GallowGlass Academy Announces Rapier Classes for Twelfth Night

THL Senan and the GallowGlass Academy will present a special rapier workshop at Tree-Girt-Sea's Twelfth Night event. Tree-Girt-Sea is located in Chicago, Illinois (USA). Senan is a fencer of considerable reknown in the SCA and in the modern world. Please find below information on Tree-Girt-Sea's TWELFTH NIGHT Sidesword classes and the GallowGlass Academy's Backsword classes presented by THL Senan. There is important information about the equipment necessary for these classes below. It is important that those planning on attending know this information before showing up.

Special note: Tree-Girt-Sea 12th Night has been designated at PRACTICE EVENT. This means that participants in the 12th Night Classes do not need to be either Paid SCA Members nor Authorized MidRealm Rapier Combatants.

Classes will be held on Saturday, January 18th, 2003. Classes start at 11 am SHARP! Each class is two hours long, with a one hour break in between. If you don't know a lot about Sidesword, please take the first class if you wish to take the second one!

1st class: Introduction to the Spada da Lato

This class will serve as an introduction to the characteristics, timeline and use of the Spada da lato, or 'Sidesword' as used by historical masters of the early 16th century. Concepts covered will include the differences the Sidesword has to other weapons of it's general type, the attendant weapons used with it, the masters who taught and studied the weapon as well as the basics of Sidesword combat as experimented within the SCA. The final 45 minutes of the class will focus on demonstrations and coaching of combat by Sidesword authorized fencers within the SCA.

2nd class: Marozzo's Sword and Buckler -- an Introduction

Achille Marozzo taught an earlier style of Sidesword combat, deeply related to its military forebears. Primarily using the buckler, Marozzo's style is fluid, dynamic and deadly. This class will provide a basic introduction into Marozzo's (and indeed the entire Bardi school's) style of combat. Guardia, blade actions and grips will all be discussed.

The majority of the classes will be discussion/demonstration. It's not 'required' but highly recommended to have at least SCA fencing gear. Long blades will have some problems, and schlaegers tend to break. Everyone needs a buckler, historically accurate in size and shape. 16-20 inches is optimum. Rounds, targets, waves anything like that is fine, but people are going to be parrying cuts with the bucklers. Coffee can lids don't work.

To reserve for the 12th Night Classes, send $15 for one class or $25 for both classes to:

Drew Nicholson
Attn: 12th Night Rapier
2351 Emerson Ave.
Melrose Park, IL 60164

You can also reserve for the event and feast to the same address!

Site fee: $6.00 Adults (children 1/2 price, children under 6 free!)
Feast fee: $10.00 Before December 15th, $12.00 After December 15th

Please make checks payable to SCA Tree-Girt-Sea.

Gallowglass Classes

Backsword: Friday, January 17, 2003 (the day before Tree-Girt-Sea's Twelfth Night)

Jefferson Park Congregational Church
5320 W. Giddings, Chicago IL 60630
9:30 am - 5 pm
$50 until January 1; $100 thereafter. Thou hast been warned!
Lunch is included on Friday.


  • Blunted steel backsword replica (see below) or rattan sword with basket hilt
  • Modern 12 kg fencing mask or equivalent
  • Gorget
  • Long sleeved fencing jacket or SCA fencing doublet
  • Elbow and knee protection
  • All men must wear athletic cup

Steel swords: Roger recommends the CAS Iberia practical backsword or basket hilted Scottish broadsword. One source for these is Bill Wilson at . The swords cost approx. $165 with shipping.

Singlesticks can be bought from Purpleheart armory ( for $30-70.

Special Deal for Western Martial Artists: Pre-register for all three -- Friday's Backsword and both Saturday Sidesword classes -- through Gallowglass, for only $65 total! That's an $80 value! (wow!)

To reserve your spot NOW -- send $30 and your name, address, phone, e-mail addy -- and which class(es) you're signing up for! to:

Gallowglass Academy
Attn: Senan
4739 N. Luna
Chicago, IL 60630-3410.

Roger Siggs is the Rector of the Phoenix branch of the Tattershall School of Defence (, offering instruction in Italian rapier, Sidesword, Longsword and Unarmed Combat. Mr. Siggs has been training in the martial arts for over 20 years, and has been awarded black belts or instructor status in several Eastern martial arts including Kyokushinkai, Daito-ryu Aiki-Jujutsu and Tomiki Aikido.

In recent years he has devoted his research and training purely to the Western Arts, focusing on the Medieval Close Combat dagger and grappling methods, and the Italian fighting arts. His formal training in the Arte of Defense and Western Martial arts began approximately 8 years ago, and had focused primarily on Italian Rapier technique. He is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, the International Fighting Arts Association, and brings a broad base of teaching experience in the fields of combative application, research and historical interpretation in addition to his martial arts background.

As a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Roger, there known as Senan O'Faolan is a member of the Defenders of the White Scarf, the highest award for fencing expertise within the Society, and is the current director of safety, and training for rapier within the state of Arizona.