Area of Interest: Longsword, Quarterstaff, Stick, Winged Spear,
Ken Dietiker is an internationally recognized instructor of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), and uses a modernized approach, based in practical application, to interpreting late-medieval combat arts. Though initially he studied Asian martial arts such as Kempo Karate, Hapkido, Tai-Chi, and Praying Mantis Kungfu, he eventually found and started practicing HEMA in 2000 when he attended his first seminar on the manuscript of Fiore dei’Liberi. In 2014 he opened his first training hall, which has since moved to its current location in South Tacoma on South Washington Street.
Ken is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and has served twenty years in the military; he has spent time in light infantry, intelligence, and reconnaissance, and taught as an Intelligence Senior Instructor for three of those years. He uses this experience and knowledge of modern warfare to include comparative analysis, and fundamental movement and mechanics in the study of medieval combative arts. After his time in the military he received a BA in Communications, with a certification in Instructional Design, which he uses in order to create an adaptable and comprehensive curriculum for his students.
Aside from being the principle instructor for Longsword classes, Ken’s other favorite weapons are staff, stick, winged spear, and dagger
Ryan Kolick (Instructor)
Area of Interest: Sword and Buckler
Ryan Kolick started practicing HEMA in 2015 after almost a lifetime of training in other martial arts and sports such as Taekwondo, Aikido, Jiujitsu, and wrestling in High-School. In an effort to broaden his studies Ryan has gone to several events and tournaments, meeting and fencing other HEMA practitioners. He also makes use of his time at events to discuss various medieval combat treatises and the interpretation of them with people he would not otherwise have met.
Ryan has received a BA in classical history, which he uses to further his study of historical weapons and combat arts. Aside from close combat weapons, such as swords or staves, he also has an interest in English archery and pursues its study on his own.
As a Journeyman, Ryan has also chosen to focus on sword and buckler in an independent study. He has specifically selected to study the treatise known as MS I.33, often called the Walpurgis Fechtbuch, and is responsible for reading, interpreting, and communicating his thoughts and ideas on what the text and images are meant to show.
Abby Yang (Assistant Instructor)
Rank: (Red-sock 3) Free Scholar
Area of Interest: Grappling and Dagger, Montante
Abby Yang discovered HEMA in 2016 after looking on the internet for fencing schools and discovering Seven Swords Academy. Since then she has diligently studied with the school and become familiar with its curriculum, now serving as an assistant instructor to the beginner’s class. Wanting to reach out and become more familiar with the HEMA community outside of her school, she has gone to several events and tournaments, local and non-local, even medaling (Gold Medal in Women’s Longsword) and earning the Overall Technical Award at SwordSquatch, a local tournament. Though she has no previous martial arts experience, she has participated in several sports and activities, such as volleyball and gymnastics, that have helped her develop the coordination and perseverance that have helped her improve and continue to drive her to learn more.
Abby is graduate of the Northwest College of Art and Design, majoring in Illustration and Entertainment Arts. She has earned a BA in Visual Communications and in conjunction to her interests in medieval combat arts, hopes to have a career as a video game animator and freelance illustrator.
Outside of Longsword, Abby is currently concentrating her martial studies on grappling and dagger, and applications to modern Self-Defense.