Recreational Violence X AAR

Rec Vio 10 is in the books…quick run down:

Fist hip and shillelagh- Taught by me, a class combining stick, boxing and wrestling in the Irish tradition.
Broadsword and targe- taught by Chris Thompson, great class on targe(we ended up using bucklers) in conjunction with the Broadsword.
Agrippa- Taught by Randal Gustitis, really interesting class that got cut short once the lightning started. We went back to my house and finished up the class using bowie knives due to lack of space.
Bowie knife-  taught by Kirk Lawson. After the rain died down we ran through this class that was a surprise to Kirk:) But he did a great job.
WWI Bayonet- taught by Kirk Lawson, great fun class with nice rifle bayonet trainers alongside the real thing. Simple and easy to understand. just my sort of class.
Sparth Axe- Taught by Ken Pfrenger and Chris Thompson. Chris handled the history while I demoed the use of the big axe going through the 10 lessons as set forth by the Cateran Society.
CQC knife entries- Taught by Tim Anderson. Fun class with little int he way of actual technique instruction…we all have our own way of doing things, what he gave us were suggestions and ways to train. Nice stuff.
MacGregor’s bayonet and some combatives concepts-  Taught by Chris Thompson, quick run through MacGregor’s bayonet then some work on combatives for an upcoming project.
Zachary Wylde’s staff- taught by Randal Gustitis, simple but interesting system of staff play from 1711.
Numbers way down this year. We may change location and take this on the road to Dayton next year. Or still hold it here and do a second event in Dayton in the fall. Still in the works.
s always the social aspect of events like this were very important, seeing old friends, making new ones and sharing food drink and martial arts make this sort of thing the highlight of my year.
I want to thank all that were able to make it out to teach and learn and thank those who tired to make it but came up a bit short.There is always next year or the year after that.

Busy weekend….

Saturday had a new guy named Matt start what will probably be a bi-monthly session on boxing and shillelagh. We worked some basic body mechanic a theory for BKB then switched gears for an overview of Irish stick settling on foot pad and cane as a starting point. Matt is a big guy, once he gets the body mechanics down for power generation he is going to hit like a freight train.
Sunday, Chris, Jason, Gary and Gary’s cousin (I a bad with names)
2 rounds shadow boxing
some work on shifting and changing stance and most important, why we absolutely have to do it if we want to be the best fighter we can be.
We then worked the displacement step from savate…a jab>straight rear>step out>fouette median or bas. Stressing the importance of the step being rather long to defend against the takedown and counter strikes.
Our grappling this week consisted of this no jacket sambo throw:
We ended the session with the navaja. We did a review of everything we have ever covered and I am happy to say that a whole lot of it has stuck! Now we just have to get good at it.
Next week Savate and Russian Fisticuffs at Nord Schlag in Alberta Ca.. Really looking forward to this!

NEOHEMAS Session 1-12-14

Been very bad about getting my reports out. Last Sunday Just Chris and I again. Good session mainly working on mechanics and polishing what he already knows as well as a nice three count combo from Russian fisticuffs. Still working on getting his striking ready for his fight in Feb.

On Thursday, Gary, Jason and I had a frigid training session. We worked focus mitts, cadence drills and did some grappling before the cold got to us.
On this past Sunday, Gary, David, Jason and I travel south to Akron where I taught a 2 1/2 hour clinic on sambo. I am far from an expert but know enough to give a decent intro clinic which is what I did. My old grappling friend David Doyle invited me down to work with some of the locals.
We started with some nice Russian ROM exercises then an explanation of our grip drill and showed some things to work on. We went through half a dozen or so takedowns and submissions.. Git to see and old friend and meet some people. Hopefully they had as much fun as I had.
David goes for armbar

NEOHEMAS session 7-28-13

Chris, Cody, David, Gary, Jason and I today…

2 rounds shadow boxing
2 rounds dog fight, everyone vs everyone, free for all boxing only.
4 rounds sparring straight punches only
2 rounds footwork
About 20 minutes work on Fitzsimmons shift working several variation using the basic concept…we even transposed the idea over to navaja work.
Chris then took us through some really great groundwork, mostly escaping from the bottom. After the escapes we did a massive amount of live rolling, well Gary did a massive amount of live rolling. He went through all of us at least once and sometimes twice. Getting ready for Sambo Nationals Aug 17th.
On a personal note…on Monday my 400th child was born. I finally managed to make a boy…Angus Cormac Pfrenger 7lbs 4 oz…my plan is to make him a total death machine by age 5. I expect many phone calls from his kindergarten teacher.

