The Cateran Society is proud and happy to congratulate Ben Hamilton of the Saorsa Scottish Swordsmanship School for his bronze medal in the Fight Camp Open Tournament. The tournament was held for two full days with the target ot get as many fights as possible. A tough challenge indeed. Ben was able to manage 27 fights with the Highland Broadsword and won 97% of the fights at hand. This is an awesome feat!
We are happy and proud to announce, that Mark Inc has fullfilled all requirements to be hereby certified as Level 1 Mentor (Regimental Broadsword). He did a great job working through this level, his attention and will to correct even the finest details is outstanding. He works very clear and technical and is very good in analyzing his sparring bouts for tactics, strategy etc.
Mark tested himself in regular sparring and did also several bouts for his official certification, inclueding a very fine technical bout versus a fencer armed with a Rapier and using the Spanish style of fencing known as Verdadera Destreza. Broadsword vs Spanish Rapier is an interesting combination and it was to my greatest pleasure seeing and reviewing it for his official certification.
Mark will open up the official Cateran Society Training group by the name of Broadsword Academy Sacramento. He is now starting his work to study Level 2 (Old Style).
We are happy and gratefull to announce that hereby our friend Ruadhán MacFadden (Heidelberg, Germany/Ireland) is certified as a 1st degree member in our Bardic Assembly (Lore).
Ruadhán is best known as martial arts instructor, blogger and youtuber (see The Hero with a Thousand Holds), where he researches, explores and explains the old wrestling style from his irish Motherland known as Collar & Elbow. As he explains on his website:
“Collar and Elbow (in Irish “Coiléar agus Uille” or “Brollaidheacht”) is the national wrestling style of Ireland. Historically it has also been practiced in regions of the world with large Irish diaspora populations, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is characterised by the fixed grips that wrestlers are required to take on their opponents’ jackets, and by its focus on leg techniques such as trips, footsweeps, and hip throws.”
Through intense research and study, Ruadhán started a revival of this style, which was once very popular, but declined unfortunately. While other folk wrestling styles exist still today, Ireland nearly lost its own. He started with his research and in Heidelberg in 2019 a series of Collar and Elbow bouts were held. In 2020, a Collar and Elbow society was established at Dublin City University (DCU) – the first club dedicated to the wrestling style in Ireland in roughly 100 years.
In 2021 Ruadhán published his book on the history, tradition and techniques of Irish Collar & Elbow Wrestling (check out Fallenrooks Publishing), an excellent work for everyone interested in the history of Ireland, Folk Wrestling styles, historical martial arts and grappling in general.
For this and all his other contributions, as the president and head-instructor of the Cateran Society it is my pleasure to announce the admission of Ruadhán into our Bardic Assembly.
We are very happy and proud to announce, that Thomas L. Proctor, St.Louis Broadsword Academy (Missouri, USA) successfully fullfilled all needed requierments in Level V and is now certified as Cateran.
With his dedication and hard work, Thomas focussed on different strength exercises and physical feats of traditional Highland Games, feats in dexterity and agility, but also trained the feats of legendary hero Cu Chulainn and celtic weaponry.
He proofed a deep understanding in his art and fullfulled all requirments as a Cateran over the last years under the guidance of his mentors Chris Thompson and Heiko Große.
My fellow Caterans, mentors, members of the Apprenticeship Program, friends, fans and supporters!
The last year was a tough one for all of us all over the world. The pandemic crisis changed our allday life and work in many ways and had heavy impact on our training. Many of us could only train under restrictions or not at all. This was and still is a tough time for us martial artists, because we had to put our sport and passion behind.
Many of us had and still have to struggle with financially hard times due to short-time work or losing their income, some may even have their livelihood at stake. Many of us had to juggle between homeoffice and homeschooling, taking care of their kids, their parents, their loved ones. Many of us had to work in a job, which was a high risk environment for an infection. Many of us have loved ones who have health troubles, mental troubles or social troubles, who need our help and support. Maybe some of us struggled with an infection or mental and social problems. And over all might lie a shadow of uncertainty and fear what the future will bring.
Swordsmanship is for many of us a way to express ourselfs and to get freedom from our allday struggles. Having to cut this or even do without might therefore be hard on many of us. Now this is a situation, which demands true fighting spirit.
Nevertheless the Cateran Society is still growing with our online program. We are maybe the HEMA group mostly used to train on our own in a backyard, park, garage or even in our living room. We are used to be connected worldwide with the help of the internet, to exchange knowledge, research and move forward in our training the digital way. So I am very proud of all of you, who take part in our Online program, who work in pairs, small groups or even alone, especially in the current situation. We even had some mentor certifications during the year. You are all very dedicated and excited martial artists and I am gratefull and proud to be your president and see your progress.
