The Cateran Society

An Comunn Ceatharnach

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!


Highland Games in Neu-Isenburg (Germany)

The Broadsword Academy Germany visited the Highland Games in Germany again. The Games were started already in 1969 and had a long tradition in Neu-Isenburg until 2000. Fortunaley they are held every two years again since 2009.

The history of the german Highland Games started in 1957, when athlete Helmut Hubeier watched them in a cinema news clip. He was amazed and also his sportsmates were interested. So they got in contact with scottish athletes and five heavy athletes from Neu-Isenburg travelled to participate at Highland Games in Edinburgh in 1958. More visits in Scotland followed and the ahtletes participated successfully in many Highland Games until 1963. From this time the Scottish disciplines were trained on in the Club.

Here you see the particpants from Neu-Isenburg at the Highland Games in 1959 (Photo by


The BAG visited the Highland Games in Neu-Isenburg and Ruesselsheim already twice, showing Scottish Swordsmaship and informing the visitors about our training  and the martial history of Scotland. This year we had the chance to also show the audience some examples of Scottish backhold Wrestling. We had a great time there training, bouting and informing the visitors.

Here some videos of the event can be seen, more in our channel:

Two new Mentors at Broadsword Academy Manitoba

Here is an announcement from Broadsword Academy Manitoba, Canada. We are pleased to share two new promotions:


Justen Russell (left) has earned his certification as a Level 1 Regimental Broadsword instructor. Justen has represented the BAM and organisation both locally and internationally recently in Europe. Justen is a fast learner and has demonstrated passion, hard work and talent at swordsmanship.
Secondly Wyatt Campbell (right) has earned his certification as a Level 2 Old Style Broadsword. Wyatt has represented our school locally in tournaments and cross style fencing against a variety of martial arts. Wyatt has shown a deep understanding of our art and is the assistant instructor at Broadsword Academy Manitoba. He has shown dedication to the art, never misses class, and shows a strong Cateran Warrior spirit in actively pursuing sparring and competition with all sorts of opponents.
To earn their rank, both swordsmen had to demonstrate insight into the techniques through demonstration in class, a written exam and a practical test against martial artists from other schools under the supervision of BAM head-instructor Jay Maas (4th Level mentor).

Great work, gentlemen! Congratulations!

Jay Maas new Constable of the Galloglass

Jay Maas, head instructor at Broadsword Academy Manitoba (Canada) is announced to become new Constable of the Galloglass, effective on June 1, 2017. I was the Constable for several years due to my many crossover bouts, especially at the monthly sparringsmeeting of the Dog Brothers traininggroup Wiesbaden aka the Wolfspack. Although still being active, but with my position as the new President of the Cateran Society and Headmaster of the Broadsword Academy, I think it is important to pass on this position to another fighter.

Jay Maas of the BAM represented the Society already honorably in a number of bouts, not only within his own group, but also facing other fencers and instructors. He is an excellent fighter, bouting technical clean and disciplined and is continuously improving his skills. He is working very active in our program and is creating an excellent video series on Sinclair´s Broadsword Lessons from the Anti-Pugilism manual.

Here you can see many of his bouts in the BAM youtube-channel:

Jay will oversee the Cateran Society Galloglass, not only bouting himself, but also supporting all other fighters in their martial exchanges and martial challenges. I like to congratulate Jay and wish him all the best for his upcoming bouts and training. I ask you all to support Jay in his work and taking him as an example. The Cateran Society is not only working theoretically and technically on the scottish historical martial arts, but we are also a combat group following the three Galloglass commitments:

1- I will never refuse any legitimate request for a martial challenge or martial exchange.

2- I will represent the Cateran Society with the highest standards of personal integrity and respectful behavior.

3- I will actively seek out challenges as a representative of the Cateran Society.

Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid.

– Heiko Große –

New Mentors certified at So.Cal. Broadsword Academy

On Saturday, April 15, 2017 two members of So.Cal. Broadsword Academy played for the Prize of 1st and 2nd Degree Mentors in the Cateran Society under the supervision and mentorship of Matthew Tice.

Robin Price, who after many years practice learning through both the old curriculum material (Henry Angelo’s Regimental Broadsword Lessons) and new curriculum (Level 1 Regimental Broadsword, and Level 6 Dirk, Naval Cutlass Exercises of Henry Angelo Jr.). Robin demonstrated his academic and teaching ability, as well as applied his practical experience with broadsword and dirk in hand. Robin successfully defended himself against two worthy opponents, consisting of one of his peers from within our club, and a fencer invited from KRON Los Angeles who leads that club’s saber study group.

Robin will also follow Matthew Tice as the headinstructor of the Broadsword Academy of Southern California. Matthew did a great job for So.Cal. BA and is stepping back for personal reasons, making place for Robin to continue his work. The Cateran Society say thank you, Matthews for your dedication and great work. We welcome Robin in his new position and congratulate him for his certification and new position at So. Cal. BA.

We are also proud to acknowledge Scott, who after many years practice learning through both the old curriculum material (Henry Angelo’s Regimental Broadsword Lessons), and new curriculum (Level 1 Regimental Broadsword, and Level 6 Naval Cutlass Exercises of Henry Angelo Jr.) had his certifications too. Scott demonstrated his academic and teaching ability, as well as applied his practical experience with broadsword in hand. Scott successfully defended himself against two worthy opponents, consisting of one of his peers from within our club, and a fencer invited from KRON Los Angeles who leads that club’s saber study group. Congratulations, Scott.

