ARC Pavilion Upper Level
Monday and Wednesday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Davis Historical Fencing Club studies and practices HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) based on surviving fencing literature from the 15th-16th century. We focus on the use of the Dussack/Tessak, the early saber predominant in East and Central Europe through the 16th and 17th centuries, based on the teachings of Joachim Meyer (1537-1571) who was himself an initiate of the Lichtenauer tradition. Students will learn swordsmanship as a martial art and will have the opportunity to participate in local tournaments.
Our club is partnered with the Sacramento Freifechter, a fencing school dedicated to longsword fencing after Joachim Meyer's system. For more information, please visit http://www.sacramentofreifechter.com/
We are a friendly, open group that welcomes new members. Come in comfortable exercise clothes/shoes and bring water and your curiosity. Beginners are welcome to come to try out on any of our sessions for one free practice.
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What is HEMA? Historical European Martial Arts is an umbrella term for Europe's documented martial traditions that are now being rediscovered, researched, and practiced today throughout the Western World. These arts span from the 14th century to the 19th century and encompass the use of variety of arms including rondel daggers, longswords, spears, and sabers. These arts include major grappling/wrestling components as well.
Within HEMA are many 'traditions', styles of practices characterized by certain historical masters or nation of origin. For example, Bolognese Swordsmanship was established by Lippo Bartolomeo Dardi in 1415 in Bologna, Italy. In England, several swordsmen described regulation military saber fencing throughout the 19th century in fencing manuals. In medieval and renaissance Germany, Johannes Lichtenauer's system of fencing dominated. This number of fencing schools makes HEMA both a cultural diverse endeavor and exciting as subtle stylistic differences enrich our fighting. This diversity is one of the many things that constitute the HEMA community which ultimately seeks to understand the true essence of European swordsmanship from a martial and historical perspective. More information is available on:
Seiji Yokota (President): An upcoming 2nd year student at Davis, Seiji has been studying HEMA since 2012. He first studied Fiore dei Liberi's system of wrestling, dagger, and longsword combat with the Schola St. George under Colin Gabriel Hatcher. In 2013 he began practicing Johannes Lichtenauer's style of German longsword fencing, complementing his Italian studies, and continues today during the summers under Paul Tosetti of the Tosetti Institute of MMA. Beginning September 2015, he transitioned to studying Joachim Meyer's system of longsword fencing under Ted Elsner of the Sacramento Freifechter.
As club president and practitioner, he hopes to expose more people to HEMA and develop of a college group of earnest and fierce fencers.
Ted Elsner, M.Ed. (advisor and coach): Ted Elsner is the founder and Principle Instructor for the Sacramento Freifechter. He began studying HEMA and Historical Fencing, then known as WMA, in 2000. He has been focusing on the works of Joachim Meyer since the initial publication of The Art of Combat, the translation by Dr. Jeffery Forgeng in 2005.
In 2012 he founded the Sacramento Freifechter, becoming a small study group within the Meyer Freifechter Guild a 501c3 Non-Profit organization. Since then he has overseen the growth of the group from a small gathering of friends to a school with a fully structured curriculum. In 2016 Mr. Elsner took on the role of advisor and coach at UC Davis where he oversees the running of the Davis Historical Fencing Club.
Besides the study of Meyer Mr. Elsner has a background in wrestling and karate, although for the last few years his focus has been primarily on Historical Fencing. Mr. Elsner holds a Master's Degree in Education and is a ranked Fechter in the Meyer Freifechter Guild.
Mr. Elsner believes in teaching Meyer's material in a holistic fashion; drawing material from the three principle sections of Meyer's book to further his understanding of the art. He combines this with modern fencing pedagogy to deliver effective and creative lessons to individuals and groups.