Here at steelfighting.com and New Ulster Steel Fighting, we are proud to announce the formation of the Academy of European Martial Arts (A.E.M.A.) here in Waco, TX. The Academy is an off-shoot of N.U.S.F. where a full curriculum specifically designed for youth/children will be implemented to teach martial arts of European origin to students at a young age. Leadership training and character development, as well as physical fitness and the development of self confidence will be focusses. Adult classes are also available within the academy and will be held at separate times from the youth. The adult rank structure will fall under the guidelines of the Guardsmen Division described on the Rank Page of this site. The youth ranks will vary some with the use of white, yellow, and orange chevrons. Children will also have special patches that can be awarded to them for attachment to their uniform for noteworthy achievements during class and outside of normal martial arts class. Just as in New Ulster Steel Fighting, the live steel competitive martial arts school that is the parent school of the new academy, A.E.M.A. is no promotion factory like many other martial arts schools are today. Students will have to work to earn their ranks and awards. If they do not put in the effort, they simply will not see progression through the ranks. We believe in awarding earned achievement and thus rank within our academy is not given to students, it is earned by the students.
If you live in the Heart of Texas area and are interested in joining for yourself in our adult classes, or you are a parent and want to enroll your child/children, please contact us through our contacts page on this site. We will get back to you within twenty-four hours. Come join us and experience an extremely rewarded martial arts journey.
By Jefferson P Webb
Although the names of heroes throughout history have been recorded in both the written traditions of literate cultures, and oral tales of illiterate cultures, there is one hero whose name remains lost to us. His brief mention in the primary sources of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and the Saga of Harald Hardrada speak of his courage and of his incredible martial skill, but his name is unknown to us. What we do know is that according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, this warrior was a Viking of Norwegian origin who fought at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066.1 He fought in the Viking army of King Harald Hardrada against the Saxon army of King Harold Godwinson. After the death of Hardrada of Norway, the Viking army was in flight in what was described as a disorganized, perhaps even panicked retreat. In the midst of the Vikings’ retreat, one Viking warrior held his position on a small bridge that has been called Stamford Bridge in what has been speculated to have been a move to buy time for the other Vikings to regroup and reform a new battle line to face the advancing Saxon assault. Another explanation for his actions could be one of religious belief and a desire to die courageously rather than die on the run in retreat of an enemy. Whichever the case may be, the warrior commonly referred to as “The Viking of Stamford Bridge” made the incredibly brave decision to fight the Saxons alone as the Saxons moved to cross the small “bottle-neck” the bridge created in the movement of the Saxon army. (more…)
We wanted to take the time to say that our thoughts and prayers are with our close neighbors in West, Texas and the disastrous explosion that took place in their town. If you are a follower of this blog or just a visitor, we at steelfighting.com and New Ulster Steel fighting School of Medieval Combat Arts asks that you please keep the wonderful people of the town of West, Texas in your prayers.
We are deeply saddened by the losses suffered in human lives by the town, and by the many citizens whom have been displaced due to the loss of their homes. If you are interested in assisting this devastated community, please contact your local Red Cross to find out more about what you might be able to do. But above all, keep them in your prayers.
Br. Jeff Webb
By: Jefferson P. Webb
Although there is a segment of the HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) community that does not approve of nor are they interested in modern HEMA/Medieval Martial Arts tournaments, utilizing martial skill in tournament fighting (sport-fighting) is in no way a new concept. What reasons do some of the modern HEMA practitioners give for not engaging in competitions and what did fighting for sport mean to the medieval knights as seen through the eyes of one of chivalry’s most celebrated Medieval knights?
