Past Events

VISS 2017: This vs. That


  • Christian Tobler
  • David Coblentz
  • David R. Packer
  • Devon Boorman
  • Guro E. W.
  • Ilkka Hartikainen
  • Jessica Finley
  • Kaja Sadowski
  • Marco Quarta
  • Mark Mikita
  • Matthew Howden
  • Paul Wagner
  • Rob Rutherfoord
  • Sean Hayes

3-Day Intensive Workshops

English Backsword Intensive (Paul Wagner)

  • Day One: English Backsword
  • Day Two: English Backsword
  • Day Three: English Backsword vs. Bolognese Sidesword (with Rob Rutherfoord)

Bolognese Sidesword Intensive (Rob Rutherfoord)

  • Day One: Bolognese Sidesword
  • Day Two: Bolognese Sidesword
  • Day Three: English Backsword vs. Bolognese Sidesword (with Paul Wagner)

German Longsword Intensive (Christian Tobler)

  • Day One: German Longsword
  • Day Two: German Longsword
  • Day Three: Italian Longsword vs. German Longsword (with Devon Boorman)

Italian Longsword Intensive (Devon Boorman)

  • Day One: Italian Longsword
  • Day Two: Italian Longsword
  • Day Three: Italian Longsword vs. German Longsword (with Christian Tobler)

Italian Rapier Intensive (David Coblentz)

  • Day One: Italian Rapier
  • Day Two: Italian Rapier
  • Day Three: Italian Rapier vs. Thibault Rapier (with Matthew Howden)

Thibault Rapier Intensive (Matthew Howden)

  • Day One: Thibault Rapier
  • Day Two: Thibault Rapier
  • Day Three: Italian Rapier vs. Thibault Rapier (with David Coblentz)

Italian Grappling Intensive (Marco Quarta)

  • Day One: Italian Grappling
  • Day Two: Italian Grappling
  • Day Three: Italian Grappling vs. German Grappling (with Jessica Finley)

German Grappling Intensive (Jessica Finley)

  • Day One: German Grappling
  • Day Two: German Grappling
  • Day Three: Italian Grappling vs. German Grappling (with Marco Quarta)


  • German vs. Italian Rapier (Rob Rutherfoord)
  • Everything You Know is Still True: An Introduction to Armoured Combat (Sean Hayes)
  • The Salle vs. The Street, Part 1: Grappling (David R. Packer & Kaja Sadowski)
  • Silver vs. Liechtenauer (Paul Wagner)
  • One with the Sword: Integrated Body Mechanics and Movement Training for Medieval Arms (Sean Hayes)
  • Thibault’s Rapier vs. the World (Matthew Howden)
  • The Salle vs. The Street, Part 2: Fencing (David R. Packer & Kaja Sadowski)
  • Unarmed vs. Knife: A Traditional Italian View (Marco Quarta)
  • Problem Solving and Mindset in Asymmetrical Weapon Combat (Mark Mikita)
  • Longsword vs Broadsword vs Smallsword (Paul Wagner)
  • Patterned vs. Unpatterned Training Methodologies (Guro E.W.)
  • The Positional Theory of Combat Strategy: Tactical Analysis and Strategic Planning in the Fight (Sean Hayes)
  • Rapier: Dealing with Physical Asymmetries (David Coblentz)
  • Rapier: Tactical Asymmetry (Devon Boorman)

Lectures & Panels

  • Short-Term vs. Long-Term Practice (Mark Mikita)
  • Motivation in Martial Arts: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic (Dr. Shawn Bullock)
  • Martial Arts Practice vs. Athletics (Mike Panian)
  • Women vs. Men: Exploring Gender in Martial Arts (Moderator: Jessica Finley)
  • Signal vs. Noise: A Neo-Classical Approach to Modern Technical Analysis (Matthew Howden)
  • History vs. Myth: Using and Abusing Historical Narratives in Martial Arts (Michael Heveran)

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VISS 2015

Download the 2015 Program Guide


  • Guy Windsor
  • Christian Tobler
  • Eric Myers
  • Puck Curtis
  • David McCormick
  • Devon Boorman
  • Tom Leoni
  • Kaja Sadowski
  • David R. Packer
  • Loki Jörgenson
  • Marco Quarta
  • Mark Mikita
  • Matthew Howden
  • Steaphen Fick
  • Bob Charrette
  • Robert Rouse
  • Noelle Phillips
  • Daniel Helbert

3-Day Intensive Workshops

Medieval Italian intensive: Italian Dagger & Longsword According to Fiore & Vadi (Guy Windsor)

  • Day One: The Medieval Dagger
  • Day Two: The Medieval Longsword
  • Day Three: Vadi’s Longsword

Iberian intensive: Smaller, Fewer, Smarter: Beyond the Basics (Eric Myers & Puck Curtis)

  • Day One: Reduction of Movement
  • Day Two: From Theory, Victory
  • Day Three: Adversary as Mechanism

