Instructors Swordfish 2019
Robert Childs, USA
Robert Childs first got himself into trouble with pointy objects at the age of four when his mother caught him practicing techniques seen on television with his father’s folding knife. Since that time Robert’s enthusiasm for swords and knives has only grown, leading him first to train and compete in Olympic foil and saber in 1988 at the age of 17. Though he excelled in competitions in sport fencing, Robert found it lacked the realism he craved.
So, only four years after entering the Olympic competition circuit, he finally found his calling within the more realistic practice of swordplay as a martial art. Always hungry for knowledge, Robert later used his military career as a stepping stone to other regions and countries, living in various places around the world and making it a point to learn the local martial art so as to incorporate the applicable techniques and philosophies of these cultures into his own practice of the rapier. Now, 31 years after first picking up a sword to train, Robert has leveraged his study from around the world into a unique understanding and practice of rapier combat that continues to evolve to this day.
Jerzy Miklaszewski, Poland
Jerzy Miklaszewski started his 24 years of martial art experience with the first Polish branch of ITF (International Tae Kwon Do Federation), studying under Marek Lech, one of the precursors of the Polish Tae Kwon Do.
He then continued his education under Sifu Andrzej Szuszkiewicz from Wing Chun Kuen Kung Fu, where he learned a different understanding of martial arts, visited multiple seminars, special classes, meetings and met masters of Ju Jutsu, Tai Chi (both Chen and Chuan style), Tang Lang Men – he also studied the same martial arts in Melbourne and France under master such as William Chueng (Ip Man Student) or Didier Beddar . After few years, he was one of the first students of Soke Toshimichi Takeuchi in Bujutsu Kan school, which was created in Cracow.
His studies brought him towards different Japanese styles like Kenjutsu, Aikido, Kyudo, Judo, Ninjutsu, Kendo, Aikijutsu and many others in numerous seminars over entire Poland. Yet a true renaissance of his martial arts way came when he met a group of European martial arts enthusiasts, where under harsh, unyielding and implacable training conditions, he started to use all his previously gained knowledge. After a few years of sparring, Jerzy started winning at tournaments. That is when he, with his fellow senior instructor, decided to create a school created upon diversity of approach towards martial arts, where they started teaching people the ways of old, but still efficient and uncompromising European martial arts till this day.
Through this experience, Jerzy has created an initiative called the Silkfencing team, which is developing even more, through scientific and practical research. His cooperation with many worldwide specialists has made his research and his knowledge develop, he is cooperating with many important organization, such as HEMA Alliance (he is the only member in Poland), National Museum in Kraków, Jagiellonian University Museum, Stowarzyszenie Miłośników Broni i Barwy, Jiu Jiutsu Union, Polish Sport Fencing Federation and many other institutions. His school is one of the only seven Polish schools that are in official cooperation with Polish Fencing Association. He is as well a member of Polish Knight Fighting Cadre, with which he achieved World Vice Championship in Armoured Group Fighting on IMCF. He has won many tournaments in countries like England, Poland, Scotland, Italy or even Australia. His unique research of the Polish Szabla has been brought by him to many places in the world, as he already conducted seminars in over 20 countries including Japan, England, Scotland, USA, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Thailand, Ireland and of course Poland.
Since 2014 Silkfencing Team became a study group of the Meyer Freifechter Guild and a Pammachon organization and HEMA Alliance. In 2017 Silkfencing Team started a copperation with ARMA-PL Kraków, creating Krakowska Szkoła Fechtunku (KSF), the biggest proffesional HEMA center in southern Poland and operated. In 2018 his research was published with a museum exhibition he coauthored „To Arms!” which presented not only HEMA to common people but also gave fencing practitioners insight into a very complex topics of saber history in Eastern Europe.
With lots of analyzed treatises, manuals and with the experience verified by many different schools throughout the entire world, KSF team always learns, analyses and adapts, representing a young and ever evolving attitude towards life and understanding of changing environment.
Olle Kausland, Sweden
Olle Kausland first picked up a blade when he encountered UHFS in Uppsala, Sweden. Spotting them fencing outside the cathedral, he stated that he would not have lived a dignified life if he was given the chance to learn sword fighting and letting the opportunity pass. Training with them for a few years before moving to the west coast of Sweden, he soon found both GHFS and MHFS to be too far away for regular training. And so he started his own HEMA club in Halmstad in late 2017.
Elena Muzurina, Russia
Elena Muzurina was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Student and instructor at School of European Martial Tradition Tramazzone (est. 2014).
2012-2014 she was an assistant coach to her trainer Sergey Myasischev at military saber class. In 2014 to now she has been teaching military saber. Her latest study is the Italian tradition, primarily according to the method of Luigi Barbasetti.
Since 2015 Elena trains longsword (Italian and German tradition) under the leadership of Andrey Muzurin.
Marius Rafoshei, Norway
Marius Rafoshei, of Fekteklubben Frie Duellister Oslo, has been around the HEMA scene for a good long while, but thanks to work and injury he has been on – and off (here is to hoping the last comeback is final).
Next to HEMA he has also dabbled in various other Martial Arts, of most importance to this workshop are Submission Wrestling and Judo.
When he is not busy training, he can be found coaching people of his club with a passion or ranting on the minute details of whatever caught his attention last week in class.
He also holds a Master’s in History, so the H in HEMA is important to him.
