The Cateran Society

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Cateran Society Shirts

Cateran_ShirtsNEW

The Cateran Society is happy to announce, that official T-Shirts are available now. These are special shirts only for our certified Mentors and Caterans. The process of making Fan-shirts for everyone was unfortunately too complicated and too much work for keeping the Cateran Society non-profit as it always was.

If you are a certified Mentor or Cateran you can order the shirt above of your rank officially and wear it publically. This is not meant to be a “belt-system” or something, just a little something to reward yourself for achieving a certification.

The Mentor-Shirt is Cateran Society logo on the front and backprint Broadsword and Targe with lettering “MENTOR”.

The Cateran-Shirt is Cateran Society logo on the front and backprint with Broadsword and Targe and lettering “CATERAN”. On the right sleeve there is the St. Andrew´s Cross as a symbol for Scotland, crossed swords and also fullfilling the complete program.

Thanks a lot for the original logo design created by Dana of the Highland Sword Fighting Guild (Canada), which was the base for this shirt. Also thanks a lot to Owynn (Scotland) who created the shirt layout. Both are appointed to be 1st degree Bards in our Bardic Assembly (Art).

Go to the Merchandise section for details on how to order.

New mentor certifications

Congratulations to Shane Clune and R Young, both of whom have earned second-degree mentor certification in the Cateran System through the Minneapolis Amateur Swordfighting Association’s Broadsword Training Group!

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Shane Clune is a worker, a labor leader, and a public servant. He started training in martial arts in 2008 in college, earning a black belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo by 2012. Part of earning a black belt required running classes at the local Karate studio. This was an opportunity to teach, coach, and learn from students of all levels of experience. This was also an opportunity to make the classic “beginning instructor” mistakes in an environment surrounded by peers and mentors. Shane moved to Minnesota in 2015 and came to the Minnesota Broadsword Academy looking to expand his martial arts training and deepen his understanding of the science and art of fighting and self-defense, and because swords are cool. In 2018, he joined the Minneapolis Amateur Swordfighting Association and took to his training with more discipline and regularity, earning his second-degree mentor certification under the instruction of Christopher Scott Thompson.

R Young is a Midwestern martial artist currently residing in Minneapolis, MN. They currently train with the Minneapolis Amateur Swordfighting Association (MASA) and the Cateran Society, where they began studying under Christopher Scott Thompson in 2017.

Congratulations, Gentlemen, well done!

New Mentor in Scotland

The Cateran Society is happy and proud to announce that Ben Hamilton (Scotland) earned his rank as 1st degree Mentor for Regimental Broadsword.

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Ben started training with swords at the age of 12 under the instruction of men passionate about reviving Scottish history. From then on he tried to learn as much as he could about swordsmanship from Reenactment societies, modern Fencing, aiki/kenjutsu and stage combat for 6 years before finding exactly what he was looking for in HEMA 5 years ago.

Becoming a participant in our Online program, Ben already brought a lot of skills, experience and motivation with him into the training. He worked through all lessons very disciplined and moved forward quite fast, proofing his skillset, swift and sharp style in many free bouts, even faced other weapon types like the Longword with success (Video footage will come soon).

Ben´s mission is to improve the quality, awareness and accessibility of HEMA and Scottish fighting arts in Scotland and to take as many people with him on his journey. We are sure he will be very successfull with that and looking forward to see him working through the next levels of our program.

Congratulations, well done and well deserved!

New Bards announcement

The Bardic Assmbley recognizes bards of the Cateran Society and honors them for their contributions in lore, art, music, and/or language.

Lore means substantial research in the areas we study, such as publishing a book, writing articles, creating video lesson content or fulfilling the requirements of the Hoplology course.

Art incluedes things like a chapbook-length work of poetry, an artistic portfolio, a novel or short-story collection on Cateran-related themes.

Music means the demonstrated ability to play on a traditional Celtic instrument, sing Gaelic songs or some equivalent skill.

Language of course refers to demonstrated proficiency in Gaelic.

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The Cateran Society is happy and proud to announce the following new 1st Degree Bards:

Jay Maas (Lore) contributed and still does a lot of very helpfull video lessons available not only for Cateran members, but the whole HEMA world. He worked out a complete video lesson interpretation of Captain G. Sinclair´s “Anti-Pugilism” (1790) next to many other videos.

Cornelius Stöhr (Music) started to learn the Bagpipe the same year he picked up the Broadsword to train at the BAG. Since then he not only became a good fencer, but also the official BAG Piper, proofing his skills in public regulary.

