All posts by Cateran Society

Cateran Society President and Head-Instructor of the Broadsword Academy.

Nollaig Chridheil

My fellow Caterans, mentors, members of the Apprenticeship Program, friends, fans and supporters!

The last year was a tough one for all of us all over the world. The pandemic crisis changed our allday life and work in many ways and had heavy impact on our training. Many of us could only train under restrictions or not at all. This was and still is a tough time for us martial artists, because we had to put our sport and passion behind.

Many of us had and still have to struggle with financially hard times due to short-time work or losing their income, some may even have their livelihood at stake. Many of us had to juggle between homeoffice and homeschooling, taking care of their kids, their parents, their loved ones. Many of us had to work in a job, which was a high risk environment for an infection. Many of us have loved ones who have health troubles, mental troubles or social troubles, who need our help and support. Maybe some of us struggled with an infection or mental and social problems. And over all might lie a shadow of uncertainty and fear what the future will bring.

Swordsmanship is for many of us a way to express ourselfs and to get freedom from our allday struggles. Having to cut this or even do without might therefore be hard on many of us. Now this is a situation, which demands true fighting spirit.

Nevertheless the Cateran Society is still growing with our online program. We are maybe the HEMA group mostly used to train on our own in a backyard, park, garage or even in our living room. We are used to be connected worldwide with the help of the internet, to exchange knowledge, research and move forward in our training the digital way. So I am very proud of all of you, who take part in our Online program, who work in pairs, small groups or even alone, especially in the current situation. We even had some mentor certifications during the year. You are all very dedicated and excited martial artists and I am gratefull and proud to be your president and see your progress.

Even during this era of restrictions and uncertainty, the members of the Cateran Society worked onwards in the fields of research and supporting the training of others. I want to especially thank and honor Jay Maas of the Broadsword Academy Manitoba, who not only created excellent “Covid 19 Solo Lessons” for his youtube-channel, but also managed to get hold of an original “Anti-Pugilism” by Captain G. Sinclair, which he made available as a pdf file with the help of Nick Thomas (Academy of Historical Fencing) and the support of many donators. Also I want to thank and honor Dana Sweetman (Aurora, Canada) for starting to create a Double-Broadswords video lesson series. I´d also like to thank and congratulate Ben Hamilton (Scotland) for his commitment by giving a workshop in the scottish Highlands during the Highland Survival Course (by Primal Bushcraft & Survival with Tom Langhorne).

Thanks a lot again to all of you for your commitment, dedication and hard work. I really hope, that the upcoming year will be a better one. Whatever may come, let us move on with our work, research and training as best as we can.

Nollaig Chridheil, Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, God Jul, Hyvää Joulua, Frohe Weihnachten and Happy Holidays to all of you!

Slàinte Mhath!

Christmas at Borthwick Castle (Scottish Borders, south of Edinburgh) Source:

New Bard Announcement

We are happy and gratefull to announce that hereby our friend Nick Thomas (Academy of Historical Fencing) is certified as a 1st degree member in our Bardic Assembly (Lore).

Nick Thomas (Academy of Historical Fencing)

Nick is best known as a founder and head-instructor of the Academy of Historical Fencing (UK) and author of many amazing novels. He not only put out tons of great HEMA videos on his youtube channel, but also made several historical Broadsword manuals available as transcripted pdf-files for free. So he was also a great help to transcript, rework and publish Capain G. Sinclair´s Cudgel-Playing together with Jay Maas (Broadsword Academy Manitoba).

Jay started a fundraiser campaign to help purchase a rare copy of Captain G. Sinclair’s Cudgel-Playing (1800), with unique plates and illustrations. For those who don’t know, Sinclair was a Highland Officer of the 42nd Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) and originally published his broadsword treatise under the name Anti-Pugilism. He published it both as a means of learning the broadsword and singlestick, and also for self-defense for walking stick. With help of the campaign-supporters, Jay worked out a new transcription and high-res scans of the illustrations with Nick and they put it out publicly for free online as a pdf-file. You can find the manual and other recources here:

For this and all the contribution before that with the re-publishing of various manuals like Roworth and Mathewson, as the president and head-instructor of the Cateran Society it is my pleasure to announce the admission of Nick into our Bardic Assembly (Jay was already certified as 1st degree Bard in Lore for his Sinclair-Lesson video series).


Double-Broadsword Lessons and Mentor Certification

We are happy and proud to announce, that Dana Sweetman in Aurora, Canada (Highland Sword Fighting Guild) earned the rank of Level 3 Mentor (Broadsword & Targe / Double-Weapons).

Dana not only worked through all required training material, but also created a set of lessons for the use of Double-Broadswords. His work is basing on the Broadsword fundamentals, Backsword and Dagger according to manuals like Donald McBane and James Miller and the general principles of double weapon fighting. He tested his lessons in several bouts versus other double weapons and also double Broadswords, so these are battle-tested. The concepts can be used with double swords of all kind, Backswords, Spadroons, Case of Falchions aka Hangers like the Stage-Gladiators did and so on.

With his contribution Dana offers the whole of the Cateran Society a new lesson series to work with and the Cateran Council decided, that these are officially part of our Level 3 Double Weapons in our Curriculum. So students can train these lessons in Level 3 for their certification.

Creating theses Lessons, Dana is also earning his 2nd degree Bard (Lore) in the Bardic Assembly.

You can see the first of the upcoming lessons already in the youtube channel of Dana´s training group:

Congratulations, Dana, well done.

New Level 1 Mentors at the BAM

The Broadsword Academy Manitoba is proud to announce three new Level 1 Mentors through the Cateran Society Program. Lisa, Cody Pierson and Nathan Thiessen are dedicated and hard working broadsword fencers who have earned instructor rank under Caterans Jay Maas, Jacques Labrie and Wyatt Campbell.

