Western Martial Arts Illustrated
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Who’s behind WMAI
The publisher and managing editor is Scott Baltic, communications officer of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, a graduate of the master’s degree program in magazines at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a magazine editor for nearly 18 years.

WMAI’s editorial board
More importantly, we are building an international editorial advisory board of respected and experienced WMA instructors. Here’s who we have so far.

Born in 1970, Jörg Bellinghausen has had an interest in history and martial arts his entire life. Having been trained in saber fencing by a former German National team coach and having studied karate under one of the instructors of GSG9, the elite counter-terrorism unit of the German Federal Police, he turned to historical Western martial arts in 1991, with emphasis on the German fencing masters from the 14th to the 16th century. His favorite weapons are the longsword and the dagger. He was certified as an instructor for Historical Swordsmanship by the Bavarian Fencing Federation in early 2007.

Jörg has taught seminars in Germany and abroad and has been networking with many researcher-practitioners around the globe for a number of years. He was a founding member of Die Freifechter, and since 2002 he has been a member of Ochs-Historische Kampfkünste, where he runs the training group near Bonn, Germany's former capital.

Sean Hayes is a fencing master trained in classical Italian fencing pedagogy under Dr. William M. Gaugler at the San Jose State University Fencing Masters Program. He has studied Western martial arts since the early 1990s and is also a well-known and respected researcher, teacher and practitioner of the systems of Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33 and of Fiore dei Liberi's "Fior di Battaglia." Hayes is a full-time teacher and practitioner of Western martial arts, teaching classical Italian fencing and medieval Italian martial arts for the University of Oregon and privately through his own school, the Northwest Academy of Arms, in Eugene, Ore.

He is the author of the article "The Importance of Skill Progressions in Studying Western Martial Arts" in the book "Teaching & Interpreting Historical Swordsmanship," published by Chivalry Bookshelf. Hayes has taught seminars in the United States and Europe and has presented original research papers at the International Congress on Medieval Studies and the University of Chicago.

Born in Switzerland and raised in Italy, Tom Leoni is an internationally recognized Western martial arts researcher, teacher and author specializing in the Italian styles of the 1500s and 1600s, including the halberd and other polearms. As the leading researcher of the rapier system of Salvator Fabris, he published the first English translation of Fabris’ 1606 treatise “Scienza d’Arme,” which was issued as “The Art of Dueling” by Chivalry Bookshelf. Tom lives in Alexandria, Va., where he runs the historical martial arts group he founded, the Order of the Seven Hearts. By day, he is a writer for a D.C.-based company.

Gregory Mele has pursued reconstructing European swordsmanship since the mid-1980s. In 1999, he co-founded the Chicago Swordplay Guild, and later that same year, he organized and hosted the first Western Martial Arts Workshop as an effort to promote these arts among practitioners throughout North America. Mele co-authored, with Luca Porzio, "Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi: The 15th Century Swordsmanship of Master Filippo Vadi" (Chivalry Bookshelf, 2003), was a contributor to Spada: An Anthology of Swordsmanship (Chivalry Bookshelf, 2003) and has presented several papers at the Kalamazoo Medieval Conference. His current interests and research center on Italian martial traditions from the 14th to mid-16th centuries, particularly the dei Liberi tradition, Bolognese staff-weapon play and the schermo of Angelo Viggiani.

A veteran of the martial and performing arts, New Zealander Tony Wolf has worked as a martial arts instructor, professional wrestler and fight director/stunt co-ordinator. Between 1988 and 1994, he developed his original Wolf System of performance/combat exercises, which has been taught to actors, martial artists, stunt performers and stage combat specialists throughout the world.

Tony's fight direction and action design have been featured in more than 200 feature film, television, theatre, opera and ballet productions. Between 1998 and 2000, he served as the “fighting styles designer” for Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy. Tony regularly teaches a range of master classes and seminars for martial arts associations, universities, stunt teams, acting academies and performance conferences throughout New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada and Europe.

Tony also serves as the editor for the EJMAS Journal of Manly Arts, a scholarly online journal focusing on the martial arts and combat sports of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and in 2005 he edited the Bartitsu Compendium, a complete history of E.W. Barton-Wright's "New Art of Self Defence." He is an Acknowledged Instructor with the Historical Maritime Combat Association and also serves on the advisory board of the American Heritage Fighting Arts Association.