Swords of the Renaissance 2024

Registration starts on June 3rd 2024 at 7 pm CET!

31. August & 1. September 2024,

Primary location: Am Neues Palais, Potsdam 14469

Alternative location (in case of weather): Sporthalle OSZ Technik 1 (Ulanenweg, 14469 Potsdam)


This event is dedicated to the different styles and weapons of the Renaissance. This is intended to provide an overview and provide space for exchange and experimentation. There will be 2 x 5 workshops, but also plenty of time for questions, discussions, exchanges and free fencing! The aim is to create an open space that reflects both the diversity of the historical martial arts between the 15th and 17th centuries and the diversity of today’s practitioners. Everything used in the Renaissance is welcome though.

A lunch buffet like last year will be organized. In the evening we will go out for dinner close to the event location. If the weather is good, the event will held outdoors and will be open to spectators. If it rains we move into the hall and stay among ourselves. There is no tournament or other kind of competitive scenario at this event. The common denominator is cooperative and friendly fencing environment.

Masks, neck protection and (light) gloves belong to the minimum to be able to safely participate in all workshops. A fencing jacket is also pleasant, especially in thrust-oriented workshops.


Ground IGround IIGround IIIGround IGround IIGround III
9:00 – 9:30RegistrationWaking-UpOpen-Ground
9:30 – 10:00Welcome & Warm-Up* Warm-Up*
10:00 – 11:30 Guy Windsor
Improve your Rapier fencing
Emilia Skirmuntt

Open-GroundGuy Windsor
Lessons from the Abrazare
Björn Rüther

12:00 – 13:30 LunchLunch
13:30 – 15:00Franziska Müller

Emilia Skirmuntt

Open-Ground & DiscussionNele Vansteenkiste
Björn Rüther

Open-Ground & Discussion
15:00 – 15:30breatherbreather
15:30 – 16:15Franziska Müller
Nele Vansteenkiste
Guy Windsor
Rapier & Dagger
16:15 – 17:00Break-out:
17:00 – 18:30Open-Ground & DiscussionFarewell
19:30Social Event:
Bar & Pizza
*centralized warm-up session with Guy Windsor or time for individual warm-up before the workshop starts. For more information, please see below

Our workshops (90 min):


About the instructor: Emilia Skirmuntt has been training in the art of hitting people with swords and other objects for the last 20 years. During that time, she has studied multiple weapons and systems in various clubs, starting in Poland and then moving to London and Oxford. She has won medals in both women’s and open competitions, both in the UK and abroad, fighting with longsword, rapier, rapier and dagger, saber, sidesword, and sidesword and buckler. She was also voted best technical fencer at By the Sword 2019.

Emilia has traveled around Europe leading workshops and seminars and was one of the representatives for the UK and Ireland HEMA team in the European Games in Minsk in 2019. She is a member of the organizing committees for the Wessex League and the Albion Cup, the biggest international competition in the UK. She also organized the English Sidesword Open in Oxford in 2018. Currently, she is the head instructor for the Oxford Chapter of The School of the Sword. She teaches Italian longsword, dagger, rapier, sidesword, unarmed, and tomahawk techniques.


About the instructor: Björn Rüther is a dedicated trainer at Hammaborg – Historischer Schwertkampf e.V. and leads the Meyer Class training group in Hamburg. He has more than a decade of experience in this area. In addition to his practical training, Rüther has taken his expertise to the digital realm, publishing videos on interpretations and insights into historical fencing, specifically focusing on Meyer’s treatises, on his YouTube channel, which has over 70k subscriptions. His commitment to the art led to the publication of a book about Joachim Meyer’s Art of Fencing in 2019, which is available through an app called „Navicartum“ for both Android and Apple devices.

Between 2020 and 2023, Rüther was an active member of the German national fencing team for longsword, achieving the title of vice champion in 2022 and securing the German men’s longsword championship in 2023. His commitment to the field extends beyond personal achievements; since 2022, he has been serving as the president of the German umbrella organization for historical fencing, advocating for the recognition and development of historical martial arts as a legitimate sport.

Currently, Rüther is employed as a Motion Capture Supervisor and History Consultant at Raw Power Games in Copenhagen, blending his historical expertise with cutting-edge technology to animate the past in the contemporary digital landscape.