One thing that the author of this posting has noticed in researching other blogs, message and review boards, articles and other martial arts sites online is that there is a certain level of hesitation or lack of desire on the part of some (not all) HEMA schools, clubs, and organizations to engage in freestyle combat tournaments. And, when some of them do engage in such events, they are closed events within their own organizations. Naturally there are a number of HEMA schools that do indeed compete in open tournaments, but what is the mindset or philosophy behind others not doing so? There appears to be two main reasons that continue to recur the most as to why some HEMA groups will not engage in the tournament. (more…)
New Ulster Steel Fighting and steelfighting.com is pleased to announce some awesome awards for current students/members and prospective members as well. For the remainder of this month (March 2013) through the end of May 2013, we are having a recruiting drive here at New Ulster Steel Fighting in Waco, TX. Any current member who recruits 3 new members will receive one month free training/membership. That is a $60.00 value. Any prospective members that joins and brings in two of his or her friends that also joins will receive the same reward of one month free membership/training. That said, if you think you can bring in more members, don’t settle for a month’s free membership. Bring in 5 new members and the grand master will award you your own Starfire LS32 sword. That is a $150.00 value and the sword comes with a lifetime warranty through Starfire Swords Ltd. (warranty information located at Starfire’s web site). And finally, if you manage to bring in a total of 8 new members you will receive an official combat ready NUSF round shield to go along with your Starfire LS32 sword. So, if you are looking for a martial arts school that teaches Historical European Martial Arts, join us and bring in some of your friends and family members. There are some great incentives for doing so to include the awesome training and camaraderie you will gain by being a member. It does not matter if you have never studied HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) or if you are a seasoned veteran in the arts but are looking for a new school in the Heart of Texas/Central Texas region. We would love to have you on board with us! If you are a current member, get with it and reap the awesome benefits of our special recruiting drive! Come join us today and be apart of an awesome family of martial artists and earn some great rewards in the process. Contact us through the contact page of this site and leave us your name, email address and phone number and I will contact you via phone or email within 24 hours. Come join us! We would love to have you here!
Durban Sword and Shield Club in Durban, South Africa, will be hosting the first ACSMMA (The Affiliation for Contemporary Swordsmanship and Medieval Martial Arts) National and Open Swordfighting Championships 2013, and invites eligible fighters and teams from all parts of the world to attend and compete in this event. Below is a detailed listing of the events:
Venue: Hillcrest Scout Hall, Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal
Date: 09-11 August 2013
Events, Day one (Friday, 09 August):
Morning – Rapier (any combination of rapier and dagger, cloak, or case is permitted)
Afternoon – unarmoured longsword (weapon type to be decided upon)
Events, Day two (Saturday, 10 August):
Morning – Fully-armoured combat (sword and shield, longsword, greatsword and spear permitted) these will be steel, rebated weapons, & will be inspected for safety.
Afternoon – Dark Ages Holmganga (weapons chosen by chance and to include sword, shield, dagger, and spear)
At the end of Day Two, there will be a feast for all combatants and their guests. (more…)
By: Jeff Webb
Here at steelfighting.com and New Ulster Steel Fighting School of Medieval Combat Arts, we like to promote a martial artist being a well-rounded person. We like to focus on the whole person. We strive not only to set a good example in dedicated training within our martial arts school, but also outside of it both in academics and in physical fitness.
This past December 8th, Spartan Race held a Spartan Race Beast in Glenn Rose, Texas. This race in the Spartan Race series was a 13.5 mile, 30 obstacle course on the land of the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort. The Beast is one of the most challenging races Spartan Race conducts and it can push a person to their limits both physically and mentally. I decided to take on the challenge and I have to say it was one of the toughest, yet most rewarding physical challenges that ever I have undertaken. It was incredibly rewarding and leaves one with a great feeling of accomplishment once you have crossed the finish line. (more…)
Those of us at New Ulster Steel Fighting School of Medieval Combat Arts would like to wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas. We pray that you have had a great year in 2012 and we pray that you have an even better year in 2013. In the meantime, let us all enjoy the company of family and friends this Christmas season. Let us all also give thanks to God for the gift of his Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our sins, and blessed us all with eternal life should we accept Him as our personal Savior for what He did and for who He is. If you have not prayed to Him and asked Him into your life, I pray that you will. If you already have I pray that you continue to grow stronger in His will for you as I pray the same for myself.
