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. The chief instructor has a significant interest in helping others to learn not only how to fence, but how to teach fencing effectively, and so all of our instructors have a well-developed ability to communicate relevant information in a helpful fashion. You are in good hands when you come along to the club to learn about HEMA!
We also have an assistant coaching team of up-and-coming instructors who are learning the ropes and turning their fencing skills into instructing skills. We generally run a new assistant coaching course every year so that the more technically-adept individuals in the club have an opportunity to become an instructor – and it means we have an ever-growing team of people able to help out and provide useful advice.
If you would like to find out more about any of the instructors at our club, please click on the names below.
Keith Farrell has been the chief instructor at Liverpool HEMA since the club opened in 2017.
He teaches professionally and his main area of expertise is fencing with the longsword – but he also enjoys several different martial arts and HEMA disciplines! His background is in karate and he received a 3rd Dan from the Shoto Budo organisation.
Keith has authored several books and articles, and runs Fallen Rook Publishing. He creates and hosts a variety of helpful resources on his website at www.keithfarrell.net
Daria Izdebska has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since the club opened in 2017.
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 has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since 2018.
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 events across the country. 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.
Alex Roberts has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since 2018.
He has been studying HEMA since 2017, with a main focus on German longsword – his interest in HEMA stems from his interest in medieval history, particularly 13th century England. His understanding of messer fencing has been growing over the years and he has led a series of lessons about this at the club.
Jack Farthing has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since 2019.
His main focus now is German longsword, although his first exposure to HEMA was with Fiore. A core interest is learning to use the body correctly to create effective movements while fencing.
Assistant Coaching Team
Matthew Brown, Tania Minns, Wojciech Kwasik, Derek Kwantreng
Richard Dodd has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since 2019, although he has since moved away from the area.
He now teaches at the North Wales HEMA Academy.
Marc Smith has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since 2018, although he has since opened his own club and has had less time to play with in Liverpool.
He now teaches at the Warrington HEMA club.
Ben Davies has been an instructor at Liverpool HEMA since 2018, although has had other demands on his time more recently.