Heiko Große to Become President of Cateran Society


Ever since I founded the Cateran Society in 1998, it has been my intention to build it up to the point where it could continue as a thriving organization with or without me as the President and Headmaster. If the Cateran Society and the Broadsword Academy are to succeed in the long term, they cannot be led by the same person forever.

 Events in my life outside the fencing studio have begun to take up more and more of my time, making it difficult for me to devote the focus and effort needed to lead the Cateran Society effectively. It’s time for me to step aside as the President of the Cateran Society and the Headmaster of the Broadsword Academy and to hand these roles over to someone else.

Heiko Große of the Broadsword Academy Germany has represented the Society honorably at a number of major HEMA events in Europe. In addition, he has written and published his own manual on the Highland broadsword, and continues to pursue his own research projects. He is an excellent broadsword fencer with a deep understanding of the art we practice.

 Effective on May 1, 2017, Heiko Große will become the second President of the Cateran Society and Headmaster of the Broadsword Academy, with responsibility for the Online Apprenticeship Program. I ask all of you to give him your full support.

 I will continue to train and teach the Cateran System as a Cateran of the Society, and I will continue to write and research books on historical swordsmanship and the martial arts. I will also continue to be available for advice and input.

Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid.

-Christopher Scott Thompson, 3/26/2017

Highland Broadsword Bout, Maas vs Wagner

Here Jay Maas, head instructor at Broadsword Academy Manitoba and Paul Wagner, head of Stoccata School of Defence in Sydney face off. Jay is using Sinclair’s regimental broadsword system against Paul’s Thomas Page & later on George Silver. While the earlier fencers say to play broadsword upon the traverse, which uses circular steps to gain an advantageous angle upon the opponent, later broadsword masters say to attack mostly in a linear fashion. The broadsword master Archibald MacGregor explains that traversing attacks can give an advantage but can also be cut off by a linear fencer. The traversing swordsman must make a wide circle to gain a good angle, and the linear fencer being at the centre of the circle needs to only make small adjustments to catch up. This can nullify the traverse. Paired with slipping footwork and a good control of distance, linear footwork is equal to circular footwork and requires very little time to become proficient. It is best to practice both!

The Four Temperaments of Broadsword Fencing

Long before the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator or the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, philosophers categorized human personality types into four broad categories: choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic and sanguine.

These categories were based on the Galenic theory of the four bodily humours, which has obviously been left far behind by modern medicine. Although the humours have fallen out of favor, the four temperaments are still a handy way to quickly describe a personality type.

The four temperaments are as follows:

Choleric: aggressive, passionate and dominant.

Phlegmatic: stolid, unwavering and patient.

Melancholic: introverted, moody and depressive.

Sanguine: joyous, easygoing and social.

Educated fencing masters were well aware of the four temperaments and would sometimes use them to describe potential opponents and give advice on how to fight them. For instance, consider the following passage by Scottish fencer Sir William Hope:

“FIRST, they will either advance, and come on precipitantly, with an irregular, violent, and furious pursuit. Or,

SECONDLY, keep themselves almost fixt in one place, without either much advancing or retiring. Or,

THIRDLY, constantly retire, and give much back. Or,

FOURTHLY, have a mixture of all three, that is, sometimes stand fixt, and at other times advance and retire.”

As you can see, Hope’s four tempers match the traditional four temperaments.

In this series of videos, we have not used Hope’s four tempers exactly as given, because Hope was primarily a smallsword fencer and we are broadsword fencers. Instead we have selected the four most common types of opponent based on our experience in broadsword fencing, mapping them to the four temperaments as follows:

Choleric: an aggressive, violent opponent.

Phlegmatic: an opponent who doesn’t use much footwork.

Melancholic: an opponent who refuses to engage blades.

Sanguine: an opponent who moves and changes guards constantly.

In these videos, Chris (on the left) is the antagonist, acting out one of these four types. Matt (on the right), is the protagonist, trying to solve the problem presented by that type.

Don’t take the four temperaments too literally – they are not exactly scientific. On the other hand, modern systems like Myers-Briggs don’t actually have much empirical validation either, so take this for what it’s worth and it may prove useful!

Enclose and Command: How to Fight With Weapons


Enclose and Command: How to Fight With Weapons ($14)

This is the training manual for the MacGregor Method, our system for using any hand-to-hand weapon according to the principles of the Highland broadsword.

Members of the Cateran Society’s Online Apprenticeship Program can download a free PDF version of the same book. The picture quality is much better in the PDF version. Because the pictures didn’t print very well in the hard-copy version, I’m keeping the price as low as I can justify given the many hours of work that went into making this book. If you buy the book and are not a member of the apprenticeship program, send me an e-mail at and I’ll send you the free PDF. If you are a member, you get the free PDF anyway!

Cateran Society Mentor Wins Mounted Fencing Tournament


Tero Ulvinen on right. Photo: Sara Vertanen

On June 11, 2016, the Equestrian Martial Arts club held the Hakkaa Päälle 2016 mounted broadsword tournament in Finland. The winner of the tournament was Cateran Society Level I Mentor Tero Ulvinen of the West Finland Broadsword Academy.

“Hakkaa Päälle” (roughly: Hack them down!) was the traditional battle cry of Finnish cavalry soldiers. Congratulations to Tero Ulvinen for his victory in this tournament!

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