The biggest event in the Pacific Northwest’s HEMA calendar is coming up soon, and I’m going to be very, very busy. If you’re in the Seattle area between September 6th and 8th, you can find me at Swordsquatch 2019!
I’ve been teaching at this event every year since 2016, and have had the pleasure of watching it grow into a glorious mix of tournaments, workshops, lectures & panels, and very silly fun. It does a good job of embodying the seriously irreverent spirit of the West Coast swordplay community, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
This year, I’ll be (co-) teaching three workshops and one panel. Here’s where you can find me:
- The Violence Ladder: A Stress Testing Model for Realistic Training (Friday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm)
A hands-on introduction to stress testing as an essential component of training. You’ll get a feel for what adrenaline does to your mind and body, and learn how to work with it safely in a controlled training environment. We’ll cover the principles of stress tests and scenario training, how to think about the violence that you’re training for, and how to build trust and safety while challenging yourself and your training partner.
- Adaptive Training: Making Your Technique Work with the Body You Have (Saturday, 11am – 1pm)
Spend some time getting into the body mechanics of your least favourite actions and most challenging positions. We’ll start with some internal self-assessment tools that you can use to figure out why a particular position or movement doesn’t feel good, and then cover how to make small mechanical adjustments that can make you more comfortable and effective without compromising the tactical intent or accuracy of a technique. We’ll finish by troubleshooting some specific problems suggested by students.
- Making HEMA Awesome for Everyone (Saturday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm)
I’ll be joining Beth Hammer (LONIN), Shane Malone (LONIN), and Isaiah Baden-Payne (Maryland KDF/Mid Atlantic Society for Historic Swordsmanship) for a panel discussion on diversity, inclusion, and community-building. We’ll talk about our experiences building diverse, welcoming, and fun training communities. What worked? What didn’t? What was the process of culture-building actually like? You’ll come away with tools for looking at your own training environment and making it better, and with some great stories.
- Stabby Knife Time with Team Valkyrie (Sunday, 11am – 1pm)
All of our instructors are coming together for this final workshop! Each coach will introduce you to an aspect of short-blade fighting that exemplifies their approach to the duel. You’ll get a lightning-fast introduction to six distinct martial solutions to the same problem, get to workshop and refine your favourites, and then pit them against each other in controlled sparring. This is a collaborative, play-oriented workshop that will build your understanding of the essential elements of every knife fight, and train your ability to adapt and learn under pressure. Spend a couple of hours immersed in the endless possibilities that are available when it comes to stabbing people!
You can also find me at the notorious evening events (including the Night of Fire and Swordsquatch Shindig), and I’m always up for a quick chat about teaching or martial arts in a quiet corner, or a pick-up fight in the Bigfoot Brawl. Come say hello!