Contrary to what you may believe, heard or been told, not all Martial Arts are Oriental. In fact, the oldest manuscripts dedicating to the education of students in the arts of making nasty and painful adjustments to an enemy's health are almost exclusively European.
Training occurs at events, but also in the Home school of a number of the members - Der Alberen Fechtschule, Norwich. Using training weapons and modern safety equipment, students gradually build up the skills and competence to allow them to use the weapons effectively against their opponents.These studies allow us a true insight into combative life in the 15th Century, adding a fascinating dimension to our displays for clients, deepening our knowledge and delivering great fun too!
While members of the Retinue do take part in mock combat battles and skirmishes, these are part of large set pieces and strictly controlled. These are great fun - but a world away from the Art practiced by a number of the members.
The Martial arts of the 15th Century were dominated by the teachings of the Italian and the German masters of Defencing. Not to be confused with its sports descendant, modern-day Olympic fencing, the art of Defencing is a complex system of combat using a variety of weapons and the bare hands to dispatch enemies in a direct and irrefutable manner - terminally
The preferred School for the Retinue is the German, using the teachings of Johannes Leictenauer and his disciples.
By studying manuscripts of the time, interpreting them and working through the techniques in a controlled and monitored way, the Retinue has developed a keen understanding of what it takes to kill an opponent in a calm and considered manner, with a methodically accurate approach.