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Chris Halpin and Lauren Ireland
of the York School of Defence

Chris Halpin

Lauren Ireland

Training With the Staff

Introduction to HEMA

10am to 5pm, Saturday 2nd November 2019, St Nicholas Church Hall, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Have you ever wanted to know how to handle a staff?

What skills do you need for sword fighting?

What kind of martial arts were people practising in London over one hundred years ago?

You can find out the answers to these questions, and a great deal more, in Beverley on the 2nd November 2019, 10am until 5pm.


HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts. In the past twenty years there has been a renaissance of interest in the martial traditions of Europe. This has included studies of historical manuals from Italy and Germany and other European Countries. Traditional systems have been made available to the public, particularly Stav which survived in Norway since Viking times. A great deal of research, practice and training has been done and various schools of HEMA have developed.

On Saturday 2nd of November three experienced teachers will be offering an introductory HEMA seminar at St Nicholas Church Hall, in Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Come to the Introduction to HEMA Seminar and discover the basics of training and fighting with the staff. You will also train with the messer, a fascinating design of one handed sword which was popular in the 14th and 15th centuries. There will also be an introductory workshop on Bartitsu and Victorian applications of Jujitsu and using the walking stick for self-defence.

There will be three ninety minute workshops during the day and the whole seminar will run from 10am until 5pm. The classes will be led by three highly experienced teachers with many years of training, practice and teaching behind them.


Chris Halpin runs the York School of Defence along with Lauren Ireland (more about Lauren below). Chris will be teaching the langes messer, (translates as long knife) a single edged sword which was widely used in Europe in the late medieval and early modern period.


Lauren Ireland has made a particular study of Victorian and Edwardian self defence which took many guises. Whilst many people are are aware of the eclectic hybrid system developed by Barton Wright (dubbed 'Bartitsu') there are in fact many other forms of combatives from the period that we study. Stick fighting is the main focus of this class, drawing from a wide variety of British, French and American sources. This is the art of self defence for discerning ladies and gentlemen and it includes the use of parasols and other accoutrements to keep oneself safe in a period fashion.

Lauren's class will provide an introduction to late 19th and early 20th century self defence using both unarmed skills and the walking stick.


Graham Butcher has trained and taught Stav for the past 27 years. The staff is the primary weapon used in Stav training.

Graham's workshop will cover the essentials of using the staff including: Holding and carrying the weapon. Deploying the staff into offensive and defensive guard positions. Basic solo training drills and simple two person drills. If you can master the staff you can effectively use any weapon.

Cost and Equipment

Cost is £30 for the whole day. Refreshments are included, please bring your own lunch.

All necessary equipment will be available for each workshop.

Continuation of Training

This event will be an introduction to three forms of HEMA training. However, if you are within reach of York you can train at the York School of Defence. Stav training is available in Beverley on a weekly basis, please see here.

To book please:

Pay by Paypal using the form below

Or pay by BACS, please Email Graham for account details.