Have a very merry Christmas and a magnificent New Year!
Br. Jeff Webb, Grand Master
While there is still much training to be engaged with in the remaining month of 2012, New Ulster Steel Fighting School of Medieval Combat Arts is looking forward to a very exciting year in 2013. Our new members are training hard and progressing at a wonderful pace displaying some natural talent for the arts. I want to give them my compliments and let them know that at this rate, they will be ready to take part in the 2013 N.U.S.F. Combat Tournament when it arrives. The 2013 tournament will have several categories of competition to include Individual Steel (one-on-one fighting for the Individual Steel Champion’s Medal), Team Steel (where teams of four or more fighters each compete against each other to take the First Place Team Steel Medals), Archery Division (where competitors compete in accuracy instinct shooting with long bows or recurve bows with no modern sights for the Archery Champion’s Medal), and Pole Arms Combat (where members go head to head using pole arms such as pole axes, spears, glaves, etc… and fight for the Pole Arms Champion’s Medal). Members of N.U.S.F. School of Medieval Combat Arts are encouraged to register to compete, but non-members my also register to compete in the various categories. There will be lots of great competition, camaraderie, food, and medals for all who earn the first place spots in their categories. More information will be provided once the date is set. If you are a member of an Historical European Martial Arts school, club, etc…,and you would like to compete as an individual or form a team. Please contact us through the contact page on this web site. Have a wonderfully blessed remainder of 2012, and an even better year in 2013.
Br. Jeff Webb, Grand Master
New Ulster Steel Fighting: School of Medieval Combat Arts, is a martial arts school in Waco, Texas offering students a rich, relevant, and rewarding martial arts experience like few other martial arts schools in America can offer. Whether you are an experienced martial artist or you have zero experience, whether you would like to earn freestyle certification and compete in tournaments or simply enjoy the training and camaraderie, we would love to have you come and train with us. Students train in a number of weapons styles as well as empty-handed combat specifically directed at dealing with armed attackers when you are unarmed. Our empty-handed and dagger style is very popular and is offered as a workshop for organizations and groups, or as a single curriculum for students who wish only to study in this aspect of our martial arts style.Weapons are furnished for students at each training session. This keeps expenses low for students and ensures that all training weapons are approved for safety. Safety is key in proper training. We offer regular training sessions each week and also offer one-on-one, private lessons to be scheduled at a time suitable for the student and instructor.
If you are interested in undertaking the rich martial arts experience that is New Ulster Steel Fighting, please read more on our About page on this site, and please contact us through our contacts page. We hope to see you soon!
Br. Jeff Webb, Grand Master
While many people today are very interested in finding a course of study that will aid them in being able to better defend themselves and their loved ones, not everyone is desirous of engaging in many years of study in a martial arts style. And while firearms are a very popular form of self defense in the home or in public for those people of whom are holders of their state’s concealed carry licenses (in the United States), the fact of the matter is that bullets go through people, and they keep on going often to hit innocent bystanders or loved ones. This can certainly happen within the close quarters of a home when engaging an intruder with your firearm. So, what can one do to engage in a solid, relevant form of defense against home invasion or in the event that they are attacked by a criminal while away from home? Furthermore, it is very possible that a person will not be armed when they are attacked by an armed person. Criminals are not in the business of ensuring they engage in a “fair fight.” (more…)
By: Jefferson P. Webb
Normally when researching a topic for steelfighting.com or engaging in other scholarly activities, it is recommended and I typically always adhere to utilizing multiple sources for an article, book, or paper. In this particular posting though I have found one primary source that I have found so very valuable that I have used it exclusively here. That source is authored by Chevalier Geoffroi De Charny, and is entitled, “A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry.” While I have used his book as the only work of literature as a source, coupled with my own experiences and views on the matter of chivalry, which I might add are very much in line with De Charny’s beliefs, this posting is not a book review. Likewise this posting does not come close to covering the many details De Charny gave in his book and I highly recommend purchasing a copy and reading the book if this is a topic that interests you. I find it to be an authoritative work on the topic of chivalry. We at steelfighting.com hope you enjoy this brief look into the topic of chivalry and what it meant in the Medieval period, and furthermore we hope you enjoy reading De Charny’s work should you choose to do so. (more…)
We want to give are deepest and heart-felt thanks to all of the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of duty for our wonderful nation, The United States of America. We are forever indebted to these courageous patriots of our nation, and have an obligation to live our lives to the fullest while honoring their sacrifices and our nation. Each time the national anthem is played, each time we place our hands over our hearts, each time we hug a loved one or go outside and play with our children, or perhaps take a sip of our coffee without the fear of an enemy of our nation attempting to take our lives in our own streets, remember that Americans have given their lives for our privilege to do these things.