Medieval German intensive: Longsword, Messer, Sword & Buckler: Principles, Tactics, and Strategies in Liechtenauer’s Art of Fighting (Christian Tobler)

  • Day One: Footwork, Guards, Blows, and Cutting Patterns
  • Day Two: Entering the Fight, Working in the Bind, and Exiting the Fight Safely
  • Day Three: Breaking the Guards, Combination Attacks, and Feints

Italian Rapier intensive (Devon Boorman)

  • Day One: The True Fight
  • Day Two: Extending the True Fight
  • Day Three: The Deceptive & Adaptive Fights


  • Fighting the Fight: Closing the Gap from Misura to Gioco Stretto (Marco Quarta)
  • Venire ai Ferri Corti: From Dagger to Knife Fight (Marco Quarta)
  • Fighting the Fear: The Search for the Lion’s Heart and the Architect’s Mind (Marco Quarta)
  • Marozzo’s Knife Work: Modern Tactical Applications (David R. Packer & Kaja Sadowski)
  • Introduction to Thibault (Matthew Howden)
  • Dagger and Rapier: The Offensive Use of the Dagger from Joseph Swetnam (Steaphen Fick)
  • Book 2 of Salvator Fabris’s Lo Schermo, Overo Scienza d’Arme (Tom Leoni)
  • Bolognese Two Sword (Tom Leoni)
  • Filipino Espada y Daga (Loki Jörgenson)
  • Disarms, Counter Disarms, & Counter-Counter Disarms (Mark Mikita)
  • Body Mechanics of a Powerful Punch & Thrust (David McCormick)
  • Physical Culture Exercise (Indian Clubs, Medicine Balls, Feats of Strength) (David McCormick)
  • Hollow & Arch: Structure for Martial Artists (Kaja Sadowski)

Master Classes

  • Destreza Master Class: The Time Thief: The Journey Beyond the Before, During, & After (Eric Myers & Puck Curtis)
  • Italian Rapier Master Class: Italian Rapier Principles for Unorthodox Postures (Devon Boorman)

Lectures & Panels

  • Fiore’s Armor (Bob Charrette)
  • Mail to Plate: A Not So Simple Transition (Bob Charrette)
  • Panel Discussion: What makes good HEMA? (Moderator: Tom Leoni)
  • Storied Swords: Behind the Legendary Swords of the Middle Ages (Robert Rouse)
  • Science and Violence: When Swords are Better than Guns (Puck Curtis)
  • Why do we Fight?: The Warrior Cultures of Medieval England (Daniel Helbert, Noelle Phillips, & Robert Rouse)
  • Performance Nutrition for Martial Artists (David R. Packer)

Thanks to our Sponsors

  • Victorian Hotel
  • VanCity Savings Credit Union
  • Capital T Branding
  • R&B Brewing
  • Premium Springs Water Co.

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VISS 2013

Download the 2013 Program Guide
Jessica Finley longsword


  • Devon Boorman
  • Puck Curtis
  • Jessica Finley
  • Sean Hayes
  • Tom Leoni
  • David McCormick
  • Greg Mele
  • Eric Myers
  • Marco Quarta
  • Jason Smith
  • Christian Tobler

Multi-Day Workshop Series

Understanding Armizare—a Walking Tour of Fiore dei Liberi’s Art of Arms (Greg Mele)

  • Day One: The Iron Gate—an Exploration of Movement and Structure through the Foundational Guard of Armizare
  • Day Two: Control the Center—The Tactics of Armizare
  • Day Three: From Abrazare to Pollaxe—Playing with Close Play in the Art of Arms

Tom Leoni Italian rapier and dagger

Three Days of Italian Rapier (Tom Leoni)

  • Day One: “Rinse your fundamentals in the Brenta.”
  • Day Two: Cuts, Beats, & Introduction to the Dagger
  • Day Three: Feinting, Disarms, Tactics, and Freeplay

“No one can defend himself without danger”: Liechtenauer’s Art in three weapons (Jessica Finley)

  • Day One: Maintaining and Recapturing the Vor when using the Longsword
  • Day Two: Here they fight with Messer, May God remember them
  • Day Three: Wrestling with Master Auerswald

Jessica Finley and Sean Hayes Ringen

Three Days of Iberian Swordplay (Eric Myers and Puck Curtis)

  • Day One: Fundamentals and the Sword in One Hand
  • Day Two: The Off-hand: Hilt Grappling, and the Dagger
  • Day Three: Montante – The Spanish Great Sword


  • Does Fiore Wind? The Volta Stabile di Spada, Angulated Thrusts and Opposition Thrusts in L’arte Dell’Armizare (Sean Hayes)
  • Classical Italian Dueling Sabre (Sean Hayes)
  • Burgundian Pollaxe: Le Jeu de la Hache – parts I & II (Jason Smith)
  • Pommel Play (Jason Smith)
  • German Medieval Dagger (Christian Tobler)
  • Sword and Buckler of the Liechtenauer Tradition (Christian Tobler)
  • Applied Combatives: Improve Your Fight (Devon Boorman)
  • Rapier Disarms (Devon Boorman)
  • Bringing Down the Big Guy (David McCormick)
  • Italian Stick Fencing (Marco Quarta)
  • Abracar and Sine Armis: The art and tradition of unarmed fighting in Italy (Marco Quarta)

