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  • Writer's pictureSSG Scribe

Winter into Spring

Spring is here! Brian's harness finally integrated.

As winter broke, a number of SSG groups did some really interesting stuff. Daniel Leon | SSG Quito, Ecuador tested for instruttore minore and scolaro maggiore; SSG Anchorage held their Pas d'Armes; SSG Honolulu once again did classes at Kawaii Con; SSG Montgomery sprouted its first members; SSG Atlanta keeps rolling; and SSG Honolulu's Andrew McKenzie' advanced his "working paper" for the spada en arme (armoured sword), along with other curriculum bits--the falling module draft and a paper on heuristics in Fiore.

SSG Quito, Ecuador (Affiliated School: Scuola Gladiatori)

On April 6, 2019, Daniel Leon traveled up from Ecuador to test with Bryan Johnson and SSG Atlanta for scholar maggiore. He had a successful test. Then, on April 9, he tested for Instruttore Minore with Dr. Price and Bryan Johnson, passing again with a strong test. Daniel is therefore our newest SSG Instruttore, and leader of the vibrant and rapidly growing SSG Quito, Ecuador. In Quito they have, as noted in our last blog entry, the very first ever college course for credit, based our own Ellefante curriculum. And there is a possibility of a SECOND study group opening there, as well.

SSG President Bryan Johnson presents Daniel Leon with his Scolaro Maggiore recognition, 6 Apr. 2019

Daniel Leon's instruttore & scolaro maggiore certs


On 24 March, SSG Anchorage held a pas d'armes in a packed room with eleven combatants representing four different groups, Schola Saint George Anchorage, Zornhau Alaska, Barony of Eskalya, and HRG - Historic Fencing Program and a full audience along two walls!

Not only does this kind of cooperative event make sense for a group isolated only by geography, but it fosters the kind of chivalric spirit that is a cornerstone of our group's identity and foundation.

Fought with synthetic weapons and using a blend of HEMA, SSG and SCA gear, the fights all had spirit and showed some real glimmers of developing skill, and building upon the solid work being done by one of our most dynamic young new groups! Hats off to SSG Anchorage!


This tradition began several years ago, as SSG Honolulu delivered classes and manned a "fan" table at the Honolulu anime festival, Kawaii Kon. Like past efforts, the SSG's classes were well received and attracted quite a bit of attention. This year, Jared and Colin ran the show!


In Montgomery, clean-up from the 19 January tornado continues, and, we've started classes with four new members: Paul, Jeremy, Peyton and Chelsea have progressed towards their first sparring with the lanze. There is an interest in armour, also; so look to see more from SSG Montgomery as the workshop is set up in June. In Mid-April, two compagni from SSG Mobile--Shawn and Donovan--came up to get focused instruction on the entry drills and the zogho largo (module 2). This was a great opportunity for folks to meet one another, and to communicate some of the more recent developments in pedagogy and kinesethics. Over the past few years we've dug into the research on motor learning and control from both the academic and coaching perspectives--which is where some of the new drills have come from.

from left: Donovan (Mobile); Paul & Brian (Mont.); Shawn (Mobile. mid-April, 2019

One of the new members, Paul, is making benches for the fighting site. Great work, and great inspiration!

SSG Montgomery fighting all begins to take shape!

SSG Groups Keep Rolling! (Atlanta, Portland, Charleston, Savannah, DFW, SF Bay Area)

We don't have lots of updates from our other groups, but we know things continue to percolate. SSG Atlanta continues to be one of the most vibrant branches, with regular classes offered through the local community center. This remains one of the best models for study groups to grow, though the option isn't available everywhere. SSG DFW keeps offering multiple classes per week, co-located at the Tigers' Den Crossfit location, holding their popular informal tournaments a couple of times per month.

Ed Wells (right) faces of sword in two hands v. sword and buckler in SSG Atlanta



Andrew McKenzie is making good progress through a formal spada en arme study, which is becoming a "working paper." These are envisioned as curriculum proposals released to the SSG community for experimentation and commentary--the idea is to test them both intellectually and "sword in hand", with the author taking the results into account as we approach a final draft. The final is then to be approved by the instructor's council, after which it becomes integrated into the curriculum. In this case, as one of the options available either after Level 5 (zogho stretto integration), or in its place, as an alternate track. With this project Andrew has gone a long way to use this long-anticipated mechanism to help us grow the SSG knowledge base. Kudos to Andrew!

Dr. Price also uploaded both the falling module draft (find in the Scolaro Maggiore members only curriculum) and an essay on Heuristics in Fiore dei Liberi; the falling module has been long needed as an element of the zogho stretto and for the integration, so it is in the commentary stage also. The Heuristics piece grew out of his work at Air University, and looks at the use of modeling to speed decision-making, suggesting also that this idea isn't exactly new.


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