Chris Hobbs

Instructor Chris Hobbs
Winner of Broken Blade at HarvestFecht 2018
Head Instructor
Longsword | Sword & Buckler

Chris has a lifelong love of swords, and as a kid would swing around a wooden sword he made himself.

  • In 2010, he began learning the Italian Longsword of Fiore de’i Liberi with Schola Saint George in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • In 2014 he started training German Longsword with Eric Wiggins and helped build the HEMA subgroup within Ordo Procinctus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • Since 2016 he has lived in Pittsburgh, PA, and in June 2017 he started Steel City Historical Fencing with his wife Ashleigh Hobbs and a friend.

Chris has a natural love of teaching, and emphasizes the importance of reading the source material. He encourages students to explore and figure out what works for them. Most importantly, he is always willing to work with students one on one, whether they need a concept broken down or want to go more in-depth into the material.

Open Steel Longsword Medals

3rd Place Clash of Claymores 2019 | 4th Place Longpoint League 2018 | 1st Place Blue Box Open 2018 | 1st Place Clash of Claymores 2018 | 2nd Place Flowerpoint 2018 | 2nd Place Ram Point 2018 | 1st Place Arnold HEMA Fencing Classic 2018 | 4th Place Queen’s Gambit 2018 | 2nd Place Piedmont League 2017 | 4th Place Longpoint South 2017 | 2nd Place Raleigh Open 2017 | 2nd Place Longpoint League 2016/17 | 1st Place Fechtschule New York 2017 | 4th Place Brokenpoint | 2nd Place Study in Steel 2017 | 2nd Place Flowerpoint 2017 | Top 8 DC HEMA Open 2017 | 3rd Place Invitational, SERFO 2016 | 1st Place Geselle Fechten 2016 | 2nd Place Study in Steel 2016 | 2nd Place Purpleheart Armoury Open 2016

as well as….

4th Place in Open Steel Sabre at Steel City Open 2018 | 3rd Place Sword & Buckler at Study in Steel 2017 | 4th Place Sword & Buckler at SERFO 2017 | 2nd Place Synthetic Longsword at Purpleheart Armoury Open 2015

Chris Shelton

Blue Box Open 2018
3rd Place Blue Box Open 2018
Intro to Longsword Instructor

Chris teaches the Intro to Longsword courses, and studies Polish Sabre, Sword & Buckler, and Dussack. Chris has always loved swords, and even as a teenager he collected replica weapons. Growing up he imagined being a swordfighter like many of his favorite action heroes. In college he took Olympic Fencing in order to realize some of those dreams, completing two years in Olympic Sabre. When he moved to Pittsburgh he joined a HEMA club, as the opportunity to actually learn how to use a longsword was irresistible. Eventually he become a founding member of Steel City Historical Fencing. Chris proved himself as an excellent coach at the rookie longsword tournament Lambpoint 2018, leading his fighter to a 1st place medal. He went on to win his own Bronze medal in Longsword at Blue Box Open 2018. With four years of experience under his belt, he is just as in love with the martial art as he was as a child. As an instructor, he has the privilege to share his knowledge with others who are just as enthusiastic.

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas Instructor Photo
Steve Thomas, Chris H, Phillip E
Intermediate Longsword Instructor

Steve has spent the last decade of his life working as a teacher, mentor, and trainer for kids and adults of all ages. Since joining Steel city Historical Fencing as its first official new student in June 2017, he has combined his great loves of teaching, history, and competition to help develop the up and coming talent of the club in both classroom and one on one settings as an instructor and coach. He primarily teaches Thursday Intermediate Longsword classes with a focus on drills that build upon the fundamentals of each week’s material.

Steve is active in the tournament scene, having made quarterfinals at Blue Box Open 2018 and medaling at Lambpoint 2018. He has been training in German Longsword since August 2017.

JW Pugnetti

Steel City Open 2018, Open Longsword
JW Pugnetti, Left


Longsword | Rapier

Nick Bulan

Saber Instructor

Nick Bulan grew up loving History, Mythology, and Adventure; naturally this included Swords and Swords Fighting as well. Hailing from Arizona Nick, still an honorary member of the Phoenix Society of Historical Swordsmanship, had been an ardent pupil of 4 years under renown HEMA-ists such as Richard Marsden, John Patterson, Kyle Griswold, etc. Primarily an expert in Polish Szabla (Saber) Reconstruction, Georgian Era British Saber/Backsword, Imperial Prussian Artillery Saber as well as both Imperial Russian and American Military Saber. Nick is also a competent student and aspiring teacher of Italian Longsword in the Fiore Tradition, I.33 style Sword & Buckler, Italian and Spanish Rapier.

Nick is also a founding member of the Historical African Martial Arts Association specializing in some styles of African Swordsmanship as well is a devoted student and scholar of Filipino and various Oceanic Marital Arts. Nick’s was the 2nd Place Medalist at the very first run of the Phoenix Society’s now well known Fight For Hope Charity Singlestick Tournament.

Ashleigh Hobbs

SERFO 2017 Women's Longsword 2nd
Women’s Longsword 2nd Place, SERFO 2017
Administrative Officer

Ashleigh handles all the details of running SCHF, such as finances, event coordination, public relations, marketing, and recruitment. She learned some Italian Longsword in 2010, and has been practicing German Longsword since 2015. She has three Silver medals in Open Steel Women’s Longsword tournaments, from Swordsquatch 2016 in Seattle and SERFO 2016 & 2017 in Atlanta.

She served 3 terms on the Governing Council of the HEMA Alliance, a national non-profit community service organization. She has previously worked as Customer Service for Purpleheart Armoury, the largest distributor of HEMA gear in North America.

While living in Louisiana, Ashleigh provided the same administrative role at Ordo Procinctus HEMA. During that time the Southern Historical Fencing League was created, and she played a major role in its establishment and function until moving to Pittsburgh in 2016.