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Family Day Armizare 2018

  • 1000 Brookfield Road Ottawa, ON, K1V 6J1 Canada (map)

Join us this coming Family day for a full day of Armizare (Italian medieval martial art) with Greg Mele of the Chicago Swordplay Guild and Sean W. Hayes from  Northwest Fencing Academy.

Six (6) hours of personalized training time. 

Space is limited to 30 participants.



The IAS Universal Form and Application by Greg Mele

Duration 1.5 hours

In this class we will show a simple solo form that teaches the basic defensive covers with the sword in one hand or two, and then look at its partnered application. As a benefit, the form works with the sword, axe or spear, so time permissive, we will show how to apply it in all contexts.

Required equipment: longsword, mask, gloves. Spear or poleaxe, optional.

Win, Lose or Draw by Greg Mele

Duration 1.5 hours

Playing at the Bind in Wide and Close Play Sentimento di Ferro -- the feeling of steel -- is at the heart of European fencing. By knowing who controls the center-line the moment the swords cross, and using that knowledge to instantly seize the initiative, the swordsman can remain safe on his path to victory. While the term sentiment of steel is a 19th century one, this concept is far older. Fiore dei Liberi uses this concept to build his first set of plays in both wide, and close measure. In this class, we will teach how to use a counterattack to come to the bind in wide and close play, and then look at the corresponding actions of "win, lose or draw" for control of center, should the counterattack fail.

Required equipment: longsword, mask, gloves.

The Positional Theory of Combat Strategy - Tactical Analysis and Strategic Planning in the Fight Pre-Requisites: by Sean W. Hayes

Duration: 3 hours

Experience requirement: Basic familiarity with medieval longsword or medieval arming sword & buckler, Italian or German Required

Equipment requirements: One of Longsword, Arming Sword, Sword & Buckler; Sparring Kit of gambeson, steel gauntlets or similar, gorget, elbow protection, mask (please kit up for mobility, with no bulky modern HEMA armor - contact me if you have questions)

Description: Successful fighting at any weapon is significantly more than simply knowing techniques and possessing courage in adequate degree. Students of any martial study frequently confuse technical ability, which is learned and demonstrated in drills and exercises, with fighting ability. The former is necessary to the latter, but having technical skills is not the same as having fighting skills. Strategy is the plan of attack decided upon by the individual combatant; tactics are the means to implement that plan - they are the application of technical skills in a specific situation. This class details a method for quickly assessing the adversary and planning the fight - and revising the plan as needed. There are three sets of characteristics to be considered: physical, temperamental, and strategic.

Physical - Relative to your opponent, you are:

  • Longer, Equal, or Shorter (have greater, similar, or lesser reach)
  • Faster, Equal, or Slower
  • Stronger, Equal, or Weaker

Quickly assessing these qualities will allow you to choose a sound initial strategy: if you are longer, you can use your reach to advantage; if you are slower, you must set up actions in tempo to use their speed against them; if you are are weaker, you will find it harder to hold a line closed against them unless you have absolute advantage of strong to weak. Using the intersection of these characteristics, the fighter can form a preliminary strategy and begin to implement it, assess the results, and revise as needed.

Temperament - Your opponent (and you) will be somewhere along this spectrum:

  • Timid - very reluctant to engage or join the fight
  • Cautious - slow to engage, spends a lot of time assessing
  • Cool - keeps calm and focused, fights judiciously
  • Valorous - presses and stays in the fight

Impetuous - joins the fight quickly and without due consideration Each of these in your opponent presents specific challenges to address (and you will want to be somewhere between Cool and Valorous!)

Strategic - Your opponent will take one of these strategies:

  • Offensive - tends to take the offense
  • Defensive - tends to stay on defense
  • Counteroffensive - tends to attack into the attack
  • Mixed - some balance of these

You must develop a strategy for approaching a specific opponent, planned from consideration of all the above elements, and implement that strategy with specific tactics. This is a hard-earned skill, particularly because there is often little time to strategize. This is where both training and experience come into play, allowing the fighter to make initial assessments to form a preliminary strategy, and to rapidly reassess that strategy during the fight. We will develop a series of drills around the general physical characteristics noted above; these drills become the specific tactics necessary to enact a chosen strategy. We’ll then add in assessments of the opponent’s temperament and strategy to arrive at our own strategic plan. The drills will take into account shifting actions on the part of the drill partner, and allow both partners limited freedom of action within a general framework. Drills of this type assist greatly in developing the ability to implement, and change, tactical approaches while under the pressure of a fight. Finally, we’ll engage in freeplay to practice our new decision-making skills in a spontaneous environment.

The Positional Theory of Combat Strategy was first taught to me by Maitre d’Armes Adam Crown for classical fencing when I was his student and which he had developed from the plans and strategies used by martial artists and boxers. I subsequently adapted and expanded this to the needs of medieval martial arts, incorporating the many strategic and tactical lessons I learned from Maestro William Gaugler for traditional Italian fencing, and have continued to refine it.



Early-bird (before February 1st): CA$80

After February 1st: CA$100

At the door: CA$120


Insurance: an additional $25 will be added for personal insurance. This is good for all of 2018 for any Hoplologia event. If you have already paid insurance for a Hoplologia event in 2018, this fee will not be added.


Payment by PayPal (fees will be added), bank transfer, personal check or cash.

No refunds unless event is cancelled.



Ottawa Swordplay training space (medium sized gym with wood floors). 

1000 Brookfield Road, Ottawa, ON K1V 6J1



We will send you a confirmation email with your bill.

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In case of last minute cancellation

For inquiries, contact

Earlier Event: February 17
Hoplologia Symposium 2018
Later Event: March 29
A Knight of Vigil 2018