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Here you can read short bio's of the attending instructors for the 2013 Fechtschule America!


Dr. Jeffrey L. Forgeng is one of only a handful of professional scholars in the world specializing in the history of European martial arts, a field in which he has been involved since 1990. His books include The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570 by Joachim Meyer (2004) and The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship: A Facsimile and Translation of Europe’s Oldest Personal Combat Treatise, Royal Armouries MS I.33 (2003). He has forthcoming translations and editions of Johannes Lecküchner’s 1482 treatise on the single-handed sword, Duarte I of Portugal’s treatise on horsemanship (c. 1430), and Pedro Monte’s Military Compendium of c. 1490, one of the most important treatises on the physical disciplines of the medieval knight, including riding, sports, jousting, wrestling, and armed combat.

Hans Heim is founder and trainer for "Ochs", one of the biggest HEMA groups in Germany.  His martial arts curriculum vitae includes:
  • Approximately 10 years of Philippine Martial Arts
  • HEMA since 2000
  • Trainer for Ochs
  • Tested "Uebungsleiter" for historical martial arts

Member: HEMAC

Dennis Ljungqvist started to fence in the woods as a young LARP'er of 7 or 8 years until he about 16. After moving to Uddevalla, Sweden to study contracting, Dennis began training in Kendo until moving back to Kungshamn where he lives today.  Since it was a long journey to Uddevalla to continue training he took up boxing for 2-3 years but frustrated not to be fencing anymore, Dennis decided to start some kind of fencing school hear in Kungshamn.  By coincidence he learned of HEMA in 2007 and in May of 2008 held the first HEMA trainings there giving birth to the Kungshamns Historical Fencing School.  Dennis attended his first HEMA, Swordfish, in November 2008 and was knocked out of the shinai longsword tournament after one fight.  This inspired him to train harder and at Dijon 2009 took second place after Axel Pettersson and won the longsword division at Swordfish 2009.  Dennis continues to travel and compete at events across Europe and routinely places in the top three.  KHFS began studying rapier in the summer of 2010 in addition to longsword.  His proudest accomplisment so far is winning the 2012 longsword tournament at Swordfish.  He is also the only person to win the Swordfish longsword division twice (2009 and 2012.)

Axel Pettersson was born in Falun in the province of Dalarna, Sweden and now lives in Gothenburg, Sweden where he attends university, studying human resource management and political science. To get money for beer and fencing trips he works on the side at a shipyard and as a youth leader. Having earlier been a high level cross country skier, soccer player and certified soccer coach as well as having trained in western boxing, Axel started his HEMA career in 2002 with a local ARMA study group. Since his relocation to Gothenburg in 2006 he has been training with Gothenburg Historical Fencing School (GHFS) where he is also a board member and co-instructor for the advanced longsword class and part of the team that organizes the yearly HEMA event "Swordfish".

Axel has won more modern HEMA tournaments than any other fencer today, having won six of the last eight tournaments in which he has competed in the last eighteen months. 

Member: HEMAC


Jake Norwood was the Deputy Director of the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts from 2006-2008. He was the president of the BYU Historical Armed Combat Club from 2001-2003 and the chairman of the BYU Martial Arts Council from 2002-2003. In 2009 he and several other long-time and practitioners of the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) formed the HEMA Alliance, an educational not-for-profit corporation for supporting the legitimization and worldwide propagation of HEMA schools and clubs under unified standards of scholarship and martial effectiveness through accreditation, publication, and collaboration. He is currently the President of the Alliance’s Governing Council. Jake is firmly entrenched at present in understanding the Liechtenauer tradition of Kunst des Fechtens.

Member: HEMAA

Gene P. Tausk has more than 25 years experience in fighting techniques.  He has a Master's Certificate (black belt equivalent) in Ship Pal Gae Kung Fu (a Korean/Chinese hybrid system).  He was also awarded the rank of Senior Free Scholar in ARMA with the longsword.  In addition, he trained with former Russian officers in Russian fighting techniques.  He currently runs the South Houston School of Historical European Martial Arts.

Gene has a B.A. and M.A. from the Ohio State University in Russian and Slavic Linguistics and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.

Member: HEMAA

Jeff Tsay is currently director of Forte Swordplay, a group based in Boston, Massachusetts devoted to the study of HEMA and actively training the German tradition of Kunst des Fechtens.  Jeff has an eclectic martial background, having studied wing chun and several other unarmed and armed Eastern arts before finally succumbing to the hidden mysteries of the Western traditions.  

