Beginning Sword Class!

Beginning Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Class

Learn the essential cutting, postures, and footwork of 16th century fencing master Joachim Meyer. This class introduces the basic fencing skills of one of the last inheritor’s of the Liechtenauer tradition of swordsmanship in an eight-part series of hour-long class sessions.

Each class begins with a warm-up routine, followed by guided exercises and drills using historically accurate replica training swords. Be ready to sweat and have fun learning historical fencing.


Goodman Community Center

149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI 53704

Gym B


Sunday 3:30-4:30pm

Dates: Sept 11, 18, 25; Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30


$100 for eight sessions pre-paid. Training equipment is included.

Madtown Fechtschule


The Madtown Fechtschule is a public display of skill and control with competitive Dussack and Longsword tournaments styled after the rules and restrictions of a 16th century event.


Date : Saturday, 20 Aug 2016
Location: Goodman Center Gymnasium, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI 53704

11:30 – Sign In
12:00 – Introduction to Fechtschule: Rules and Demo
12:30 – Dussack (2 Rings)
1:45 – Break
2:00 – Longsword (1 Ring)
5:30 – Awards
6:30 – After Event Party


$10 for guests attending the after event meal.

Pre-registration has closed!

Tickets to spectate can be purchased at the door the day of the event for $5  (which does not include entry to the after party and provided meal) If you would like to spectate and attend the after event meal, please purchase your ticket below:

Ticket Type



Competitors are split into two pools. Each pool fences King of the Hill, three passes to a match, five strikes per pass. The fencer who wins the most passes wins the match, which earns one Victory Point. Fencers may also earn Artistry Points by exhibiting clean examples of Meyer’s dusack technique.

Winners are those fencers with the highest Victory Point total, the highest Artistry Point total, and the Last Fencer Standing. The winners from both initial pools go to the Winners’ Pool. All other fencers from both initial pools are gathered into the Barber’s Pool. The Winners’ Pool fences King of the Hill to determine the winners of the dusack tournament. The Barber’s Pool fences King of the Hill for honor and redemption.


For the longsword, all competitors fence King of the Hill in a single pool. Matches are three passes, five strikes per pass. Victory and Artistry Points are earned as in dusack. Note: Victory Points earned in dusack do not carry forward; Artistry Points earned in dusack do, and add to a fencer’s overall Artistry Point total.

Winners are selected as in dusack (highest Victory Point total, highest Artistry Point total, Last Fencer standing). Losers of the first round gather for a Barber’s Pool, King of the Hill as before. The winners of the first longsword round and the Barber’s Pool then fence in the Finals.

In the Final Fechtschule, the competitors fence King of the Hill, five passes, five strikes per pass. Winners of the Final are the overall winners of the Madtown Fechtschule.



Champion (1st Place, most dusack Victory Points)

  • Certificate

Artist (2nd Place, most Artistry Points)

  • Certificate

Barber’s Best (Barber’s Pool most Victory Points or Artistry Points)

  • Honorable Mention


Fechtschule Champion (1st Place, most longsword Victory Points)

  • PHA Gold Medal
  • Historical Print

Fechtschule Artist (2nd Place, most overall Artistry Points)

  • PHA Silver Medal
  • Laurel Pin

Last Fencer Standing (3rd Place)

  • Laurel Pin


Safety Requirements from HEMA Alliance

Head = Head protection must cover the entire face and front of the throat for drilling and slow sparring, and the entire head and front of the throat must be covered in competitive sparring. It must be sturdy enough to withstand impacts. There should be no gaps in coverage that would allow a thrust or strike to the face.

Throat = A covering to protect the throat.

Torso = Clothing to cover the body. Clothing should be puncture resistant, or three layers.

Groin = An internal or external cup.

Elbow = Hard elbow covering to protect the joints.

