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Our instructors

Steaphen Fick

Fascinated by the "days of yore," Steaphen began sword fighting in 1989 as part of a touring company.  Travelling all across California, Steaphen and others demonstrated the use and mobility of armored knights and competed in full contact tournaments while fully armored.  In eleven years of touring, Steaphen participated in over 1900 fights.

 

In 1999 Steaphen spent six months in the UK, studying with Maestro Paul MacDonald and training with lighter weapons such a rapier, dagger, and the Spada di Filo (cut and thrust sword).  Becoming a recognized authority on the system of Joseph Swetnam (1617), he competed in four international rapier & dagger tournaments, two which he was the victor.

 

Steaphen opened the Davenriche European Martial Artes school in 2000, where he has served as head instructor ever since.  After 25 years, Steaphen retired from tournament fighting in 2013 to focus on teaching and consulting for theatrical combat and choreography.

 

Steaphen continues to travel and teach across the US and internationally.  He has been featured on The History Channel's Modern Marvels titled "Built by Hand" (season 6 ep. 43), as well as on CNN's "Somebody's Gotta Do It" with Mike Rowe (season 2 ep. 6).  Steaphen has also choreographed fight scenes for a Dawnrunner Productions television show "Dorkcore".

 

info@swordfightingschool.com

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Sean Baker

Sean joined DEMAS in 2015 studying the rapier and the montante. After working for several years with the rapier curriculum, he became the instructor for that class. He has also been working with Steaphen and other high level students on expanding the rapier curriculum to provide a better rapier and dagger training to his students.

 

Sean has previously studied karate and in college he trained with the foil. He is now sharing his love of the Renaissance fencing master Ridolfo Capo Ferro with the students at DEMAS

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John Dietzel

‘Gentleman’ Johnny joined DEMAS as its first Dragon Slayer when he was 12 years old.  He studied under Steaphen for two years, eventually moving on to other interests. But his love of swords never left him and in 2010 Johnny returned with an emphasis on dagger, grappling, and applying the medieval combat techniques to modern combat training.

 

In 2015 Johnny became a full instructor at DEMAS and developing the Dragon Slayers program to teach the Davenriche system to younger ages. He currently is the lead instructor for Dragon Slayers and the rangemaster for our D.S.O.C. Killhouse indoor airsoft range.

 

john@swordfightingschool.com

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James Peters

James Peters began studying with Steaphen in 2011, following four years of foil fencing instruction at West Valley College. He quickly fell in love with longsword, dagger, and grappling, and how Fiore treats all of them as part of a single system, rather than separate arts in their own right.

In 2013, he moved to Tokyo to earn his bachelor's degree in Japanese Language Studies at Temple University Japan, where he ran the TUJ HEMA Club as a chapter of DEMAS. There he taught regular longsword classes and workshops covering dagger, grappling, and adaptations of armizare for use with the umbrella. He also had the opportunity to compete in and win several tournaments at Castle Tingagel, a German swordfighting school in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. During the summer of 2014, he returned to Santa Clara and competed in his first armored event at DEMAS less than 24 hours after landing.  

After graduating and returning to California full-time in 2017, James resumed studying with Steaphen with the goal of becoming a regular instructor at the salle. In 2023, he began teaching the Thursday and Friday night longsword classes.

James loves the full spectrum of the fight, from swords to daggers to grappling, and believes that the key to being a good fighter is being able to adapt the available tools and circumstances to one's art.

James also serves as the External Events Coordinator for the school, managing and organizing the DEMAS presence at Renaissance faires, corporate events, and demonstrations, and has been teaching at these events since 2013. 

 

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Corey Somavia

Corey Somavia joined Davenriche European Martial Artes in 2013, studying longsword.  He has expanded his studies to montante and sword & shield.  From 2017-2019, he organized the longsword and mixed weapon tournaments held at DEMAS.  He assisted Steaphen Fick in revising the longsword curriculum and in 2019 began teaching longsword at DEMAS.

 

Prior to studying at DEMAS, Corey studied Kenpo Karate, Judo, and Jujitsu.  He currently teaches the Tuesday 8pm Longsword class.

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Ian Kuan

Ian joined DEMAS in 2014 studying the longsword. After working for several years on the longsword curriculum and completing it, he started it over again so he would have a better understanding of the nuances of the weapons and the system. He has been teaching the longsword class since 2021, He has also been working with Steaphen and other high-level students on expanding the longsword curriculum to provide additional training to his students.

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Skye Hilton - Texas branch

Call or Text at 318-537-4334
https://www.swordschoolfitness.com/

Skye is a NASM-certified physical fitness trainer, sports and exercise nutritionist, Historical European Martial Artist and HEMA Alliance certified instructor in Italian Longsword. She joined DEMAS in 2014, studying longsword, sidesword, dagger, and primitive archery.  She developed a teaching curriculum for montante (great sword) and advanced longsword.

 

In 2018 Skye relocated to Texas, where she opened a branch DEMAS school in Midland, Texas.

 

Thomas Levine - Las Vegas branch

Thomas is a HEMA Alliance certified instructor in Italian Longsword.  He joined DEMAS in 2013, having obtained a black belt in jujitsu before that.

In 2016 Thomas relocated to Las Vegas, where he opened a branch DEMAS school that offers courses in longsword and spear.

 

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