Tom Langhorne (Lore) is a Bushcraft expert and outdoor guide from Scotland, who started to research on the historical survival skills of the Highlanders several years ago. In his youtube-channel he presents his outdoor experiments and research with historical clothes, the Highland Dirk, firemaking, traditional cooking and other topics.

Edward Lindey (Music) recently started to train at the BAG and provides the Bardic Assembly with his skills playing traditional tunes on the feadog (penny whistle).

Congratulations to all four gentlemen 🙂

 

 

 

Cateran certification

We are happy and proud to announce, that Joshua Campbell hereby earns the rank of a Cateran. Joshua fullfilled all required levels and proofed with his dedication and hard work, that he has a deep understanding of our art and is fit for the rank of a full-instructor (Cateran).

Joshua worked through Level I and II with the Highland Broadsword, but also adopted the material, especially the Old Style, onto the Scottish Halflang Sword. He used the same weapon next to the Basket-Hilted Broadsword together with the Targe and Dirk during his study of Level III (Double-weapons). In Level IV Joshua used his favourite weapon, the Highland Twohander (Claidheamh dà làimh), but also worked with the Dirk in Highland Knife Fighting.

During his time working through the program, Joshua did a lot of bouts with all the level-weapons he used. He fought with other martial artists and versus various weapon styles, like Longsword, Sidesword, Rapier, Buckler, Targa, Sabre and Schiavona. He proofed that he is able to adopt his skills and fundamentals, when facing different styles and weapons.

Joshua was also a participant in the TV show “Forged in Fire – Knife or Death”, narrated by Jeff Goldberg, where he went through several cutting tests with his scottish halflang sword. He worked through the obstacle course very good, it was an excellent cutting performance and he reached the next round called Dead Run. There his performance was very impressive, but no spoilers here 😉 You can watch Joshua´s episode here.

Congratulations, Joshua, well done and well deserved.

Mentor certification in Germany

The Broadsword Academy Germany is happy and proud to announce, that Peter Stabel successfully earned mentorship for Level IV (MacGregor Method & Auxiliary Arts). Over the last years Peter proofed his ability to adopt his Broadsword skills on a great variety of weapons within the 4 families. He used and faced within many bouts different weapon types and styles. This inclueded Highland Dirk, Scottish Twohander, Bayonet & Musket, Quarterstaff, Cane, Cutlass, Smallsword and many more. He became especially fond of the Smallsword and uses it quite effectively within the concept of the MacGregor Method.

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For a final test Peter used and faced 4 different weapons from all 4 familys in a row in his official 3 minutes certification bouts:

Peter also helped a lot to test the Lessons for the use of the medieval scottish Quillon-sword, which were finally put into the book “Scorners of Death”. He also always is very open minded to visit workshops of other HEMA-styles as well as bouting with different people at different events. Over the last years he proofed his skills in the MacGregor Method over and over again as you can see in many of our bouting videos. Here is one example using the Smallsword & Dagger:

Congratulations, Peter, well done and well deserved!

New Caterans in Canada

The Cateran Society is happy to announce that we have two new certifications as Caterans in Canada! Jacques Labrie and Wyatt Campbell have been promoted to become Caterans, both having earned their certifications with their dedication and hard work under the guidance of Cateran Jay Maas. They both have a deep understanding of the practical and theoretical fundamentals of our Martial art.

Congratulations, gentlemen, well done and well deserved.

The Angelo Broadsword by Balefire Blades

Finding a good training sword for your personal needs is one of the quests in HEMA. Not only to find a sword fitting the style you train, but also which represents the needs of you as an individual. Even harder to find a training sword, which you can introduce as your fencing group´s standard weapon.
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The Angelo (Photo copyrights by Balefire Blades)

That is why we were very happy, when my friend Chris Adams of Balefire Blades, with whom I fenced, feasted and talked in Malta back in 2015, approached us to create, design and test a Broadsword steel-trainer with him. That was the beginning of The Angelo. You can read all about Chris biography, his work and the prototype here.
Now it is time to talk about the final result 🙂 Spoiler alert: WE LOVE IT 🙂 If you want to see a quick first review as a video, please check out my youtube channel:

