National Historical Swordsmanship Convention

National Historical Swordsmanship Convention The National Historical Swordsmanship Convention (NHSC, pronounced "Nisk") is a 4 day event for stud Age 14 to adult. Food is not provided.

The National Historical Swordsmanship Convention (NHSC) is a special event that brings top level instruction in early-Renaissance European swordsmanship to fencers of all experience levels. NHSC will provide a cohesive, focused approach that will have classes covering unarmed combat, the use of the langes messer (long knife), the single handed sword, Italian sword and shield, German longsword, the

Italian spadone (the great 16th century two handed sword), and the use of pole arms. Each class will build off of the next so that students will not only gain exposure to different weapon styles, but also develop a stronger level of proficiency and competence as martial artists. There will be talks on historical context, with an opportunity for participants to handle period authentic swords as well. INSTRUCTORS:
•Bill Grandy, Director of Historical Swordsmanship at the Virginia Academy of Fencing - Bill has taught historical European martial arts professionally over the past decade and has been invited to teach across the country for various schools and events, including at the Western Martial Arts Workshop and Chivalric Weekend. He will be teaching 15th century German swordsmanship (the Liechtenauer tradition) on all four days.
•Tom Leoni, Founder of the Order of the Seven Hearts and one of the principal Historical Swordsmanship instructors at the Virginia Academy of Fencing - Tom is one of the leading researchers of Renaissance Italian martial arts. He has published some of the top translations of historical fencing treatises, and has taught historical fencing around the world. Tom will be teaching 16th century Italian swordsmanship (the Bolognese school) on all four days.
•Christian Tobler, Head Instructor of the Selohaar Fechtschule - Christian is a researcher and author specializing in the 15th century German Liechtenauer tradition. German longsword enthusiasts will be familiar with his successful books including Secrets of German Medieval Swordsmanship and Fighting with the German Longsword. He will be teaching on Saturday and Sunday German Poleaxe in Armor. WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: NHSC is for all experience levels, from the total beginner to the experienced veteran of historical martial arts. With three professional instructors plus additional VAF coaches to assist, everyone can expect personalized attention for their own skill levels. Minors must have signed permission of a legal guardian. EQUIPMENT: All participants at minimum are required to have a fencing mask, jacket, gloves and practice weapons. Participants must wear long athletic pants and non-marking athletic shoes. Equivalent or additional historical clothing and protection acceptable. All necessary equipment is available for purchase on site. LOCATION: Virginia Academy of Fencing, 5401-B Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22151 (just outside of Washington DC)

REGISTRATION: Participants can sign up for individual days, or for the entire four day event. Though each class builds off of the previous classes, the event is structured so that if a student can still jump in despite having skipped previous days. The registration cost is $385 for all four days (best value), $235 for both Saturday and Sunday combined, or $125 per day if registered by July 1, 2012. VAF members will receive a 10% discount (must register directly through VAF, not online). Register online here through our website (below), or directly here:

SCHEDULE: All four days will begin at 9:00 AM and finish at 5:30 PM, with a 1 hour break at 12:30. There will be the option for lunch delivery during the morning of each day, and there are also shops nearby. The theme of Day 1 (Thursday) is Fundamentals: Learning the Building Blocks. The theme of Day 2 (Friday) is Tactics: Proper Ex*****on of Technical Ability. Day 3 (Saturday) is Repertoire: Critical Thinking During Fencing. Day 4 (Sunday) is Application under Pressure: Putting Practice into Practice. CONTACT INFORMATION: Please visit our website at


And NHSC is officially over. Bill and Tom had a GREAT time teaching such wonderful and focused students! Bill is currently going over each of his bruises and fondly reminiscing, "Okay, I got that one from dussack with Jonathan, that one from saber with Jake, that one from wrestling with Albert..." Thank you so much to everyone who came, and thank you so much for the energy and dedication you all brought with you!


A message from Christian Tobler:
Dear Instructors and Students of NHSC,

I write to apologize to you all for my absence, but as you are likely already aware, a recent bout of ill health precludes my attending the event and training with you fine martial artists. I was very much looking forward to this trip.

My one consolation lies in the knowledge that you will be trained in the use of that most knightly of weapons - the poleaxe - by two extremely talented armoured combatants and teachers. I've had the pleasure, and faced the challenge, of bouting both Messrs. Leoni and Grandy in harness, and their prowess and fidelity to the Art are profound.

I look forward to the day - less nasally congested! - when I may have the pleasure of training with you all at an event. In the meanwhile, train safely and enjoy the event!

Yours in arms,

Christian Tobler


The good news first: Day 1 of NHSC was great! So many dedicated students really threw themselves into the drills with fervor, and we can't wait to add more throughout the weekend!

But now the bad news. Sadly, Christian Tobler is very ill, and though it pains him to have to cancel, he cannot make the trip. We wish Christian a healthy and speedy recovery!