Brittany Reeves, USA
Brittany Reeves is the Head Instructor and Co-founder of Mordhau Historical Combat in Arizona, USA. Brittany was first introduced to HEMA in 2011, but only started seriously training with Blood and Iron Martial Arts in Canada, after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient and Medieval History in 2013. She has since become a multi-medalist in longsword, ringen, glima, and cutting, and has earned international recognition as a sought after instructor. Her love for teaching spilled over into a love for coaching, which itself is a skill that one must hone. She has coached dozens of fighters to medal finishes, from beginners in their first tournament to decorated champions looking for sound tactical advice on the sideline.
Brittany is always seeking out ways to contribute to the growth of the HEMA community. She is the Event Coordinator for the Valley of the Sun Cutting Tournaments; the only HEMA event that is entirely dedicated to competitive cutting and thoughtful workshops. She was also the Event Support Coordinator for the HEMA Alliance in the United Starts for the 2018-2019 term. Brittany is also the author for the Women of HEMA blog, and is taking the swordstagram world by storm at www.instagram.com/saint.leafy/
Kyle Griswold, USA
Kyle Griswold began his study of HEMA with Richard Marsden at the Phoenix Society in Arizona, USA. Kyle would later assume the role of an instructor at his former club before co-founding Mordhau Historical Combat.
Kyle has taught internationally and across the United States at small workshops and larger events such as Longpoint. When creating Mordhau, Kyle narrowed his study of HEMA to the German tradition of fencing attributed to Liechtenauer. Kyle draws upon his experience in law enforcement and modern combatives to interpret the mechanics of historical fighting.
Miro Lahtela, Finland
Miro Lahtela has trained in multiple martial arts since the age of six. Ranging from the harmonical aspects of Aikido to the more concrete techniques of Brazilian Ju Jitsu, he found his home in HEMA about four years ago. He is interested in every weapon system he can get his hands on, but has taken a special liking to longsword fighting.
Miro teaches German longsword and wrestling at the EHMS in Finland. In his classes he focuses primarily on teaching correct technical decisions in the right tactical situations.
His dream is to someday live off of Historical Martial Arts, and to that end owns a company with his girlfriend that does HEMA, horseback archery, massage, and physiotherapy. www.elrohir.fi
Victor Harder Hesel, Denmark
Victor picked up HEMA at the age of 17. However, he was frustrated that most of the techniques he was taught never really seemed to work that well for a left-handed fencer such as himself. Sure, they could be made to work in carefully set up situations, but those never really seemed to present themselves when he engaged in sparring and the heat was on.
Intrigued by the competitive side of HEMA, he decided to focus on only the simplest of techniques, techniques that would then seemingly expand themselves and lead to other, more complicated techniques as the sparring got progressively better and cleaner. Since these early days of his HEMA career, sparring and tournament fencing have remained central to his fencing, his approach being mostly practical rather than theoretical. Techniques are lifted from various masters and manuscripts but most of what he teaches derives from his own sparring and tournament experiences and have been compiled into a homemade system of sorts.
Victor primarily teaches students wanting to excel at competitive fencing, his approach to teaching very much being “I’m only ever going to teach things I can reliably and repeatedly pull off against an uncooperative opponent”. However, despite this very practical mentality, the goal is clean and fluid (and preferably aesthetically pleasing) fencing that flows rather than on “fencing that gets the job done no matter the cost”.
Francesco Lodà, Italy
Francesco Lodà started his career in historical fencing in 1999. As a teacher and trainer, he has been appointed so far by 14 technical titles, among which:
- Maestro di Scherma Storica (Italian Fencing Federation, CSEN, UISP).
- Maestro d’Armi (Italian Association for Master-at-Arms).
- Military Master-at-Arms (USA Sonoma State University).
- Athletical Trainer (Italian National Olympic Committee).
As a Sport delegate, for the Italian Fencing Federation, he is a member of the HEMA National Board and Examination. He’s President and co-founder of A.I.M.A. He was recently appointed with “sport Merit” (Benemerenza) by the S.V. association of Italian National Olympic Committee.
As an athlete, he is the world most rewarded athlete for rapier fencing. He joined the biggest international competitions between 2003-2019, including among many A.I.M.A. Roma, Swordfish, Longpoint, with the following results and medals:
- Main international competitions: 42 Gold, 4 Silver, 9 Bronze, 9 Technical Excellence.
- CSEN Italian Championships: 6 times Champion.
- HEMA RATINGS: (struggling with age 😊) he’s still ranked 1st for Single Rapier and Sidesword.
As a head coach of Accademia Romana d’Armi, he brought the Society more than one hundred medals, including two Bronze at the 2nd European Games 2019.
As a researcher, he obtained 2 Ph.D. in historical subjects (Ancient Religions; Rome and Greek civilization), and works on ancient warfare.
Regarding HEMA, he discovered many lost manuscripts and treatises, proving in his papers the existence of a Roman School of fencing, active in the City between the XVIth and the XVIIIth Century. He published 4 books and several papers and reviews about historical fencing, and among them one translated in English: Rapier Handbook, Freelance Academy Press, Chicago, 2019. In 2018-2019 he co-directed history Degree Thesis in Roma Tre University.
For the showbiz and art, he teaches “Live action combat” and “Historical stage/screen combat” at Roma Film Academy in Cinecittà Studios Campus (the temple of Italian cinema industry), and prepared several actors for Italian movies and productions.