A few years ago I was blessed to meet Grand Master Heinrich Jost of the Affiliation For Contemporary Swordsmanship and Medieval Martial Arts South Africa. What started as a simple contact from our school to his through his club’s web site rapidly developed into a lasting friendship. During my time knowing him, his chivalrous character is evident, and he has, according to French Knight, Geoffroi de Charny in his mid-14th Century work, The Book of Chivalry, achieved the highest level of Chivalrous honour, and certainly Grand Master Jost continues living a Chivalrous life in the service of his family, community and nation.
On the night of Sunday, March 11, 2018, as a member of his sector’s Community Police Force (an irregular or auxiliary-like force attached to the state police force) Grand Master Jost took part in operations against a well-armed gang that attacked the administrative offices of a golf course in Kyalami, Gauteng, South Africa. The gang’s apparent objective was the blow open the safe with explosives and then leave with the contents of the safe. The gang over-charged the explosives and virtually destroyed the offices. The gang was armed with AK47’s and 9mm pistols. Grand Master Jost took part in the pursuit of the suspects as they fled the scene of the attack. His pursuit took place on foot and over a distance of approximately 15.5 kilometers that night. During this pursuit, Grand Master Jost was personally responsible for the capture of three of the well-armed gang members.
For his actions at the risk of great personal harm, Grand Master Jost was awarded a commendation for bravery by the South African Police Force. His actions not only proved a vital service in keeping the people of his community safe, but also bring great honour upon himself, his family, and the Affiliation For Contemporary Swordsmanship and Medieval Martial Arts. We want to congratulate him and his achievement in the service of his community and country.
I pray that this posting finds you all well and blessed. This is to let you know that we are currently training up members in our Novice ranks, and to give them the attention in training they need, we are putting a hold on accepting new members at this time until this group is trained up and the Novice ranks once again open up. So, if you are thinking about applying for admission to the group, it will be some time before we start entertaining applicants (a month or so is the estimate,but may be longer). Again, this is to ensure the level of training is of the highest quality for our current members, and for those to be admitted in the future.
Thank you and have a blessed day.
Bro. Jeff Webb, Lead Instructor
A revised article from The Grand Master’s Herald, April 2010
Article by: Bro. Jeff Webb
Founder/Grand Master, A.O.C. European Martial Arts
So, you see a fellow martial artist within your martial arts school displaying what appears, and may very well be a natural tendency to quickly pick up on and employ some elements of the style that they are being taught. They do very well on the drills/katas. Perhaps this person managed to achieve two or three promotions within the minimum allotted time to do so. They’ve even competed some and may or may not have earned a medal in the process. This person seems ready to take their next test, but the instructor does not appear to be giving the time of day for it. It may cause that student to ask the question, “Why am I not getting to test?” One thing is for sure. If a student does ask this question of an instructor, it needs to be respectfully asked with the motivation to find what the student needs to work on rather than with a tone that conveys to the instructor that the student feels wronged. (more…)
I’ve returned from a fantastic trip to South Africa! The ACSMMA tournament was wonderfully organized and was an absolute blast! The fighters in South Africa are skilled. They are amazingly friendly. A couple of the guys there are guys that I consider brothers and family now. I want to give my thanks to Heinrich Friedereich August Jost and his wife for hosting me in their home for a week while I was there. He and his family treated me as if I were part of the family
I’m thankful to The Lord for the new friendships developed during my time there with guys like Stuart Mckenzie Bennett, and Grant Hart and rest assured I am keeping each of them in my prayers.
As a number of the members of my school have expressed their great desire to go and compete in South Africa in 2018, we will begin preparations presently and will be ready when the time comes.
As for my part in the tournament, I’m honoured to have earned the silver medal in Longsword and Sword & Buckler duathlon. Earning such an award in the company of such great martial artists is an incredible feeling, yet due to the great friendliness of their fighters and camaraderie formed with them, the medal cannot help but take a back seat to the friendships formed, and things learned while I was there. If you are a martial artist in the HEMA community, go to the ACSMMA tournament in South Africa, compete and meet some great “Oaks” there. You’ll have a wonderful experience!
By: Jefferson Webb
Although I’ve heard some criticism expressed in the Historical European Martial Arts community within the past few years of the sport of the Medieval Armored Combat such as what we see in the Armored Combat League or in the International Medieval Combat Federation, there are some key points that we can learn from such a sport.
Let’s look at some of the, perhaps a bit unrealistic aspects of the sport first. Now, it needs to be mentioned that any sport needs rules, and while the average spectator unfamiliar with the sport of armored combat may think there are no rules, there are a number of them. One of these rules that changes how these men fight as opposed to actual Medieval and Renaissance armored combat was conducted is that there are no thrusts allowed in the sport of armored combat. This is for participant safety, and while we do thrust in my H.E.M.A. school, it’s understandable. We see fighters making what would be cutting / slashing strikes with their various types of swords against armored opponents, and it is common knowledge that of course this does little to nothing (in terms of causing death or injury) to an armored warrior of the period. With a sword, thrusts were used in the gaps and through the visor to defeat your armored opponent. Of course, there was also getting them to the ground and “finishing him rightly,” with a dagger/roundel. (more…)