Congratulations to all of them 🙂

New Level 4 Mentor

We are happy and proud to announce, that Thomas L. Proctor, St.Louis, Missouri, USA is certified as Level IV mentor (MacGregor Method). Thomas worked dedicated thtough Level IV, concentrating on the use of the Dirk and Staff, successfully adopting his fighting fundamentals and skills on the two weapons according to the MacGregor Method. He worked dedicated under the guidance of his mentor Heiko Große and proofed his skills in certification bouts to achieve the next level.

Congratulations, good job!


Cateran Society Shirts


The Cateran Society is happy to announce, that official T-Shirts are available now. These are special shirts only for our certified Mentors and Caterans. The process of making Fan-shirts for everyone was unfortunately too complicated and too much work for keeping the Cateran Society non-profit as it always was.

If you are a certified Mentor or Cateran you can order the shirt above of your rank officially and wear it publically. This is not meant to be a “belt-system” or something, just a little something to reward yourself for achieving a certification.

The Mentor-Shirt is Cateran Society logo on the front and backprint Broadsword and Targe with lettering “MENTOR”.

The Cateran-Shirt is Cateran Society logo on the front and backprint with Broadsword and Targe and lettering “CATERAN”. On the right sleeve there is the St. Andrew´s Cross as a symbol for Scotland, crossed swords and also fullfilling the complete program.

Thanks a lot for the original logo design created by Dana of the Highland Sword Fighting Guild (Canada), which was the base for this shirt. Also thanks a lot to Owynn (Scotland) who created the shirt layout. Both are appointed to be 1st degree Bards in our Bardic Assembly (Art).

Go to the Merchandise section for details on how to order.

New mentor certifications

Congratulations to Shane Clune and R Young, both of whom have earned second-degree mentor certification in the Cateran System through the Minneapolis Amateur Swordfighting Association’s Broadsword Training Group!


Shane Clune is a worker, a labor leader, and a public servant. He started training in martial arts in 2008 in college, earning a black belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo by 2012. Part of earning a black belt required running classes at the local Karate studio. This was an opportunity to teach, coach, and learn from students of all levels of experience. This was also an opportunity to make the classic “beginning instructor” mistakes in an environment surrounded by peers and mentors. Shane moved to Minnesota in 2015 and came to the Minnesota Broadsword Academy looking to expand his martial arts training and deepen his understanding of the science and art of fighting and self-defense, and because swords are cool. In 2018, he joined the Minneapolis Amateur Swordfighting Association and took to his training with more discipline and regularity, earning his second-degree mentor certification under the instruction of Christopher Scott Thompson.

R Young is a Midwestern martial artist currently residing in Minneapolis, MN. They currently train with the Minneapolis Amateur Swordfighting Association (MASA) and the Cateran Society, where they began studying under Christopher Scott Thompson in 2017.

Congratulations, Gentlemen, well done!

New Mentor in Scotland

The Cateran Society is happy and proud to announce that Ben Hamilton (Scotland) earned his rank as 1st degree Mentor for Regimental Broadsword.


Ben started training with swords at the age of 12 under the instruction of men passionate about reviving Scottish history. From then on he tried to learn as much as he could about swordsmanship from Reenactment societies, modern Fencing, aiki/kenjutsu and stage combat for 6 years before finding exactly what he was looking for in HEMA 5 years ago.

Becoming a participant in our Online program, Ben already brought a lot of skills, experience and motivation with him into the training. He worked through all lessons very disciplined and moved forward quite fast, proofing his skillset, swift and sharp style in many free bouts, even faced other weapon types like the Longword with success (Video footage will come soon).

Ben´s mission is to improve the quality, awareness and accessibility of HEMA and Scottish fighting arts in Scotland and to take as many people with him on his journey. We are sure he will be very successfull with that and looking forward to see him working through the next levels of our program.

Ben is running the Saorsa Scottish Swordsmanship School in Glasgow, Scotland.

Congratulations, well done and well deserved!

New Bards announcement

The Bardic Assmbley recognizes bards of the Cateran Society and honors them for their contributions in lore, art, music, and/or language.

Lore means substantial research in the areas we study, such as publishing a book, writing articles, creating video lesson content or fulfilling the requirements of the Hoplology course.

Art incluedes things like a chapbook-length work of poetry, an artistic portfolio, a novel or short-story collection on Cateran-related themes.

Music means the demonstrated ability to play on a traditional Celtic instrument, sing Gaelic songs or some equivalent skill.

Language of course refers to demonstrated proficiency in Gaelic.


The Cateran Society is happy and proud to announce the following new 1st Degree Bards:

Jay Maas (Lore) contributed and still does a lot of very helpfull video lessons available not only for Cateran members, but the whole HEMA world. He worked out a complete video lesson interpretation of Captain G. Sinclair´s “Anti-Pugilism” (1790) next to many other videos.

Cornelius Stöhr (Music) started to learn the Bagpipe the same year he picked up the Broadsword to train at the BAG. Since then he not only became a good fencer, but also the official BAG Piper, proofing his skills in public regulary.

Tom Langhorne (Lore) is a Bushcraft expert and outdoor guide from Scotland, who started to research on the historical survival skills of the Highlanders several years ago. In his youtube-channel he presents his outdoor experiments and research with historical clothes, the Highland Dirk, firemaking, traditional cooking and other topics.

Edward Lindey (Music) recently started to train at the BAG and provides the Bardic Assembly with his skills playing traditional tunes on the feadog (penny whistle).

Congratulations to all four gentlemen 🙂