Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium

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Being held on February 15-17, the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium ( is almost upon us! As lead instructor for Les MaĆ®tres d’Armes, I’m excited to attend for several reasons, not the least of which is to attend an event filled with other like-minded sword geeks as well as the opportunity to renew old friendships and make new ones in the splendid facility that is Academie Duello.

Class wise, I’m excited to be teaching my interpretation of the Jeu de la Hache, a Burgundian manuscript detailing the use of the pollaxe – one of the most versatile and dangerous weapons of the medieval arsenal. My two classes will cover the gamut, from fundamental plays to working from the crossing, from both left and right handed, and hopefully instil in people a new found appreciation for this most elegantly brutal of weapons. There is a lot of material to cover, but it’s worthy of exploration for the mechanics alone.

Finally, my other class, Pommel Play, is a look at the various uses for the pommel: hooks, traps, throws, locks and strikes, and ways to counter some of these techniques, all based on Fiore dei Liberi’s corpus of works. It should be an enlightening time for those who enjoy some close-quarters work, and provide an opportunity to work with seldom-used plays for those who don’t often come to grips. Win-win!

So please join us in February, if you can – I for one am looking forward to seeing you there!