At Liverpool HEMA, we are lucky to have a diverse team of instructors, coming from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. Each instructor on the team has undertaken a significant study of HEMA and has also spent time learning how to instruct effectively. You are in good hands when you come along to the club to learn about HEMA!
Keith Farrell is the chief instructor at Liverpool HEMA. He teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events, and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. His main area of expertise is fencing with the two-handed longsword; however, he also enjoys fencing with the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword, with the sabre, and with a variety of different swords!
Keith has authored several books, including Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick and the award-winning AHA German Longsword Study Guide. He runs his own blog at www.keithfarrell.net, and has also had several articles and interviews published in a variety of magazines and journals.
Daria Izdebska is an assistant instructor at Liverpool HEMA. She has trained in a variety of martial arts, most prominently in Karate Kyokushin (her main discipline for about ten years), with occasional forays into kickboxing, judo and boxing. She helped with coaching at her karate classes, and has a significant teaching experience in other domains (she is an academic teacher and a language teacher by trade). She enjoys the practice of martial arts, the military history across the ages, as well as the representations of warfare in myth and legend.
She began her practice of HEMA in 2010, after arriving at the University of Glasgow to do her Ph.D. in English Language (Old English). She splits her focus between German longsword and Polish sabre, not only because of national sentiment, but also because of the inherent beauty of the weapon.
James Roberts is an assistant instructor at Liverpool HEMA. He began training in HEMA in 2014, concentrating on German Longsword. He has worked with Lichtenauer sources, primarily Codex 44.A.8 (PsPVD) but has also worked with Joachim Meyer’s The Art Of Combat.
James has trained and competed at several FightCamp events, Kings Of The North and, most recently, ‘The Tournament’ in Conwy as well as several other smaller events. He has also assisted in demonstrations of Longsword fencing at schools and castles in North Wales.
He has a background in equestrianism and hopes in the future to begin the study of mounted combat and jousting. He also enjoys Medieval history, primarily mid 12th to mid 15th century, in particular the events of The Wars Of The Roses, and has a passion for castles, battlefields, arms and armour and all things concerning medieval warfare and history.
Ben Davies is an assistant instructor at Liverpool HEMA. He began sport fencing with the foil in 2016 at Wirral fencing club and upon discovering that Liverpool HEMA was to open in 2017, joined and has been attending since.
Training so far has mainly focused upon the German Longsword and in particular the works of Liechtenauer and Joachim Meyer, with an emphasis on his The Art of Combat treatise and the AHA German Longsword Study Guide. Aside from the Longsword, Ben has begun studying the great sword, with a focus on the Iberian Montante and the treatise “Memorial of the Practice of the Montante” by Diogo Gomes de Figueiredo.
Ben hopes to further his knowledge of swordplay by experiencing as many different fencing systems as possible within HEMA.
Alex Roberts is an assistant instructor at Liverpool HEMA. He has been studying HEMA since 2017, primarily studying German longsword from The Art of Sword Combat and The Art of Combat by Joachim Meyer. Alex’s interest in HEMA stems from his interest in medieval history, particularly 13th century England. He intends to study more systems in the future with a particular interest in messer.
Marc Smith is an assistant instructor at Liverpool HEMA. He has an interest in history, primary in the middle ages and its associated weaponry and usage. He has been learning German longsword since Liverpool HEMA opened. Alongside his practice and coaching of longsword he also studies sword and buckler, predominantly in the style according to MS I.33.
Outside of his practice of HEMA he is a member of “The Thegns of Mercia” living history group.