Hands = Hands = Sturdy gloves or gauntlets must be used to protect the hands and wrists. Gloves must include protection on the sides and tips of the fingers sufficient to resist hard strikes from steel . An unsupplemented lacrosse glove is not sufficient.. Steel Gauntlets need additional interior padding of some sort, however a mechanic’s glove has minimal padding and when used inside a metal gauntlet would not be sufficient. Most HEMA-dedicated synthetic gloves or gauntlets, such as Sparring Gloves and Black Lance, are adequate. Finger breaks and hand injuries are the most common and organizers should be conscientious of this.

Legs = Hard knee covering to protect the joints.

Feet = Covering of some sort.



Meyer Symposium Episode IV: A New Hope

It is a period of fantastic possibility. Rebel Freifechter, training in study groups across the world, spread the word of Joachim Meyer to the HEMA-verse. Now, the forces of the Meyer Freifechter Guild gather together to celebrate the Art of fencing with fellowship, study, and steel.

4th Annual Meyer Symposium
Three days of Meyer-focused classes, fencing, Fechter testing, fellowship, and fechtschule!

Arrival on the evening of the 9th of June

Classes 10 June-11 June

  • We will get feisty on Friday (dusack, dagger, grappling)
  • Fechter Eval Saturday (and more classes)

Fechtschule 12 June

19243 Stonebridge Road
Monticello, IA 53704

Flying in? Rides can be arranged from CID or DBQ.

Full Participation Ticket is $150, includes all events, meals on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. Price also includes loft lodging, or you can pitch a tent.
Companion Ticket is $50, and covers all meals and lodging.

(paypal links are on the upper left of this page)

Group Feder Order

We are getting together a group order of the “Italian” feders by Viktor Berbekucz. Once we get ten paid orders via PayPal (to take advantage of the discount), we will submit our group order and get some swords!

Deadline is March 25th. If we do not have ten feder orders paid by March 25th, we will wait until we have ten. If we do not get ten orders by April 25th, we will return payments.

$250 paid via PayPal, includes fees and shipping from Europe to the Madison MFFG headquarters.

Once the swords are here in the States, we will work with you to arrange a pick-up at the Symposium or here in Madison. If you cannot pick-up your sword at the Symposium or here in Madison, then we can make additional shipping arrangements after the swords arrive.

From the Dedicatory Preface (1570) part I

There are many pieces of data that aid a greater context of the world Master Meyer lived and wrote his fencing books in. I believe that the more we understand the Early Modern Period Meyer inhabited the better students we will become of his presented Art.

So very briefly lets look at some of the people, and places made mention of in his Dedicatory Preface to his 1570 fencing book.


One of the collateral lineages of Palatinate line of the House  of  Wittelsbach.


In the Golden Bull of 1356, the Palatinate was recognized as one of the secular electorates, and given the hereditary offices of Erztruchseß of the Empire and Reichsverweser of Franconia, Swabia, the Rhine, and southern Germany. From that time forth, the Count Palatine of the Rhine was usually known as the Kurfürst von der Pfalz.

Due to the practice of dividing territories among different branches of the family, by the early 16th century junior lines of the Palatine Wittelsbachs came to rule in Simmern, Kaiserslautern and Zweibrücken in the Lower Palatinate, and in Neuburg and Sulzbach in the Upper Palatinate. The Elector Palatine, now based in Heidelberg, adopted Lutheranism in the 1530s and Calvinism in the 1550s.

When the senior branch of the family died out in 1559, the Electorate passed to Frederick III of Simmern, a staunch Calvinist, and the Palatinate became one of the major centers of Calvinism in Europe, supporting Calvinist rebellions in both the Netherlands and France.


Established in 907, held by the House of Wittelsbach from 1180, Bavaria-Munich and Bavaria-Landshut reunited in 1506, annexed the Upper Palatinate from the Electoral Palatinate in 1628 along with the electoral dignity, inherited the whole Electorate of the Palatinate in 1777.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, upper and lower Bavaria were repeatedly subdivided. Four Duchies existed after the division of 1392: Lower Bavaria-Straubing, lower Bavaria-Landshut, Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Bavaria-Munich. These dukes often waged war against each other. Duke Albrecht IV of Bavaria-Munich united Bavaria in 1503 through primogeniture and war. However, the originally Bavarian offices Kufstein, Kitzbühel and Rattenberg in Tirol were lost in 1504.

