Gallowglass Academy, Inc.
Training, Tradition, Defence.....     Short classes and seminars
Upcoming Events

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2017 Events

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 Italian Classical Foil

Starting in September Allen will be offering classes in Italian classical foil fencing in Leaf River, IL. Classes will be $75 for a set of six weekly one hour private lessons or $50 per person for a set of six weekly one hour small group lessons (2-3 people).

Lessons can be set up for daytime or evening hours at a time mutually agreeable to the student(s) and Allen. Anyone over 14 years of age is welcome, however a parent or guardian must be present when a minor under 18 is in the class.

For more information, contact Allen directly at or call 815-973-1615.



Stav Workshop
with Instructor Graham Butcher

September 30 - October 2, 2017

The training program will be broken down into 3 sessions. Each session on Saturday and Sunday can be taken with no prior knowledge or experience.

  • Saturday 10am until 5pm – Practical Training with the Web of Orlog
  • Saturday 6 until 7pm – Talk on the Creative Web as revealed in the Craft Bind Rune
  • Sunday 10am until 5pm – Practical Training with the Five Principles of Stav
  • Sunday 6 until 7pm – Talk on the Hagl rune, Heimdal and principles of spiritual development

  • For class descriptions, please visit:

  •  June 17 - 18, 2017
    Gallowglass Academy is hosting the


    Unfortunately, we've had to cancel the Pugilism Symposium at this time.

    Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18, 2017
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Arlington Heights, IL.  

      Two days of intensive instruction in historic bare knuckle boxing with some of the top instructors in the world!!  

    Martin "Oz" Austwick
    Kirk Lawson
    Allen Reed
    Tim Ruzicki

    are looking forward to offering the following classes:

    Col. Monstery's Boxing for Self Defense
    Principles of Power Generation
    Frowned Upon – Perfectly Legal Dirty Tricks
    Counter Attacking in Single Time
    Using your Elbows in Pugilism

    Questions can be directed to or call 815-973-1615.

    The International Pugilism Symposium will be held at 
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Arlington Heights
    75 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, IL  60005


    to book your hotel room(s)

    NOTE: A portion of each registration fee will be donated to Ken's family for his young son's schooling. 

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    2016 Events

       Sept 10-11, 2016 Stáv Semi-Annual Training
    with Graham Butcher

    Gallowglass Academy
    River Valley Complex
    605 Main St, Room 108
    Leaf River, IL 61047
    Plane, Train, Bus and Metro pickup available by ADVANCE request, Limited overnight accommodation available.

    For more information or to register, please visit:
    Don't miss out - Registration Deadline is August 10th!

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    2015 Events

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    Gallowglass Academy is hosting the first 

    Hosted by Gallowglass Academy
    Saturday May 30 and Sunday May 31, 2015 
    Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, IL.  

     Two days of intensive instruction in historic bare knuckle boxing with four of the top instructors in the world!!

    We are pleased to announce the following list of fabulous instructors:
    Martin "Oz" Austwick - Krik Lawson - Ken Pfrenger - Tim Ruzicki. 

    Registration is now open!!

     Standard Registration Prices - After May 1, 2015
    • $200 for both Saturday and Sunday 
    • $110 for Saturday 110 for Sunday 
    Registrants must be a minimum of 18 years of age to participate.  

    Lunch on Saturday and Sunday is included in the registration fee for participants, but you MUST register BEFORE May 20, 2015 to get lunch included.

    Payment can be made through PayPal (using the buttons above) or mail a check or money order to Gallowglass Academy, PO Box 201, Leaf River, IL 61047. If sending registration by mail, please include email or phone number so we can confirm your registration.

    Questions can be directed to or call 815-973-1615

    The International Pugilism Symposium will be held at
    Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center
    7801 E. State Street, Rockford, IL 61108

    Clock Tower has set aside rooms until April 29, 2015 for the following rates:
    • $89 per night for up to four occupants
    • $119 per night for a Coco Keys indoor water park room which includes 4 passes to the Coco Keys indoor water park. Bring the whole family!
    When reserving your room, be sure to ask for the Gallowglass Academy Training Weekend block.

