Ken Dietiker is an internationally recognized instructor and interpreter of Historical European Martial Arts, specifically responsible for a modernized, reality based approach of the Late-Medieval Combat Arts and to understanding the works of Fiore dei Liberi. Ken retired from the US Army after 20 years of service, (Infantryman and Imagery Analyst), and is a veteran of the Gulf War (1990-91). Though he initially studied Asian Martial Arts, (Kenpo, Hapkido, Tai Chi, Paying Mantis KungFu) he was never fully satisfied in the results of the endless search for his violent European roots. He missed swords!! Fortunately, he discovered HEMA in 1998 (before it was cool) and suddenly a childhood dream came true. Yes, though he has moved on, his first official membership in a related organization was with ARMA (HACA), and he still regrets nothing.
Ken created a HEMA study group in 2009, The Seven Swords Guild (on Joint Base Lewis-McChord), to begin testing and teaching what he had learned over the course of a decade, and to have the joy of hitting actual living pells… um… training partners. As an understanding of the underlying system began to emerge out of this study, Ken jumped off the cliff into self-employment, put together the structure for a curriculum, and opened Steel Hall in Lakewood, Washington (a suburb of Tacoma) in May of 2014; the “Seven Swords Academy” (of Historical European Martial Arts and Swordsmanship). Ken has been invited regularly to teach his unique approach to practical application of 14th & 15th Century sources at several HEMA events since 2011. He has also served for two years as an elected member of the General Council for the HEMA Alliance, is a Certified Instructor with the HEMA Alliance, and is an Honorary Member of Esfinges for his assistance in its inception.
Since the beginning of his journey, Ken has taken a serious interest in helping recreate the lost arts found in the medieval sources of HEMA, bringing to bear his experience and knowledge of modern warfare, practical martial application, pattern and comparative analysis, fundamentals of “true” bio-mechanics and down-to-earth approaches to a modern application of Medieval Self-Defense. Ken bases his praxis of HEMA using the fundamentals and principles of Fiore dei Liberi as his foundation, then includes the more specific and technical instructions from the Liechtenauer Tradition. This holistic approach to practical application of several sources with similar intent (though still concentrating primarily on the late Medieval European Art of Combat) has lead to Ken’s distinctive approach to the Art and Science that is HEMA, and is one that will correct all of your misconceptions, reveal the reasons behind what you are trying to do, study and learn, improve every aspect of your own praxis, and spread his passion for the Art like a disease.
Matthew Fiebig is not an internationally recognized instructor of Historical European martial arts (HEMA), in fact people struggle even to pronounce his last name (“fee-big”).
His first forays into HEMA started in 2010 with the humble Glamorgan School of Arms which met in the Russel Road Park in Kent. There he learned the beginnings of the art of Kunst des Fechts (KDF), aka German Longsword. It was there that the fire of HEMA was lit. From there he began touring other schools to learn Longsword, such as LONIN, and the then Seven Swords Guild. At LONIN instructor Eric Artzt introduced him to the Italian system of Longsword, through the old master Fiore. There he learned the fundamentals of dagger and disarming.
Eventually he settled at the Seven Swords Academy and continues there to this day as the Assistant Instructor which he attained in 2014. He maintains ties with multiple schools in the Pacific Northwest including Portland. He is starting to branch out of longsword into sword and buckler, military sabre, messer, and viking sword and shield. He is studying Fiore, Meyer, and Ringeck.