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April 18th:

Announcing our final Instructor

Ragnhild Viken

"Seeing what's there"




















McBane was a highly pragmatic fencer and fighter who didn't follow one set of rules or school of fence. His approach was to learn what he could whenever he encountered a new fencing teacher, often whilst travelling and staying in new towns during his military career. As such, he developed an eclectic mindset based on his considerable experience over the years, espousing an open mindset in order to ensure his sharp encounters ended in his favour.

In this class, we'll use the smallsword as a starting point to focus on some of his principles, namely that of being observant and paying attention to what is actually happening in the course of a fencing bout. We'll use fencing exercises with this in mind, in order to develop our ability to stay focused on the task at hand, and most importantly, ensure our own defence in the process.

About Ragnhild:

Having loved swords from a tender age, Ragnhild («Raggi» amongst anglophones) began fencing around the turn of the millennium, and has since 2007 been practicing and learning the Art of Fencing on a more or less regular basis, primarily studying with the current Scottish academies. She has travelled extensively to attend schools, classes, workshops and meetings in Scotland, England, Italy, Malta, Spain, Canada and the USA as well as in her own native Norway so far. Eventually starting to instruct she has taught at the Smallsword Symposium in Edinburgh, the Malta HIstorical Fencing International Meeting and various other historical fencing related events in Norway and abroad. She currently runs Polaris Historical & Traditional Fencing in Norway, and became Certified Instructor by the BFHS (British Federation for Historical Swordplay) in 2018. Somewhat relatedly she has studied and worked with other forms of marital arts, self defence and conflict deescalation. Being a restless and relentlessly curious sort of person, her other interests include irish dancing and outdoors pursuits like mountain hiking and cross country skiing.


April 8th:

Announcing our next Instructor With a 2 part Workshop

Paul Macdonald

Smallsword vs Backsword





These 2 classes are a salute to Donald McBane's first two duels by the sword.


On the Edge -

This workshop will focus on providing the broadsword with all technical skills towards facing and overcoming the smallsword in single combat.


To the Point -

A workshop aimed at providing the smallsword fencer with technical skills and approach in facing and overcoming the broadsword in single combat.

Equipment - Fencing mask, glove, forearm protection if owned, smallsword (or fencing foil), broadsword or singlestick (a number of both foils and singlesticks will be made available for use).

Maestro Paul Macdonald has been engaged with fencing for over three decades and has run the Macdonald Academy of Arms since 2001.

As a Highlander, soldier and Fencing Master, Macdonald carries sympathetic cultural and professional understandings with McBane, though no musket balls in his body at this time.

April 4th:

Introducing our third instructor, and returning after a successful staff workshop at last year's event

Ben Hamilton

"The Broadsword and Targe, the iconic weapon combination of the Scottish Highlanders"






A true all rounder system used in 1-1 duels, Clan skirmishes and battlefields all to devastating effect.

Initially, we will look at the weapons in the context of single combat. With drills and games that will give you a good functional framework for sword and Targe. Then, we'll work through some select techniques and close in plays that highlight the Targe in all its glory. Before exploring the most chaotic, but fun, section. The Highland Charge!

You will need a sword with hand protection as well as a mask and wrist guard. There are a moderate number of Targes to borrow but if you have your own small strapped shield then feel free to bring it. Fencing Jackets and full joint protectors are recommended as you may be able to get more out of the class."

March 31st:

Announcing our second workshop

Mike Smith

Seven vs One





This workshop first featured at the 2019 McBane Event and we reviewed the footage on the Online 2020 McBane Event.

Last year we decided that makes it a tradition and it returned in 2023, so here we are again.

One of the many amazing stories from McBane’s adventures involved him being a sore loser in a pub game, losing his borrowed money before stealing it back and fighting 7 armed men…. and succeeding! We will look at the small recorded evidence and imagine what methods would be applied when facing so many blades. McBane’s evidence are the wounds given and received, and when you dig further McBane gives a lot of advice that would be applicable to such a scenario.

Building up the techniques with a sword in one hand a stick in the other, students will gradually increase the number of opponents they face.

This workshop will be followed up by the McBane Challenge, which was added last year and will make a return.

Mike started Historical Fencing at the end of 2004 with the Macdonald Academy of Arms just weeks after moving to Scotland from Australia.

After becoming a Free Fencer, Mike became Chief de Salle of the Academy and was teaching students at various levels.

Having taught at international events, Mike decided it was time to set up his own school, and in 2016, The Cat’s Glove – School of Traditional Defence was born. Becoming the sister school to the Macdonald Academy, they both teach the Scottish backsword, and Mike has done his own study into Fixed Bayonet Fencing which is offered at his school, as well as few other weapon styles.

In 2007, Mike started the Commando D – Living History Group with Paul Macdonald, which focuses on training in the close quarter methods of fighting as taught to allied special forces in WW2. Mike continues to teach these methods in his school as a warmup to every lesson.

Besides from organising the annual McBane Event, Mike has taught in Canada, Italy, Malta and across the UK. Mike’s day job is managing a well-known whisky and beer bar in Edinburgh’s Old Town, and has been known to work as an artist on the sides.


March 29th:

Introducing our first instructor and first workshop for this year's McBane Event

After a last minute withdrawal from last year's event due to personal reasons, he is returning!

Tommy Joe Moore

'Pugilistic Skills of the Stage Gladiators'






A fistic tour through the techniques, strategies and tactics deployed by the stage gladiators of the McBane era. How to explore the fine art of boxing as designed for the exercising gentleman at salle, persons looking for self defence from the ruffian abroad, or to hone one’s skills for bouts upon the stage. Brought to you by historical martial researcher and modern boxer Tommy Joe Moore.

Tommy still competes as a boxer, has taught unarmed combatives to special forces in Ukraine and teaches a wide range of arts all over the world. He is most known for his material on Bartitsu, WW2 Combatives, Boxing for Self Defence and Self Protection. He has competed in Thai Boxing, Judo, Savate and a range of other disciplines alongside his historical interests.

March 16th:

Early Bird tickets are now live, a limited number of places are availble for the Treatises and Weapons handling on the Friday, so be quick and choose your viewing time.

March 8th:

That's the venue booked and deposit paid, we will be returning to the great venue Assembly Roxy.

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