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".
Chris has been studying European Renaissance and Medieval sword techniques since 2003. Before that he studied Aikido, Taekwondo, sport fencing, and wrestling. While serving in the U.S. Navy, he helped train the Self-Defense Force and Security Reaction Force aboard a guided-missile destroyer.
Chris has been with DEMAS since 2008. An avid archer specializing in the English longbow, he is also the rangemaster for Davenriche’s indoor archery range.
‘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.
Tim began his sword training in college, joining the Coby Sawyer College fencing team. There he attained the rank of foil master with the Olympic foil, as well as expanding his knowledge to include épée and saber.
Tim joined DEMAS in 2014 and became an instructor for the Dragon Slayers and rapier classes in 2016.
Marco co-founded Nova Scrimia in 1999 and has served as a senior instructor since. He began training in Italian stick fighting in the earlies Nineties, training in Judo, Jujitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts before that. He is also Maestro of historic fencing at Scrimia Scuola d’Armi. Since 2000 he opened Salles d’Armes in Bologna (IT), Padova (IT), San Francisco Bay Area (USA) and Mexico City (MX). He is also one of the founders of “Hic Sunt Leones”, a fighting club inspired by traditional assaults and combat rituals.
Marco began teaching Italian stick fighting and Abracar (unarmed techniques) at DEMAS in 2015. He also teaches and promotes Italian Martial Arts (IMAs) at Stanford and in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Skye Hilton - Texas branch
Call or Text at 318-537-4334
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.