CANCELLED – Tobias Zimmermann – Workshop – ‘Clubbing like it ́s 1855 ‐ Hugo Rothstein and fencing with the club’

Learn a short, rational 19th century method of using a heavy, two‐handed wooden club or similar object for self‐improvement, or just to bonk people on the head.


Weapon: Two‐handed wooden club

Source: Athenäum für rationelle Gymnastik, Hugo Rothstein, 1855

19th century fencing is associated mostly with foil, sabre and bayonet, and for a reason, but there are some surprising disciplines to be found as well. One of them is is the two‐handed wooden club, not too far from Paulus Hector Mair ́s Bauernstange in shape. Rothstein, who introduced a system of physical culture building on the Swedish method, covers the club in his book as part of the weapon exercises, adding that these lessons might be applied to any heavier weapon of chance in times of need.

In this class, we are going to take a look at the fundamentals provided explicitly by Rothstein, as well as what the “addition of other positions and movements”, which he does not spell out, could be.

Skill level of Participants: All skill levels
Needed Equipment: Just a club. Weight should be not much more than 1.5 kg, length around 92 cm, 7.5 cm at the base, 3.5 cm at the end of the grip. A wooden baseball bat might work.

About the trainer – Tobias Zimmermann

Tobias has been fencing for 19 years, beginning with Olympic fencing, followed by Italian knife and stick fencing “La Superba”, which in turn resulted in his first practical contact with German 19th century sabre. This led to the rather spontaneous founding of Fechtboden Zimmermann right before the first International Sabre Symposium. Ever since, Tobias has been promoting 18th and 19th century fencing with a focus on German sources, along with some other less well‐known disciplines. He has translated two manuals on Kreusslerian thrust‐fencing into English and proof‐read a few other translations. As an instructor, he ́s been invited to teach at events in Germany, Austria, the UK, Romania and Australia. In addition to HEMA, he is also a certified instructor for La Superba, Genovese fighting arts as taught by Maestro Parodi, and the European representative of the Haitian Machete Fencing Project.