Lord Frederick III

Called “the Pious,” elector palatine of the Rhine, eldest son of Johann II., count palatine of Simmern, was born at Simmern on the 14 of February 1515. He was educated a Roman Catholic by Bishop Eberhard of Liege. However he was impressed early by the ideals of the Reformation. 21 October 1537 he married Princess Marie of Brandenburg-Kulmbach (1519-1567), daughter of Casimir, prince of Bayreuth, and in 1546, mainly as a result of this union, adopted the reformed doctrines, which had already made considerable progress in the Palatinate. He lived in comparative obscurity and poverty until 1557, when he became count palatine of Simmern by his father’s death, succeeding his kinsman, Ottheinrich  (1502-1559), as elector palatine two years later. In 1569 he wed the widow of Lord Hendrik “Grote Geus” van Brederode, Amalia of Neuenahr (1536-1602). He died in 1576, and was succeeded as Elector Palatine by his son Louis VI. Frederick had carved out a territory from the Lower Palatine land dubbed “Pfalz-Lautern” for his second surviving son Johann Casimir as an enclave to enable the continued existence of the Reformed faith.

Johann Casimir

(von Pfalz-Simmern) (1543 –1592) was a German prince and a younger son of Frederick III, Elector Palatine. A firm Calvinist, he was a leader of mercenary troops in the religious wars of the time, including the Dutch Revolt. From 1583–1592 he acted as regent for his nephew, Elector Palatine Frederick IV.


(Erztruchseß) The dukedoms of Franconia and Swabia had become extinct; their place and power, and the household offices they held, descended to the County Palatine of the Rhine and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Saxony, even with diminished territory, retained its eminent position. The Palatinate and Bavaria were originally held by the same individual, but in 1253, they were divided between two members of the House of Wittelsbach. The other electors refused to allow two princes from the same dynasty to have electoral rights, so a heated rivalry arose between the Count Palatine and the Duke of Bavaria.

Under Emperor Charles IV was in the Golden Bull of Erzämter established in 1356 following distribution:

  • The three spiritual electors were Reichserzkanzler for each one of the three parts of the empire:
    • the archbishop of Mainz in Germany – Archicancellarius by Germaniam,
    • the Archbishop of Cologne for Empire Italy – Archicancellarius by Italiam,
    • the Archbishop of Trier for Burgundy
  • The original four secular electors had held the following Erzämter:
    • the Count Palatine of the Rhine was Erztruchsess   – Archidapifer, dial tone: golden orb in a red field.
    • the Duke of Saxony was Erzmarschall – Archimareschallus
    • the Margrave of Brandenburg was Rabsaris – Archicamerarius
    • the King of Bohemia was Erzmundschenk – Archipincerna.

Scipio Africanus

Scipio Africanus the Elder: The Roman general Scipio earned the surname Africanus after his victory at the Battle of Zama, which ended the Second Punic War in 202 BCE.

Hannibal Barca 

A Carthaginian leader who defeated the Romans repeatedly in battle on Italian soil during the 2nd Punic War. Hannibal is particularly famous for invading Italy via the Alps, across which he led not only mercenary troops, but African elephants.

Ticino River

A river that originates in the Alps, near Nufenen. It then flows through the Swiss canton of Ticino and northern Italy. It flows into the river Po, near Pavia. It is 270 km long. It gave its name to the canton. In Switzerland, it is dammed to make electricity. In Italy, it is mainly used for irrigation. The river flows through Lago Maggiore.

Pippin der Kleine

Mayor of the Palace of the whole Frankish kingdom (both Austrasia and Neustria), and later King of the Franks. He born 714; died at St. Denis, 24 September, 768. Pippin was the son of Charles Martel and father of Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne) and Carloman.


King of the Franks and Christian emperor of the West. He did much to define the shape and character of medieval Europe and presided over the Carolingian Renaissance.

