First Steps

Finding other HEMA practitioners in Canada is hard enough as it is, but finding people who practice, let alone know about Jogo do Pau is a true rarity. For those of you who just said, “Drogo doh what?”, here is a great video by Luis Preto (our instructor) that sums up the art:


We (Matt and Krista) met at a local HEMA club 3 years ago, where we frequently trained together at Luis Preto’s Sunday Jogo Do Pau classes. Matt had already been attending these sessions for around 5 months when Krista joined, and was also a member of the competitive team.

Matt: I had been having troubles with skill progression for a while before I started attending Luis’s classes. I was doing very poorly in sparring, and nothing was improving. When I started mixing in the JDP fundamentals that I was learning with Luis, my success in sparring started to take off.

Krista: It was clear from the beginning that single handed weapons were not my forte. I gravitated toward German longsword because it somehow felt more comfortable, and I was intrigued by its wealth of different techniques. That being said, Luis’s system for teaching JDP was so comprehensive that even I started to get the hang of it. It’s a shame that we didn’t have the space for staff, but the work we did with baton was a good foundation.

Luis left Vancouver after finishing his Masters in Sport Sciences around 2.5 years ago. It’s been a year and a half since we’ve practiced JDP, (or HEMA of any kind) with the exception of the odd sparring session. We didn’t start training in earnest until Matt returned from The 2015 Purple Heart Open in March. Those Texans know how to throw a party—they even have a castle.

Why are we writing this self-important dribble? For a number of reasons:

  • Matt always wanted to blog
  • To document our training progress
  • To spread the good word of Jogo Do Pau
  • To make bulleted lists

Until next time,

Matt & Krista

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