June 24th:

Well that's it, over for another year. Thanks to everyone that made it, we had a great International turn out, and some returns from last year which is always good. Lots of new friends made, an epic McBane Night on the Saturday night, some really fun workshops, and lots of happy students.

The dates for McBane 2020, will be announced soon.


June 12th:

Please take note of the weekend's schedule:



7pm – Welcome Drinks.

You are all welcome to meet us, and get to know your fellow students and instructors over a few drinks at The Bow Bar (Best Pub In Scotland, and perhaps the official HEMA Pub of Edinburgh), located at 80 West Bow, EH1 2HH


9am - Doors Open, Sign In

9:30 - Warm Up By Arno 20mins

10:00 - Backsword vs Smallsword By Steve & Arno 60mins

11:15 - Lochaber Axe By Robert 60mins

12:30 - Lunch 45mins

1:30 - McBane Smallsword By Paul 60mins

2:45 - Intensive Class – A choice of 4 classes, could be anything chosen by the Instructors 60mins

3:45 - Close

4:00 - Doors Shut


6:00pm – Meet for drinks at The Bow Bar for some McBane Ales

8:30pm – We will walk 2mins up the road for our meal at Howies Restaurant 10-14 Victoria Street, EH1 2GH. The night is sure to continue in true McBane fashion.


10am - Warm Up (Wake Up & Coffee)

10:30 - Sword & Dirk By Lyell 60mins

11:45 - Intensive Class – A choice of 4 classes, could be anything chosen by the Instructors (Repeated) 60mins

1:00 - Lunch 60mins

2:10 - Weapons Handling 45mins

3:00 - Spadroon & Stick vs Many By Paul & Mike 90mins

4:30 - Salute & Close

5:00 - Doors Shut

June 5th:

The formal dinner is booked. We will be dining at 8:30pm in Howies Restaurant on Victoria Street. It is formal dress, and kilts/tartan are encouraged. All students will be emailed a menu to pre order from.


May 21st:

We have the T-shirts and roller banner ordered


May 16th:


Introducing the final Instructor for McBane 2019

Mike Smith

Mike will be teaching 'Spadroon & Stick vs Many' along side Paul Macdonald
Inspired by Donald McBane's mass fight in 1702 at a camp in Nijmegen over a lost gamble, this workshop will build up the techniques of facing multiple opponents, while making the most of a weapon in both hands, and incorporating some of the quotes by McBane on the subject.

Mike started training under Maestro Paul Macdonald at the end of 2004 in the art of Scottish Broadsword within weeks of moving from Australia. After becoming the 'Chef de Salle' at the Macdonald Academy of Arms, Mike went on to start up it's Sister school, The Cat's Glove - School of Traditional Defence in 2016.
The main weapons taught at The Cat's Glove are the Scottish Broadsword, Bayonet Fencing, WW2 Combatives, Bull Whip, Italian Cane and soon, the Quarterstaff.
Mike has taught twice at the FISAS International Meeting in Italy, SWASH in Leeds, The Paddy Crean Event in Banff, Canada and the International Meeting in Malta. Together with Paul, Mike has given countless demos across the UK and Italy in Scottish swordsmanship, as well as WW2 Commando Combatives as the pair of them started up a Living History Group called Commando D, which researches and teaches the close quarter combatives as taught in the Scottish Highlands to Allied troops.


May 8th:


Pleased to announce the final workshop of the McBane Event.
Lyell Drummond presents "Broadsword and Dirk - The Dirk Knows."
The class will focus on the principles of using this weapon combination gleaned and interpreted from contemporary pictorial sources and practical exploration. The class will cover the basics of guards and posture, to attacks and techniques of close quarter cutting while remaining safe behind the Bars we have created through position and time.

