Michel Rensen.

Workshop 1

Armchair Swordfighters

 In HEMA tournaments, you can see an increasing number of fighters being supported by a coach in their corner, who are there to provide quick and concise feedback on technique or to regulate the fighter’s mood (calm them down or fire them up). As a fighter, having a coach in your corner can be a tremendous help as it allows you to focus on the fight a lot more.

However, this type of coaching can also be helpful to those who don’t (plan to) participate in tournaments at all. After all, the coach can look at the fight from a detached perspective and provide useful feedback about errors that neither fighter might be aware of. Of course, for this to work, the coach needs to be well-trained in observing fights and identifying areas of improvement.

In this workshop, we will be looking into the role of the coach, and practice for that role by means of various sparring exercises, designed to let the coach practice observing, diagnosing and solving problems in a concise manner.

Gear requirements

All participants are recommended to bring full sparring gear, but at the very minimum, bring a mask, back of head protection, gorget, chest protection, gloves, elbow protection and sword. The workshop is mainly focused on longsword, but it is possible to participate with other weapons, as long as you have an opponent with the same weapon.

Workshop 2

There and Back Again

Going after that one hit is very tempting. Many dangers are to be found on the way to that hit, but sometimes we are so focused on the hit that we don’t even realise the danger we are in. Or, worse still: we manage to make a hit unscathed, but are struck ourselves right after! Getting away safely is just as important as arriving safely.

In this workshop, we are going on an adventure: we will try to make our hits as safely as possible, and we will attempt to ensure nothing bad happens after that either. The workshop will be based on two very important texts: Liechtenauer’s Zettel and Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Gear requirements

Sword, mask with back-of-head protection, gorget, chest plate, gloves, forearm protection and elbow protection are mandatory. More protection lets you train with more intensity.

Workshop 3

Under Pressure

The main focus of this workshop is pressure, in all meanings of the word: putting someone under pressure in Zufechten, giving pressure in the bind and responding to the pressure of your opponent. By using pressure correctly, you can force your opponent to give you openings that you can work with. We will be exploring this concept with the Zwerhaw, but it could be trained with any of the Meisterhawen.

Gear requirements

Sword, mask with back-of-head protection, gorget, chest plate and gloves are mandatory. Forearm protection and elbow protection are recommended. More protection lets you train with more intensity.