Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Dreynevent in Vienna, making it our first public workshop of the year (the second being at the English Sidesword Open just four days later!).

Dreyn is the biggest HEMA event in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region, and yet by some organisational miracle still manages to retain the distinct feeling of a close and easygoing community despite the teeming numbers of international attendees.

Deep intellectual debate (image courtesy of Rob Runacres)

With an all star cast of international instructors there was ample opportunity to learn new perspectives and deepen ones understanding of the minutia of European Martial Arts. Add to this a fully planned evening social schedule and guided weapon handling sessions at the world famous Rüstkammer, including the sword of Emperor Maximilian, and you begin to understand how the Dreynevent has built its legendary reputation.

Elite athletes in training… (image by author)

My own workshop seemed to receive good reviews, combining the elegance of the rapier with the gritty reality of street combat while attempting to get across key points in body & blade mechanics, angles, measure and deception. When your attack finally comes, it has to be like an industrial accident; your opponent must never see it coming or believe it could happen… until it does.

(Image courtesy of Dominin Barjazzid)

I hope to see many of you again this weekend, and as for the rest – I’ll catch you on the circuit 😉