Historical Fencing at Alliance
Since 2008 Houstons Alliance Fencing Academy to provides two exciting programs to our students. Mr. Brown, a well known Historical European Fencing and Martial Arts researcher and instructor, operating as Sword to Sword Historical Fencing and Martial Arts is offering courses teaching the Kunst des Fechtens.
Kunst des Fechtens (the Art of Fighting) is a term for those European fighting traditions emerging from regions known today as Germany. The Kunst des Fechtens encompasses many martial traditions including both armoured and unarmoured combat, longsword, sword and buckler, falchion, spear/lance, grappling/wrestling, dagger, horsemanship, and more. In order to provide a higher quality of instruction to the members of the Alliance Fencing Academy, Mr. Browns courses will focus on the unarmoured German longsword and sword and buckler traditions, though individual lessons are available for many
other arts upon request.
Grandmaster Johannes Liechtenauer, a 14th century Fechtmeister (Fight Master/ Fencing Master), has been well documented as one of the great fencers of his time. Though he himself was very secretive of his Arts, many of the inheritors of his Art chose to write down and preserve much of his system while also adding their own perspectives. Mr. Brown will be teaching fencing principles, mechanics, tactics, and strategies of the longsword consistent with todays understandings of Liechtenauers principles for combat. Beginning programs will first focus on building firm foundations in basic bladework and footwork operations as well as timing, distance, and position skill-sets consistent with Liechtenauers systems. Classes will also integrate Liechtenauers mechanical, tactical, and strategic methods. It is Mr. Browns goal to develop skilled longsword practitioners able to compete on an international level demonstrating superior German swordsmanship.
However, some just enjoy historical fencing for its healthy benefits, its historical associations or to explore some relationship to an ancestral heritage. For those practitioners, Mr. Brown will encourage and cultivate further exploration into the specific techniques, manuscripts, and cultural relationships pertaining to a variety of German Masters. This will allow these practitioners a unique and rich cultural experience, while simultaneously enriching their lifestyle and health. The worlds oldest known fencing manuscript, the R.A. MS. I.33 and is the primary source for Mr. Browns sword and buckler program. This system pre-dates even the mighty Liechtenauer himself and is often referred to as the Art of the Priest as the manuscript describes a Priest and a Scholar (pupil) demonstrating very sophisticated sword and buckler fencing principles and techniques. The Priest is believed by some to be a man known only as Lutegerus and this system is often referred to as Lutegerus Art or Fencing Lutegerus. One other fascinating element of Lutegerus Art is that this manuscript depicts one of Europes oldest known examples of a female fencer from around 1300 AD.
Mr. Brown is recognized as a leading researcher into this system and considers it a wonderful and exciting privilege to share this system and his personal methods with the members of the Allied Fencing Academy.
After teaching and training European martial arts for several years in St. Louis, Scott Brown moved to Houston in 2007 where he teamed up with Dakao Do and Chris Cunningham to officially form Sword to Sword. Together they refined and amplified the unique Sword to Sword teaching and training methods while simultaneously expanding the membership into the thriving club that it is today. In 2011, Scott moved to Orlando and he and Dakao continue to broaden the Sword to Sword program.
Sword to Sword primarily focuses on training the Kunst des Fechtens or “Arts of Combat” of the Germanic cultures. Weekday classes typically focus on the longsword teachings of the famous Meister Johannes Liechtenauer’s disciples. Weekend classes generally focus on the sword and buckler teachings of the Royal Armouries manuscript I.33* also known as the “Art of the Priest”.
Passionately dedicated to the training, study, and promotion of historical European martial arts, Sword to Sword offers several training options and “expansion” programs beyond our longsword and sword and buckler programs. These include grappling, dagger, dussack, langes messer, rapier, polearms, sabre, and singlestick. These options are available through personal training, seminars, and occasional specialty classes. See our “Training” pages for more details.
