We’re about to start trialling a new system of beginners training at Medieval Combat Group. Previously, beginners training took the form of a set 12-week course of one 2hr class per week in longsword and messer. Whilst this worked well for those who could commit to 12 consecutive weeks, it meant those on shift work or variable working patterns found the training more difficult, and the time constraints for us to teach them led to only one or two courses per year. As demand is high, from October 2023 we’re instead running weekly hour long foundation classes. These cover more fundamental content than the beginners courses, but are easier to drop in and out of and should hopefully allow everyone to get a quicker start.
Where instructor and venue availability permit, foundation class content can also be covered in private lessons. These cost £25 per hour, not including venue fee.
Foundation classes run on Monday evenings, 6:15pm to 7:15pm, just before our main Monday night class. Foundation classes are £5 per class, and membership at £25 for the year is also necessary after the second class.
To get details of the foundation classes, and the app we use to track registration and attendance from week to week fo them, please sign up for our Mailing List.
Foundation Class Content
The foundation class content is taught with the longsword – having two hands on the weapon for control makes this a little easier, and it also necessitates the whole body moving as a unit a little more, which is a good habit to get into early. Periodically we might revisit longsword content with the messer, this gives a good grounding for our messer classes, gives a different angle on the longsword content, and reinforces the underlying basics that apply to both weapons. All two-person elements to the content are carried out using appropriate protective gear.
Part 1: Warm-up and basics
Part 1 of each Foundation class covers a quick warm-up and some simple basic solo techniques and movement patterns:
- Basic posture and footwork,
- Distance keeping games,
- Solo cutting patterns,
- Developing good basic structure and control.
Part 2: Two-person drills
Building on the basics from Part 1, Part 2 of each foundation class puts these basics into practice with paired training, shifting from using simple basic cuts and movements as solo drills and warmups and into two-person drills where training partners will be dealing with making and defending against various attacks and getting a feel for the active use of the various fundamental movement patterns common to longsword and messer.
Part 3: Application games and cooldown.
Part 3 aims to bring in application games – no-parry pool noodle sparring or similar, which will allow participants to work movement patterns and techniques in an enjoyable context that gives an excellent foundation for future sparring.
Progression to Main Class
As students master the foundation content and are able to perform all of the technical material and two person drills fluidly and competently, we will bring those students a few at a time into the main classes where they will work with some of our senior students and instructors for a few weeks in those classes.
Before progression we’ll be looking for:
- Technical Ability – this is simply that the student knows the names of the guards, the cuts, and shows the ability to do the two person drills well. This way we know if we ask everyone in the main class to stand in Guard X, and cut at their partner with strike Y, everyone will know what we’re talking about and be more or less able to do it.
- Safety and Control – The only thing we’re looking for here is that the student is showing enough control of themselves and their weapon to be safe when working with others in class, both in drills, and in sparring.
After completing the foundation classes you’ll be able to attend our regular weekly classes in longsword (Monday nights) and messer (Wednesday nights) and any special training days or events that we run or that take place elsewhere on the island/abroad that we might be heading to. The regular classes are generally £5 per class for a 2hr class, although this may vary by venue if venue prices change.
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.