Secretary of the Guild

Jonathan Waller
475 Hornsey Road,
Room 1,
N19 3QL

EHCG logo

Chapter Master (Leeds)

Adam Des Forges
Royal Armouries Museum
(0113) 216 1840

European Historical Combat Guild Inaugural Seminar


To bring together, within the European Historical Combat Guild (hereafter called the "Guild"), individuals or groups which share a belief in, and practice, the philosophies advocated by John Waller, whilst learning or teaching European Historical Combat. Guild membership gives:

Opportunity to train within a common structure.
Exchange ideas and benefit from the expertise offered by the Guild teachers.
Stimulate the exchange of knowledge and discussion between academics and the practitioners.
Improvement in the understanding of European historical combat.


It is believed that there are certain factors that determine the way in which a combat takes place. The Guild advocates the philosophy, teaching and beliefs of John Waller. They are;

Body Mechanics.
Weapons used.

John Waller's system is based on certain principles of body mechanics, many of which are borne out by European fighting manuals and martial arts around the world. Each student shall be assessed on an individual basis, with techniques taught suiting their particular physicality. All weapons training should encourage students to become aware of their body's responses in attack and defence and how these responses can be controlled. This awareness can be experienced from beginning of training, if all actions are made using eye contact, balance and intent.

Daily Schedule

Friday 3rd August

17:00-19:30 - There will be an informal, welcome and drinks reception for participants and attendees in the Bistro at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

Saturday 4th August

09:45 - Opening of the Seminar by Guild Master, Mr John Waller, in the Royal Armouries, Bury Theatre.
10:00 - Lecture by Jeffrey Forgeng, Paul S. Morgan Curator at the Higgins Armoury,
"Fence and Insensibility". Interpreting the masters of historical martial arts. Anyone who has worked with historical martial arts manuals, knows that recreating their techniques is often like listening to a train station loudspeaker for instructions for a game of Twister. This presentation will look at some of the difficulties posed by these texts and various ways of dealing with them. focus on examples from the Walpurigs Fechtbuch (Royal Armouries MS I.33) and Joachim Meyers treatise on the Longsword.
10:45 - Break
11:15 - Lecture by Tobias Capwell BA, MA, MA,
"15th-century pictorial, depiction of European fighting arts". Much of the modern understanding of medieval Renaissance fighting skills has been derived from surviving manuals. However, these manuscripts are not the only source of information available. In the art of the fifteenth-century, contemporary artists displayed a keen interest in the realistic portrayal of combat at close quarters. Many included technical details in their works that convey authority and underscore the authenticity of the often pseudo-historical (and sometimes fantastical) subject matter. The aim of this talk is to examine a cross-section of the most interesting examples of the period and to consider the implications of this evidence.
12:00 - Break
12:30 - Interpretation in the Tournament Gallery,
"Pollaxe fighting in Tonlet armour".
13:00 - 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Optional "Yabusame" demonstration.
14:00-17:00 - Practical training, in the Royal Armouries Hall. Syllabus and grading for Guild members, Basic training for non-members and beginners.
19:00 - Dinner in the War and Tournament Galleries.

Sunday 5th August

10:00 - A lecture by, leading practitioner-researcher, John Clements, Director of the Historical Armed Combat Association (H.A.C.A). Assisted by Jeff Basham, Senior H.A.C.A scholar.
"Medieval Long-sword of the Italian and German Masters. Also, Renaissance Grappling & Dagger Fighting"
10:45 - Break.
11:15 - Lecture by Graeme Rimer, Head of Collections at the Royal Armouries Museum.
"Swords in the Royal Armouries collection".
The Royal Armouries' extensive sword collection covers both European and Oriental material, from the early middle ages to the 20th century. As part of the seminar there will be an opportunity for delegates to inspect, handle and discuss some selected pieces.
12:00 - Break.
12:30 - Interpretation in the Tournament Gallery,
"Armoured, Hand and a half Sword techniques".
13:00-14:00 - Lunch.
14:00 - Optional "Yabusame" demonstration.
14:00-17:00 - Practical training, in the Royal Armouries Hall. Syllabus and grading for Guild members, Basic training for non-members and beginners.
16:00 - Grading presentations and farewell.


Per day
30.00 for Guild Members.
40.00 for non-members.

Full weekend
60.00 for Guild Members.
70.00 for non-members.

Price includes entrance into the Royal Armouries Museum for the weekend.



The Royal Armouries museum in Leeds is a custom built Museum of arms and armour, located in the Crown Point area of Leeds, West Yorkshire. It was opened on the 15th of March 1996 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal Armouries collection was formerly housed, solely, at the Tower of London, but has now expanded to become a three site museum, comprising the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. Fort Nelson, Portsmouth and the Royal Armouries, Tower of London.

Guild Personnel

JOHN WALLER, Guild Master, Royal Armouries Head of Interpretation
JONATHAN WALLER, Guild Secretary, Chapter Master (London), Senior Teacher (London)
STEVE TAPPIN, Senior Un-armed Teacher, Ranked third highest, world wide, in Latosa Escrima
KRISTINA SOEBORG, Teacher (London),
ANDREW DEANE, Senior Teacher (Leeds), Royal Armouries Senior Interpreter
KEITH DUCKLIN, Senior Teacher (Leeds), Royal Armouries Interpreter
ADAM DES FORGES, Chapter Master (Leeds), Senior Teacher (Leeds), Royal Armouries Senior Interpreter

The Royal Armouries Museum
Armouries Drive
W. Yorkshire
LS10 1LT
0113 220 1999



This page is unauthorised by the EHCG and was created by The Duellist