Oli Walter – An Introduction to Show-Fighting

Make it look good, but also make it safe!
An introduction to showfighting

Weapon: Any, Longsword preferred

 Show-fighting is nearly as old as fighting itself. Even HEMA-resources refer to “Klopffechten” as a kind of presentation of fighting skills with blunt weapons on a stage in order to entertain people.
Nowadays you can encounter show-fighting everywhere, from the choreographed fights in Hollywood movies to the stage-actions on medieval fares – and of course at professional wrestling.
The main objectives of a good show-fight in front of a live audience are making it look good and making it safe for the participants. In this workshop I will try to enlighten you with some basic guidelines to fulfil these two challenges.

Skill level of Participants: Participants do not need any show-fighting background, but should not be absolute beginners regarding HEMA. Level = 3 and up
Needed Equipment: Of course you can show-fight with any weapon (or weaponless), but please bring a longsword or simulator as I would like to explain some things with this particular weapon as example.

About the trainer – Oli Walter

My name is Oli Walter (only people who do not know or like me write „Olli“ with 2 L), but to some I am known as the real Fabrice Cognot. 
I am co-founder of Austrian HEMA-group “Dreynschlag – Die Liechtenauer Fechter” and practicing HEMA since 1997; and some of these years I’ve even been the instructor 😉 Our group does not only HEMA but also stage-fighting and Living History – so we often do present HEMA in public (mainly during so called “medieval fares”).
My main focus lies on the German Liechtenauer tradition, especially with the long sword, the Messer and the dagger – my special interest on the other hand is Paulus Hector Mair, mainly the peasants’ weapons such as sickle or flail, and the quarterstaff. 
I have been not very active since 2015, but have not abandoned HEMA completely, mainly doing beginners’ classes, but for this year’s Dreynevent my club has dragged me out of semi-retirement. I like to wear extremely silly hats, and I support SK Rapid Wien, Liverpool FC, Enfield Town FC and of course Dijon Football Club Cote D’Or – oh yeah, and the All Blacks.