The prototype design was based on regimental broadswords of the 1750s-1770s and we already loved it. However there were some details needed to be changed to make it even better and Chris did a great job. We are using the Angelo Broadsword since November now and we are quite happy about the final design.
The blade was changed not too much, just the swollen point became less thicker. The prototype had a „mini-mace“-like effect when hitting a target and for our style of swordsmanship, which is more cutting than thrusting, a special thrust-safe point is not necessary so much like i.e. for Rapiers. The blade is still flexible enough for safe thrusting, but solid and sturdy for good parrys and cuts. Something that i.e. Armourclass Broadswords have as an issue is their quite great blade flexibility, which makes them light and safe, but very „wobbly“ sometimes. Also the tapering of the Angelo blade became bit flatter/slimmer and lighter towards the point, which makes the balance even better than that of the prototype. The minor troubles with the tang were solved with the heat-treating process.
The biggest changes were made in the Basket-Hilt design and I have to say, if I would have come across the original, which Chris used as inspiration, when we created the prototype, I would already have said to take that one. The new basket-hilt is designed nearly indestructable (when used properly). It is a tank, but this does not mean it is heavy or clumsy, no tanks are swift and still well protected.
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One of the historical inspirations for the Basket-Hilt design

The hardened steel basket offers a solid plate protection to the front and has durable bars on the rear. It is oil blackened to a matte finish. Also this darkened color makes its look quite elegant, but you can polish it to a matte silverish/steel color, which also looks very nice, if you prefer that. Chris also offers a simple, but comfortable felt liner. It is also easy to attach a leather liner into it, which I did basing on Chris´ felt. The basket-hilt is very robust and due to its greater weight, it makes the balance better, because now it is even a bit more back to the hilt, which is quite right for Highland Broadsword fencing.
The wooden grip kept its simple but comfortable design. It is wrapped with cord, which lies much better in the hand than many leather or fishskin grips I’ve tried, especially with gloves. Although custom grips may be available for those who want their weapons a bit more “shiny”, in my opinion this grip is just perfect. Not only the wrapping, but also its form. It is comfortable for all hand sizes our group members have, big or small.
Chris did a great job turning the Angelo prototype into the final product, a very robust, wieldy and good (meaning authentic) looking sword. The small changes improvised the original blade and the new Basket-Hilt design makes it just gorgeous. Of course Chris offers solutions for customized requests too, i.e. the blade length.
I can highly recommend the Angelo as well as Balefire Blades in general. The Broadsword is bit on the heavier end of training swords, but that comes with lots of benefits and advantages. It is excellent for the Regimental style of Broadsword fencing according to sources like Roworth/Taylor, Mathewson, Sinclair and of course its name-patron Angelo. For more informations check out Balefire Blades.
Here we go with our first sparring with The Angelo:

Specs:
Weight 1270 g
Total length 101 cm
Blade length 34 inch
Blade width at base 2,8 cm
Grip length 12,5 cm
Basket diameter 11 cm
Basket length 13 cm
Basket depth 12 cm
PoB 6 cm
 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I wish all Caterans, Mentors and Apprentices, families and friends a Merry Christmas, God Jul, Frohe Weihnachten and a Happy New Year 🙂

The past year was again a great success for the Cateran Society and also for my branch group in Germany. We had a lot of certifications for several fencers in various levels of our Program. Also the number of people joining our Online Apprenticeship Program is growing. We have now certified instructors, members, groups and participants all over the world, in Scotland, Ireland, England, Malta, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Canada, USA and Indonesia. It is amazing how many people are working dedicated and motivated within our Program. Keep all up the good spirit and hard work.

For myself the year was less busy than the one before, but still I was invited to teach at many different events in the UK, Netherlands and Germany. Unfortunately due to work and some health issues I had to cancel three of these invitations. Especially sad, that I had to cancel my class at the Fight Camp 2019 and the chance to meet THE Matt Easton 🙂 But plans are already in working progress for 2020 🙂

Furthermore I had the chance to publish another article on Scottish Swordsmanship in German History Magazine Karfunkel. Another one for next March is in preperation as well as several book projects. I was also happy to make new contacts online, especially with my mate Tom from Fandabi Dozi in Scotland, who makes Bushcrafting videos about 17th/18th Century Highlander Survival skills. We made a team-up for a video on the history and use of the Highland Dirk, which was a major success. And more to come 🙂

I wish you all a good time and wonderfull Holidays! Enjoy!

The Highland Dirk – Bushcraft & Martial Arts

Our mate Tom from Fandabi Dozi Wilderness adventures did another video a while ago on the history, martial arts and bushcrafting with the Highland Dirk. This video was a cooperation work, where the Cateran Society supported Tom´s excellent work with the knowledge and some video drills on the Dirk as weapon. Tom even reenacted a famous fight description with the use of Cudgel and Dirk 🙂

Check it out!

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