All posts by Roger Kay

Memorial Tournament Countdown!

Are you ready?

The Steve Hodgson Memorial Tournament takes place this Saturday.  For those of you planning to enter make sure you register online. This will help us with organisation on the day and reduce waiting times on Saturday morning.

We are expecting to get 30-40 combatants on the day from several clubs in the region including Auckland Sword and Shield, the Argent Lords, and the SCA. Don’t miss out – it’s a great opportunity for the clubs in the region to get together and demonstrate their skills.



Yes, we are playing for prizes and we have some good ones this year:

  • For the winner of the Sword section there is a AUD$125 voucher from the
  • For the winner of the Longsword section there is a AUD$125 voucher from the
  • For the winner of the Rapier section we have the book Italian Rapier Combat by Jared Kirby.
  • For the winner of the Spear section we have the book The Fighting Staff by Dwight C. McLemore.
  • For the overall champion there is a AUD$125 voucher from the

What Now?

If you want to enter and play for prizes – please register and then just make sure your weapons and gear are ready to go. We’ll Facebook and email more information later in the week.



July Grading Results

Congratulations to all our club members who graded in HEMA-1 and Bolognese Sidesword today. Also a big thank you to all the instructors and senior students who pitched in to help with grading and teaching our new students.

In HEMA-1 the following people graded successfully this week: Mel, Chris, Mark, Brian, and Ian. The standard of this class has been very high this term. A special mention goes out to Daniel who fell just short this term but showed marked improvement during sparring.

In HEMA-2 – Bolognese Sidesword the following people graded successfully this week: Leon, Greg, Nelly, Roman, Ellie, and Jack. The remainder of the class are scheduled to complete grading this coming Thursday. A special mention goes out to both Roman and Greg for knowing the Italian names of the Bolognese guards. Nice one guys!

For all those who are in HEMA-2 next term: If you haven’t done so yet please let Daniel Wyatt know whether you want to Longsword or Spear next term. Unfortunately you can’t do both! Spaces are limited in both classes so don’t delay.




NZ Sword Symposium

If you haven’t heard already the first New Zealand Sword Symposium will be held in Wellington on October the 9th-11th this year. This is your chance to meet some of the world and NZ’s best WMA instructors.  A number of senior members of planning to attend and if you are serious about improving your HEMA skills then it’s not something you want to miss.

Event details here.


Dall’agocchie’s Second Solo Form

Dall’agocchies’s second form is less well known than his first but is more useful. It runs through a number of responses to simple attacks. Practicing this form will help you commit the responses to muscle memory and then be able to reproduce them without thinking during sparring. Ilkka Hartikainen’s video below explains how it is performed. If you are struggling with the Italian fencing terms there is a glossary here you can use to understand them.

If you prefer something written, the translated text from Dall’agocchie’s treatise is copied below:

[Step 1] Then we could pose the case that you were arranged with your sword in coda lunga stretta, and that your enemy threw a mandritto to your head. You would proceed to parry it in guardia di faccia, advancing forward with your right foot, and thrust the point in his face all in one tempo, then immediately return your right foot back a pace, followed by a riverso sgualimbro, with which you’ll fix yourself in coda lunga alta.

[Step 2] Now, if you’re in the said guard, and he wants to throw an overhand thrust at you, you’ll pass forward with your right foot, making your left one follow it, and parry it with a mandritto sgualimbro and turn a riverso tondo to his face all in one tempo, followed by a riverso with which you’ll go into coda lunga stretta.

[Step 3] But if the enemy responds with a mandritto to your leg, you’ll protect yourself from that with the false edge of your sword, and turn two dritti tramazzone to his head in the same tempo, making the last one fall into porta di ferro stretta.

[Step 4] But if you’re in said guard and he turns a riverso to your upper body, you’ll parry it with a riverso sgualimbro, passing toward his right side in that tempo with your left foot, and advancing immediately with the right one, you’ll wound him with an imbroccata to his face, followed by a dritto tramazzone with which you’ll go into porta di ferro alta.

