Southern California Practice (SoCal)
First Step Fitness, 1335 Loma Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90804
Thursday evenings, 7:30-11pm.

Upcoming Session - May 3rd - Aug 17th

Body in Motion: 8-8:10p

Instructor: Gary Chelak
Stretching, light exercise, getting the body ready for success in class

Italian Sidesword 8:10-9pm & German Longsword 9:10-10pm

This session we will be exploring Italian sidesword & German longsword. Both will be approached from a foundations and building blocks perspective; establishing a core set of postures & strikes, as well as the tactics and strategies of application.

The focus lesson for each week will be examined with each weapon, providing two vehicles and two perspectives through which to learn. Italian sidesword will draw from the Bolognese system of Achille Marozzo, while the German longsword will draw from Meyer's system.

Outcomes of both sections include a functional understanding of the sample lessons, as well as how they apply to the larger systems. Students already familiar with other systems will be able to compare & contrast systematic hallmarks between these and other known systems of fence.

Italian Sidesword 8:10-9pm: Gary Chelak
German Longsword 9:10-10pm: Jeff Jacobson


Ending Session - 1/12/17 - 4/27/17

Body in Motion: 8-8:15p
Instructor: Gary Chelak

Stretching, light exercise, getting the body ready for success in class

Preparation for Sparring and Tournament 8:15-8:45p

This section will feature two simultaneous classes: Intro to Sparring and Tournament Preparation

Intro to Sparring
Instructor: Gary Chelak
New to sparring or competitive fencing? We'll have an intro to conventions and get a lot of experience free fencing, blow calling, and generally applying our art. Experienced students not interested in the Tournament Preparation section can aid in guidance and instruction, as well as gain opportunities to solidify their own understanding and application. Partway through the course we will merge with the tournament class to give everyone some experience in a more structured format as well as learn and aid in judging.

Tournament Preparation
Instructor: Ryan Shapiro, et al
This class will focus on preparing students to participate in HEMA style rapier tournaments. In this class, students will review common rule sets used and will participate in judged bouts as if in a tournament. The first month of the class will specifically focus on preparing for the SoCal Swordfight tournament on Feb 17th-19th.

Italian Rapier a la Bondi di Mazo 8:45-9:45p
Instructor: Jeff Jacobson

In this class we will look at some fundamentals of Italian rapier through La Spada Maestra, a 1696 treatise published in Venice by Bondi di Mazo. This treatise has recently become available to us through the translation efforts of Reinier van Noort, Matteo Butera, Francesco Lanza, and Jherek Swanger.
Which can be purchased here

The class will focus on the di Mazo's judicious use of footwork to obtain and control measure and tempo, as well as introducing students to the fundamentals of his mechanics and technique that display a unique development from the works of his Venetian predecessor, Nicoletto Giganti.

Gear for classwork: Mask, gorget, jacket, gloves, and a rapier simulator of comfortable length (preferably between 37-42" blades)

Some loaner gear will be available on a first come, first served basis

Free Fencing 10p-11p


Prior Session - 8/18/16 - 12/15/16
Body in Motion: 8-8:15p
Instructor: Gary Chelak

Stretching, light exercise, getting the body ready for success in class

Introduction to the Smallsword 8:15-9:25p
Instructor: Gary Chelak

Through the landmark work of fencing master Domenico Angelo, we will gain an introduction to the use of the smallsword.

Also known as Domenico Angelo Malevolti Tremamondo, in 1759 he accepted the position as riding & fencing master to Edward the Duke of York and George the Prince of Wales (who would later become King George III). It was these two students that in a few years would press Angelo to publish. No less than 236 benefactors contributed to the effort.

His 1763 text the School of Fencing is highly accessible to the reader and remained popular for decades. Among the many positions, thrusts, and observations in the text, Angelo describes a specific approach to the thrust and recovery, which we shall work to employ.

Scholars looking to get a jump on the course can download the pdf manual here. Having been trained in both Italian and French methods, be sure to check out Angelo's sections on fencing German, Italian, & Spanish opponents.

Note: Several smallsword training weapons have been purchased for this class. They will be available for inspection on 8/11.

Grappling with Medieval Daggers 9:30-10p
Instructor: Jeff Jacobson

This class will cover some of the basic techniques of attacking and defending oneself with and against rondel daggers as presented in Fiore dei Liberi's fechtbuch (fightbook) Fior di Battaglia (c. 1409). We will present basic guards, grips, and counters, and walk through some of the ways of applying these in simulated drills and engaging exercises.

The class will be fast paced and energetic, but student control is going to be at the highest level of expectation.

Some loaner gear will be available, students may also bring blunt dagger simulators, especially of the rondel style, that may be used (pending approval). Fencing mask or other face/eye protection is required for active partner exercises.