• Tristouroborous

    February 23, 2018

    The New Website is Here!

    After a long wait, the new website has finally been launched. The old WordPress site just was not cutting it, and I had been planning to create a whole new site, but between programming at work, and teaching web development, I just never found the time or the desire to sit in front of my own computer to do the work. Plus, making a decent site with quality user-experience is no easy task.

    Thankfully, a couple of former students offered to do the heavy lifting of the overall design and layout, and getting much of the structure in place. I am forever grateful to Davith Daravanh, Rylin Knox and Arnie Libunao, collectively known as The Artchitects, for their amazing work. What they did allowed me to go in a make some minor tweaks to an already excellent product, the result being what you see before you now.

    Please stay tuned, as new content, including video, images and blog posts, will be added regularly. And if you have any suggestions or find bugs, please feel free to reach out on the Contact page to let us know!

    - In Honor and Chivalry

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  • Tristouroborous

    October 23, 2014

    Squires and Swordmaidens at Colfax!

    I just got word that Squires and Swordmaidens will be offered at Colfax Charter Elementary School as an after-school program!

    FLaK cannot possibly express enough gratitude to Maura Simon, a 4th grade teacher whose Friday Brain-Breaks take students out of the classroom to do something physical in an effort to break up students day, allow them to move their bodies, and work on skills that do not require a pencil and paper. Ms. Simon asked us to do a 5-week session during these Brain Break periods as something completely different for the kids. 36 students from her class have been learning about honor, chivalry, heraldry, medieval court, and SWORDFIGHTING, and the response has been so overwhelmingly positive that principal approved us for CASE (Colfax After School Enrichment).

    We will be offering a 10-student class beginning in January, so keep your eyes out if you have little ones at Colfax!

    [ Read more ... ]

Latest News and Thoughts

  • Whatsinabook

    October 3, 2015

    What's in a Book?

    I am often asked what makes Fight Like a Knight (FLaK) different from other organizations that teach swordfighting. My answer is always “authenticity.” If we disregard fencing (as it is well-documented has been studied for centuries and is a wholly different art-form) and focus solely on FLaK’s core curriculum of medieval-style combat using period weapons such as broadswords, longswords, axes and various polearms, the differences become quite apparent. FLaK training is based on the reality of a to-the-death swordfight between two similarly-armored combatants. The battles are full-speed, full-contact and unchoreographed engagements where a small set of rules exist solely for the safety of the modern-day fighters, much like where in a martial-arts sparring match, strikes to the eyes or throat are not allowed even though in a real encounter they would be among the primary targets.

    So what is this “authenticity?” Before we can get into that we need to look at a few things. Most modern-day swordfighting is taught from the few historical books that exist on the subject (the most widely used being the Talhoffer manuscripts – more on this in another post), which is, in and of itself, dubious. During the middle ages, the training and techniques used by an army or even an individual would have been highly guarded secrets. Imagine if Duke William II of Normandy ordered the publishing of a book on how the French-Norman army trained and the tactics it deployed on the battlefield. The English would have decimated them and the Battle of Hastings would not be as we know it today. So, we have to question WHO published these works. Surely not an actual active swordsman, knight, or military leader, for his very life would depend on any advantage he could gain, and his training methods would be at the fore. Thus, it seems far more likely that these earlier treatises were scribed by a witness, or someone who had a passing familiarity with actual combat.

    This brings us to the next point, which is that techniques described in these books in the context of two similarly armored and armed opponents, being some sort of leather and metal armor, a broadsword and a shield, are highly ineffective. I say this for two reasons, first and foremost of which is the fact that most of the techniques described and illustrated in the documents pertain to judicial engagements to settle some legal matter, where the combatants are unarmored and the fight is not mortal. These are very posed, choreographed, specific maneuvers that, in the course of a real swordfight, for which the opportunity would rarely present itself.

    The second, and more profound reason for the ineffectiveness of the techniques described in these book and taught by other swordfighting schools is simply that there is little to no attention placed on what it would take to kill your opponent. This is the core of FLaK’s teachings, and it starts with the simple philosophy that if you cease to throw killing blows, you have lost the fight, and are, for all intent and purpose, fertilizer for the lilies that will surely grow over your corpse. The kinesthetics required to consistently deliver lethal blows to an armored opponent are not addressed or taught, and for the most part, the instruction places the fighter in highly undesirable positions that would result in the almost immediate death when pitted against a skilled combatant.

    FLaK is authentic swordfighting at its core, cased in a minor set of rules for safety, where, ultimately, participants learn the skills that they would have required to survive day-to-day life in the middle-ages. For actors, these skills translate into powerful, dynamic and exciting physical performances that set them apart from their peers and cast-mates. Anyone training with FLaK will garner composure, balance, core-strength, kinesthetic-awareness, and the “I know how to handle myself” stride comes with being a seasoned swordfighter equipped with the tools take on the mightiest of foes.

    - In Honor and Chivalry.

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  • Whyflak

    July 29, 2014

    Why FLaK?

    If you're tired of going to the gym, doing aerobics in front of the TV, or of the same old excuses for not working out, and want to try something so totally unique that you might actually look forward to exercising, then Fight Like a Knight is for you!

    Fight Like a Knight classes are unlike anything you've done before. In each one-hour, low-impact, high-intensity class you will learn real medieval weapons-techniques stemming from 9th to 12th century combat styles cultivated through actual training and decades of research. These secrets were closely guarded by the knights of old and their trainers, but have been handed down through generations and are now made available to you!

    Great for actors, stunt professionals, re-enactors and medieval enthusiasts alike, and for ages 5 to 80, Fight Like a Knight is a blend of aerobic and isometric exercises embedded in a rigorous training regimen designed to give you solid, functional skills with a variety of period weapons, including:

    • Sword and Shield
    • Longswords/Broadswords
    • Great Swords (2-handed sword)
    • Daggers
    • Axes
    • Maces
    • Spears
    • Polearms (Glaive, Halberd, Great Axe, Ear-Spoon, etc.)

    [ Read more ... ]