Roger Norling Seminars-2017

MACS is please to report that we will be hosting renown HEMA instructor Roger Norling in September 2017!

Basic Details:

16th – 17th September: Seminar on Meyer’s Staff and Polearms

23rd – 25th September: A weekend with Joachim Meyer (incorporating dussack, longsword, footwork, and historical context for Meyer’s martial arts)

NOTE: Spaces limited for the second workshop, partially dependent on kit available. Only restriction on the first workshop is venue size.

More details below

Venue: Villieria, Pretoria, South Africa (exact venue to be confirmed on numbers)


R400 per weekend, or R700 for both (visitors)

R500 for both weekends (MACS members, subsidised by the club)

CONTACT: for more details


  1. We will provide all necessary gear
  2. We will provide cheap or free accommodation for visitors travelling from afar (e.g. Cape Town, Durban, Australia or Europe)
  3. There will be social events along the way (and we brew beer…)

Roger Norling

Roger started out as a member of Gothenburg Historical Fencing School in 2008 and starting a year later, in that club, he led a weekly group and class on Joachim Meÿer’s Halben Stangen based on his research into the topic. The last year he also led a weekly study group in Meyer’s dagger. Due to his contributions to the HEMA community he was approved as a member of the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition in 2011. He was also invited as a member by the the Meyer Freifechter Guild in 2013. In 2015 he started up a new club in Gothenburg, together with friends from the GHFS, and is since then an instructor with the Gothenburg Free Fencers Guild.

He is deeply dedicated to HEMA and is responsible for the site, a neutral meeting ground for the HEMA community which provides resources on manuals, clubs and equipment as well as writes articles and reviews related to HEMA.

Roger is also working on an extensive series of articles, called The Onion – Basics of European Longsword, revolving around Joachim Meyer’s longsword fencing, occasionally reflected against other masters like Sigmund Ringeck, George Silver & Myamoto Musashi. This series of articles is the foundation for the longsword workshop he teaches.

Early 2016 he also started recording a quarterstaff/halberd video series entitled Basic Meyer Quarterstaff, available for free on YouTube.


He usually teaches at 4-5 events per year and has taught about 37 workshops and 4 lectures at 22 events and training weekends in Europe and the USA, primarily focusing on 16th cent fencing master Joachim Meÿer’s quarterstaff, longsword and dusack, all based on the research and training done in the GHFS class and commonly together with training partners and friends like Mattias Moberg and Robert Molin in Sweden and Kevin Maurer & Chris Vanslambrouck of the MFFG in the USA.

In 2016 he has taught in Belgium, Italy and the USA. 2017 already has several events in Europe planned, including Prague, Barcelona and Amherst, USA and 2018 has some bookings already, with several events in the US being planned.

Seminar 1: Joachim Meÿer Halben Stangen – “Catch him in his own techniques” (Quarterstaff)

The staff is probably the simplest of weapons, but has a rich history in historical European sources. From the pollaxe and spear of Talhoffer and Fiore to the halberd of Mair, staff weapons form an important part of the European heritage. Joachim Meyer’s treatise of 1570 presents probably the most comprehensive guide to staff weapons, covering not only the quarterstaff, but also the halberd (great axe) and the 16ft pike. In many respects, Meyer’s staff is the most martial of weapons, in which he presents a range of effective and deadly techniques adaptable for staff, spear and halberd.

This is a very content-rich workshop that goes through the core components of posture, footwork, body & weapon mechanics, as well as all of the techniques that are demonstrated in Joachim Meyer’s fencing treatise of 1570. It tries to build a solid foundation, including dynamic exercises for timing of body and weapon, so that the student can continue exploring this wonderful art with a good understanding of the complexity and broadness of it all. This course is ideal for both beginners and advanced students, looking to present firm basics on which to build the complexities of martial combat.

 Seminar 2: A weekend with Joachim Meÿer

This is a 3- day workshop which will focus on the famous 1570 manual by Joachim Meyer, probably the most comprehensive of the German Fechtbuche of the 16th century. Firstly, Roger will provide background to Meyer and his fighting arts, giving lectures on Meyer himself and on how to approach interpreting the historical manuals. Secondly, Roger will focus on several physical aspects of Meyer’s martial arts, using longsword, dagger and dussack:

  • Stepping like Meyer: At the core of all of 16th cent Fechtmeister Joachim Meyer’s fencing is a particular body mechanic that traces is roots back at least to fencing master Hans Lekuchner. This involves a particular way of twisting your body which while independent of footwork also tightly integrates with it, and which both powers your strikes and parries, and automates your stepping, while freeing your torso so you get more reach in certain contexts.We will be practicing
    • Synchronizing the body in stepping
    • Twisting with your upper and lower body in opposition
    • Weight shifting
    • Footwork variations
    • Moving in balance focusing on your core
    • Moving in relation to multiple opponents

    And just have whole lot of fun as we practice!

  • Using the dussack: The dusack has been a largely misunderstood and underappreciated weapon. It was a weapon of war, a proto-sabre, and popular all the way from Italy and Southern Germany and Austria, all the way up to the Nordic countries and Scotland. It was a cutting weapon mainly, even if it can be used for thrusting too, and in Joachim Meyer’s case, he uses it to teach all single-hand weapons. This workshop goes through the core of posture, balance, footwork, striking combinations & timing.
  • Meyer’s Dagger and Wrestling- Weapon of Last Resort: Daggers were ubiquitous in Meyer’s time. When would they be used and why? Roger will work through some of Meyer’s plays, looking at the use of the dagger against armed and unarmed opponents.
  • Sparring with intent: Sometimes you need to train with methods that allow you to use even the most dangerous techniques in a system. How can we minimize the risks when doing so, without losing a martial intent and speed & power in the training? This group of exercises is built around the concept of Free Fencing, where the purpose of Free Fencing is to learn through experience, not necessarily to win.

It is recommended that all participants in this second workshop have some experience with longsword play first. Look out for weekend seminars with James Roberts of MACS in preparation!