In training we try to not only instil the techniques of fencing, but also the principles. This is to create an integrated, robust and adaptable system for the student to use when fencing. Our training philosophy is influenced by such groups as Straight Blast Gym, with an emphasis on ‘alive’ drilling and an understanding of the underlying principles, rather than mindless repetition.
Matt Clarke’s fencing studies began with the WA School of Japanese Swordsmanship (Kenjutsu) in 2000 under the tutelage of Peter James Sensei. In 2001 he joined the Australian Army and moved to the eastern states, where was able to continue his Kenjutsu with a local club. Upon moving back to WA in 2006, Matt continued his training with WASJS until he left in late 2006 to better pursue his study of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). Matt first became interested in HEMA in 2002 and occasionally trained with Collegium in Armis and the Australian College of Arms whilst in Queensland. In 2006, he became the primary training partner of the principal of Knight School (Perth’s first dedicated HEMA school), Brad Morris. Matt’s HEMA training has taken him across Australia and Europe, training with and fighting many of the leading HEMA researchers from those areas. He has won, or placed within the top three, in several tournaments in Australia, including the 2007 Longsword tournament at the Australian Historical Swordplay Federation Convention. He also has an interest in wrestling, both Freestyle and historical. He holds a BA in Archaeology and a BSc in Geology. When not training HEMA, he is smashing rocks with either a hammer or hammerstone.
His HEMA blog can found here http://laches.wordpress.com