Lyell studied foil, epee and sabre under the Goodhalls (Angela Goodhall is one of only two women coaching in the UK to hold the ancient title of ‘Professor’, which is the highest level of coaching qualification available). He developed his system of SSA Highland Basket Hilted Broadsword based on his academic studies, 20+years of fencing experience and exposure to many instructors of note from home and abroad

Teaching classes in his preferred weapon of choice the Basket Hilted Broadsword, Broadsword and Dirk, Broadsword and Targe , singlestick and also classes in longsword, Lyell has been invited to teach by the British Federation of Historical Swordplay, in Italy by FISAS, in Spain by the AEEA and in Malta by the MHFA. He has also held workshops in Aberdeen Glasgow, Hamburg and Dublin.

"....When you Fight Sword and Dagger.
You are to keep your Sword as Directed, at a good Out-side Guard, your Dagger above your Brow, in order to Defend your Head, often having them a Cross, but take great Care to have your Sword Out-side, for should your Dagger be out, you may bu Cut in the Face or Head in Changing...." - Donald McBane


May 4th:


Paul Macdonald: McBane Smallsword

Pleased to announce the 4th workshop and the second to be taught by Paul Macdonald - McBane Smallsword

“Take your hat off with your Left Hand, and deliver the fleuerat to your Scholar with your right hand, and the pommel foremost. Putting him firm on his Guard.
Advance in Quart, Advance in Tierce Quart to the his right, and Tierce to this left eith coming on, or going off, Retire and Parie Qauart, Retire and Parie Tierce.
Salute with your Hat in your Left Hand drawing the right foot behind the leg and coming to the same posture again.” – Donald McBane

Maestro Paul Macdonald will be teaching Donald McBane’s own method of Smallsword. This is the only event that Paul will be teaching this method outside of his Academy of Arms.

Maestro Paul Macdonald was born in 1972, and raised in the West Highland village of Glenuig, Moidart, Scotland. He began his study of fencing in the 1992 at Napier University, in Edinburgh, founding and running the University club as President and principal instructor for two and a half years. With an ever-growing interest in historical swordsmanship, he founded the Dawn Duellists Society in 1994, and ran the DDS as President until 2006.

Since 1994, Maestro Macdonald has dedicated his path to European martial arts, travelling throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the US to research, study, practice, present seminars and demonstrations and teach. He has studied most styles of historical European combat and revived the methods and techniques of several lost systems, such as the medieval duelling shield, spada in arme, dusack and backsword. In 1998, Maestro Macdonald founded the British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS), serving as its President from 1998 - 2004.


April 26th:


Steve Kilbane & Arno Proeme: Smallsword vs Broadsword - Cut vs Thrust

The year was 1692, and McBane was encamped at Inverlochie to build Fort William. Having little skill in how to manage his pay, an old soldier was ordered to take care and manage McBane’s pay as he pleased, which was very little if and when he saw fit.
McBane decided to take matters into his own hands, and after 2 weeks of private lessons and a borrowed smallsword he challenged the old veteran. McBane found himself facing a broadsword, and he was no match as after two moves his smallsword was beat out of his hand and was chased for a swift beating.
Having lost the duel, his pay and his neighbour’s sword, McBane went back to his Master to learn how to beat the broadsword with a smallsword. After some top tips, he demanded his pay and was once again denied, so McBane “borrowed” a friend’s sword and once again challenged the old timer to a second round.
The new lessons paid off as McBane applied the new method and bested the broadsword with his smallsword. After that, McBane got his friend’s sword back, and was now master of his own pay.

The smallsword and basket-hilted back/broadsword naturally move in very different ways, the former being the epitome of purely thrust-centric fencing whilst the latter relies predominantly on cuts. When opposing each other these two sword types - one native to the British Isles, the other adopted from Continental Europe - are both forced to adapt as relying on techniques and strategies familiar from facing their own kind is sure to lead to trouble.

In this class we will examine both weapons' strengths and weaknesses in opposition and we will see how each sword type can effectively counter the other by exploiting its own unique character and strengths.