Sword to Sword is also the host group for the annual WMA / HEMA event Fechtschule America, home of North America’s largest HEMA-specific tournaments and specialty training workshops. This event is sponsored by The Western Martial Arts Coalition and the HEMA Alliance.
he founder of Schwert am Schwert, Scott has been training and teaching martial arts for over thirty years and holds certificates of rank in multiple disciplines. Since the turn of the century he has exclusively focused his efforts on the Western martial arts systems with a specialized focus on the swordsmanship aspects of the Kunst des Fechtens or “Arts of Combat” of the Germanic cultures amongst others. He is best known for his sword and buckler expertise of the “Art of the Priest” from the Royal Armouries ms. I.33 and the various longsword teachings of Johannes Liechtenauer’s disciples. Secretly, he also enjoys dussack, singlestick, and a variety of sabre systems.
Bringing his diverse expertise to WMA / HEMA, Scott has developed specific performance based curricula for both swordsmen-practitioners and instructors of these arts. He continues to travel and teach all over the world and currently operates a WMA / HEMA school in the Orlando, Florida area in addition to continuing instruction at the Houston, Texas locations of Schwert am Schwert.
As the Director of the annual event Fechtschule America, Scott coordinates some of the world’s largest modern tournaments and has helped develop numerous competitive rules for WMA / HEMA competitions around the world.
Scott is a founding member of the Western Martial Arts Coalition.
Scott has won several international WMA / HEMA-specific tournaments including:
- 2008 Swordfish’s Joachim S. Nilsson Memorial Longsword Tournament (Sweden)
- 2010 FightCamp’s Assault at Arms Backsword/Sabre/Singlestick TOurnamnt (U.K.)
- 2010 Longpoint’s Open International Longsword Tournament (U.S.A.)
- 2012 1er Encuentro de Artes Marciales Europeas’ Torneo de Sable de Canasta (Mexico)
Dakao Do loves to move—be it dancing, running, jumping, or fighting. An avid gamer for the first 20 years of his life, Dakao played games of all sorts and rarely saw the light of day. Also a voracious student of history, he stumbled upon European swordsmanship in 2001 and has since led an action-packed life.
Dakao’s 12-year martial arts background centers on German longsword as taught by Sigmund Ringeck. Dakao has additionally trained in Italian rapier (Capo Ferro, Fabris), quarterstaff, baguazhang kung fu, muay thai, and capoeira. He is also an instructor in parkour, which complements his martial skills with fitness, movement, and body awareness. Beyond the merely physical, Dakao uses movement under pressure to teach decision, perception, precision, adaptation—but most importantly, fun. Creating fun for his students and himself fuels Dakao’s passion to teach and excel in the sports he loves. With a reserve of strength born from passion, we can endure and succeed in life’s burdensome or necessary tasks.
Dakao currently heads up the Houston, Texas location of Sword to Sword.
Jeffrey began training in HEMA back in 1998 and has played an active part of the international movement to recreate the Historical European Martial Arts of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. HE is available to the students of Schwert am Schwert- Houston fencing guild as a harness and equestrian instructor and is associated with the Western Martial Arts Coalition and the HEMA Alliance.
Jeff has exhibited historical martial skills throughout the United States and abroad – most notably at the Royal Armouries in the United Kingdom. Between Fechtschule America 2011 and 2012 he has competed in the Open Class Longsword, Dussack, and Sword and Buckler Tournaments. In addition he has also refereed and judged Franco-Belgian Longsword and Dussack tournaments. His martial focuses today are Italian and German Longsword (Harnessfechten and Blossfechten), spear, dagger, poleaxe, and Rofsfechten (mounted combat.
Jeffrey is also a journeyman horse trainer and helps horse owners learn the fundamentals of horsemanship, to train a willing and respectful horse, and help owners deal with inappropriate or unsafe behavior issues. His training and riding disciplines include jousting, rossfechten (mounted combat), classical dressage, Western dressage, working equitation, endurance equitation, and hunter/jumper. In 2012 Jeff was on of the 45 competitors at Lysts on the Lake, the world’s largest jousting tournament of the modern era. At this event he took 1st place in Skill at Arms-IJL, 1st place Skill at Arms-Texas Division, 1st place in Novice Melee, and had a perfect score in the Novice Joust tying the winner and awarded 2nd place.
- Weekly group classes
- Introduction to Historical Fencing Course
- Individual Lessons & Group Classes for Visitors
Regular instruction consists of group classes on most days of the week; we also hold weekend training sessions depending on availability — please call to confirm. In addition, we occasionally host events and seminars. Individual instruction is also available.
Please contact instructor Dakao Do for more information!
dakaodo (at) yahoo.com