Today please pray for those families who have lost, and give thanks for those who gave their lives for us. Have a blessed Memorial Day.
Jefferson P. Webb
James. My Reboot Camp Launches for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. http://www.infotainmentnews.net/2010/12/28/my-reboot-camp-launches-for-iraq-and-afghanistan-veterans/ December 28, 2010. Accessed 5-28-2012.
Although there has been a rise in interest for roughly the last three decades in Renaissance and Medieval European Martial Arts, or what some refer to as Western Martial Arts, there appears to be surfacing what may be a level of contention between what the author of this article will refer to as “Purists” and “Innovators.” What is the matter of contention, or problem between these two classifications of martial artists and why does it exist? Furthermore, should there really be any issue in the first place? (more…)
As the Founder of steelfighting.com and Grand Master of New Ulster Steel Fighting, I want to take the time to thank all of the visitors and loyal readers to steelfighting.com for taking such an interest in our blog site. We make every effort here to post interesting, informative, and well cited scholarly posting, and it makes me and the rest of the wonderful martial artists of New Ulster Steel Fighting extremely happy and appreciative for our global readers and loyal followers. We now have readers and regular visitors to our site from forty-four wonderful nations around the globe. I want to give recognition to them in the best way that I am able and list each of the nations from which we have visitors to steelfighting.com. Here they are:
United States, Russian Federation, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Australia, Ireland, Norway, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Italy, Portugal, Philippines, Belgium, Denmark, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain, Netherlands Antilles, Guam, Georgia, Greece, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Croatia, Qatar, Switzerland, Mongolia, Montenegro, Argentina, Finland, Malta, Japan, Angola, Latvia, and New Zealand.
Again, thank you so very much for an outstanding first year here at steelfighting.com. We are excited about being into our second year now and hope that you continue to check back regularly for more informative and well supported scholarly, historical postings as well as martial arts information. Thanks again, and I pray that you and yours are blessed beyond all measure.
Grand Master Webb
Gina Bianchini. ning.com, http://www.ning.com/blog/2008/01/a_world_of_possibilities.html. Accessed May 1, 2012.
By: Jefferson P. Webb
This month’s piece introduces the readers of steelfighting.com and the membership of New Ulster Steel Fighting to the South African Guild for Medieval Combat Studies, and the organization’s founder, Grand Master Heinrich Jost. I am very blessed to have been able to engage in some excellent correspondences with Mr. Jost, and have found a number of parallels between the South African Guild for Medieval Combat Studies (SAGMCS) and New Ulster Steel Fighting (NUSF) here in Texas. I hope that you all enjoy this interview, and I am sure you will find it very informative. (more…)
Although people think of sword as being powerful pieces of steel that are virtually indestructible, swords are not indestructible and need to undergo care and maintenance to remain in optimal serviceable condition. This is something that is stressed to the members of New Ulster Steel Fighting training in the New Ulster Fighting System. Furthermore, the basic methods of maintenance described herein can be used for any number of different edged weapon types.
