‘Secrets’ of the Backsword: Principles of the Macdonald Academy Method
Principles of Time, Measure and Line underpin all forms of fencing, and a student learning a technique without understanding how these core principles are employed will never understand the technique properly, nor be able to adapt it when necessary in the moment. Likewise, the Macdonald Academy Method of backsword and broadsword has four key mechanical principles which are essential for efficient and fluid use of the weapon, and understanding of these is essential to be able to adapt techniques as required. The class shall cover a series of actions in an engagement, showing how the principles occur again and again.
Students will require a broadsword, backsword or singlestick. At a pinch, a cane will do. A fencing mask is recommended.
Stephen Kilbane started his journey into historical fencing when Macdonald Academy of Arms first opened its doors in 2002, serving for many years as chef de salle under Maestro Paul Macdonald. He is the only person to have taken and passed the Macdonald Academy instructor exam. In 2016 he co-founded the Cat’s Glove School of Traditional Defence, a sister school to Macdonald Academy, where he is co-instructor to Mike Smith’s lead instructor. Stephen has taught historical fencing workshops and seminars at events in England, Scotland, Italy, Malta and the USA.