Recreational Violence weekend 2013 AAR

This was our least ambitious event so far, fewest instructors, fewest attendees and least advertised. Really too much going on this year to have even held the event but decided to just go small rather than not at all. Despite this it was a fantastic time.

Jumping right into the classes:

Day 1
Silver taught by Randal G…we had out only Friday class in the evening, a quick look at a new interpretation of George Silvers material, very interesting.

Day 2

RAF style fisticuffs…I taught a class of basic Russian fisticuffs with a focus on the round blow.

Montante taught by Randal Gustitis…great class! My mind is still healing from this one.

Sgian dubh treachery taught by Chris Thompson…short knife employed treacherously. My daughter Sophia and I worked together in this class. Nothing more wonderful than seeing a 10 year old going through the motions of slitting her fathers throat.

Test Cutting run by Kirk Lawson…4 hours later we had killed a great number of water jugs, pool noodles, ribs and two chickens.

Day 3

Classical Pugilism as Physical Culture taught by Kirk Lawson…we went through a number of concepts from Classical Pugilism including some really great partner drills for improving strength, flexibility and cardio. Many of these exercises are going to become a regular part of my training.

Footpad and Can taught by me…a basic quick method for fighting with a shillelagh.

Thi-Bowie taught by Randal G…bowie work based on the writings of Thibault. Made the Spanish style accessible to a simpleton like me:) Went from not getting it to getting it real fast.

Broadsword sparring concepts taught by Chris Thompson…In this class Chris went over some basic strategies for winning, not just fighting a broadsword bout. I have the welts to prove it.

Overall great weekend with great people, great conversations to an average of 3 AM each night, great drink and my wife went crazy making food. Already looking forward to next years event.


Howdie folks,
Allen gave a pretty good summary of the event so no need for me to repeat what he said. I justed to publicly thank everyone who came out to learn, teach and just generally have a good time.
As usual we had a low turnout. This year lower than ever. While it is a nice feeling to teach a class of 30+ it is an even better feeling getting to go over more material with a group of people who get it fairly quick. Six of one, half a dozen of the other sort of deal I suppose. I do know that we will be doing this again next year. No date set as of yet but already some talk about classes for next year.

Combat Con AAR.




2 weeks after the fact, a quick after action report on Combat Con II.

Unless you live under a rock or are totally removed from the WMA world, you might not know what Combat Con is. Rather than ramble on, I’ll just give the link: Combat Con

This was a seriously fun event…if there is a Combat Con III, you should make plans to attend. I have not heard word on this yet though.

As with most of these multitrack events, It is hard to choose classes and even harder when you are teaching, doing Demo’s and sitting on panels. The only class I took was Maestro Loriega’s Navaja class. It was mainly review for me but review that I sorely needed. It is always a good time training with James and it is even better to see that I am still on the right track with my navaja work.

A rundown of the classes I taught or co-taught.

Co taught with James Loriega and Stephen Fick…Using everyday items as weapons. Stephen started us out with an interesting take on using found items on a plane and defending yourself with them. I followed with a simple system of figure 8’s that can be used with any item, be it rigid or flexible. This was based off my Cossack saber and RMA training with Randal Gustitis. Mishael Lopex Cardoza joined us for a few minutes demonstrating using a simple credit card as a weapon…very eye opening! James Loriega ended the class with a lecture and bit of scenario work putting the class participants into groups and having the devise certain exit strategies. Very fun class.

Co taught with Mishael Lopes Cardoza and John Lennox…surviving a cantina fight. Very crowed class but great fun as well. This the first time I ever worked with John Lennox after knowing him for over 13 years, so it was about time. Lots of scenario work against multiple opponents…always a low percentage outcome but worth training for. I was able to put some of the RAF multiple opponent fisticuff actions into play.