Lectures & Panels

Neal Stephenson

  • Shakespearean Swordplay: Smacktalk and Dojo Busting in the Reign of Elizabeth I (CC Humphreys and Greg Mele)
  • Deconstructing Film Fights (David McCormick)
  • Knighthood and Chivalry: Uneasy Companions (Dr. Robert Rouse)
  • Writing Western Martial Arts in Fiction (Neal Stephenson and Joseph Brassey)
  • Hands-on History (Devon Boorman)
  • From Destruction to Creation: How a Spanish Knight used Science to Reform the Fighting Arts (Puck Curtis)
  • Pen and Sword: Imagining Weaponry in Medieval Manuscripts (Dr. Noelle Phillips)

Thanks to our Sponsors

  • Premium Springs Water Company
  • Bella Gelateria
  • Erin Kyle Photography – Omen Studios
  • R&B Brewing Company and Firefly Fine Wines and Ales (Saturday Night Gala)
  • Gold Financial
  • Capital T Branding
  • Blue Gauntlet Fencing
  • Lunch catering: Terra Breads, BonChaz and the Lazy Gourmet
  • Official VISS Hotel: The Victorian Boutique Hotel
  • Official Airline: Air Canada

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VISS 2011

View the 2011 Photo Gallery

Download the 2011 Program Guide


  • Devon Boorman
  • Guy Windsor
  • Tom Leoni
  • Sean Hayes
  • Christian Tobler
  • Puck Curtis
  • Eric Meyers
  • Greg Mele
  • David McCormick

Multi-Day Intensives

  • The Art of Fiore dei Liberi, Father of Italian Martial Arts (Guy Windsor)
  • The Art of Achille Marozzo, 16th Century Italian Fencing Master (Tom Leoni)
  • The Tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer, 14th Century Master at Arms (Christian Tobler)
  • Measure, Control, and Time: Close-Quarters Combat (Sean Hayes)
  • Measure, Control, and Time in the System of Armizare (Greg Mele)
  • Measure, Control, and Time: The Spanish Tradition Unleashed (Eric Myers & Puck Curtis)
  • Applied Combatives: Taking your Full-Speed Combat to the Next Level (Guy Windsor, Devon Boorman, Sean Hayes)


  • From Science to Violence: Ettenhard Describes Pacheco’s Sidesword System (Puck Curtis & Eric Meyers)
  • Fiore vs Modern Knife (Devon Boorman)
  • Down You Go: Two Ubiquitous Throws of Armizare (Greg Mele)
  • Messerfechten from the Glasgow Fechtbuch (Christian Tobler)
  • Crossing and Constraint: Rediscovering the Principles of Italian Rapier (Devon Boorman)
  • Developing and Employing Solo & Paired Drills for Skill Development (Sean Hayes)
  • Montante: The Iberian Two-Handed Sword (Eric Myers)
  • The Illusion of Violence: Stage Combat for Martial Artists (David McCormic)
  • Movements of Conclusion: Spanish Hilt Grappling (Puck Curtis & Eric Meyers)
  • Ponderous, Cruel and  Mortal: Dei Liberi’s System of Axe Play (Greg Mele)
  • Italian Rapier and Dagger (Tom Leoni)


  • Swords and scabbards in medieval Arthurian literature (Dr. Sian Echard, University of British Columbia Department of English)
  • Code Duello: The Nature of the Duel from the 16th–19th Centuries (Cecil Longino, Academia della Spada)
  • Panel: Bringing History to Life (Christian Tobler, Eric Myers, Puck Curtis, and Greg Mele)
  • Swords in Elizabethan Theatre (Dr. Patricia Badir, University of British Columbia Department of English)
  • A Timeline of Liechtenauer’s Manuscripts (Christian Tobler, Selohaar Fechtschule)
  • Writing and Recording Stage Combat Choreography (David McCormick, Academie Duello)
  • Panel: Swords in Modern Fiction (Neal Stephenson and CC Humphreys)

Thanks to our Sponsors

  • Vancity
  • W2 Community Media Arts
  • Happy Planet
  • R&B Brewing Company and Firefly Fine Wines and Ales (Saturday Night Gala)
  • Donation of Prizes by Mike Loades, Blue Gauntlet, Watson Gloves, Guy Windsor, Greg Mele
  • Catering for the Gala provided by Wild Rice
  • Lunch catering: Terra Breads, BonChaz and the Lazy Gourmet
  • Official VISS Hotel: The Victorian Boutique Hotel
  • Official Airline: Air Canada
  • Official VISS t-shirt logo designed by Jordan Bray

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