Our instructors are insured by the Independent Martial Art Sports Association
Our lead instructor is Rob Runacres, and his main passions are for rapier and sidesword. These are styles which span the mid-sixteenth to late seventeenth centuries. He has taught a variety of workshops, alongside other leading instructors, in Europe and the United States, which include rapier and cloak, rapier and dagger and sidesword and dagger.
The main historical masters he studies are Pedro De Heredia; François Dancie; Girolamo Cavalcabo; Salvator Fabris; and Giovanni dall’Agocchie. He has translated a number of French treatises, including The Book of Lessons (mid seventeenth century); L’Espée de Combat (Dancie, 1623); Treatise or Instruction for Fencing (Hieronyme Cavalcabo 1597), and Le Maistre D’Arme Liberal (Besnard, 1653).
In January 2013, Rob was privileged with honorary membership of De Taille and d’Estoc.
Rob is active on the international tournament scene, both as a competitor and organiser. He was the Tournament Manager for Swordfish, the world’s largest Western Martial Arts competition, and he continues to be the compere of the event finals. Between 2013 and 2015 and was a senior judge for the Nordic League. In 2016 he managed Longpoint, the USA’s premier Western Martial Art event and in 2017 the International Fencing Competition in Brescia, Italy. Also, as a competitor, he has won a gold for Rapier and Dagger at Purple Heart Open 2016 and Rapier 2012. He also has medals from Toledo 2016, Swordfish 2014, and other international events. In 2016 he won the technical medal at Swordfish for rapier and dagger.
In December 2017, Rob received an award for his contribution to HEMA.
Aside from teaching, research and competitions, Rob is half of the ‘Alte Herren’ HEMA video blog, with Hans Jornlind. Alte Herren videos can be found on YouTube here.
The second of our instructors, Rory has a wide variety of sporting and martial arts background. These include rugby, hockey and Lau Gar Kung Fu. In addition, he competed as a Body Builder for five years, reaching the British finals twice. He has since adapted his workouts to aid his HEMA activities. Consequently, Rory is a firm believer in strength and fitness training as a compliment to sword play and, furthermore, that all Martial Arts have common traits applicable throughout.
Rory first started HEMA in 2011, primarily Bolognese Sword and Buckler, and took up Rapier and Dagger in 2013. He has competed at Swordfish every year since 2012, and in 2016 he won a silver in the team event at Toledo.
In our London branch, Sam teaches in collaboration with the London Historical Fencing Club, teaching Rapier with or without an accompanying weapon. He has a keen interest in the core mechanics & techniques of fencing in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Sam began Olympic sabre fencing as a child, and competed throughout his teens. Since then, he has studied Muay Thai & Filipino Martial Arts, even briefly dabbling in Capoeira. He took up HEMA under the instruction of Rob Runacres and hasn’t looked back. Sam is now an instructor with both the Renaissance Sword Club and the London Historical Fencing Club.
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