The Meyer Free Fighters Guild is a free fencing school devoted to the study of Joachim Meyer's 1560 and 1570 books on the knightly arts of combat. Our goal is to reproduce the considerable martial skills of Renaissance Europe, specifically the German Art of Combat (Kunst des Fechten or kunstfechten), to do this we follow a methodology designed to cultivate true martial skills by training, study and testing (free play). We fight in the manner of the German Fechtschule. Our focus is on the work of the most prominent Frei Fechter, Fechtmeister Joachim Meyer (possibly also a FederFechter) and his magnificent work on the free and noble knightly arts of combat in 1570. We study the many weapons of the Fechtschule. Longsword, Dussack, Rappier, Staff, Halberd, Dagger, Wrestling and with some attention to Sword & Buckler outside of the Meyer system but using its concepts. We instruct classes in the basic skills and methods of the free and knightly arts of combat using Longsword, Dussack, Halberd, Dagger, Wrestling, Staff, Rappier and some day Pike.
Our South Florida study group meets for classes every Sunday at TY park in Hollywood from 10 AM to 2PM, we have study groups arounds the U.S.A. and several in Europe (see our Study Group Listing) and we gather our study groups frequently in Orlando for seminars and Once a year in Tallahassee for our Main gathering of the Guild at Dixie Krieg).
Class structure typically involves
60 mins of basic cutting and footwork drills,
60 mins of technical instruction on the various strikes, guards, defensive capabilities and handworks of the weapon in question.
60 mins of free play or sparring using various tools and methods, our highest level is unhelmeted and ungloved free play with steel blunts for longsword, this is the same way our ancestors trained these arts. Not all students choose to take it to that level and there are varying degrees of defensive padding entirely dependant on the individual, we also will use with wooden or Nylon(plastic) weapons as well. The classes are held in an informal manner open to all interested parties regardless of affiliation or intended application, membership is not required to participate but left to the more serious practitioners.
The Meyer Frei Fechter Guild studies and practices the "Free knightly and Noble Art of combat" as instructed by Joachim meyer in his manual. We use a martially sound approach to interpretation with the goal of resurrecting the skills of the Kunst Des Fechten as taught by Joachim Meyer. We meet weekly to train in the various weapons of the German school and we study the history behind it to better understand it. Again the goal is to display real martial skills, not staged or practiced contests as enjoyable as they may be. This means we must seek to flesh out the full range of skills and attributes necessary to derive martial value from the study. We use the same approach as modern martial arts use to determine effectiveness, efficiency and viability of a given technique or concept. We test through freeplay with steel blunts, wooden waisters and minimal use of padded weapons. Again we seek to develop the full range of skill attributes that would have been necessary in renaissance Germany to practice these arts, this means a serious approach with the same expectations as from modern martial arts, skill = diligent practice and study. A martial art by its nature brings a promise of increased combat fighting skill, this expectation can only be delivered with a serious appraoch that gives the central authority position to the manuals as the source of essential knowledge. The student is expected to diligently study the teachings of the manual and to train hard like any martial art, to freely question and re-evaluate any theories or concepts taken out of the Meyer Art of Combat what is unique to oneself. Meyer himself teaches us the value of indivuduality.
"For as we are not all of a single nature, so we also cannot have a single style in combat,
yet all must nonetheless arise and be derived from a single basis." (Joachim Meyer 1570)
We are now heavily focused on the manual of Joachim Meyer and applying a unique approach of using the manual itself as the final authority not any group, organization, individual, interpretation or particular viewpoint and by viewing the manual the way we beleive Joachim Meyer intended us to view it, as a wholistic study in the art of war , the art being taught in parts with each weapon, but each part and weapon directly relating to the other weapons to form the entire Art of Combat. We followed this path by listening to the words of the fechtmeister himself when he told us how this or that element cannot be fleshed out fully here but later in another weapon or how this or that weapon relates directly to another weapon and the greater part of its techniques are usable with little modification. This means that knowledge of the longsword portion of the book is necessary to learn from other parts of the book, and that the knowledge of the longsword is not soley contained in the longsword portion of the book. Rather the concepts bleed over between the weapons, with a solid strain of conceptual basics holding the art together.
New from MFFG member Jason Vail, a taut medieval mystery. Thirteenth century England has never been brought more vividly to life than in The Wayward Apprentice. Available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.com. Also available from Kindle.
Next book in the historical series by MFFG member Jason Vail, a taut medieval mystery. Stephen Attebrook, the part-time deputy coroner for northern Herefordshire, has been forced to find this list by his former master, the grasping and ambitious crown justice Ademar de Valence — projecting Attebrook into a cesspit of murder, intrigue and betrayal.
Step through this time portal to13th century England and relive the sights, sounds and sensations of a lost world as they have never been depicted before.
"Everyone thinks differently from everyone else, so he behaves differently
in combat" -Joachim Meyer, Kunst des Fechten, 1570
"For as we are not all of a single nature, so we also cannot have a single style in combat, yet all must nonetheless arise and be derived from a single basis." -Joachim Meyer, Kunst des Fechten, 1570
"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,
I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."
--Augustin Staidt, Federfechter
"The Truth in Combat is different for each individual.... Truth lies outside of All Fixed Patterns." -Bruce Lee