In TSG we have two primary tracks, a Medieval curriculum and a Renaissance curriculum. Both curricula are structured in a three phase approach.
Our medieval curriculum focuses on techniques attributed to Johannes Liechtenauer, a 14th century German fencing master. Liechtenauer’s Kunst des Fechtens (or art of fighting, abbreviated KdF) focuses primarily at fighting with the longsword, but also includes text on the messer, dagger, and spear. The three phases of our KdF curriculum are as follows.
- Phase 1 (Fundamentals): At this phase, students learn longsword basics with a heavy emphasis on good body dynamic. By the end of phase 1, students should feel comfortable enough with a longsword to train with other TSG members, regardless of experience. Although Longsword is the focus of this phase, students may also be exposed to messer, spear, dagger, and historic wrestling.
- Phase 2 (Core): The second phase of training continues the study of longsword, messer, spear, and dagger. It focuses on hengen and winden, or using the bind with your opponent’s sword to attack and defend. For longsword and messer we teach this through the zornhau, the first of Liechtenauer’s five teaching cuts. At the end of this phase students are comfortable fighting with all four weapons, if even only a basic level.
- Phase 3 (Focus Classes): At this phase, students focus on a more in-depth study of one weapon at a time, delving into the entire range of techniques available for it. After completing phase 3 for one weapon, they may choose to begin again with another or continue developing their skills in the original weapon. For sword material, at phase 3 we focus on Liechtenauer’s four defenses (Vier Versetzen) and examine the rest of his training material.