I Was asked upon my arrival if I would fill in and do the Savate Danse De Rue class…of course i would! More of a Boxe Francaise class but with zero prep work I did my best. Of course, Ron Balicki who actually fought for the North American Championship attended the class…no pressure at all:) The class, despite my totaly lack of prep and having some one 50 times more qualified to teach it as a student, went well.

My next class was “The footpad and the cane” This was probably my favorite class of the weekend to teach. Good sized group of shillelagh swingers always makes me happy. One hour was not nearly long enough but I think I was able to get the point of the simple style across decently.

Next up I taught Catch as Catch Can wrestling…I was supposed to co-teach this which was still a bit odd considering that I am not a catch wrestler. I have done some for sure but an instructor? Nah…anyhow the other instructor had car trouble so I ended up teaching the class myself and calling it Teach as teach can:) We stuck mainly with leg locks since I am fairly familiar with the catch variations on them. Lot’s of grapplers in the class so things went smoothly.


Last class I taught was on Pugilism. An hour is never enough. I could fill that up just with my spoken introduction. Still, I tried to control myself and get down to business as quick as possible. Very fun class. Within minutes I had people hitting hard and moving well..

My sole scheduled Demo coincided witht he navaja class, so I bowed out of it…Tim Ruzicki and Paul Macdonald handled it well. I sat ion one panel with Bob Charron, Tony Wolf and Stephen Fick. An interesting discussion concerning the future of WMA.

So much went on over the three day event that it would take a post much longer than I have the willingness to type out to to describe even a quarter of it. It was an epic weekend and I don’t lightly use the word “epic”. If it happens again, which I hope it will, it should not be missed.


Combat Con

Hmmm, where to begin?

Ok, I’ll start with the 40 hour drive across the US. I can’t say I was too fond of this but to be honest for all of the discomfort and time spent, it was worth it. Seriously, if you missed this event you need to kick yourself in the ass and start putting money in your piggy bank for next years event and the official word is that will indeed be a Combat Con II.

Travel was a problem but the hotel was really cheap and the food was as well. The event itself was even affordable so if you can get there next year, do it!

I had a pretty busy teaching and demo schedule this year so I was only able to take one class….Messer and Dussack taught by Lee Smith and Paul Macdonald. This was the first class of the entire event and anyone who has done this knows about hte strain it puts on your legs if you are not used to it…I wasn’t so my legs were sore all weekend but it was a small price to pay for some top notch instruction in a fun weapon system.

I won’t go into my classes other than to say they were well attended and it looked like the people enjoyed them. I think Is aw more smiles this weekend than at any other past event I have either taught at or attended.

Had a chance to catch up with many friends that i only get to see once or twice a year, had a chance to finally meet people who have interacted with for years on line and met a ton of new people including the Cold Steel demo crew who did a few excellent demos over the weekend.

As you can imagine, Vegas offered night time activities that were far and above what we usually have at these large events. More hilarity than can be covered in this brief note ensued and many a legend were born.

Unfortunately then came the 40 hour ride home which was a little less than 40 hours due to an alternate route missing much of the Rockies. Next year I think the Train might be the way to go only $200 to LV from Cleveland.

Make sure you go to:
And take a look at what you missed and get ready for next year.

Recreational Violence VII After Action Report

Finally caught up on my sleep enough to post…

Great time this past weekend sharing, learning, getting together with old friends and making new ones. Let me just jump right into the classes.

James Klock first gave us Ringkunst or Medieval German Wrestling…fun class. James is a teacher by trade and it shows through in his ability to get an idea across plus he makes a wicked mead!

Josh Little then taught Obsessio & Schützen – Bringing the Gap in I.33. This was my first class ever with sword and buckler. I enjoyed much more than I thought I would and wish I would have looked into this earlier…much fun.

Next up Meyer’s Dussack with Randal Gustitis…nice class with about a years worth of information crammed into it. I just wish I was able to absorb all of it or at least more than I did. Some new insight gained regardless of how much I missed.

