On Saturday July 28, Jessica Finley gave a day-long seminar in Ringen and Messer techniques from the German medieval martial arts tradition. The day started with a three hour Ringen course, for which thirteen people attended. Drawing from the techniques of Master Ott, Jessica skillfully led the group through a series of basic exercises leading to more intensive and complicated grapples, entries, joint locks, and throws, including counters and counters to counters.
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In the afternoon our ranks swelled to 20 people for the Langes Messer, where Jessica followed a similar training paradigm to teach us the Messer of Johannes Leckuchner, and through that to “give you a lens on the whole of the German medieval martial arts tradition, because it’s the same art across all the weapons.” Beginning again with preliminary exercises, Jessica taught us the basic guards and blows, and used this base to again lead us through attacks, defenses, counters, and counters to the counters.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the two workshops and came away with increased knowledge and a solid grasp of useful skills at swordsmanship. Following the presentation a few of us joined Jessica for some open wrestling, while others choose freeplay at longsword, since this was the weapon people had the most previous experience with. Finally, many of us gathered for a fun dinner and chat that lasted well into the evening.
Jessica is an outstanding teacher with excellent command of her material. Everyone had a great time and learned much from her very professional presentation. Thank you to Jessica for her excellent work!