Even during this era of restrictions and uncertainty, the members of the Cateran Society worked onwards in the fields of research and supporting the training of others. I want to especially thank and honor Jay Maas of the Broadsword Academy Manitoba, who not only created excellent “Covid 19 Solo Lessons” for his youtube-channel, but also managed to get hold of an original “Anti-Pugilism” by Captain G. Sinclair, which he made available as a pdf file with the help of Nick Thomas (Academy of Historical Fencing) and the support of many donators. Also I want to thank and honor Dana Sweetman (Aurora, Canada) for starting to create a Double-Broadswords video lesson series. I´d also like to thank and congratulate Ben Hamilton (Scotland) for his commitment by giving a workshop in the scottish Highlands during the Highland Survival Course (by Primal Bushcraft & Survival with Tom Langhorne).
Thanks a lot again to all of you for your commitment, dedication and hard work. I really hope, that the upcoming year will be a better one. Whatever may come, let us move on with our work, research and training as best as we can.
Nollaig Chridheil, Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, God Jul, Hyvää Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten and Happy Holidays to all of you!
We are happy and gratefull to announce that hereby our friend Nick Thomas (Academy of Historical Fencing) is certified as a 1st degree member in our Bardic Assembly (Lore).
Nick is best known as a founder and head-instructor of the Academy of Historical Fencing (UK) and author of many amazing novels. He not only put out tons of great HEMA videos on his youtube channel, but also made several historical Broadsword manuals available as transcripted pdf-files for free. So he was also a great help to transcript, rework and publish Capain G. Sinclair´s Cudgel-Playing together with Jay Maas (Broadsword Academy Manitoba).
Jay started a fundraiser campaign to help purchase a rare copy of Captain G. Sinclair’s Cudgel-Playing (1800), with unique plates and illustrations. For those who don’t know, Sinclair was a Highland Officer of the 42nd Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) and originally published his broadsword treatise under the name Anti-Pugilism. He published it both as a means of learning the broadsword and singlestick, and also for self-defense for walking stick. With help of the campaign-supporters, Jay worked out a new transcription and high-res scans of the illustrations with Nick and they put it out publicly for free online as a pdf-file. You can find the manual and other recources here: http://swordfight.uk/resources/
For this and all the contribution before that with the re-publishing of various manuals like Roworth and Mathewson, as the president and head-instructor of the Cateran Society it is my pleasure to announce the admission of Nick into our Bardic Assembly (Jay was already certified as 1st degree Bard in Lore for his Sinclair-Lesson video series).
We are happy and proud to announce, that Dana Sweetman in Aurora, Canada (Highland Sword Fighting Guild) earned the rank of Level 3 Mentor (Broadsword & Targe / Double-Weapons).
Dana not only worked through all required training material, but also created a set of lessons for the use of Double-Broadswords. His work is basing on the Broadsword fundamentals, Backsword and Dagger according to manuals like Donald McBane and James Miller and the general principles of double weapon fighting. He tested his lessons in several bouts versus other double weapons and also double Broadswords, so these are battle-tested. The concepts can be used with double swords of all kind, Backswords, Spadroons, Case of Falchions aka Hangers like the Stage-Gladiators did and so on.
With his contribution Dana offers the whole of the Cateran Society a new lesson series to work with and the Cateran Council decided, that these are officially part of our Level 3 Double Weapons in our Curriculum. So students can train these lessons in Level 3 for their certification.
Creating theses Lessons, Dana is also earning his 2nd degree Bard (Lore) in the Bardic Assembly.
You can see the first of the upcoming lessons already in the youtube channel of Dana´s training group:
Being invited to chat with Bob for his excellent podcast was a great honor for me. We had coffee and tea and shared some thoughts and experiences about swordsmanship and martial arts in general. Time was flying by too quickly, so stay tuned, because Part 2 is coming soon 🙂
The Broadsword Academy Manitoba is proud to announce three new Level 1 Mentors through the Cateran Society Program. Lisa, Cody Pierson and Nathan Thiessen are dedicated and hard working broadsword fencers who have earned instructor rank under Caterans Jay Maas, Jacques Labrie and Wyatt Campbell.
We are happy and proud to announce, that Thomas L. Proctor, St.Louis, Missouri, USA is certified as Level IV mentor (MacGregor Method). Thomas worked dedicated thtough Level IV, concentrating on the use of the Dirk and Staff, successfully adopting his fighting fundamentals and skills on the two weapons according to the MacGregor Method. He worked dedicated under the guidance of his mentor Heiko Große and proofed his skills in certification bouts to achieve the next level.