Next Blackwatch Tomahawk with Chris Thompson. Anti-pugilism manual performed with the hawk. Violent and to the point, just how i like it.

Kirk Lawson, Military saber to bowie. Kirk took us through three military saber manuals first with sword then with bowie. We got to see what translated well and what did not and what needed tweaked. Great idea for a class.

Last class for Saturday- Dan Kanagie took us through Paradosiakos Pagratio Kato…basically controlling our opponent on the ground and beating the crap out of him. What more could I ask for in a class?

Sunday’s classes were all one hour and there were fewer and we were thankful.

Jointlocks and Other Body Distortions with Randal Gustitis. Randal took the Buza he showed us last year and used it as an entry point for some interesting joint locks and body manipulations from ROSS. I have been working the Buza some this last year so it was nice to put it into action.

Meyer’s Rapier with John Enzinas. Both John and Craig Shackleton (who was assisting him) took us through some of the basics and a few plays from Meyer’s rapier section…like with the earlier I.33 class, i was surprised by how much I enjoyed this class.

Next up Close quarter knife with Tim Anderson. Just as it sounds…we were up close and personal working the knife in one of the most fun classes of the entire weekend. A few of us came out a little worse for wear but it was well worth it.

Last class was me teaching sambo. Since most of the people who were able to stay till the end were of the swordy variety, I decided to work mostly standing grappling at the jacket so it would be more useful to them. It was scheduled to be the first class of the weekend but I swapped out since a few people had to leave earlier than planned. I tried to tone it down but just by the nature it turned out to be fairly demanding but hopefully some people were able to take something home.

The weather was nice for a change and the alcohol consumption was up…but I think it was mostly due to my wife’s accelerated consumption. Our highland cattle made to break outs during the weekend. Chris Thompson and I caught her the first time but on Sunday it took, Randal, Chris, Craig and I quite some time to corral both cow and calf. I am sure a you tube clip should be showing up any tme now thanks to Mr Little.

Overall a good weekend, no injuries worse than a bruise,scratch or two, lot’s of new takes on things and more conversation than can be digested in a lifetime. of course we are already talking about next year.

Fechtschule America 2011

Finally feeling rested and willing to do a quick review of the Fechtschule America 2011 event in Houston Texas.

When I left my house on Thursday morning to head to Pittsburgh International Airport, I had to chip the ice off the windshield and brush the snow off the van. We had a little going down the road sideways incident with the van as well. Winter was not letting go of her grip of Ohio yet(And it snowed last night, just two inches, but really, I have had enough already this year). Texas on the other hand was hot, by day for I longed for the ice and snow. I could go on about this but I did enough of that last weekend.

This event was very well organized and run, both the classes and the tournaments. The only hiccup was the tournament on Sunday running over but there was enough wiggle room that this did not make much of an impact. This event was also very sword/historical fencing centric…which is not a bad thing, the people it drew were for the most part there for the HEMA. This meant my two classes, pugilism and Parkyn’s close hugg were a bit underattended but honestly, I get to go over more material in a smaller class and the fact is, you have to start somewhere.

As per how I normally do these big multiclass events. I only took a few classes in the hope of retaining what I learned. Too easy to get brain burn.

Brian Stokes Fiore’s Abrazare – A bit different than what I normally do but it is always good to get some insight how others are going about grappling.

Luis Preto JdP against multiple attackers – This was the class I was looking forward tot he most and i am glad I go the chance to take it. I have done some JdP int he past but a different style so it was great to see this one in action.

Chris Amendola Cane as a weapon – A fun class with a few new things to learn thrown in as a bonus.

Stephen Fick Swetnam’s Rapier – I only got to take about a third of this class before having to get ready to catch my flight…still what I did get to do gave me a taste of the system. It seems like a good system for a guy like me who doesn’t particularly like rapier:)

Three tournaments this year, a Dussack, Nylon Longsword and steel invitational. Again very well run and towards the end you could really see some great technique being shown as the cream rose to the top.

Definitely a great time…my hosts, the Amendola’s did a great job at making me feel at home, I cannot thank them enough.

So assuming there is a next year’s event, it should be on your things to do list.