Charlemagne was born in the late 740s near Liège in modern day Belgium, the son of the Frankish king Pippin the Short. When Pippin died in 768, his kingdom was divided between his two sons and for three years Charlemagne ruled with his younger brother Carloman. When Carloman died suddenly in 771, Charlemagne became sole ruler.

Louis the Pious

Fundamentals of Meyer’s Longsword, Part II

Sword meets sword in Part Two of this introductory HEMA longsword class. The Applied Concepts class builds upon the footwork and cutting material covered in Part One. Using contact drills, students will explore the fundamental concepts of distance and timing while learning how to parry and counter cut.

Required Gear. Fencing mask, gloves

Required Skills. The Applied Concepts course assumes basic understanding of Meyer’s terminology and a degree of confidence in performing simple cuts and footwork. Students must pass an evaluation of basic skills and knowledge in order to gain admission to the class. Prospective students may schedule a skills evaluation with Study Group Leader Eric Mains or Region III Chief Chris VanSlambrouck. The evaluation takes approximately 10-20 minutes, and a training sword is provided.

Skills Evaluation Topics
1. Meyer’s Four Cuts

2. Meyer’s Four Guards + Langort

3. Meyer’s Four Cutting Exercises

4. A Short Bio of Meyer

Goodman Center, Gym B
149 Waubesa Street
Madison, WI 53704


Sundays 3:30-4:30pm, 13 March through 1 May, 8 sessions


$100 **$20 discount if you have a fencing mask, gloves, and a steel training sword**

Fundamentals of Meyer’s Longsword

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Class

Learn the essential cutting, postures, and footwork of 16th century fencing master Joachim Meyer. Fundamentals of Meyer’s Longsword introduces the basic fencing skills of one of the last inheritor’s of the Liechtenauer tradition of swordsmanship in an eight-part series of hour-long class sessions.

Each class begins with a warm-up routine, followed by guided exercises and drills using historically accurate replica training swords. Be ready to sweat and have fun learning historical fencing.


Goodman Community Center

149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI 53704

Gym B


Sunday 3:30-4:30pm

Dates: Sept 11, 18, 25; Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30


$100 for eight sessions pre-paid. Training equipment is included.


Lines 37-38

From The Third Book: Lines 31-32 of Meyer’s Zettel:

“When you deliver a Krumphau, go up quickly; cast the point crosswise on his hands.”

Meyer gives us an example earlier in (1.12v.1) his Kunst des Fechtens, in fact it should be noted that 19 lines of the Zettel are concerning the Krump. I have never had any real confusion of what a Krumphau was or was not, I did not even realize there was a bit of a stir in the HEMA world about it. That is, in reference to those who had or still do believe the examples of Krumpauwen are the way, and are (rigidly) a Krumphau. My lack of confusion comes from reading, because;

Meyer Explains:

“…Krumphäuwen are many, and that all cuts that are done with hands put crosswise or crossed, will be known as Krumphäuwen… and it applies equally to the long or short edges, thus it is a Krumphau when you hold your hands crosswise.” – Meyer (1560) MS A.4o.2, 1.12rvBut I can understand confusion. Like they say krumping ain’t easy.

“This is how you shall strike the Krumphau against the hands;

When he cuts from his right side against an opening with an Oberhau or Underhau, take a step well to his left side with your right foot, away from the strike and cut with crossed arms with the point to his hands. And even try this technique against him when he stands against you in the Ochs guard.” – Anon (1504-19) Gloss of Liechtenauer’s Bloßfechten, MS Dresd. C.487, 25r

“When you come to the closing with the opponent, set the left foot forward and hold your sword with the point at your right side and remain hence standing in the Krumphaw. If he then strikes you from above to an opening, step outward with your right foot and give him a Krump to his right side and strike him at the nearest opening. If he gives you a Krump like this and you stand with your right foot forward likewise in the Krumphaw, then step in with your left leg and displace his strike with your long edge. Then immediately follow outward with the right foot and drop a Krump onto his sword with your short edge and with that cut through his head.” – Mair (1542) “Opus Amplissimum de Arte Athletica” (MS Dresd.C.93/C.94), 22v

Never you mind good reader. We learn with and through working Stucken, and we have a great many to work. Per the norm we have:

Stucken from Guards,

Stucken with Something (a cut or handwork)

Stuck from Nebenhut [1.40r]

From Nebenhut you shall especially execute the Krumphäuwen . For example:

If your opponent cuts at your opening when you stand in the right Nebenhut, then spring well away from his cut with your right foot to his left, and cut with crossed hands above and behind his blade at his head. If you do not wish to wrench toward your left (Ausreißen), pull quickly up with crossed hands, and strike with the outside flat strongly around from below at his left ear.