In his spare time, Jeff's efforts have focused on refining his interpretation methodology and using it to analyze both greater- (e.g. "Krump") and lesser-understood (e.g. "Rose", "Aussere Mynn") KdF techniques, putting them to the test in national and international tournaments (e.g. Swordfish, Longpoint, and Fechtschule America), and pushing the bounds of using video as an effective medium for sharing HEMA research.  Every fall, Jeff also helps host the Boston Sword Gathering, one of the premier HEMA/WMA conferences in the US (  In the remainder of his very full life, Jeff is a professional project manager, a devoted husband, and dedicated father of 2 awesome boys.  

To find out more about Jeff's efforts, check out, as well as the Western Martial Arts Coalition (   

Member: WMAC

Michael Edelson is a lifelong student of martial arts with over 30 years of experience, 20 of them in various weapon arts. Michael has been a governing councilor of the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance for the last three years and is the director and principal instructor of the New York Historical Fencing Association, where he has taught the KdF of Johannes Liechtenauer since 2005.

Member: HEMAA

Dakao Do- first took up the German longsword in 2000. He has trained extensively under David Biggs, Scott Brown, and other top instructors in a variety of weapons and styles. Dakao joined Scott at Sword to Sword in 2008 and today continues to lead the Houston branch of Sword to Sword. In 2007, Dakao began to take a serious interest in cross-training with other activities to develop fitness in general and specifically for fighting: kung fu, parkour, bodyweight strength training, and dance.

Member: WMAC

Arturo Camargo- first took up is a sports and martial arts enthusiast with over 11 years martial arts experience.  In 2008 he opened Krigerskole and is now one of the largest HEMA schools in Mexico.  He is also a co-founder of the Unión de Artes Marciales Europeas, (European Martial Arts Union) an organization dedicated to the reconcstruction, practice and diffusion of HEMA in Mexico.  Arturo is also one of the organizers of the Mexican Historical National Tournament.  He has participated in all national tournaments held in Mexico as well as Swordfish 2010 and Fechtschule America in 2011 and 2012.

Member: WMAC


Steven Hirsch- has been playing swords since 2006 and studying martial arts since 1998. First with the Higgins, and then with Jeff Tsay at Forte, he now teaches at his own school Kunstbuder—the Brotherhood of the Art of Defense. Since he started playing with swords he has stopped having other hobbies—just variations on playing with swords like making kit and researching medieval combat. He is a full-time student in Exercise & Health Sciences and a strength coach. He is also studying to be a physical therapist —which may be useful given his hobby.

Brian Stokes started fencing at 15 and at 17 was 2nd place All Western Conference in foil and epee in 1975 and 1976. He competed in the fencing competition of the Pan American US pentathalon in the 70's. Assistant fencing coach at California State Fullerton under Les Bleamaster, a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team. Brian initiated training in an iai school in 1978 for 23 years (while also still fencing), earning his Godan (5th Degree Black Belt), and then moved to another school where Rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt) and Renshi were awarded. Also during that time period Brian dabbled in other styles for a while - Mugai Ryu, an off-shoot of the Katori Shinto Ryu, and additionally the Araki Ryu. Essentially starting over in 2002 when he was allowed to become a monjin of the Suio Ryu of Iai Kenpo®, one of the oldest extent Koryu of Japan, and has practiced that style as his sole JSA ever since. In late 2002 he started my training in Fiore. All in all, Brian has been in
martial arts for close to (gulp) 40 years, give or take a few. He is a consummate researcher, always searching for manuscripts.

Member: WMAC


Bob McPherson interest in the sword began in 1982 with his first foil fencing class which he later when on to teach.  As time progressed, he formed his own fencing group, which evolved into today’s “Baited Blade” based in St. Louis, Missouri. As a teacher with his own curriculum he pursued special instruction from Classical Fencing Masters such as Adam Crown, Nick Evangelista, Ramon Martinez and Sean Hayes as well as expert sword practitioners the likes of Guy Windsor and Scott Brown.

As a history major, Bob also brings his academic skills to this art and is no stranger to research.  Heavily researched and feeling that much was missing from today’s understanding of Classical Fencing’s origins and evolution, and common misinformation’s, he dove into as much source material as he could find utilizing those sources to expand his understandings, complementing on his kinetic training to form functional theories which he applies to his teaching today.


Bob’s teachings include Classical foil, epee and sabre; great stick (a five foot rattan stick as taught by Alfred Hutton, 19th century master); historical small sword, a combat version of the sabre and rapier both as single weapon and with companion dagger.His rapier is focused around the Capo Ferro system.


