The British Federation for Historical Swordplay

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Autumn Exchange 2016

Autumn Exchange 2016 took place over the weekend of 19th-20th November, and was hosted by Wolfshead School of Western Martial Arts in Lincoln. Originally there had been two other plans […]

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IL1 Assessment Day, September 2016

On September 3rd 2016, the BFHS ran an IL1 assessment day hosted by the Society for the Study of Swordsmanship and run directly by Chief Assessor Martin J Dougherty. The […]

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I have been a fencer of one sort or another for all of my adult life, and have published books on the subject as well as many other historical topics.  I am respectful of the entire spectrum of historical martial arts; I prefer inclusivity and cooperation to subdivision.

I have a proven track record as an instructor of fencing and other martial arts, and a long history of giving my time to clubs and events. This includes teaching and running classes since 1989, and more recently serving as Chief Assessor to the BFHS as well as teaching at my home group, the Society for the Study of Swordsmanship. I will continue in the non-executive role of Chief Assessor if elected as President.

I have published several books on the teaching of fencing and martial arts, including The Fencing Master’s Companion, A Modern Manual of Smallsword Fencing and Fight to Win. 

My Background

My general teaching experience is quite broad, ranging from primary and secondary school teaching to lecturing in the defence & security industry. As a fencing coach I taught at the University of Sunderland from 1988-2008, before moving to historical fencing.

As a martial arts/self-defence instructor I qualified in 2004 and progressed through the various programmes (Children & Young People, Women, Street Weapons, Adverse Scenarios, Gangs & Multiples and so forth), eventually qualifying as a master level instructor and thence to assessor and senior assessor rank.

My martial arts/combatives experience includes extensive training in Western martial arts such as Catch Wrestling, Combatives, Pugilism, Chausson/Savaux and Purring, among others. I am also the regional instructor for the ASMAA Goshin Jutsu self-defence programme.

Within ASMAA (All-Styles Martial Arts Association) I implemented the coach development programme and trained/assessed coaches from 2009 onwards. I am currently in charge of all coach development for ASMAA, and previously held the post of North-East regional coordinator.

I have published several books on unarmed combat and self-defence, and have recently developed a smallsword training programme. I also intend to make available the work done on my coach development programme as created for ASMAA.

I have considerable experience of assessing and training coaches in combative disciplines, and have already been through the process of creating assessment criteria with the ASMAA programme. I have done extensive work on coaching and training methodologies, both in terms of developing fencers and enhancing coach performance.

My Role within the BFHS

The role of Chief Assessor is a non-Executive post, and one I held before standing for election as President. I intend to continue in the Chief Assessor role after my term as President is over. The development of the coaching programme is my primary interest within the BFHS. I consider it to be one of our core activities and extremely important to the future of the BFHS.

Qualifications and Relevant Posts

  • B.Ed (Secondary Physics) (1992)
  • BFHS IL 1 (2012)
  • British Fencing Club Leader (1989)
  • British Fencing Club Coach (1990) – amended to Level 2 Foil in 2007
  • ASMAA (All-Styles-martial Arts Association) Head of Coaching
  • ASMAA Regional Training Officer (NE England) – Goshin Jutsu
  • ASMAA Regional Representative (NE England)
  • SDF (Self-Defence Federation) Senior Assessor, Master Level Instructor
  • 3rd Dan Combat Ju-Jitsu
  • 1st Dan Modern Street Combat
  • 1st Dan Nihon Tai-Jitsu
  • 1st Dan Goshin Jutsu

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