Video Example

1st Stuck with Krumphau 

And firstly when one will cut straight to your head, from his right, thus step with your right foot well out from his strike, to his left, so that you avoid his strike with a spring to his left and likewise cut from your right with crossed hands, against his cut, thus you come with your blade between his head and sword, on his short edge, which is facing him, and when it connects, then step further around to his left side with your right foot, and displace or transfer your sword’s blade from his, onto his arm, between his head and sword,in this you will have seen the opening, to which the you may cut and see that you don’t wait long but rather allow your cuts to fly quickly to the openings. – Meyer (1560) MS A.4o.2, 1.12r

Video Example

2nd Stuck with Krumphau
…in the Zufechten when you come to your opponent, then see when he pulls his arms up for the stroke, and at that moment cross your hands in the air, and cast the point, that is the weak or furthest part of your blade, on his hands or arms. And note that this shall take place as he draws up for the stroke, as I have said; and before he is ready with it you shall already be back on his blade with a Zwerchau; for these techniques shall take place flyingly and quickly. [1.47v]
Video Example

Lines 35-36

From The Third Book: Lines 35-36 of Meyer’s Zettel:

Send your cuts powerfully from your body, carry out your work to the four openings

Master Meyer explains:

“In this rhyme two things are realized; firstly to the cutting, secondly to the four openings of the Man, to which the cuts will be struck and note that you cut all cuts with outstretched arms, and with this reach far to the man, also as soon as a cut from one side fails, thus you should quickly cut to the opposite side.” – Meyer (1560) MS A.4o.2, 1.12v

“These verses teach how you shall send your cuts powerfully and long, flying fluidly to all four targets, that is to all four openings, along with the body, which shall fully follow the cuts as I have said.” – Meyer (1570) “Grundtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens”,1.46r

Lines 33-34

From The Third Book: Lines 33-34 of Meyer’s Zettel:
No posture will come to you that is so good; in the Nach you will hit him with free mettle.

Master Meyer explains:

“Concerning this you shall note, although there are many good postures…you learn from these verses that it is always better not to entirely settle into a posture, since from the postures your opponent can easily deduce what kind of stück you have in mind to execute, something that cannot be deduced from the cuts.” – Meyer (1570) “Grundtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens”, 1.46r

This is why we move about; transitioning in the Zufechten through many guards. This is the chess match of fencing and why we do not linger overlong in any particular guard. It is also why it looks silly to view a fencing match where one or both fencers stabilize in a guard, Tag for example, and inch forward, tipy-toeing into Kreig distance to engage in a sad shootfighting, strike fest version of HEMA.

Master Meyer explains further:

“Also you learn from these verses how, when an opponent stands in front of you in a posture, you shall hit him or come to the opening, which may be accomplished through the Nach. Understand this thus: if your opponent stands in a posture, then cut opposite it to the other opening…” – Meyer (1570) “Grundtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens”, 1.46r

“…it is always better to not settle into a guard. It guards you not at all, to show someone with your guard, what you will do amid the fight, that may your cutting through not be brought so far. In this, learn from the rhyme, when you should do it. Namely in the Nach that is when you should take him, when he keeps his guard, or stays in a guard, then cut him to the opposite opening, as soon as he goes towards your strike with his displacing, and is out of his Guard, and whether it connects or doesn’t connect, then pull around your head and strike, especially to the part or quarter Line from where he has struck from.” – Meyer (1560) MS A.4o.2, 1.11v