Bob has also applied his skillful knowledge with fantastic long term success towards stage fighting.  He has choreographed numerous fights for plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Dangerous Liaisons, I Hate Hamlet and many, many more.Currently, he is working on his 7th production of I Hate Hamlet.

Member: WMAC


Omar Rodriguez's martial roots are deep and began as a child. He began studying Karate-Do at the age of six, eventually reaching the rank of black belt. While studying for his second dan, Omar eventually had to leave that art to focus on his university studies. Later he went on to practice two of the eighteen disciplines of Ninjutsu, Taijutsu and Kenjutsu.

Omar’s HEMA career began in 2008 with study of German longsword. He founded
a HEMA group called Hermandad de Guerreros (HEGUE), also known as the
Brotherhood of Warriors. He later went on to co-found and become a lead
instructor at the Elite Fencing Club México (EFC).

Omar has participated in several national and international events over the years,
including the First Open International Gathering and Fechtschule America in 2011
and 2012. He is honored to be an instructor at Encuentro de Artes Martiales
Europeas this year in February 2013, as well as at Schwertkampf México 2013 in

His current studies are focused mainly on German longsword, Italian rapier,
English saber, and dussack.

Member: WMAC



Ben Floyd- is the founder and head instructor of Krieg School, based in Tampa Bay Florida. He began studying HEMA at the now-defunct Tampa Fechtschule in 2007, and took over as head instructor in 2009. His studies focus mainly on the German traditions of longsword and dussack, with a particular focus on Joachim Meyer's works. He has competed in tournaments regionally, nationally, and internationally since 2010 with many top 3 wins including the two of the largest HEMA tournaments in North America, Fechtschule America and Longpoint, and also the WWOC in Germany.  He is also a current member of the Governing Council of the HEMA Alliance.

Member: HEMAA

Michael Chidester has been studying historical European martial arts since 2001. He was a member of the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts until 2006 (and an informal associate until 2009), where he achieved the rank of general Free Scholar and acted as the ARMA Provo Study Group Leader. Michael co-founded the True Edge Academy of Swordsmanship in 2009, and until 2011 was a senior instructor and researcher at its Provo, Utah branch. He is a member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition and a Lifetime Member of the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance, and currently lives in Boston. 

Michael became associated with the Wiktenauer project ( shortly after its creation in 2009, not only helping to build the wiki but also contributing his own transcriptions, translations, and historical research. After serving as its principal designer and editor for two years, in 2012 Michael was appointed Director of the Wiktenauer Project by the HEMA Alliance governing council. Wiktenauer is the largest and most comprehensive resource for Medieval and early Modern fencing treatises, offering not only historical and biographical information on manuals and masters from across Europe but also indexing all available manuscript and book scans as well as hosting the transcription and translation work of a great many contributing HEMA scholars.
Ken Dietiker- is a 20 year veteran of the US Army, served in the Infantry and in Military Intelligence as an Imagery Analyst as a Senior Instructor. He served during the Gulf War in 1990-91 in which he nearly lost his left foot in an accident. He currently works in Marketing on Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State, in the USA. He has a BA in Communications and is an aspiring videographer and digital Filmmaker and has begun to include HEMA in his video practice, so look for classes online in the near future. Currently Ken is back in school taking Post-Baccalaureate courses in Instructional Design.

Ken has had an interest in Martial Arts since he can remember and has been seriously studying HEMA since he took his first Fiore Longsword class at a Bob Charron seminar in 2000. Though he bases his study and practice of HEMA using the fundamental principles of Fiore dei Liberi as his foundation, he includes information from any and all of the earliest European sources. Three years ago he created a small HEMA group, The Seven Swords Guild, where he is also the Principle Instructor. The class is currently on the base and caters to military members and their families, though ostensibly his reasoning was that he needed more students so he’d have someone to hit. He is now looking to expand his classes into the civilian sector by opening a more formal school in town. Eventually he will create eLearning courses so small groups and isolated individuals can learn HEMA when a more formal school is not available to them. Ken’s nefarious plan is to rediscover the Art and Science of HEMA by a combination of personal experience, translation and interpretation, comparative analysis, bio-mechanics, and practical application for his unique approach of the medieval art of combat.

