Axe-handle fencing (Axtstielfechten)

The use of tools as fencing weapons was not just a thing of Paulus Hector Mair, the 19th century also produced at least one relevant manual. Hermann Otto Kluge, a prominent member of the Turner movement wrote ""Das Axtstielfechten für die Mannschaften der königlichen Feuerwehr"" (""Axe-handle fencing for the Royal Firefighter Squads"") in Berlin in 1859 by hand, making this also one of the latest fencing manuscripts. In this workshop, we´re going to see how the seemingly unwieldy fireman´s axe can be turned into a surprisingly nimble tool with excellent defensive capabilities, or, to quote the source, how it "allows the fireman to strengthen himself, ...and enables him to defend himself in emergency situations without causing fatal wounds."

Skill level


Required equipment

Axe, simulator or stick (see below), gloves, mask.

If you happen to own an appropriate axe (DIN 14900) and put some padding on the axe-head, feel free to bring it along. A rubber Mordaxt-simulator on a 90 cm stick would also work, minimum just the 90 cm stick (rattan or non-splintering wood).