Day 1 of NHSC!


In case you were wondering: VAF has power, and NHSC will be not be affected by the recent storm and outages in the DC area. See you in a couple of days!


Preregistration ends tomorrow!


Remember that preregistration ends on July 1! Register before then!


We updated the site with the basic schedule of classes. Please take a look! There are still some areas that we are working out, but we will keep you all informed.

Registration is officially open! Please go to our website and follow the links for whether you want to do all four days ...
Contact - Viginia Academy of Fencing

Registration is officially open! Please go to our website and follow the links for whether you want to do all four days (best value), individual days, or our Saturday/Sunday special.

Contact the Virginia Academy of Fencing today.


NHSC is proud to have Christian Tobler as a guest instructor to this year's event! Christian will be teaching armored combat with the poleaxe.


Mark your calendars: NHSC 2012 is scheduled for July 5-8! More details will be posted soon!


Photos posted! Please feel free to tag away!

NHSC 2011 (Photos by Denis Loukonine)

NHSC 2011 (Photos by Denis Loukonine)


We would like to thank all of our attendees for making this such a fantastic weekend! One of our proudest moments was during the last half hour of the last day where we watched everyone put everything together with the spadone in unchoreographed drills. People who had never used the weapon before NHSC were using it as if they'd been doing so for years, leaving us as teachers grinning from ear to ear!


And Day 1 has arrived!


We will be having a buffet style dinner on site at VAF so that no one has to drive out anywhere. The cost will be $27 dollars per person. Also, we will provide sandwiches and chips at lunch to those who request ahead of time for $5.


Working on after-hours plans. This is not only going to be a weekend of hard martial training, but also a weekend of fun and camaraderie!


For those who haven't seen yet, the full schedule is up on the website.


Only one month away!

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Another very nice deal at Kult of Athena is the Tinker Pearce Blunted Single Hand sword, which is on sale for only $99.95.

Kult Of Athena - Swords - SH2405 - Tinker Pearce Blunted Single Hand Sword - Designed by noted sword smith Michael ''Tinker'' Pearce and manufacutered by Hanwei, these medieval swords have been are made to satisfy the need of every Western Martial Arts practitioner and sword enthusiast, to have a ma

For anyone needing an inexpensive single handed training sword, Kult of Athena has a couple on sale and in stock at incr...
PC2046 - Hanwei Practical Knightly Sword - $77.95

For anyone needing an inexpensive single handed training sword, Kult of Athena has a couple on sale and in stock at incredible prices. One is the Hanwei Practical Knightly Sword. This generic medieval styled sword can easily be used for either the messer or Bolognese swordsmanship classes at NHSC.

Kult Of Athena - Swords - PC2046 - Hanwei Practical Knightly Sword - This Practical Single-Hand sword is tailored to the needs of the re-enactor and very affordable. Featuring authentic hilt styling, with fully tempered un-edged and un-pointed blades, these swords are made to withstand rugged use wh


For anyone who tried to register today, there was a glitch at the site. It's fixed now, so you can register normally again. Thanks to the people who brought that to my attention!


Reminder: The preregistration deadline for NHSC is on Tuesday. After Tuesday the price gets bumped up by fifty dollars.


Due to several requests, we have bumped the preregistration date back to February 8. So you have an extra week to sign up at the lower rate!


Just a reminder: Preregistration for NHSC ends February 1. You can sign afterwards, but the price goes up!


The Hilton's webpage had a glitch on the NHSC registration page, but they have fixed it and it is running smoothly again. We hope that didn't inconvenience anyone!


A lot of people have been asking us about bringing their teenage kids to do the event with them. The minimum age for NHSC is 14, so if your child is old enough and wants to sign up with you, then by all means sign up the both of you!


We've just added Quarterstaff to our list of classes. This will largely draw upon the plays of Paulus Hector Mair, with some additional Liechtenauer sources such as Peter Falkner, and will provided the foundation for the other polearms throughout the weekend.


We've updated our website with a class schedule and descriptions! Each day will have a theme - Day 1: The Fundamentals, Day 2: Tactics, and Day 3: Repertoire. Each class will build off of previous classes, regardless of weapon style, so that participants will get the most out of their training.

Please have a look.

NHSC classes will cover body mechanics, unarmed combat, the use of the German langes messer (long knife) and single handed sword, the Bolognese sword and shield, the Italian spadone (the great 16th century two-handed sword), and the use of pole arms.


The list of classes offered is almost finalized. Thank you for your continued interest in this event, which will set the standard for a focused intensive on historical swordsmanship!


We're in the process of setting up a good hotel deal for this event. We'll post more details here and on our website when that's set in stone.

FRED: Fencing Tournament Info :: Preregistration

We've officially launched! NHSC registration is now open! Register at the link below! Our website is still under construction, but check back soon for updates on classes and hotel/travel information!


Springfield, VA


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