    For those flying into O'Hare or Midway Airports in Chicago, the Coach USA/VanGalder bus service goes directly to the Clock Tower Resort.

    For all classes closed face martial arts head gear, MMA gloves and mouth guard are required. Men should also wear groin protection. 

    Class Schedule (may be adjusted)

    Saturday May 30
    8:45 AM Opening Remarks and Introductions.  
    9:00 AM Pugilism 101: Focus on the Fundamentals w/ Tim Ruzicki
    10:30 AM Power Generation via Dempsey's Method w/ Ken Pfrenger
    Noon - 1:30 PM Lunch, discussion about the History of Pugilism with all Instructors
    1:30 PM The Cross Counter w/ Martin Oz Austwick
    3:00 PM Punch Him in the Face, Throw Him on His Head Part I w/Kirk Lawson
    4:30 PM Classes end for the day

    Sunday, May 31
    9:00 AM Chancery w/Martin Oz Austwick
    10:30 AM Punch Him in the Face, Throw Him on His Head Part II w/Kirk Lawson
    Noon - 1:30 PM Lunch Break
    1:30 PM The Geometry of Pugilism w/ Tim Ruzicki
    3:00 PM Russian Fisticuffs w/Ken Pfrenger
    4:30 PM Closing Remarks

    Class Descriptions:

    Chancery by Martin Oz Austwick
    One of the defining aspects of Early English Pugilism is the use of a variety of techniques for holding the head of your opponent. Together these techniques are known as Chancery. This session will explore the forms Chancery can take, ways to set it up, techniques to use when you have your opponent in Chancery and escapes. There will be a degree of limited free play so MMA style gloves and gumshields are recommended.

    The Cross Counter by Martin Oz Austwick
    This session will explore that most definitive of single time counters – The cross counter – and will firstly look at the technique in detail before going on to look at how it can be used to set up a number of other strikes, holds and throws. There will be a degree of limited free play so MMA style gloves, gumshields, and head guards are recommended.

    Punch Him in the Face, Throw Him on His Head Parts I and II by Kirk Lawson

    Throws for pugilism by Kirk Lawson

    Power Generation via Dempsey's Method by Ken Pfrenger
    Known as one of the hardest punchers ever, Jack Dempsey did all pugilists a great favor when he wrote his book "Championship Fighting". In "Championship Fighting" Dempsey details a number of the methods for power generation, we will be taking a look at each one of these methods. We should all leave the class with not only a better understanding of power generation but also the ability to put these methods into play. You will all be cracking ribs like a pro after this class.

    Russian Fisticuffs by Ken Pfrenger
    A peasant style of boxing that dates back to the early middle ages, fisticuffs is a rough and tumble way of fighting that works even if you are standing on a frozen lake. Characterized by both wide and tight figure eight movements, Russian fisticuffs is an interesting and useful style to throw into your pugilistic bag of tricks.

    Pugilism 101: Focus on the Fundamentals by Tim Ruzicki
    The basics of any martial art will always be the most important elements you can learn and practice.  Whether you're an experienced pugilist or you're taking your very first pugilism class, the building blocks of attitude and posture, footwork, bio-mechanics, and timing and distance are critical to understand and to get right.  This class will walk beginners through the fundamentals, and will help veteran pugilists correct bad habits, break through plateaus, and unlock bio-mechanic and timing/distance advantages.

    The Geometry of Pugilism by Tim Ruzicki
    Like all martial arts, pugilism is built on three basic geometric principles, the Straight Line, the Angle, and the Circle.  This class will explore how lines, angles and circles influence all aspects of the art, from the attitude and footwork to the delivery of blows and execution of defense.  Specific emphasis will be placed on timing, distance and proportion, and how geometry reveals secrets of time and space.  We'll be repeatedly punching each other in the face in this class, so protective headgear and mouth guards are recommended.

