Instructor – Duncan Fatz
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.