Asante Lawla – Workshop – ‘Foundational Battlefield Combat’

In this session, we will explore foundational
principles of battlefield combat, including close combat from knife fighting, skirmishing
geometry, and spearwork mechanics for generating power.

Weapon: Knife, Buckler, Spear and everything in-between

Source: Shastar Vidiya

In this session, I will cover some foundational principles that are crucial to understanding the evolution of battlefield combat. We will start by examining the close combat principles that stem from knife fighting, which inform our general movement. Then, we will delve into the geometry of omnidirectional skirmishing and explore how to set up winning plays. Lastly, we will focus on core mechanics derived from spear-work, and learn how to generate power and brace against charging forces.

Skill level of Participants: Any skill level
Needed Equipment: Buckler/dahl Optional: Training Knife, Spear.
There will be some limited lending equipment available, but please bring it yourself if you have it!

About the trainer – Asante Lawla

I’m a student of Gurudev Nidar Singh and a practitioner of Shastar Vidiya, with over 12 years of experience in art. I’ve also explored various other forms of combat, starting with Lao Gar Kung fu at the age of 11 before moving on to boxing, muay thai, and wing chun. With a background in engineering and a being qualified corrective exercise specialist, I was really drawn to the unique approach of Shastar Vidiya, which emphasises advanced tactics, geometry, and body mechanics derived from horse riding and various types of skirmishing. This was in stark contrast to the 1:1 striking based arts I’d become accustomed to where scoring points or knocking an opponent out was the priority. Shastar Vidiya challenges us to consider the complexities of battlefield fighting, where elements like armour, ground condition, and even the various end goals can play significant role in how we approach combat.

I first became interested in HEMA as it had a lot of parallels with the art I currently study, i.e. being historically based, with a focus on more than just duelling. More than anything I loved the spirit and the approach to combat in general in the HEMA community. People being willing to pressure test, share ideas, update their understanding and really just indulge in the research side of combat. Since then I’ve taught at some of the largest HEMA events in the EU including HEMAC Dijon and Fightcamp in the UK since 2018