Instructors

John Morahn

John has been studying longsword since 2006 at Western Swordsmanship Technique and Research, after seeing them demo in a 4th of July parade. As a kid, he had always played with sticks, and was intrigued by the idea of learning that art more seriously. The opportunity to study two blocks from his house was too good to pass up, and he moved up quickly from student to teacher within the school, starting teaching in 2011.

As a teacher, John most enjoys imparting the nuances and techniques of German longsword skills. He is skilled at helping his students understand the finer mechanics of strong fundamentals in order to make them more effective. Having studied German translation in college, he brings his direct translation skills and knowledge of fighting techniques to old texts in order to make them accessible to his students.

When he’s not teaching, John also enjoys playing with polearms, peasant weapons, saber, fishing poles, woodworking, and gardens.

Jeremy Steflik

Jeremy has been studying HEMA since 2006 at WSTR and has been a lead instructor at the club since 2011. His background in classical and sport fencing – starting in 1997 as a competitor and later a coach at the University of Rochester and Weslyan University clubs – heavily influences the training pedagogy at WSTR. Training techniques in context is stressed, so that students learn both how to DO the technique and how to USE the techniques tactically in a fight.

In addition to the teen and adult program at WSTR, Jeremy runs a fencing program for teens and adults through East Haddam Parks and Rec and two youth groups at local schools, putting swords in the hands of kids as young as six.

For the past two years, Jeremy has been researching the fencing systems taught by the Berliner Turnschule in the early 19th century and has translated and published several manuals.