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.
Chris has won more than a dozen medals in Open Steel Longsword competitions since 2015, including 2nd Place at Flowerpoint 2018, and 1st Place at Blue Box Open 2018, Arnold Fencing Classic 2018 and Fechtschule New York 2017.
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 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, he has combined his great loves of teaching, history, and competition to help develop the up and coming talent of the club in the beginner and intermediate longsword courses in both classroom and one on one settings as an instructor and coach.
Steve is active in the tournament scene and recently made it to quarterfinals at the Blue Box Open in November 2018 as well as medaling in his first rookie tournament in February of 2018. He has been training in German Longsword since August of 2017
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 is now in her second year serving on the Governing Council of the HEMA Alliance, a national non-profit community service organization. She also works 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.