    About the instructors:

    Martin Oz Austwick
    Martin “Oz” Austwick is the Chief Instructor of the English Martial Arts Academy, and the founder of He’s been researching and teaching English Martial Arts for almost twenty years, and before that racked up eight years studying Shotokan Karate. For the past decade or so he’s been focusing on attempting to recreate the pugilistic style of the Broughton’s Rules Era. He has taught by invitation across Europe and the US and is extremely excited to be part of the first International Pugilism Symposium.

    Kirk Lawson
    Kirk Lawson is a leading member of the Western Martial Arts community, participating as both a scholar and practitioner. Originally a 20-year veteran of the Asian Martial Arts with ranks in Tang Soo Do, Akido and Judo, Kirk has turned his attention to the historical martial systems originating primarily in Europe and also in America.

    In addition to his interest and practice of classical pugilistic (boxing) methods, Kirk is a leading member of the Bartitsu Society (a group studying the 19th Century fusion of English Boxing, French Savate, the Vigny Walking Stick System, and Japanese JuJitsu), a student of the Tomahawk and Bowie Knife, from the American Frontier period, certified Expert Level 1 through The School of Two Swords, and a Free-Scholar in the Cumann Bhata (Irish Stick Fighting Society) and is a National Rifle Association certified Rifle Instructor and Range Safety Officer.

    In addition to leading his Western Martial Arts study-group "Cumann Bhata-Dayton", Kirk regularly transcribes and reproduces historical Western Martial Arts Manuals, providing free electronic versions online. Kirk's original works include his contributions to Volumes I & II of the Bartitsu Compendium, and the authorship of "Banned From Boxing! The Forgotten Grappling Techniques of Historic Pugilism".

    Ken Pfrenger
    Ken Pfrenger is a hopologist from Northeast Ohio who has a background in teaching Muay Thai, JKD concepts and the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). Several years ago his focus changed from the Asian arts to the Western Martial Traditions of Europe and the United States. He has
    devoted most of his time researching the Martial Traditions of the various Celtic cultures, from Irish Collar and Elbow wrestling and stick play to Cornish Close Hug wrestling. To this end, Ken has served as Director of Cumann Bhata, an organization founded in 2000 to promote the study and research of stickplay common in the Irish Faicseanaíocht (faction fighting) through teaching, seminars, and publication. An avid boxing fan since a young age, Ken has been seriously studying the science of manual defence for many years. His focus now is on the techniques and fighting concepts of pugilists from the late 18th to the late 19th centuries.

    Tim Ruzicki
    Tim Ruzicki is one of the world’s foremost experts in classical British Pugilism, the eighteenth and nineteenth century art of bare-knuckle boxing. He has spent over twenty years studying historic and modern forms of martial arts and martial sports, including boxing, sport wrestling, combative grappling, various knife systems, Western swordsmanship, walking cane, WWII Combatives, close-quarters firearms, and various personal-protection systems. For the last fifteen years he has been practicing and teaching Pugilism, as well as researching this fascinating art through original source material at some of the world’s most famous libraries, including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the British Library. Tim is currently teaching Pugilism at The Barton-Wright/Alfred Hutton Alliance for Historically Accurate Hoplology and Antagonistics (BWAHAHAHA), in Seattle, Washington.

    Know of anyone who might be interested, feel free to download our PDF flyer

    174.7 KB

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    2014 Events

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     October 4-5, 2014

    Italian Classical Sabre Workshop

    taught by Maestro John Sullins, Military Master at Arms
    October 4 and 5, 2014

    Sign Up Early - Space is Limited

    Hosted by Gallowglass Academy, Inc - River Valley Complex, 605 Main St, Leaf River, IL 61047

    Saturday, October 4 - Site opens at 9:30 AM. Class from 10 AM - 4 PM. Lunch will be provided.

