Michael Edelson

Director and Principal Instructor
Rank 6

Michael Edelson is a lifelong student of martial arts with over 30 years of experience, 20 of them in various weapon arts. He founded the New York Historical Fencing Association in December of 2005 and helped it develop into one of the biggest and most successful KDF schools in the United States. He is also an event director for Longpoint, the premier competitive HEMA event in the world. Michael's work in cutting and body mechanics was instrumental in bringing structured cutting practice and competition into modern HEMA in North America and parts of Europe. Almost all HEMA cutting tournaments, as they exist today, are based on and born of his work—he ran the first such tournament at Longpoint 2012.

Michael served as the Curriculum Council Director for the HEMA Alliance for two years and presided over instructor certification panels for candidates from all over the world. He has authored many HEMA-related articles and is currently working on a book on Longsword Cutting Mechanics, which will be published in the summer of 2017. Although HEMA is his primary martial pursuit, Michael is also a member of the US Battodo Federation and has served on its board of directors for many years.

Michael's interest in HEMA is exclusively based on the use of the sword in a historical and martial context, and though his prolific background would indicate otherwise, he sees competition solely as a means of gauging certain aspects of a fencer’s skills under pressure. He continues to work within the competitive HEMA scene in order to safeguard its martial spirit and to prevent its regress into a contest for points and accolades. For this purpose, Michael conceived the Longsword Triathlon event that takes place at Longpoint, the idea being to make sure that the overall winners of a competitive event can not only fence well using sword simulators, but can cut using real swords in accordance with martial principles and demonstrate canonical historical techniques with precision and expertise. The very first HEMA Longsword Triathlon took place at Fechtschule New York 2013, an event Michael created and continues to run annually.

In 2012, Michael had the distinction of being named the top ranking American longsword fencer by the then newly implemented Longpoint ranking system. Now pushing 50 and besieged by accumulated injuries, he only competes occasionally and prefers to focus on his students. Although he should have retired from competition years ago, he delights in such antics as placing 3rd in the cutting tournament at PNW 2015 without a functioning right arm and placing 4th at Shortpoint 2016 open longsword while "hopping on one leg" due to a torn ligament in his left foot. Among his future ambitions is winning the Longpoint Triathlon in a full body cast.

Contact: nyhfa.director@gmail.com

Director, HEMA Alliance Curriculum Council, Feb 2014-Aug 2016
Vice Director, HEMA Alliance Curriculum Council, Aug 2013-Feb 2014
HEMA Alliance East Coast Certification Board, 2013-Present
Governing Councilor, HEMA Alliance, 2010 - 2013

Board of Directors, US Battodo Federation, 2010-2017


Body Mechanics Seminar for Grünberg Freifechter and Noble Science Academy,July 22nd, 2017, Poultney, VT
Body Mechanics Seminar for WHFA Kenosha, Kenosha, WI, April 8th, 2017
Body Mechanics Seminar for Göteborgs Historiska Fäktskola, Gothenburg, Sweden, Feb 24-26, 2017
Body Mechanics Seminar, Broken Plow WMA, Pittsburgh, PA 2015
Body Mechanics Seminar for Grünberg Freifechters, Charlotte, VT, 2014
Intro to KDF Seminar, Bloomsburg, PA, 2013
Body Mechanics Seminar for Kunstbruder KDF, Boston MA, 2011

Workshops, Classes and Presentations

KDF Technique and Cutting Presentation, Ashokan Swordsmith Symposium, 2016
Body Mechanics Workshop, SoCal 2015
Body Mechanics Workshop, Pacific Northwest HEMA Gathering 2015
Body Mechanics Workshop, Loingpoint 2015
Tactical Use of the Four Slices, Purpleheart Armory Open, 2015
Body Mechanics Class, Springeck 2015
Body Mechanics Workshop, Schwertcampf 2013, Mexico City, Mexico
Non-telegraphic Movement Workshop, Schwertcampf 2013, Mexico City, Mexico
Body Mechanics Class, Fechtschule New York 2013
Ringen am Schwert Class, Fechtschule America 2013
Body Mechanics Class, Boston Sword Gathering 2012
Body Mechanics Workshop, Pacific Northwest HEMA Gathering 2012
Body Mechanics Workshop, Longpoint 2012
Fighting from Longpoint Class, Fechtschule America 2012
KDF Technique and Cutting Presentation, Ashokan Swordsmith Symposium, 2011
Featured Presenter, KDF Longsword, Swordfest 2011
Cutting Mechanics Classes, Longpoint 2011
Featured Presenter, KDF Longsword, Swordfest 2010
Cutting Mechanics Class, Chivalric Weekend 2010
Cutting Presentation and Class, NYHFA/MEMAG/VAF Gathering 2010
Featured Presenter, KDF Longsword, Swordfest 2009
Intro to Longsword Workshop, Chivalric Weekend 2008


EBLFRS Most Successful American Tournament Fighter of 2012

Longpoint 2017
1st Place, Paired Technique (with Dustin Reagan)

Longpoint Historical Fencing League 2016
Top 8

Fechtschule NY 2016, NY, USA
Top 8 medalist, LP League open longsword

Shortpoint 2016, VA, USA
4th Place, LP League open longsword

Pacific Northwest HEMA Gathering (PNW) 2015, Washington, USA
3rd Place, Cutting

Fechtschule New York 2015, NY, USA
1st Place, Paired Technique (with Jake Norwood)

Fechtschule New York 2014, NY, USA
2nd Place, Paired Technique (with Jake Norwood)

Shortpoint 2014, MD, USA
1st Place, Open Longsword
2nd Place, Paired Technique (with Tristan Zukowski)

Schwertcampf 2013, Mexico City, Mexico
1st Place, Open Longsword
Technical Excellence Award

Oktoberfecht 2012, NJ, USA
2nd Place, Open Longsword

Boston Sword Gathering VIII (2012), MA, USA
1st Place, Cutting
2nd Place, Open Longsword
3rd Place, Folk Wrestling, Heavyweight

Pacific Northwest HEMA Gathering 2012, WA, USA
2nd Place, Open Longsword

Longpoint 2012, MD, USA
4th Place, Open Longsword

Non-HEMA Tournaments
East Coast Tai Kai 2013, NJ, USA
1st Place, Gekken (Japanese "Open Longsword")