[Step 5] And if he throws a stoccata to your face, you’ll advance forward with your right foot and go with your sword into guardia d’entrare, joining your true edge onto the enemy’s sword all in one tempo, sticking the point into his chest. Having done which, you’ll draw your right foot back a pace, together with a dritto tramazzone, with which you’ll fix yourself in cinghiale porta di ferro.

[Step 6] Now if you find yourself in the said guard, and he responds to you with a mandritto, a riverso, or a thrust, against any one of these blows you can hit your true edge into the enemy’s sword, and then immediately pass forward with your right foot and stick an imbroccata into his chest followed by a dritto tramazzone with which you’ll settle yourself into porta di ferro larga.

[Step7] But if perchance he thrusts a punta riversa to your face in order to give you a mandritto tondo, you’ll hit the said thrust with your false edge. And when he turns the mandritto, you’ll immediately go into guardia di faccia with your sword, sticking your point into his face in that tempo, and for your shelter you’ll turn your right foot back a pace together with a riverso tramazzone with which you’ll go into coda lunga alta.

[Step 8] And being in the said guard, if he wants to wound you with a fendente to your head you’ll pass forward with your right foot, raising your sword into guardia di testa, and thereby you’ll protect yourself from it; but all in one tempo you’ll cast your left hand onto his sword from beneath your own, performing a grip on him and immediately giving him a mandritto to his head or leg, as you wish; having done which, you’ll return into coda lunga stretta.  

Masterclass – Meyer’s Longsword

This coming Sunday (the 26th) Auckland Sword and Shield will be running a master class on Longsword. Ben Halliwell, our resident Longsword expert, will be will teaching the class.

Due to the club’s rapidly growing size the class we will struggle to have enough longswords for everyone. If you have your own longsword – steel or synthetic please bring it along and also suitable protective gear.

If we don’t have enough longswords for everyone we will also offer the standard HEMA-1 class and also a special Italian sidesword class.

Check out the video below to see what longsword fighting is like. The clip is from the finals of Swordfish 2014.




Kumeu Militaria Show

Auckland Sword and Shield was an exhibitor at the recent Kumeu Militaria Show. We put on a number of displays throughout the day – including training sessions, test cutting, and demonstration fights. Here are some photos of a group fighting session later in the day.

Taupo Medieval Faire

Members of the club in action in at the Taupo Medieval Faire 2015.

Master Class – George Silver Grips

This coming Sunday (the 15th) Auckland Sword and Shield will be running a master class on George Silver, specifically looking at various techniques for using the off hand for grappling. Kimble Vowless will be will teaching the class – he has around 20 years experience in HEMA and his knowledge of the Silver fighting style is arguably second to none within the club.

Anyone is welcome to come along – including people members of the public wanting to give swordplay a go.

This class doesn’t happen often (around once per year). If you miss out now it’s a long wait till the next one…

Check out the video below for a taster. The grip techniques start at around 3 minutes into the video.




Training over the Holiday Period

Official training sessions are over for the year and will resume on the 18th of January. There will very likely be unofficial training sessions on Sundays or Thursdays. To find out if someone will be at the hall post a message on our Facebook discussion group.

Please note that on the 25th of January (Auckland Anniversary Weekend) training will not be taking place at the hall. The hall will be in use for a special event. For those in Auckland and wanting to train on that day we will be organising our own special training session at a secret location. More details to come…

If you need to check the dates for training, then check out the training calendar to see what’s on and when.

Have a great Christmas everyone and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

New HEMA gear from Leon Paul

For those of you looking for protective gear, Leon Paul has teamed up with SPES to produce some nice looking kit at reasonable prices. Check out the range on their website.

Leon Paul Jacket
Jacket and Breeches
Leon Paul Shin Guard
Shin Guard