Head Instructor, HEMA
Tristan Zukowski has been involved with Historical European Martial Arts since 2009, when he began formal training in Germanic (Liechtenauer-school) longsword under the tutelage of Michael Edelson, Director of the New York Historical Fencing Association. Since 2011, Tristan has been an active instructor for NYHFA’s various branches, and spends most of his time teaching in New York City. In addition to being the Deputy Director of NYHFA, Tristan is also currently a member of the HEMA Alliance Curriculum Council and is on the HEMAA Instructor Certification Board.
A proponent in the martial aspect of sword arts, Tristan’s curriculum focuses on body mechanics for efficient and precise manipulation of the weapon: solo and paired drills, often with minimal or no protective gear, test cutting with sharp weapons, and sparring are all used to refine and validate technique. Although generally dubious of the proliferation of sportive combat, he does see the tournament scene as valuable: both as an opportunity for practitioners to test their abilities in a dynamic and chaotic environment, and as a wonderful mode for community building. Tristan has competed in various local and international HEMA events in the northeastern U.S. and in Mexico, and brings home the occasional medal.