Placida Molina

Plácida Molina Ballesteros was born in Albacete, PhD in History of Art (UNED) and Instructor at the Sala de Armas Caballeros de Al-Basit.

In 2012 she began her career in the world of ancient fencing, specializing in rapier and smallsword, participating in national and international meetings in the form of guest sport in European Games Minsk 2019.

Through his academic training and teaching she has found affinities with fencing, undertaking new horizons of research on its position in the thought, culture, art and society of the Spanish and Lusitanian Modern Age, thanks to the University Master’s Degree in Military History of Spain at the Instituto Universitario Gutiérrez Mellado-UNED.

She has also given conferences as a guest lecturer at GEMAC do Porto, promoted fencing in cultural and sporting events and public high schools, organised seminars at universities (UNED and UCLM) and participated in teaching conferences on Modern History (University of Seville).

Eduardo varela

Eduardo started in the world of historical fencing in 2011 with the Maestro Ton Puey in A Coruña, in the study of the rapier sword following the discipline of “Verdadera Destreza”. Since 2017 he has been an Instructor at the “Academia da Espada” school.

He has also carried out studies on the two-handed sword following the teachings of the Italian author Achille Marozzo in his treatise “Opera Nova” in collaboration with other schools, and on the combination of the sword and the buckler by the Portuguese Maestro Domingo Luis Godinho in his manuscript “Arte de Esgrima”.

Manuel Valle

Born in Cantabria. A professional surgeon and vocational fencer, he has spent over two decades researching the sources of Iberian fencing traditions in libraries and private collections across the world.

He founded AGEA Editora to publish these investigations, gathering a team of practitioners and researchers to help. He chairs the editorial board, overseeing with an iron fist in a velvet glove the good progress of the various projects.

He has edited multiple critical historical treatises of Verdadeira Destreza, both in spanish and in portuguese. He is also author of the exhaustive bibliography Nueva Bibliografía de la Antigua Esgrima, an unprecedented work since Leguina.

Manuel has spoken at conferences in multiple cities of Europe (Galicia, France, Spain, Scotland) and America for various organizations (AGEA, AEEA, FEEH, HEMAC, WMAW, among others). He is an active member of the international HEMA community, being a reference in the field of literature. A member of Gallaecia in Armis, he is also a fellow of the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition and is an honorary member of the Federación Española de Esgrima Histórica.

Jessica Gomes

Jessica Gomes, worked as an instructor of the Portuguese HEMA club VGM (Velha Guarda Marcial), and is also a landscape architect.

Since she was 15, she has been exploring various types of martial arts, dedicating herself later on to the practice of HEMA modalities since 2011, as well as to the practice of the Portuguese martial art of Jogo do Pau since 2016.

Together with Pedro Brito, she created the HEMA club VGM, resulting of a shared vision after many years of companionship, debate, reflection, bruises and passion for HEMA. The primary practice focused systems such as Fiore de’i Liberi, Capoferro rapier, and Portuguese staff fighting – known as Jogo do Pau.

Despite training in different systems, there was always much interest in studying how each influences and complements training with other systems. This applies especially in the case of mechanical transference between unarmed fighting to fighting with weapons (for example in Fiore’s system), as well as the transference between living traditions, such as Jogo do Pau, to forgotten systems, such as medieval Sword fighting for example.

More details can be found on a interview in English on Guy Windsor’s Podcast -The SwordGuy:

Federico Malagutti

He began practicing fencing in 2011, within a historical reenactment group, and discovered the HEMA in 2012. From 2013 to 2016, he focused his study on training the I.33 manuscript mainly, with minimal equipment and paying special attention to control and technical precision. Collaterally, he addressed other Martial Arts as complementary training activities, such as traditional Ju-Jutsu and Shindo Muso Ryu Jo-Do, which he practiced for four years each, as well as a brief stint in Takemusu Aikido, which he practiced for a year.

In 2017 he changed his focus and tackled training again with more protective gear, as at the time he felt his practice was incomplete, as well as changing his main field of study to Fiore dei Liberi (mainly longsword), although he previously did so. He had started working in 2015.

Simultaneously, he alternated his traditional martial arts practices with other cross-training activities, Traditional Archery, which he practiced diligently for two years, and still practices sporadically today, Boxing, and finally Muay Thai, which he started to practice in 2021, and is still practicing at this time.

His main field of study at HEMA is the longsword, but he also practices other medieval weapons such as the sword, spear, and dagger. He likes to approach HEMA from all possible options, be it the study of ancient treatises, martial practice and combat sport practice, which he considers all parts of the same totality of the art of fighting.

Juan Diego Conde

Born in Ourense in 1976. Since he was a child, he has loved war history and, above all, swords. He practiced Judo at school, he switched to Taekwondo, to which he dedicated 8 years and, already at university, sports fencing.

He discovered HEMA in 2007 and was fascinated by it, as it was the combination of martial art, historical research and swords that he had dreamed of all his life.

A trickster by nature, he convinced a group of friends to embark on this activity, with whom he founded the “Asociación Ourensá de Esgrima Antiga” in 2008. He has been a HEMA instructor since its inception, focusing his study and practice on the “Verdadera Destreza” of the 16th and 17th centuries.

He has given several seminars at meetings of the Galician federation of HEMA, AGEA and ACADE, in addition to carrying out, together with Santiago Vilar, the data collection and cataloging of modern swords from the Archaeological Museum of Ourense, also participating in the presentation of the Piece of the Month in June 2014, where he made an exhibition on these swords from a hoplological perspective.

He is part of the editorial committee of AGEA Editora, working on the international dissemination of “Verdadera Destreza” with the English translation of the “Manuscrito da Espada” together with Diniz F. Cabreira.

Since 2016 he is a member of the “Academia da Espada”, founded by Maestro Ton Puey, continuing his development in the Iberian School of “Verdadera Destreza”.

Co-founder and member of the “Diálogos de Acero” team, a podcast in Spanish (and Galician) dedicated to historical fencing:

He collaborates with the historical dissemination podcasts Victoria (Casus Belli factory) and “Niebla de Guerra”, as well as the “Relatos Salvajes” podcast.

Pedro Velasco

He is currently the director and principal instructor of the Sala de armas Pedro del Monte in Granada.

His main interest is focused on the study of the Ars Palestrinæ – Palestrian Arts -, disciplines that within the HEMA – Historical European Martial Arts – put martial practice before sports, working on a panoply of weapons that is articulated in the same theoretical corpus.

The sources of documentation of him are found mainly in late-medieval and Renaissance treatises, focusing the current investigation of him on Iberian and Italian authors.

To interpret and put into practice the concepts studied in historical treatises, he uses experimental archeology through material culture, in addition to his experience in other martial arts and contact sports, for the execution of biomechanical concepts.

In parallel, he is dedicated to historical dissemination by writing articles in magazines specialized in history and martial arts, as well as holding conferences in museums and other cultural institutions.

Martial Background

He began his practice in martial arts in 1983.

Since then and until 2006 he has practiced different disciplines among which are the following

  • Taekwondo – 8 years
  • Full Contact – 5 years
  • Jujutsu – 5 years
  • Iaido – 2 years
  • Sicne year 2006 y and until the present day, he has exclusive dedication to the Ars Palestrinæ