The Study of European Martial Arts
BEGINNERS VERY WELCOME
come along on the first Monday of the month for Longsword & Small sword
8.00pm. The Manor, Brighton
First Wednesday of the month for Rapier and Highland Broadsword
7.30pm. The Manor, Brighton
then every Wednesday after that
Bring low heeled trainers or similar and track-suit bottoms – ideally black. we have the rest!
The SSA (previously Sussex Rapier School) was founded in Brighton in 1997. It strives to cover all things sword and sword related from Longsword to Rapier and Highland Broadsword to Small Sword as well as other sword related forms. The SSA's aim is to become a centre for sword study (hence the change in the name). In addition to the weekly programme, one to one tuition, weekend workshops and bespoke courses are available on request. All levels of ability welcome, from beginner to advanced. The Longsword, Rapier and Highland Broadsword are introduced to the beginner, these weapons are used to impart the basic concepts of fencing. There is a defined SSA level system, whether the student wishes simply learn the art of defence, or would prefer to study in order to become an instructor and, in time, a master at arms.
FROM WHOM ONE MUST LEARN
“You have to know that there are some who quickly, when they have learned a little and yet having little practice of it, place themselves to teach others. They teach without foundation nor rules that are true, nor understand that the knowledge is very different from teaching and that this way of teaching is acquired with length of time. For as the misura and the tempo require great time in order to know them, one who does not know the misura nor tempo and does not have methods of teaching can be called an imperfect giocatore, and one must be warned of learning from them.”
Ridolfo Capo Ferro 1610 – Italian fencing master
In the 20th Century sword play has become a very different entity, mainly to achieve Olympic status; changing the martial art into a sport. The swords, as well as the methods have been adapted to achieve athletic and sporting success – to score points. The weapons and techniques are adapted to the rules as they changed over the years, the grips in particular have become unrecognisable as martial grips; footwork is secondary to speed and gamesmanship. As a result although sports fencing has a great amount of skill and athleticism, it is not a martial art or indeed a real construct of duelling. As a result, European martial arts had all but been forgotten.
The Sussex Sword Academy (SSA) instructors teach European Martial Arts.
A revival was in the air when a number of Victorian gentleman scholars and fencers rediscovered these arts, by studying and documenting treatises of the earlier masters. Unfortunately, too many of these scholars were killed in the First World War and again these arts went into hibernation. During the last 20 years or so there has been an enthusiastic revival all over Europe and the USA in particular of our Martial Arts and as a consequence, there is a new generation of Masters, Instructors and students.
The SSA instructors teach their systems for the different weapon forms (named above) through the instructors theoretic and practical studies over many years. The SSA applies their principles in practice through formal classes, training exercises and free assault.
The SSA makes these arts relevant to people today, providing an environment for exercising the body and the mind whilst stimulating the intellect.
Instructors Andrew Feest, Duncan Fatz and Lyell Drummond are BFHS Certified Instructors who teach an ever evolving systems to their students. The systems we teach are in preparation for the duel as if the weapons were sharp, to touch without being touched, to offend in the defence.
Two Regular classes are held each week on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Occasional weekend workshops are arranged and presented by SSA teachers and invited national and international instructors.
“The truth is arranged in the precepts of fencing. They should not be measured according to the ignorance of some, who teach and write from the long use of weapons that they have and not through the science. Therefore most of the time they make a reasoned case from an inkling of substance, confusing the foolish with sugar and 'talking nineteen to the dozen'. Yet it should be judged on its own and restricted to the truth of its nature.”
Ridolfo Capo Ferro 1610 Italian fencing master