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The modern practice of Western Martial Arts (WMA) stems from a renaissance of the ways of combat developed in 13-14th century Europe. These traditional martial arts suffered and eventually died with the spread of firearms; however, techniques and principles were compiled into “Fight Books”, treatises and manuscripts with images that survived to current times.

The people who lived in those times faced the constant threat of violence, and many of these historical techniques can be transitioned into the modern, highly effective fighting style of WMA.

At the Forge we maintain the balance between historical and modern fighting styles and split the week into two separate structures, MCS and HEMA, which run parallel within the yearly curriculum. 

The curriculum is developed by our instructors, who plan engaging lessons around it week by week. Depending on the time of year (or class attendance) we may be swinging longswords or longknives, boxing or ground-wrestling. 

Maverick Combative Systems (MCS):

Developing modern and realistic defensive awareness, applying knowledge from Counter Blade Concepts and Martial Blade Concepts by Michael Janich, stick-fighting, boxing, ground-wrestling, unarmed fighting, wrestling, and general physical training. We aim to be comfortable at all ranges of combat.

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA):

The  German longsword and messer are the predominate weapons in our club, as we base our study from the tradition of “grand master” Johannes Liechtenauer and from Johannes Leckuchner. But we explore everything within, around and in-between HEMA, sometimes learning from Fiore’s Italian tradition, actively practicing ringen, and sword and buckler.

We designate 30 minutes of free-play after each class, so we can let loose, test out techniques in a controlled sparring session, and try to hit each other and not get hit in many different ways! (The more you train in different forms, the more you’ll find that it all relates!) 


Once a month, attendees will learn basic strikes and blocks taken predominately from HEMA techniques, to be applied and adapted to the awesome art of the light sword! One hour of lesson is usually followed by one hour of sparring.

So whether one wants to fight off the calories, or is combatting depression, we have found the best techniques to get through the modern age are to explore the old and new world of martial arts by swinging weapons around with like-minded individuals in a studious, moderately-structured way. 

We ultimately train with intent and encourage to test theories and techniques in competition. We do our best to promote a positive environment where everyone’s individual levels can develop into whatever direction they themselves want to take it.