The xKDF Network was launched on May 4th, but the April 5th Spring Gemeyn—or common meeting—marked the Network’s real beginning. Twenty members representing all four xKDF Network clubs (Maryland KDF’s Columbia and Timonium clubs, Capital KDF, and New Hampshire KDF) gathered to formally ratify the Network’s fledgling structure, degree system, and training vision for the coming year. The Hauptmanner for each club and the Obmann, or Network Chairman, were named and expressed their dedication to supporting their members training and development.
As newly appointed Obmann, I introduced my vision for the xKDF Network. While fighters cross-trained and fenced with members of their sister clubs and invited guests from other groups, two of the Network’s Haupmanner and I conducted our first tests for the Fechter degree. The Fechter degree covers basic principles and techniques for fencing with the long sword and is meant to be achievable by dedicated students in their first six months. The examination features four components: an oral test on common principles of fencing from MS 3227A (“Döbringer”); a cutting test; solo demonstration of selected techniques, and a practical demonstration of basic defensive techniques. Nine xKDF members and one guest took the test, with seven passing outright. The remaining two performed above their peers in all sections but the oral test, which they will be allowed to retake in their home clubs later this month.
Following the Gemeyn, xKDF club members were joined by two or three dozen other guests for Ben Michel’s annual “Pig Birthday, Best Birthday” whole-pig roast and multiple birthday celebration.
As Obmann I wish to formally congratulate our new Haputmanner, or club captains:
- Benjamin Jarashow, Maryland KDF – Columbia
- Ben Michels, Maryland KDF – Timonium
- Jake Norwood, Capital KDF – Alexandria
- Bill Frisbee, New Hampshire KDF – Nashua
…and to congratulate their first Weyfelen, or club sergeants:
- Kiana Shurkin, Maryland KDF – Columbia
- James Clark , Capital KDF – Alexandria
- Susanna Pyatkovskaya, NHKDF – Nashua
…and to congratulate our seven new, two soon-to-be-new, and one guest Fechter:
• James Clark (provisional), CKDF
• John Crum, MKDF
• Mike Edelson (guest), NYHFA
• Matthew H., MKDF
• Benjamin Jarashow, MKDF
• Jake Norwood, CKDF
• Jess Rozek, MKDF
• KianaShurkin, MKDF
• Chris Workman (provisional), MKDF
• Josh Yeager, MKDF/CKDF
…and to thank the club members and friends of the clubs (and friends of friends of the clubs) who contributed to the Gemeynand/or the excellent Pig Roast/Birthday Party afterwards, or who drove a long way just to share their company:
• Ben Michels (MKDF-T), Ray Michels, Mandy Michels, and the rest of the Michels clan
• Emma Graf (CKDF)
• Ben & Emily Strickling and Casper, Arwen, Veronique, and the Triangle Sword Guild crew
• Mike Edelson of NYHFA
• Jim Brooks and Josh Parise of Broken Plow WMA
• Earta & Illyria Norwood
• …and everybody else who brought food, drink, or just good conversation, whose names I’ve managed to sadly omit.
We’ll do this again in a few months.—JPN