Member: HEMAA


Rebecca Boyd began classical fencing in 2008 and emerged onto the HEMA scene
following the 2011 Fechtschule America. Since that fateful weekend she has jumped into historical study and practice feet first while maintaining a deep love and appreciation for her classical fencing roots. Becca currently practices foil, epee, sabre, smallsword, rapier, rapier/dagger, dussack, and—most recently—longsword. She has
been teaching since 2011 and has developed a satellite club of Baited Blade and is the sole teacher at that location. She is also the organizer of Baited Blade’s event, the SDF, and placed second in their 2012 smallsword tournament. Becca is also a writer and has been working on a nonfiction book about today’s HEMA community.



Jeremy Loose has been studying western martial arts since 1991.  Beginning with the Bohemian Historical Fencing Accademy under Pawel Hacek, he has studied with the Brotherhood of European arts martial, ARMA, Kreigshunde Fechtshule, and now KRON Martial Arts in southern California.  As well as studying longsword , dussack, messer, ringen, and pole arms, he has worked as a historical weaponsmith and armourer for the last 15 years.

Member: HEMAA

Johnny Rosencraft started training in HEMA around 2002 under the excellent tutelage of Gary Chelak (Tattershall) and Chris Vivo (Schola Solis). He has been in martial arts most of his life including feudal era kenjutsu and other unarmed/weapons systems. Currently, Johnny runs a dojo, attends Kron, and is hard at work on an interpretation of Fiore's dagger and unarmed material.

 Member: HEMAA|

Robin Price- Training in a variety of martial arts for over 40 years reaching instructor level in Tae Kwon Do, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and Krav Maga. 

Police Force instructor for 26 years.

Competitor in wrestling, judo, boxing, kickboxing and savate (When he was much younger!)
HEMA since 2007

Member: HEMAA
Jeffrey Basham- For the last 15 years Jeffrey has played a part of the international movement to recreate the Historical European Martial Arts and is associated with the Western Martial Arts Coalition and the HEMA Alliance.  Jeffrey has exhibited and taught historical martial skills throughout the United States and abroad- most notably at the Royal Armouries in the United Kingdom.  Recently he competed in the Lysts on the Lake 2012 Tournament in which he took 1st place in the Skill at Arms competition.  In addition, he has competed in Armour Deeds at Arms (longsword and spear) and in the Open Class Longsword, Sword & Buckler, and Dussack tournaments. 
Jeffrey's inspiration has mostly been from the medieval source manuscripts of Fiore dei Liberi and those of the Liechtenauer tradition.  In recent years he has begun his own journey to incorporate mounted combat techniques into his regimen.  Jeffrey spends much of his time training horses and riders fundamental of horsemanship to develop respect and control for a more trusting, reliable, and safer riding experience.  He also corrects or rehabilitates horses that have learned inappropriate or unsafe behavior issues.  His riding background includes dressage, Western dressage, working equitation, trail riding, tournament jousting, and melee.
Theresa Wendland- is a horsewoman, scholar of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, and member of the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild.  She has been riding horses for over twenty years having trained in modern dressage, jumping, and eventing.  More recently her focus has been on classical and baroque dressage.  Since beginning her exploration of WMA/HEMA, Theresa has been working to combine her knowledge of horsemanship, of the biomechanics of riding, and of equine behavior with the practice of Western martial arts in an effort to understand and to reconstruct mounted combat.  She has been extensively researching historical horsemanship and mounted combat from the 4th c. BC to the 18th c. AD with a focus on the Italian and German medieval fighting manuscripts of the 14th and 15th centuries.  Theresa has collaborated with horsemen and women and WMA practitioners from around the world in order to interpret and practice the art of medieval mounted combat.  She has taught and lectured across the United States and in Germany.  Theresa currently lives in Colorado where she is attending veterinary school and working with Douglas Wagner of the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild on a mounted combat curriculum.

Douglas Wagner- has long been involved with historic martial and equine pursuits.  Raised in Colorado, he took up sport fencing competitively after high school, began riding and earned a degree in history and archaeology before pursing kendo and becoming involved in Historical European Martial Arts.  He joined the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild in 2004, and attained the rank of Scholar in 2009.  He currently serves as the Guild's Head Instructor, President, and Prefect, working primarily in the tradition of Fiore dei Liberi.  In addition to instructing and fighting on foot, Douglas studies and teaches mounted combat techniques from Renaissance manuscripts of the various European traditions at national and international events.  He has participated in Jousting tournaments since 2008, trains in the hunter/jumper discipline of riding, and is collaborating on a mounted combat curriculum for the Western Martial Arts community.