Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Innocent Targets" by Michael and Chris Dorn

After you have read "Terror at Beslan" make sure to pick up this slim volume.

In it the authors lead you thru the history of attacks on schools and students throughout the world.

Then the Dorns go on to report on how schools can start to prepare for the many hazards they face up to and including attacks by terrorists.

The Dorns also provide a resource list for further study and evaluation of how schools can make themselves ready for severe hazards.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Report from the Paddy Crean Workshop

I attended and taught at the recent 15th Annual Paddy Crean Workshop in Banff, Alberta Canada. The Banff Center provided excellent facilities for the workshop.

The International Order of the Pen and Sword (IOSP) runs the workshop. It was originally intended to provide classes in stage, TV and film combat. This year quite a number of teachers from throughout the world were invited to teach classes on Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) and contemporary martial arts.

I presented four classes. Two on HEMA, Swetnam's rapier and dagger and Bowie knife and two on contemporary martial arts, fighting on the ground and use of a flexible device for personal defense.

I hav copied in below a report from Tony Wolf on the other HEMA classes. I was honored to take Tony's week long class on bartitsu.

For those who are interested in both stage combat and HEMA I suggest you look at the IOSP website (, which should be updated soon by Daniel Ford Beavis, the new Executive Director of the IOSP.

Report on HEMA at the Paddy Crean Workshop from Tony Wolf

A quick report on the seven-day Paddy Crean International Art of the
Sword workshop/conference, recently held in Banff, Canada.

This was the fifteenth year of the workshop, which is named in honour
of Maestro Patrick "Paddy" Crean, who served as a mentor to many
leading theatrical and film/TV fight directors. The workshops
themselves are the brainchild of Brad Waller, a fight director and HES
teacher who was a student of Maestro Crean during the '80s and '90s.
They are held under the banner of the IOSP (International Order of the
Sword and the Pen).

The 2007 "Paddy" was the largest event of its type known to have been
held anywhere in the world and was attended by over 150 participants
from throughout North America, Europe and Australasia. Forty tutors
offered a list of well over two hundred classes in subjects ranging
from historical swordsmanship and unarmed combat through to stage
combat and stunt performance. The workshop also featured a range of
lectures, round-table discussions and meetings.

Historical European martial arts formed an important theme for the
event and HEMA sessions included but were not limited to):

Jeannette Martinez - USA - Spanish and Italian schools of swordsmanship
Paul Macdonald - Scotland - Quarterstaff, backswording
Tony Wolf - New Zealand - Bartitsu and 19th c. civilian self defence arts
Jacques Cappelle - Belgium - Classical smallsword
Stefan Dieke - Germany - Halbe stange (half staff) and other weapons
of the German Renaissance
Jared Kirby - USA - deconstructing Capo Ferro
John Lennox - USA - Maritime and Frontier combat (tomahawk, bowie)
Allen Reed - USA - Bowie knife and Swetnam's rapier and dagger
Steve Huff - USA - Maritime and Frontier combat (tomahawk, bowie)
Scott Brown - USA - Cutting pattern exercises
Andrew Deane - Great Britain - Royal Armouries interpretations of
historical European martial arts
Andrew Balmforth - Great Britain - Royal Armouries interpretations of
historical European martial arts
Brad Waller - USA - Marozzo's prese

The venue, the Banff Arts Centre, is a superb international conference
centre located in a valley high in the Canadian Rockies. The dining,
facilities and views were all of great quality and many participants
took advantage of the schedule to enjoy extracurricular activities
including skiing, snowboarding and relaxing in the famous Banff hot

Plans are already afoot to revive the Paddy Crean events on an annual
or bi-annual basis. I would strongly recommend them to anyone
interested in HEMA, stage combat, or related disciplines.


Terror at Beslan by John Giduck

Every teacher, parent, law enforcement officer and concerned citizen should read this book. Giduck outlines how the attack on a school in Russia by a large group of Islamist terrorists could occur in the U.S.

Most schools and local police department now work on handling an active shooter situation involving one or two killers. However, most departments would be absolutely overwhelmed by an attack from a large group of heavily armed suicidal terrorists.

Giduck argues that if parents, teachers and police officers cooperated on security at local schools this would cause terrorists to look for softer targets.

The full title of the book is: Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools.