Welcome to the American Academy of English Martial Arts!

 

You have embarked on an exciting journey of learning the ancient order of English Martial Arts, also known as the Science of Defence.  Unlike most martial arts schools, the American Academy of English Martial Arts teaches a purely western style of fighting from England.  The Martial Arts Organization that set the high quality standards of this science is known as the Company of Maisters of the Science of Defence, located in London, England.  We are the American Chapter of this 500 year old fighting guild, which continues to this day headed by Ancient Maister Terry Brown.  

 

Provost Christopher Myers is the first American to hold this prestigious rank from Terry Brown and the first licensed instructor of English Martial Arts in the United States.  Mr. Myers has been training in martial arts for 30 years with past 11 years devoted to training and teaching English Martial Arts.

 

After training with us for one month you will be eligible to take the schollers oath and thereby joining the Company of Maisters.

During Your first year of training you will learn broadsword and cudgel (stick) fighting, quarterstaff fighting and bare-fist (unarmed) fighting.  At the end of this first year you will be eligible to play your prize (rank testing).

 

A Brief History of the English Martial Arts

 

This is only intended to be the briefest outline of the history of English martial arts the purpose of which is to convey the authenticity of the system to those of you who are unaware that it exists. 

England is not the first home of the English; their ancestral home which was known as Angeln, was situated on the mainland of continental Europe in an area that roughly corresponds to the southern half of present day Denmark. The Engle, as the English were then known, were a Germanic race so it is likely that their culture would have had something in common with that of other Germanic races who settled the region. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose certain likenesses in the military skills of the early English and the methods of other early Germanic peoples of Western Europe. In this context it may then be possible to deduce, or infer, some knowledge of the military practises of the Engle (English) from classical sources such as Tacitus. 

It is human nature to improve knowledge and hone skills, attitudes epitomised by martial artists. Each generation of martial artists will avidly absorb instruction from their teachers and then just as avidly pass it on to the next generation. It is likely that the martial knowledge of the English was passed from generation to generation in this way for centuries (as it was/is for example in China). In addition to inherited knowledge there would also have been imported knowledge resulting from, for example, the Danish and Norman invasions. 

In earlier times, when populations were relatively small, martial skills were taught to male children by relatives, family friends, or perhaps even by the tribe's 'champion'. However, as the population and the demand for martial training grew, schools specific to that purpose began to appear (known to the English as Scholes of Fence) We know that such schools were in existence at least as early as the 12th century because of the following legislation (circa 1180 A.D.) recorded in the liber albus (white book). 

...And that nobody may hold school of sword and buckler within the city on pain of imprisonment:

The above date is the earliest known evidence of the existence of such schools, even so, it should not be taken to mean that such schools were not in existence before that date. Indeed, the legislation infers that such schools were already prevalent which opens up the possibility of an even earlier origin. Similar legislation was passed a century later (1285 A.D.) during the reign of king Edward I, proving not only the continuing popularity of martial arts in England but also the ineffectiveness of such legislation in the first place. 

Schools of martial arts continued to thrive and were still in existence as late as the 19th century. However, a period of particular interest is the 1500's and early 1600's since it is during this period that the Company of the Maisters of the Science of Defence is known to have existed (see Welcome page). It is largely from this era onwards that the bulk of {known} methods, principles, and philosophies of English martial arts derive. Although there are earlier written examples, eg. a marvellous English manuscript from the 15th century (Harl. ms.3542) which is a set of instructions for using the two-hand sword. 

This has, of necessity, been the briefest of looks at the history of a wonderful system of martial arts which is the equal of any in the world. 

 

 

"Simplicity is efficiency's best friend." - Brown

“Fight the True Fight.” -  Christopher Myers

"Courage in a man is a good quality, but Skill with courage is better." - Blackwell