invited me to give a seminar on the Use of Highland Broadsword and Targe. I went there with our BAG 3rd degree mentor Peter and we were giving a class of 5 h training. Our host Peter Frank, who we know from several HEMA events, kindly welcomed us and I was happy to see also many attendants from other HEMA and reenactment groups.

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After some warm-up, we started with the basic stance and footwork, basing on Thomas Page (1746) and the Penicuik-Sketches, followed by the several guards we use. We worked on how to cut safely with the Broadsword, while the Targe covers and what things are important to keep in mind, when using the Targe. Such as not blinding yourself with the shield and to move from the shoulder to not tire yourself. After a short break, we worked through several plays like counter-thrusts, attacking the legs, the Drop, the Bind, the Lift and more. All participants did very well, being partly already experienced swordsmen. The training day ended too fast, but we were able to work through many things and give the participants a solid base in using the Targe. At the end of the seminar day, the attendants had the chance to put the learned material into practice during some freeplay.

I want to thank Peter and the Freifechter for the invitation and hospitality. I also want to thank all participants for the good training and interesting discussions on the topic.

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Videoimpressions of the seminar:

International Montante Symposium 2018

Henrik Gyarmati and Dreywunder Historical fencing kindly invited me to hold a lecture on the history, development and possible use of the scottish twohanded sword, called Claidheamh da Laimh, commonly, but incorrectly known as Claymore (even though I use the term, because modern people are used to it).

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Poster for my Lecture (copyright Dreywunder)

 I was very happy to get the chance presenting some of the Cateran Society´s work on it, which is described in the book “Scorners of Death”, which I co-authored with Chris Thompson, Randall Gustits and the late Ken Pfrenger. I could also add some of my own additional theories on details. It was a great chance for me to write it all down in a longer article, which I filtered then and transfomed into an 1 h presentation, which was a new experience for me.

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Heading to Bielefeld in east Westfalia was quite a trip by car and unfortunately due to work, I could not start as early as I wanted, so I arrived in the afternoon, missing some interesting classes by the famous Ton Puey from Spain and my mate Jan Gosewinkel from Bonn. But I was happy to meet my groupmember Gabi, some old friends and many new.

Nevertheless my presentation worked quite well, I think and the attendants were very interested, asking very good questions, which made me think about some details of the topic. In the aftermath I had the chance for a longer chat with Ton Puey on my presentation and theories and he had some very helpfull ideas and informations for me.

 

 

In the evening many participants headed to a nice restaurant for some good food and beer. Sleeping in the smaller of two available, very modern training halls was comfortable and cosy and I enjoyed some more chats with my companions from Norway, Sweden and Germany. I was especially happy to meet Daniele Cicero again, whom I´ve already met the weeks before at my Broadsword & Targe Seminar in Cologne, as well as at the Noble Science II.

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My lecture on Scottish Greatswords (copyright by Dreiwunder)

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Gabi and me with our “Claymores”

The next morning, after breakfast, the Advanced Montante class by Henrik Gyarmati and Martin Lümkemann started. Henrik is a very nice guy and hosted the event with his group Dreywunder. Martin and he are great instructors and made their class as entertaining as it was educational. The topic was advanced situational rules by Dom Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo with the Montante. These were amazing plays, i.e. fighting against multiple opponents in a narrow street, bodyguard a person or object or cleaning a galley plank from enemies. I had great fun and learned a lot, using my scottish twohanded sword, which gave me some advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.

After Lunch break a lecture on portuguese Staff fighting, known as Jogo do Pau followed. Emil Andersson and Sebastian Woxell presented an interesting insight on how training with the Montante can benefit from training Jogo do Pau, how they are connected and what the differences are. After the theory they were putting it into practice with the participants. In the meanwhile, I had an interesting longer chat with Ton Puey, who is a very nice guy and we talked about towhanded swords, scottish history, Rapier and HEMA in general.

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Ton Puey and me

The final lecture was by Jan Gosewinkel on the use of double swords (so two onehanded swords at the same time), which is related to the rules of the Montante. In the meantime I was giving a private lesson on Highland Broadsword and Broadsword and Targe to Emanuel Meyer from Switzerland and I also did some sparring versus Sidesword and Dagger, which was a good and entertaining bout with nice exchanges.

In the late afternoon, Gabi and me had to say goodbye and headed back to Frankfurt. I want to thank Henrik and Dreywunder for the invitation, especially I have to praise the amazing organisation of the event, it was taken very good care of us all by the busy little helpers 🙂 I also want to thank all participants and instructors, especially for the interest in my lecture and the positive feedback by many. See you next year 😉

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Ton Puey, me and Jan Gosewinkel

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The IMS 2018 instructors (from the left): Sebastian Woxell, Ton Puey, me, Martin Lümkemann, Emil Andersson. Kneeling Jan Gosewinkel and Henrik Gyamarti (copyright by Drey Wunder)

 

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IMS Instructors & Participants from 10 different Nations: Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and Germany

Video-impressions of the IMS 2018:

Noble Science Germany II

The Noble Science event, originally founded by Martin Oz Austwick in UK, is dedicated to the unarmed european combat traditions. In other european nations sister events started, like in France and Predrag Nicolic, long time instructor of Zornhau HEMA club with specialization on Medieval Wrestling, started the Noble Science Germany last year. So I was very happy to be invited at the second event too, again near the beautifull Ronneburg Castle.

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I headed to Ronneburg in the early morning to hold my class on Highland Wrestling started. I started with an instruction and warm-up on the basic stance, grip and rules of Highland Wrestling, followed by pushing and pulling exercises.

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Working on the Backhold Grip

After that we trained the way of slipping the right shoulder under the left armpit of the opponent and get a throw down from there. We also trained this time the Buttock throw from the headlock-position. The final technique of the day was the Backheel. The worskhop finished with some training bouts in which many participated and we had great fun throwing each other to the ground. Many were able to already put into bouting what they trained during the seminar.

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Training the Buttock Throw

Unfortunately I could not participate the whole event, but there was also Medieval Wrestling with Predrag Nicolic, Pankration with Mark DeFazio and German Hand- and Foot-Boxing with Paul Becker. Thanks a lot to Predrag and Zornhau for the invitation and to all participants and instructors for a very nice event day.

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The Noble Science Germany II instructors & participants on Sunday

Videoimpressions of the the seminar and training bouts:

 

 

 

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