President and Maestro d'Armi
Andrei Xuereb is the person responsible for the introduction of Historical Fencing as a European Martial art in the Maltese islands.
Born in 1975, he started his journey in fencing in 1997 where he joined a sport fencing club, and specialized in French foil and epee under sport fencing coach Juan Formosa. Andrei later studied Italian epee under sport fencing master Daniel Sammut and was being prepared to give exams to become a sport fencing master.
Andrei Xuereb comes from an artistic background. For many years studied design and fine art and is also involved in the production design behind TV and film projects. In the past he practiced yoga and meditation and is interested in the different philosophies and the psychology behind human behavior.
Like many others in the historical fencing community, in the past he was involved in period re-enactments and mock battles. He has also practiced and instructed stage fighting for theatre and TV. In 2008 he was also one of the founders of a re-enactment group called Show of Arms which was a side project of Mithras Sword Fight Club. It was later taken over by the person in charge of its management and it is now a totally detached and independent group involved mainly in re-enactments and shows in period costumes as a money making venture.
Founding of the Mithras Swordfight Club
In 2005 together with two other fencers, Andrei founded the Mithras Sword Fight Club which started as a classical fencing school teaching mainly Italian Epee and then later transformed itself into the first historical fencing club in Malta, practicing rapier, smallsword and longsword. Andrei stopped his journey towards becoming a sport fencing master in order to totally devote himself to the research and practice of Historical Fencing and European Martial Arts.
Study of the FISAS system
Since 2006 he is a student of the methods taught by his teacher Andrea Lupo Sinclair who is the founder and technical director of FISAS ASD. In 2009 Andrei felt the need that a national body had to be formed in order to represent those who took Historical Fencing as a serious discipline and to establish Historical Fencing on a national level. Together with three senior members of Mithras Sword Fight club, the first committee of the Malta Historical Fencing Association was established and in November 2011 the association was officially launched to the public.
In order to give the best instruction possible to students within the Malta Historical Fencing Association, Andrei has attended and regularly still attends academies and international meetings on Historical Fencing organized by FISAS and other groups in Europe. He earned the title of Maestro D’Armi in the FISAS system (Longsword, Rapier, Sidesword and Dueling Sabre) after passing public examinations in each weapon. He is the first non-Italian student to be qualified in the FISAS system and also the first instructor in Malta to be fully qualified to teach Historical Fencing.
Workshops, demonstrations, lectures and consultancies
Andrei is often consulted or asked to give demonstrations of the proper use of certain swords by different entities.
One example worth mentioning was when in January 2009 he was asked to give a demonstration of the early rapier (side-sword) used in Malta during the Great Siege in 1565 on "Warriors", a TV documentary aired internationally on History Channel.
He has also given workshops at the Malta Historical Fencing Association's international meetings and the FISAS international meetings
- Voiding actions in second intention with the rapier (MHFA 2011)
- Rapier and Cape (MHFA 2012)
- Creativity And Variability In Attack And Defence Reactions (MHFA 2013)
- Disarms with the Rapier (FISAS 2014)
- Contact and no contact. Closing the line, in defence and attack (MHFA 2014)
- Rapier and Cape (FISAS 2015)
- Sidesword and Shield (MHFA 2015)
- Use of the false edge in the Sidesword (FISAS 2016)
- Use of the dagger with Sidesword and Rapier (MHFA 2016)
- Managing moments of close quarter distance with the Sidesword (FISAS 2017)
- Sidesword and Rotella (MHFA 2017)
- Italian Sabre; Sidesword and Rotella (Black Boar Swordsmanship Annual Gathering 2018)
- The Unequal Fight: Fighting with mismatched weapons (FISAS 2018)
- Basics of the Polearm (MHFA 2018)
Among other lectures and public demonstrations, some worth mentioning are:
- "The use of edged weapons through the ages" a public lecture and practical demonstration, organized by the Malta Historical Society
- "Medieval St Angelo" A public lecture and demonstration of the use of various weapons used in Malta in the late medieval period, organized by Heritage Malta
- "Fantasy vs Reality" A comparative lecture and demonstration between the historical use of edged weapons with what is seen in media and video games.