Sue Kirk

Susan has had a long standing interest in all things HEMA. She found her way to it 18 years ago following successful forays into sport fencing, stage fighting, reenactment and a career as an Officer in the British Army (yes, she really is Captain Kirk). Susan played a central part in the development of HEMA in the U.K. as a past President of the British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS).

Susan has been an instructor for about 12 years now, and is currently the Smallsword Instructor for the London Historical Fencing Club.

Susan regularly instructs in a wide range of both armed and unarmed HEMA disciplines at events across the U.K and by invitation runs workshops for other groups. Her main focus of instruction over the last few years has been on Smallsword, Sabre, Bartitsu/Suffragitsu, WW2 Combatives and Indian Clubs.

When not instructing she has also developed a real passion for grappling and regularly trains in catch wrestling.

Beginners class: Pugilism

In this session you will have the opportunity to experience the signature stance, moves, and tactics from classical pugilism (‘bare knuckle’ boxing) including many that are now banned from modern boxing rulesets.

This is boxing before gloves, Queensbury’s Rules and the removal of throws and grappling from fights. So pretty much all good, punchy fun!

Kit requirements: Recommended kit includes light MMA gloves but you will be able to do the session without too.

Advanced class: unarmed

In this session we will have fun with some ’combat cuddling’ aka ‘Catch Wrestling’.

‘Catch’ is a form of ‘pin and submit’ wrestling originally from Lancashire (Catch-as-catch-can) and has been the building block of many wrestling and even MMA systems since.

I will mainly focus on what happens when the fight goes ‘to the ground’, covering some basic principles of body mechanics and techniques that can translate to pretty much any unarmed martial arts/self defence system.

If you’ve never done wrestling before, now is your chance to have a go. In unarmed training, you work WITH your partner on techniques to ensure you do them correctly but also safely.

Kit requirements:

Spangly pants are optional