“But still the small sword hath great odds of the Broad, for the small sword kills, and you may receive forty cuts and not be disabled” – Donald McBane

April 12th:


Robert Brooks: Lochaber Axe - The Highland Chop

In the year 1688, at the age of 23, McBane took part in a Clan Battle (Battle of Maol Ruadh) between the Clan Chattan Confederation lead by Clan Mackintosh against Clan MacDonald and Clan Cameron in the Lochaber area near Spean Bridge.
One the first devastating weapons that McBane witnessed was the Lochaber Axe, used alongside the sword & targe.

In McBane’s words:
“……The MacDonalds came down the Hill upon us without either Shoe, Stocking, or Bonnet on their head, they gave a shout, and then the Fire began on both sides, and continued a hot Dispute for an Hour; then they broke in upon us with their Sword and Target, and Lochaber Axes, which obliged us to give way, seeing my Captain sore wounded, and a great many more with Heads lying cloven on every side, I was sadly Affrighted, never having seen the like before………”
Robert Brooks is a professional Historical Fencing teacher, founder of the Hotspur School of Defence and a former President of the British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS). In 1994 Robert joined the fledgling Dawn Duellists Society in Edinburgh, alongside Guy Windsor and Paul Macdonald, while studying at the city’s Napier University. The DDS went on to become one of the world's oldest and most respected HEMA groups and is still going strong more than 20 years since its foundation. Robert was a founding member of the BFHS, serving as its Secretary from 1998 to 2004, and was elected President in September 2013. He is also a fully-qualified BFHS Instructor and Assessor. In 2003, he established the Hotspur School of Defence, which has become a respected name within the international HEMA community for its study of medieval combat treatises dating from 1389 to 1482. Robert has attended numerous international events and from 2015 – 2018 taught in Bologna, Italy; Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa; Valletta, Malta; Antwerp, Belgium; Vigo, Spain; Utrecht, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Las Vegas, USA, Australia and New Zealand. He has also appeared as an expert consultant in the BBC4 documentary 'Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time', as well as having screen time in the US television series Ancient Assassins and a three-part Channel 5 documentary on the life of Elizabeth I.

In this workshop, Robert will be teaching the devastating and versatile use of this Highland Polearm, the Lochaber Axe.


April 3rd:

Brew Day, today we spent a day at Stewart Brewing, one of our sponsors to brew the annual McBane Ale, and the return of the McBane Smallsword Ale.

March 21st:

We have announced this year's logo for the event. Showing the Lochaber Axe, one of the first weapons that McBane witnessed in battle.










Feb 28th:

Pleased to announce our first instructor: Maestro Paul Macdonald, teaching 'Spadroon & Stick vs Many'
Inspired by Donald McBane's mass fight in 1702 at a camp in Nijmegen over a lost gamble........

"I went to my Captain and borrowed Eight Crowns to buy a Barrel of Beer, in order to set up again; in my way to the Town to buy my beer, I met with bad Company at the Fort, Strangers I knew not, were Playing at a Game called 'Taylors Invention', at which I ventured thinking to gain something, but alas, I lost my Eight Crowns, I was then worse than ever, I stood amazed, not knowing what to do, at last I fell upon the Fellow who got the Money, and took Sixty Crowns from him, then he called for his Companions, they were Seven in Number, all fell upon me with their Swords, I drew my Spadroon in my own Defence, with a Stick in my Left Hand; I resolved to Die, rather that part with the Crowns; O how the by-standers Laught to see the Battle, Sword broken, Legs and Arms cut, and Five of them so Wounded that the could do no more, the other Two Engaged me pretty hard, but I made a Retreat untill I got to my Camp, and came to my good Wife, who asked me for the Barrel of Beer......"

-Donald McBane "The Expert Sword-man's Companion 1728

Feb 23rd: The Early Bird Tickets have come to an end, thanks to the 8 people who have signed up already and made the most of the savings.

Jan 30th: Well we have already sold 7 tickets, looks like this is going to be a great turn out.

Jan 27th: The Clan Chief of McBain is once again the Patron of the McBane Event for 2019.

Jan 22nd: Early Bird Tickets are now live. The full weekend price is £100 which will be a saving of £30. This will only last for a month and will go up on Feb 22nd. We are yet to confirm instructors, but will start to release that information soon.

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