Björn with a feder
Nele with a smallsword


About the instructor: Nele Vansteenkiste is an instructor at Academia da Espada Belgium, the Belgian chapter of Academia da Espada under Maestro Ton Puey. She began her martial arts journey in early 2009 with sports fencing and épée, and after six months, she started training with the longsword. When Filip Bonte introduced rapier lessons, first focusing on Thibault and then the Spanish Destreza rapier, she shifted her focus entirely to the rapier. Despite this, she continued to assist and provide introductory lessons in épée.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nele delved deeper into Academia da Espada, starting with private lessons, forming a study group, and eventually establishing a chapter. She has attended events in Spain, trained with Juan Guilmain, and now teaches and regularly exchanges knowledge with practitioners in Spain, Italy, and other clubs. Nele also has a background of 10 years in judo and about 2 years in Capoeira.

You can find her and her club here.

Improve your Rapier Fencing

We will cover a systematic approach to improving your fencing/freeplay/sparring skills with the rapier, regardless of what fencing style you currently study. We will start by establishing safety guidelines, then gradually introduce complexity to simple drills, and learn to create the optimal environment for you to improve your skills. We will make a special study of dealing with fencers who refuse the blade (keeping their sword offline where you can’t engage it).

Beginners are welcome: you won’t be thrown in the deep end.

We will include exercises and approaches for:

  1. developing your fencing memory, so you can recreate what just happened, and learn from it.
  2. using freeplay/sparring for technical and tactical development
  3. setting up modified freeplay to allow you to focus on the things you personally need to work on
  4. competitive fencing: how to use it to develop, and how to get better at it.
  5. equipment: what equipment you need, and what the pros and cons are of full-kit freeplay versus using less protection.
  6. communicating goals and boundaries with training partners you don’t know.

Minimum equipment: blunt training sword, mask.

Lessons from the Abrazare


Minimum equipment: comfortable clothing


Join Guy as he gets his 50-year-old carcase ready for a day of historical fencing. We’ll begin with a survey of all the joints, get moving gently, and build up to the ranges of motion we will need for the arts we practice. If you have your own routines that work for you, you are encouraged to incorporate them into your session.

About the instructor: Consulting Swordsman Dr. Guy Windsor is acclaimed and respected both as a teacher and a pioneering researcher of medieval and renaissance martial arts. He began his professional historical martial arts career when he founded The School of European Swordsmanship in Helsinki, Finland in 2001. Awarded a PhD by Edinburgh University for his seminal work recreating historical combat systems, Guy has written numerous books for historical martial artists, such as The Medieval Longsword, The Medieval Dagger, From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Practice: the longsword techniques of Fiore dei Liberi, The Art of Sword Fighting in Earnest, The Duellist’s Companion, The Swordsman’s Companion, The Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts, The Rapier Workbook series, and The Armizare Workbook. His latest book is From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Practice: the wrestling techniques of Fiore dei Liberi.

He has traveled the world as an in-demand teacher and lecturer, and even developed the card game Audatia – bringing the thrills of historic swordfighting to the modern gaming audience. He has also created a huge range of online courses, covering medieval knightly combat, sword and buckler, rapier, remedial training, and even how to train alone. Now, Guy splits his time between researching historical martial arts; writing books and creating online courses, teaching students all over the world; and working as a consulting expert. He runs the popular historical martial arts podcast The Sword Guy, interviewing historical martial artists and experts from a wide range of related disciplines.

You can find him and his work online at swordschool.com

Guy with Rapier & Dagger

Franzi with a sickle

Schneidet den Purschen zu Poden – der Kampf mit der Sichel (Cutting them Down – Combat with the Sickle)

Ever tried sickling someone? No? In this workshop, you’ll get the chance! Paulus Hector Mair, in the 16th century, not only focused on classic knightly weapons but also incorporated elements of peasant combat arts. In this workshop, we will focus on these elements – specifically the combat with the sickle. We will delve into the basic movement patterns and principles of this peasant weapon and explore them in a playful and experiential manner. Due to the distance in which the sickle is fought, we will also engage in friendly embraces and wrestling.

Equipment: light gloves, training safe sickle, (we have a limited number of sickle simulators available, so please bring all the sickles you have)

About the instructor: Franziska Müller’s fencing journey began in the autumn of 2019 with the longsword. Since then, she has been training at Schwert & Bogen and has been working as an instructor for over two years. During the pandemic, she began studying the sickle according to Paulus Hector Mair. Additionally, she has gained experience in kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu, further fueling her passion for combat. She greatly enjoys learning different movement patterns and engaging in physical activity, a joy she loves to share with others.

Our break-out sessions (30 – 45 min):



Fencing with the Rapier and Dagger

Adding a second weapon dramatically increases the complexity of the fencing situation, so we will work through a series of exercises designed to introduce beginners to using the dagger with the sword. In this process, we will also recreate some specific plays from Capoferro, and work our way up to gentle freeplay with the sword and dagger.

Minimum equipment: blunt training sword, blunt training dagger (or 30cm stick, or equivalent), mask.

Guy, again