RECONSTRUCTING NORTH AFRICAN SWORDPLAY

Course Description:
The Stick is a Sword… Hidden in Plain Sight

El Matreg in classical Arabic means ‘the stick or hammer’ is a form of stick fencing practiced in Western Algeria and parts of Morocco.

According to the cheikhs (teachers) the origins of the art is as old as time itself but historically the stick was used as a surrogate for the sword and the movements and training methodology resembles those featured in the Kitāb al-makhzūn jāmiʻ al-funūn (The treasure that combines all arts) 15th century Mamluk military treatise which could possibly shed light on the origins of this artform.

In this class we will be exploring and reconstructing North African swordplay by extracting fencing principles based on the techniques of El Matreg and applying them to two iconic swords from the region: the Nimcha and Flyssa in an effort to better understand swordplay in the Maghreb (Northwest Africa) as well as the weapons and cultures that created them.

Required Gear:
Stick 36 " - 48"
Nimcha
Flyssa
Sabre
Messer
Arming Sword

Course Level:
Beginner and Intermediate Level

Course Format:
Hands-On

Instructor:
Da'Mon Stith