Instructor – SSA instructors 3

Instructor – SSA instructors 3

Duncan – rapier

Having initially studied sports epee with a thwarted Olympian, it wasn’t until he undertook armoured combat that Duncan Fatz discovered how much a sword can really hurt. However, he persisted, until the days when he saw his friend, in full armour, being propelled ten feet backward through the air, and he himself was folded in two by a member of the American military applying a battle axe with force into his midriff. At this point he quite literally thought “Sod this for a game of soldiers” and left with his friends to set up what would become the SSA in 1997 and study more refined techniques. One of these friends was Andrew Feest and, like true brothers in arms, they laughed together, cried together, studied together and beat the living daylights out of one another.

Over the course of his studies Duncan has tried many weapons and has felt a rapier through his hand, a long sword cut into his skull, and a broadsword chip his elbow, but every day he prays to the Lord that, so far, his face (the money maker, as only he, and possibly his mother, would term it) has never been so affected. Therefore this all feeds into his bucket list of wishes to fulfil his hope that, when he dies, he will be buried in a bog so that future archaeologists may unearth him and be bewildered by the kind of warfare that must have been going on in the 21stcentury. This approach does however fly in the face of what he teaches his students as to what is the best defence: if at all possible run away very quickly.

Through a combination of not wanting to be an overzealous collector of injuries, natural cowardice and a drive to study and explore Duncan has become extremely proficient in defence and also a highly technical fencer and teacher. Teaching extensively at home and abroad, conducting demonstrations at venues such as the National Army Museum and the Wallace Collection, giving talks at venues such as the Leeds Armoury and putting his thoughts into commissioned articles and even two plays, there is no level which Duncan will not stoop in order to promote the SSA martial approach, his love of history and to hear the sound of his own voice.


Lyell Drummond – Highland Broadsword and Long sword

Since Lyell Drummond joined the SSA in the early part of the 21stcentury he has become a truly new man. Not only has his hair grown shorter and his beard blossomed to epic proportions , he now no longer just drinks pints of ale and his beloved highland whiskies, but he has also been known to partake of a pint of soda with a slice of lemon. Oh yes, he is a new-man alright, but peel away that modern veneer and it is plain to see that he bears a striking resemblance to his historic heroes: were it not for the fact that George Silver did not possess a beard in which you could happily park a pair of baby buzzards the similarities between the two would be uncanny; and, were it not for the fact that Donald McBane had been pierced in several parts of his body, had his skin burnt off him by an exploding hand grenade and been immersed in a barrel of oil for three months, the two could almost be twins. This is all because, over the course of more than 20 years, Lyell has trained hard; harder than Rocky. He has climbed more mountains than the Von Trappe family, trained in foil, epee and sabre under the famous Goodhalls and, while he did not spend eight years in solitude on a snowy mountain peak just to better understand the sound of a single snow-flake, he did take up Highland dance with a group of school girls to better understand footwork.

His commitment has led him on a long international journey and, while Lisa Stansfield may have been around the world and couldn’t find her baby, it is quite clear that Lyell could have found his baby if he was looking for it. He was not. Instead he was searching for inspiration and providing invaluable lessons to people at workshops and demonstrations as far afield as Aberdeen and Italy. In fact, he has conducted more workshops than he has tattoos. Pick your time carefully (not when he has been on the soda water and lemon but some of the other beverages) and he may let you count them!


Cameron – Unarmed

Cameron Paine is a gentleman who feels the need – the need for speed, but not before taking into account the local topography, precipitation levels, local road signage, consideration for other vehicular users and pedestrians and calculating the potentiality for change in any of these. He could indeed write the book of Zen and the art of motorcycle riding. These qualities were of great value when he was practicing his Eastern martial arts, which he practiced for some years before joining the SSA. Initially within the predecessor to the SSA he studied rapier, but then moved on to train in Highland Broadsword with Lyell Drummond and applied his methodical approach to the discipline.

Watching a hit land by Cameron has the slow inevitability of having a picnic under a tree in a forest and hearing the giant redwood you are leaning against groan and start to topple forward. If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one alive, can you hear the scream – Cameron can.

Cameron loves Highland Broadsword so much that he talks about it at every opportunity, which has left some very bemused traffic wardens and Tesco cashiers in his wake and many exhausted bartenders around the world, where he has gone to study and exercise his art, who have begged to be allowed to close the bar at 5am in the morning.

Having become adept at highland broadsword Cameron began to feel the call of the Eastern systems once again and for a time considered the art of origami, but, being a people sort of person, he decided to combine the two and try people folding instead, which despite being called unarmed combat does actually use a lot of arms. Using his same relentless methodology, many is the student who has found themselves folded slowly into the shape of an exquisite swan on the floor only to hear, as the darkness creeps into their heads, a slow chuckle and a concerned, “Are you alright down there?”