Here are some very simple ways by which you can take care of your sword that will take relatively little time to complete should you practice regular sword maintenance after each training session. The maintenance methods described here are meant for use on weapons that are made for martial artists that train with “live” steel or those of whom perform choreographed stage fights. This means that the weapons have blades with blunt and dull edges and tips. NO sharp edges. So, DO NOT use all of these cleaning techniques on your sharp sword (especially the hammering part). You will ruin the edge. But, if you use a weapon made for “live” steel training or stage fighting, this article is for you. The tools to be used are basic and inexpensive. Use a metal file, standard hammer, small sanding pad, WD-40 oil/lubricant, and a clean rag. (more…)
New Ulster Steel Fighting is launching a new recruiting campaign for the Heart of Texas area. Efforts will be made to more openly recruit in the hopes to recruit some new dedicated members who desire to train in what is one of the richest martial arts one can find. The range of weapons that we train with and teach are listed in the About section of our site. But just as importantly we desire people who are honest and trustworthy, and have a good sense of dedication. The training can be tough and demanding at times, and bumps and bruises are typically part of the territory,but the feeling of accomplishment you will feel when you pass your tests will bolster your self-confidence by leaps and bounds.
If you are interested, or know someone who is, you may contact me through our Contacts page or through twitter. Thank you so much and I pray for an outstanding year for you and yours, and the same for steelfighting.com and New Ulster Steel Fighting.
Br. Jefferson Webb, Grand Master
I want to take just a moment and wish all of you who visit our site and read our blog postings, and the members and officers of New Ulster Steel Fighting a very blessed and merry Christmas. It has been and continues to be a great blessing to be able to teach, train with, and learn along with such wonderful people as the membership of New Ulster Steel Fighting. You are a group of martial artists that I am very proud to be associated with. I dare say that you are an elite group of martial artists who train in the rich art of Medieval European combat on an individual level as well as on a team level. Thank you all for your dedication, loyalty, friendship, and for your prayers. I hope that I am as great a blessing to you all as you are to me.
From myself and my family, we pray that you have a safe and wonderfully blessed Christmas!
Br. Jeff Webb, Grand Master
In our imaginations we can picture white-clad knights on horseback with surcoats adorned with red crosses and swords held at the charge when we hear the title of Knights Templar. Surely they earned a reputation for ferocity in battle for their exploits and determination in carrying out their duties as Crusaders for the Church. But what aided in these men becoming the famed knights that they became? There are many things to take into consideration in answering this question. Physical fitness is certainly one obvious area of attention. As is the case with any individual or group of individuals for whom good physical fitness is a priority, dietary discipline is a key focal point in keeping the needed level of physical abilities and fitness. This need for a disciplined diet was not lost to the knights nor was it lost to the Church either.
by Jefferson P. Webb
When engaged in a discussion of great military leaders of the ancient world, one cannot help but bring up the figure of Roman Consul Scipio Africanus (236 – 183 BCE).1 Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus proved to be exactly what Rome needed to break an ever increasing series of horrifying defeats at the hands of Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca, during the Second Punic War, also known as the Hannibalic War. Until the war against Hannibal’s invasion of Roman Italy and Spain, the Roman army had been the masters of the battlefield.
But facing what can only be described as tactical genius in the form of the leadership of Hannibal, Rome was losing tens of thousands of men in single battles like the battles of Lake Trasimine, and Trebia, among others. What was it about the leadership of Scipio that set him apart from his Roman peers, and earned him the honor of being the first Roman titled with a place-name, Africanus, relating to the location of his masterful victory over Hannibal?
Scipio was of one of the most powerful and well respected families in Rome, the Cornelii family. This family had been very influential in Roman politics and military affairs for generations having members of its family serve as consuls and magistrates.2 The first record of Scipio’s military career was while he was in service under his father’s command in Northern Italy, engaged in combat actions against the invading Carthaginian army under Hannibal’s command.3 This action may or may not have been Scipio’s first taste of combat as seventeen year old, but he is recorded and celebrated for his heroic actions. During the battle his father’s position was encircled and his force in grave danger. Scipio’s father, also named Scipio had been wounded and was in danger of being killed or captured by the Carthaginians. Without hesitation Scipio charged the Carthaginians, for a moment alone as the soldiers with him hesitated to attack, and rescued his father.4 Scipio was held in great esteem by the Romans for his act of heroism. (more…)
By Jefferson P Webb
While the Knights Templar are famed for their courage and valor in combat against Islam in the Crusades, these famed and even legendary knights are responsible for more than just the protection of pilgrims to the holy land, or for facing off with Saladin’s forces from Syria. While there are many books and articles composed and published about the Templar Knights, some of which are quite fantastical to the point of science fiction, there are certain contributions that these knights made that have positively influenced western civilization to modern times that need due attention.
