MCG instructors, Matthew and Ross, demonstrating a longsword technique.
Matt and Ross teaching at Art That Adorns You event in York.

Main classes at Medieval Combat Group run on Mondays and Wednesdays, currently split between longsword on Mondays and messer on Wednesdays. These classes are designed to continue on from the content of our Foundation Classes and move on to explore more of the techniques found within the historical manuscripts for longsword and messer, and the technical and tactical applications of them.

For new starts entry to these classes is only possible through one of our Foundation Classes or through private lessons by arrangement. For established HEMA practitioners wanting to train with us, drop us a message on Facebook or through our contact form on the Contact Us page.

Class Content

The main class content on Mondays comprises longsword material from the 15th century ‘early Liechtenauer’ manuscripts, and where the beginners course lays the foundations of simple basic cuts and combinations and movement, the main longsword classes focus on the framework of Liechtenauer longsword using the five key words of the Liechtenauer system (Vor, Nach, Indes, Stark, Schwach), the ‘five cuts’ and the hauptstuck (main/chief techniques). On Wednesdays, classes comprise of a similar approach to messer fencing, using the similar concepts laid out in the 15th century messer manuscripts of Johannes Lecküchner, which parallel the Liechtenauer longsword system.

These are occasionally supplemented with material from related 15th century texts dealing with sword & buckler fencing, or staff, or dagger, where they offer useful insights into the principles behind the techniques.

General Class Structure

Each class, whether longsword or messer, generally follows the same basic layout:

  • Footwork/movement calibration and warm-up.
  • Simple iterations of the nights technical content to get everyone solid on the basic movements.
  • More complex/freeform drills of the technical content, generally with decision making branching options and more varied movement, to allow develpoment of applicable skills for that technique.
  • Sparring/freeplay for the final 30 minutes.

Sparring and freeplay at the end of the night will either be ‘kitted up’ moderate intensity steel sparring, or lower intensity, slower freeplay, or a mix depending on the class content for the night and the preferences of those sparring. Should we have any students intending on entering an upcoming tournament, we may shift some of the sparring to a higher intensity and run through tournament preparation.

Every three months, which generally times with us finishing a block of technical teaching, we will spend a month or two where the class content does not focus on teaching new material or technical drills, but instead dives down into practical sparring applications.

Conduct Policy

Whilst this is elsewhere on the site, we believe it’s always worth repeating and as it applies to all of our classes, beginners courses, events, and otherwise. We’re lucky to have a good group of people training with us and the atmosphere in the class has always been good, and we want to keep it that way. Medieval Combat Group operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to aggressive, violent, intimidating, harassing, or abusive behaviour, or unwanted attention or advances, towards any of our members or anyone in attendance at any of our classes or events, whether in person or online.

  • Harassment, defined as any behaviour which is directed at an individual or group which is non-consensual. This includes sexual harassment such as cat-calling, groping or stalking.
  • Abuse, covering both verbal and physical abuse, including sexual assault, which results in an individual or group feel intimidated or unsafe.
  • Discrimination, including verbal and physical expressions of discrimination, based on any characteristics.
  • Violence, defined as any act of physical intimidation or aggression, including threats of violence.

All students, instructors, and visitors to the group are accountable for their own conduct and must refrain from all of the behaviours listed above. Medieval Combat Group reserves the right to, and will, expel offenders from any event or class, or online discussion etc. and remove membership of the group where applicable/possible.