    Sunday, October 5 - Site opens at 8:30 AM. Class from 9 AM - Noon.

    Cost $50 for Saturday Only, $60 for both Saturday and Sunday, $20 for Sunday only. You may pay through PayPal (see buttons below) or send check or money order to Gallowglass Academy, PO Box 201, Leaf River, IL  61047. If paying by mail, please include name and email or phone contact information.

    Questions may be sent to or call 815-973-1615.

    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4 - Italian Dueling Sabre: focus on the system as taught by Pecoraro and Pessina

    This class will focus on the Italian Dueling Sabre of Pecorraro and Pessina which stresses the use of the point with the riposte and multiple cuts on the attack.

    Equipment: Please bring a fencing jacket or equivalent, a heavy curved Sabre, heavy fencing mask, heavy gloves and elbow protection (also suggested is full forearm protection for sword arm if plan to participate in any free assaults after class)

    Site opens at 9:30 AM, Class from 10 AM to 4 PM, lunch will be provided.

    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5 - Classical Saber of the Sonoma State University Fencing Master’s Certificate Program

    This class will focus on the saber taught at SSU from the “Science of Fencing” by Maestro William Gaugler

    Equipment: fencing jacket or equivalent, mask, glove and sport or heavy saber.

    Site opens at 8:30 AM, class from 9 AM to Noon.

    Dr. John P. Sullins is a Military Master at Arms, certified by the San José State University Fencing Master’s Program (1994). He teaches: foil, epee, sabre, and various historical arms. Dr. Sullins has trained in fencing pedagogy under many skilled fencing masters including: Maestro William Gaugler and Military Master at Arms Ralph Sahm (1986 to 1994); Maître Daniel Revenu (1988); Maestro Ferenc Marki (1988); Maestro Niccolo Perno (1988); Maestro Enzo Musumeci Greco (1988); and Maestro Lucio Nugnes (1989). Dr. Sullins has taught at numerous fencing schools and programs since the mid 1980?s and was a cofounder and manager of the Tri Cities Academy of the Sword in Binghamton New York 1998-2002. In addition to directing the SSU Fencing Masters Certificate Program, Dr. Sullins is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Sonoma State University. Dr. Sullins has been primarily interested in the Italian broadsword of the Victorian era and has worked for over ten years at rediscovering and reconstructing this style of fencing.

    May pay through PayPal below or send check or money order to:
         Gallowglass Academy, Inc.,
         P. O. Box 201, Leaf River, IL 61047-0201
    If paying by mail please include name and email or phone contact information.

    Saturday & Sunday $60.00

    Saturday Only $50.00

    Sunday Only $20.00

    Questions may be sent to or call 815-973-1615

       May 10, 2014
    Fighting with the Tomahawk

    taught by Allen Reed
    May 10, 2014    10am - 4pm
    $50 until April 26; $75 thereafter and at the door
    Sign Up Early - Space is Limited

    Please Bring a Sack Lunch

    Hosted by:
    Macktown Living History Education Center
    2221 Freeport Rd, Rockton IL

    A close combat weapon favored by both Indian warriors and White settlers of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Tomahawk
    represents the melding of European technology and weapon
    systems with the Native use of the war club.

    REQUIREMENTS: Participants should wear comfortable workout clothes, and should bring a belt or heavy sash and a Tomahawk with sheath or a 1-lb ball-peen hammer with a 16-18" wooden handle.  Protective eye wear is also required.

    Gallowglass Academy suggests groin protection for men. Historical Interpreters and Reenactors of all stripes are encouraged to wear historical kit, and all participants should bring clothing appropriate for portions of the class to be held outside, weather permitting.

    Send check or money order to:
         Gallowglass Academy, Inc.,
         P. O. Box 201, Leaf River, IL 61047-0201

    or by Paypal: 
    until April 26

    ...thereafter or at the door

    Need more information? Please contact us!

    Printable map to Macktown:

    Handy flyer about this event you may have forgotten to download before.... ;)
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