“The Order of the Temple was founded as the Order of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ by a French nobleman named Hugues de Payen in 1119 in Jerusalem. Hugues de Payen led the original order of nine knights by the names of Godfrey of Saint-Omer from Picardy, Payen de Montdidier, Andre de Montbard, Archombaud de St. Aignon, Geoffrey Bisol, Roland, Gondemar, and yet a ninth knight whose name is not known. All of these knights took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The Order was founded to protect pilgrims from robbers and bandits who attacked, robbed, and often murdered pilgrims to the Holy Land.”1 The pilgrims, “came in their droves, unaware of the dangers that lay ahead – the roads around Jerusalem were notorious for the bands of robbers that haunted them, preying on the travelers to the Holy Places. Sometimes these robbers were Saracens; sometimes they were lapsed crusaders. To counter this threat, Hugues de Payen gathered together a group of nine knights to protect the pilgrims.”2 “Together these nine knights took on the roll as protectors of the pilgrims in 1119, but the order was not officially established until 1129. “The Knights of the Temple of Solomon of Jerusalem ( Order of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ) were established as a religious Order of the Latin Church in 1129, when they were officially accepted at the Council of Troyes in Champagne. They were granted Rule which urged all secular knights to hasten to associate themselves with those ‘who God has chosen from the mass of perdition.’”3
A novel by Jefferson P. Webb
A Viking nobleman seeks to find a renewed sense of purpose and honor after a disastrous raiding campaign. spending time with an old hermit that will not reveal his name,but nevertheless is clearly a former Viking warrior of great renown, Angus Ovarssen takes up the challenge of service as a Varangian Guard officer in the Christian Byzantine Empire. Once again he engages in brutal warfare and sees the horrors of Dark Age warfare.
Ants in the Sun is filled with excitement, bold and daring adventure, passionate love and romance, personal growth, and the horrors of Dark Age combat. This is a must read for readers desiring a book not only filled with action, but a book that is deeply riveting and brings to life the human nature and character of the people of the time period in which it is set.
“Do you see those things scurrying along the ground?We are nothing more than those. Like ants in the sun we go about the land. We maintain our own kind and fight others. We gather food and create offspring. There is nothing before this life and nothing after it. We are ants in the sun…”
– Ants in the Sun
By: Jefferson P. Webb
Although Charles Martel ( d. 741)1 is one of the most noted heroes in Christianity when studying one of the many violent encounters between Christian and Muslim forces, Charles “The Hammer” Martel was no marionette of the Church. He was quite an independent and practical thinker as a military leader and as a politician.
Charles’ military abilities were already well know when he was confronted with perhaps his greatest military threat, a large invasion of Muslim Moors into Frankish
territory. The Muslim invasion would reach its climax as Muslim forces under the command of Abd ar-Raham2 faced off in a pitched battle against Charles’ Christian forces at the Battle of Tours in October of 732.3 In the period building up to this battle through its outcome, Charles would prove himself a wise and knowledgeable leader. One of the greatest assets to a successful military leader is to have good knowledge of the enemy and this is something that Charles possessed. While Charles was already on campaign in a region along the Danube, the Duke of Aquitaine who had already seen defeat against the Moors found and warned Charles of the situation.4 Though Charles was urged fervently to move immediately against the Muslim forces, his knowledge of the Muslim Armies’ habits played key in Charles’ plan of dealing with the invasion.