The Cateran System


If you aren’t near a local branch, you can join our online Apprenticeship Program. Please contact us at for more information!


Level I: Regimental Highland Broadsword

The techniques of the Scottish Highland Regiments in the British Army represent a simplified yet highly effective method of swordsmanship, designed to quickly teach raw recruits to be effective swordsmen. This system was not only in use with the Highland Basket-Hilted Broadsword, but also the Cavalry and Infantry Sabre, the Heavy Cavalry Sword, the Spadroon and later adopted to the Naval Cutlass too. The used manuals are mostly from the later 18th Century to the early 19th Century. Notable masters are G. Sinclair, Henry Angelo, Charles Roworth/John Taylor, Thomas Mathewson and others.

Level II: Old Style Broadsword

These are the techniques used by the stage gladiators and wandering swordsmen of the Jacobite era. Although this is a more difficult style to understand and master, the intricacies of this style will improve your skill in all of our other systems. The works of masters like Donald McBane, James Miller, Thomas Page and others are mostly dating from the first half of the 18th Century.

Level III: Broadsword and Targe and other Double Weapons

The Broadsword and Targe can be considered the classic Highland Clan weapon combination. This Level incluedes also other double weapons such as Broadsword and Dirk, Backsword and Buckler or Basket-Hilt Dagger, the latter two used in prizefights of the Stage-Gladiators. A highly aggressive and dynamic style of swordplay. Next to Donald McBane, James Miller and Thomas Page other sources like the Penicuik-Sketches, battlefield reports and several written accounts are part of the source material.

Level IV: The MacGregor Method and other Auxiliary Arts

Level IV of our system includes all of our electives or auxiliary arts, so everything from speculative reconstructions of ancient and forgotten systems to modern combatives and self-defense. This refers especially to scottish weapons like Dirk, Lochaber-Axe and Twohanded Sword, many of them without or only little sources. But also to weapons with manual, like Smallsword of Sir William Hope, Donald McBane or Domenico Angelo. Period related weapons like Musket and Bayonet, Tomahawk, Sponton or Sergeant´s Halberd, which were in use within the Highland Regiments can be a topic, as well as Archery. Unarmed combat, inclueding traditional wrestling like Highland Backhold, Pugilism and historical self-defense is another possible part. This Level is open to experiments and developments within the historical and cultural context.

Level V: Cleasa

The term “Cleasa” refers to unusual skills and techniques, hinted at in the most ancient of Gaelic legends.

2 thoughts on “The Cateran System”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: