Tag Archives: Féile na Gaiscígh

Féile na Gaiscígh 2017 Review

Hello All!

Festival of Warriors is behind us now so it’s time for a short review of the biggest event on the Irish HEMA scene!

Over 15 clubs from Ireland, UK, France and Netherlands have competed in various tournaments over the last weekend. We had Open Steel Longsword, Longsword Novice (Nylon), Rapier and Companion and Sword and Buckler tournaments. There were multiple workshops on all weapons available for beginners and advanced fencers alike. And of course at any given moment you could always find someone available for a friendly sparring session.

The atmosphere was as usual super friendly and relaxed which seems to be the main theme of this event. It’s one of the things that makes people coming back to FnG year after year – you know that you will always enjoy it, no matter what you do: competitions, workshops, sparring or even a simple chat in the canteen.  Not to mention amazing nights out in a local pub afterwards 🙂

Our team did very well and I am quite proud with my beginners Martin and Riley who won Gold and Silver medals in novice tournament! Myself and Michael have won Silver and Bronze in Open Longsword Competition (congratulations to Ties Kool from HVN Netherlands for taking the gold!) Below you can find videos of the Open Longsword Tournament elimination phase up to the final fights:

Looking forward to meet everyone again in 2018!

Féile na Gaiscígh 2016 Review

And we’re back 🙂

Festival of Warriors 2016 – what a great event it was! Fantastic performance from Blademasters: big congratulations to Elliot and Joe for bringing us Silver and Bronze medals from the beginner’s longsword tournament! Well done 🙂 I’ve got one more bronze from the Open Longsword tournament as well so we’re coming back with three medals!

Congratulations to the winners: Peter Smallridge for winning Gold in Open Steel and Keith Farrell for Silver – I had a great fight against Keith and enjoyed that a lot! But apart from longsword there was also women longsword tournament (well done Michela!), beginners nylon longsword, sword and buckler tournament and a rapier one. Congratulations to all medalists!

As usual the organization was top notch: beautiful scenery, perfect accomodation with great food (showers in each room!) for a fraction of a normal price, 5 tournaments, lots of great classes, super friendly atmosphere (it’s Ireland after all :)). Honestly I cannot find a single thing to complain about! Great job Neil!

Classes were brilliant too, I did attend Keith Farrell’s Longsword class on Zwerchau, Ross Bailey’s Messer workshop, Lyell Drummond’s Backsword and Targe class – all of them were really good, very engaging and just pure fun to participate!

Keith’s classes are always great and very educating – he’s one of these teachers that will always show you a new perspective, that there is always a better, more efficient way of doing whatever you try to do. I value that very highly.

Ross’ Messer class was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Well structured, clear and easy to follow with a universal body mechanics that can be applied to any weapon really. I think our vision of Liechtenauer system is pretty much the same so Ross – you have convinced me to start studying Lecküchner 🙂

Last class I did was something entirely new for me – Lyell’s principles of Scottish Broadsword and Targe, great class on body mechanics and a nice introduction to fighting with shield. Very deceptive style of fighting, entirely different from sword and buckler but very very effective. I did enjoyed that immensely!

But of course, there were lots of classes I missed:  Andy Damms’ Pugilism , Gary Nolan’s Meyer dagger and staff workshops, I missed another of Keith’s classes and i missed some of Mike’s excellent rapier stuff as well. It was really an action packed event, not mentioning the evening attractions at the pub 🙂

Great event, I really enjoyed it and looking forward to next year!

I’m uploading videos from open longsword tournament and beginner longsword tournament to our You Tube channel now so check it out in a while, i’ll post them on our Facebook Page too once they’re ready.

Feile na Gaiscigh 2015 – Tournament Videos

Hi All,

The time has finally come for a quick review of our annual HEMA Ireland Federation flagship event: Feile na Gaiscigh 2015 (Festival of Warriors).


This year’s event was way bigger and better than the last one – big thanks to Neil for running it smoothly with super friendly atmosphere! Classes were great, with good mix of national and international teachers covering full HEMA spectrum (one handed & two handed weapons, ringen and grappling, footwork and bodywork) which is exactly what everyone would expect from an event of that format. I have to give credit of course to the breathtaking All Hallow’s College where the event took place. Unbelieveable place, I really do hope the next FnG will take place there as well!


Then there was tournaments, nylon and steel both for women as well as open style mixed tournaments (nylon and steel again) for the all participants. My impression is that people enjoyed that immensely, though in my opinion pools would be much better (so everyone could have at least few fights before the knock out) rather than single elimination from the start.


Still I was very happy with the performance of the Blademasters – all of us went through the first round with the exception of Brian who got knocked out by another Blademaster (to be fair, I have to say he had a knee issue so he wasn’t really fighting to his best level).  Eduardo, Michael, Brian, Mattia, Dermot, Christine and myself were all participating in the tournaments and in my opinion we did exceptionally good, especially Mattia who came back with a Bronze medal from the open steel tournament! 1st and 2nd place were taken by the international fighters (UK & US)which means we were technically the best irish club on the event!


Apart from that, it was really nice to catch up with people from the other clubs, we’ve talked alot and already planned some exciting stuff so I’m sure 2016 will be a very important year for Irish HEMA!

Now, the photos & videos from the event for your pleasure (BIG thanks to PJ from ISHC Galway for recording these!):

Photo album:


Open Steel Tournament:

Open Nylon Tournament:

Ladies Nylon Tournament:

Ladies Steel Tournament:




Féile na Gaiscígh 2015 this weekend!!!

Hi All,

Féile na Gaiscígh 2015 is upon us! The biggest Historical European Martial Arts event in Ireland!!!  🙂

2 days full of sparring (nylon and steel tournaments) and classes!

Check the infopack from Neil with full programme and directions on how to get there (check your emails too!):

>>> Féile na Gaiscígh 2015 Infopack <<< (.doc – word document)

Also, for all participants: prepare yourself! Check your weapons (no rust), read the competition rules please, check protection requirements and make sure you got everything ready, if not – let me know!

Last Training on Thursday @ Mahon as usual !


Féile na Gaiscígh 2014

Hi All,

Just wanted to share a few notes on HEMA Ireland’s first inaugural event :  Féile na Gaiscígh 2014.

First of all, we’ve brought 3 bronze medals for the club!

Second, it was a truly great event! Good to see HEMA going in the right direction and big kudos to Niall for putting everything in place! I enjoyed every single minute of it so already looking forward to the next one 🙂

And for everyone who decided to stay watch this and weep you weren’t there 😉



Below is the skydrive link to the folder with pics and videos from the event – that’s raw data though, i’ll try to find some time later during the week and post some fights on our you tube channel.