Updated: Friday 5th February 2016 Home About Contact Us Diary QRD Rules WFS SHŌGUN CONTACT! Links

Note: For directions to our training hall, see the foot of this page.


The Wayland Fight System

The School is please to offer you not-for-profit training in its exciting Wayland Fight System. This is a non-choreographed, competitive sport using accurate reproduction historical arms and armour of war. The system is designed with safety and fun as the central tenet, yet permits you to engage in meaningful combat, using tricks, feints and psychology to outwit and out-fight your "enemy". All this without the absolute need to wear protective armour. Only during training is the fighter required to wear a helmet, as the most likely person to hit you, is you. Upon passing a level, you may elect to fight without a helmet, using only light gloves for protection. Armour, is deployed to gain scoring advantages, and not because it is vital. Consequentially, the armour can be of a high quality, as it will not be destroyed in service. Combats can vary in scale from anything from a personal one-on-one duel, through a skirmish, to a large multi unit battle - all without a script at any level.

For reasons of safety, we only teach the use of the sword and dagger like weapons. The system permits the use of almost any form, from a simple scramasax, seax or knife, through to a two handed sword. WFS specification weapons have a far thinner "cutting" edge, than is usually found in re-enactment or live role playing societies. We use 1.5-2mm rounded edges, with 6mm rounded points. This means that our weapons are identical in weight and balance when compared to the real thing. This enables the practised fighter to move their weapon far faster, more accurately and more safely than the traditional 3mm edged weapons found elsewhere. A few other societies are now beginning to reduce their edge thickness requirements to 2mm or less, particularly those trying to recreate the European martial arts.

Included, is the teaching of the use of the small shield or buckler, that is shields from about 15cm ~ 45cm in diameter. However we do not use the larger forms, because in a truly competitive environment they lead to either dangerous or boring fights as they leave only unsafe targets available to be struck (skulls and shins).

The system is also compatible with the use of various kinds of low draw weight bows and crossbows, launching arrows or bolts fitted withLRP warheads.

Polearms, axes, maces, spears and other similar weapons are not taught due to the high risk of injury in genuinely competetive combat. Their use is restricted to demonstration and display work only.

The consequences of all the above, is that the level of training required is far greater than regular re-enactment style combat, but not as great as studying a martial art. The basic 1st Level course contains 24+ hours of training, to which must be added practise. The standard training program is as follows:

  • 1st Level: Here you learn the foundations of swordsmanship. Mastering the art of attack and defense using the sword as a two handed weapon. At this stage you will be taught to use what is called either a "bastard" or a "hand-and-a-half" sword. This is a weapon with a moderate blade (30"/76cm), weighing around 2.75lbs/1.25kg., fitted with a long grip (10"/25cm). Our weapons are modelled upon a mid-15th century European design. Course duration is a minimum of 24 hours at a total cost of £30.00*.
  • 2nd Level: Using the same weapon as above you complete your training in the art of single weapon swordsmanship. Mastering attack and defense with the sword as a one handed weapon. You are then able to make use of any kind of sword, from a single handed short with an 18" blade, to a two-hander with a 48" one (depending upon your height, build and fitness). Course duration is a minimum of 18 hours at a total cost of £30.00*.
  • 3rd Level: Here you learn the foundation of the two weapons art, by mastering the sword in collaboration with the first of the companion instruments, the buckler, or small iron shield). We use two sizes 9"/22cm and 12"/30cm, but once trained you will be able to employ anything from as little as 6"/15cm to 18"/45cm. Course duration is a minimum of 6 hours at a total cost of £15.00*.
  • 4th Level: Here you conclude your training in the two weapons art, by mastering the sword in colaboration with the second of the companion instruments, the dagger. Our weapons have a 15"/37cm blade and are replicas of a late 16th century European design. Once trained you will be able to employ anything from as little as a 11"/28cm fighting knife to a 24"/60cm. short sword in either hand, or in colaboration with a similar or larger weapon in your lead hand. Course duration is a minimum of 12 hours at a total cost of £30.00*.

* Note that you are paying for our knowledge, not our time. So, if it takes you longer to learn, there is NO additional fee to the School. However, the quoted price is for training in a cost free environment, like your or my garden. If you wish to use a formal sports hall or the like then this will be at the collective expense of the participating students.

If required I and my teaching assistant are willing to travel to you to teach. However, any expenses incurred are again divided between the participating students. But, remember we are doing this for fun and we are re-enactor/live role players ourselves, and so we are quite happy, with being put up in someone's home.

Currently we have enough equipment to simaltainiously train a maximum of four students at a time. A level that gives an excellent pupil teacher ratio of 2:1. However, if your society/group can provide it's own equipment, and I am able to recruit additional assistants, then larger classes can be easily managed.

Note also that each course can be broken down into 2-6 hour lessons, and the pace is intended for the average arm-chair warrior, although athletes usually take just as long to train. Using a sword in sport is about know-how, not strength, so anyone with moderate fitness, aged 18-80, male or female, can do this.

If you are willing to learn, then I am willing to teach you, and I will train you thoroughly and to a professional standard. I guarantee you will enjoy what you learn.

Finally, an important word or two about myself. I began teaching swordsmanship in 1981, and developed my system over a period of nearly 10 years. After which I openned my School, and have continued to train, play and teach ever since. However, there is one surprising thing that you need to know about me: I am officially registard as blind. Don't panic, I have many students, and all of them retain their various digits etc. But this is why for example I don't drive. My eyesight although poor, is not absent and it's lack in no way limits my ability to either teach or to fight. Except to say, eventually, you will defeat me far more often than I defeat you, oh well such is life!

Wednesday Night Practise Sessions

Every Wednesday evening the School holds a general fight practise session, unless otherwise stated on the School's Diary page, here in Stevenage. They are open to participation if you are in Wayland Fight System (WFS) training or already qualified. Please note that visitors are very welcome but by prior appointment only, or as guests of students. These sessions are held in the hall at the Symonds Green Community Centre (see below), from 20.30 until 22.30. The cost is £s:7.50 per student. There is no charge for visitors. The School's stock of weapons, bucklers and helmets will be freely available to students to use at these practise sessions.

Informal Practise Sessions

To enable those students who cannot attend the Wednesday night sessions, to come along and practise, informal weekend sessions can be run here in Stevenage. Over night accommodation can be arranged for either the Friday, Saturday or the Sunday evening.

For More Information

If you would like to get involved, or you simply require more information please contact me, Dean Wayland at the School.

Directions To The Hall

The Symonds Green Community Centre
Filey Close
Symonds Green

Come off Gunnels Wood Road (A1072) and on to Clovelly Way. Take the second right on to Scarborough Avenue. Take the second left in to Filey Close. Drive almost to the very end, where on your right you will see, first a car park for the Tom Tiddlers Tavern (pub), then the car park for the church and community centre. Use either car park. The first part of the building to the left is the church, while the portion on the right side is the community centre, walk in, go straight through in to the hall, and say hello.

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