The War Room

Have we got a weekend lined up for you!

Exploration of the Arts of Steampunk wouldn’t be complete without the Martial Arts! Experience Martial Arts in the Steampunk ’verse in the Clockwork Alchemy War Room.

Join the instructors and crew of the Royal Airship Kamehameha as they demonstrate Steampunk Eastern and Western Martial Arts, ranging from Walking Stick, to The Secrets of the Chinese Martial Arts, to Naginata Japanese Pole Arms, to Classical Victorian-Age Saber, and improvised weapons. Become a crew member in-training, and receive special recognition and rewards by taking multiple classes!

As a steampunk adventurer, you should be prepared to face whatever comes your way—be it pirates boarding your airship, or vampires descending on your party. Our crew has traveled on airships, submarines, and a myriad of steam-powered conveyances to the four corners of the globe to bring you the finest in training. Our instructors have an average of 30 years of martial experience and will provide hands-on instruction.

Haven’t had enough Martial Arts for the day?

List of Instructors and Their Classes

Maestro Brooke Boyer

Maestro Boyer began fencing modern at the age of eight. The Maestro fenced competitively within the US and Europe from 1966 to 1978 and was Coach for the US Navy/Marine Corps Fencing team from 1986 to 1988. He began studying Historical Fencing in 1978 and continues today with interest in rapier, dagger, and sabre. Brooke has studied stage combat with John Waller and Mike Loades. He studied but was unable to complete the process for Messer in Berlin, Germany in 1977 (Messer was looked upon as dueling which is forbidden under the Uniform Code of Military Justice). Maestro Boyer continues to teach and coach stage combat and historical fencing with Infinite Theatrics and St. Adrian’s Guild. The Maestro has a deep interest in the promulgation of Historical fencing in Ren Faire and its application within the Steampunk ’verse. 

Brook can be reached at


Steampunk Saber and Blaster

3/20/22 – 2 p.m.

A repeat of this popular class. 

We will cover how to defend oneself and others with  a saber in one hand and a Nerf blaster:

Attacks with blaster, how to get proper sight alignment for accurate shot placement.

How to reload a single-shot blaster  while wielding a saber at the same time.

Students will need a single shot Nerf gun, a stick to stand in for a saber, a paper plate to use as a target.

Mensur German Dueling

3/18/22 3 p.m.

Mensur German Dueling is really neither a duel or a sport – it is a style of fencing promoting character without winners or losers. Participants face off one pace away from each other and try to smite the other with a sword without moving their feet. Flinching and dodging are not allowed as a matter of honor. Historically, scars from Mensur
German Dueling were seen as a badge of honor.

Calvary Saber

3/19/22 4 p.m.

From the early 19th century, sabre gains widespread use and its design is inspired by the Mameluke sword, a type of Middle Eastern scimitar. Napoleon used it in great extent during his wars as a main weapon for heavy cavalry and their charges. Shorter variants were also designed and were used as sidearms by dismounted units. British Government authorized their pattern swords for use by infantry officers at the same time. As longer-range rifles appeared on the battlefields, cavalry charges fell out of favor and sabres with them at least for the military uses. Some European police forces used sabres for both mounted and dismounted police officers during the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. Luckily, to some extent, for civilians, sabres were later replaced with batons and night stick. Some polices like the Gendarmerie of Belgium used them until 1950s.  So, we will be practising sabre as a mounted weapon off our Airship…We will practice the cuts as used unmounted.  Then the cuts used mounted.  The cavalry charge…And keep in mind this is all  within our Steam universe…HUZZAH!!!!

Rapier and Dagger

3/19/22 10 a.m.

History of the rapier.  Martial weapon or dueling weapon? On guard positions, movement, two attacks with rapier. Defending with the dagger.  Using the two weapons together.

Yondan Chad Goerzen

Chad Goerzen holds a yondan (fourth degree black belt) in Naginata. He began training under the late Miyako Tanaka in 2003, and has continued practicing naginata since then. He also has 18 years of experience in Tendo Ryu, is ranked 2-kyu in Kendo, and has 10 years experience in practicing Joachim Meyer’s multi-weapon system. He currently teaches naginata in San Francisco. Chad can be reached at


Naginata Japanese Pole Arm

3/20/22 1 p.m.

The Naginata, a long-handled weapon used by samurai, dates back to the 9th Century. Focusing on balance and leverage rather than brute force, the sweeping movements of the Naginata develop physical balance and poise. Currently, Atarashii Naginata (All Japan Naginata Federation style Modern Naginata) is specifically designed for competitors using the same weapon. Practice includes striking techniques, attack-and-defense drills, and free sparring with armor.

Strategy for Unmatched Weapons

3/18/22 4 p.m.

A workshop for adventurers, writers, choreographers and martial artists. When your enemies attack, they will usually choose an opportunity when they have an advantage, such as a longer weapon. Here you will learn strategies for unmatched weapons, learned from the writings of Renaissance European weapons masters. Your best strategy will depend on your reach, strength and speed.

Decon Henry M. Hill IV 

Martial Arts has been the focal point of Henry M. Hill IV’s life since the age of 13. He started out using martial arts to escape from street life in Richmond, CA. Once reaching adulthood, he joined Black Swords in Oakland, California. This is where he trained with shanai and earned his first spot as an instructor teaching Historical African Martial arts for 4 years,  Black Swords for 20 years 

He has a working knowledge of Zulu martial arts, Meyer Dusack, Eskrima, and Kendo.


Khopesh Demo

3/20/22 10 a.m.

Come learn the secret fighting style of the ancients, from the land of the mummies and the pyramids. As taught to you by Deacon, the captain of the airship Vagabonds Dream.

Zulu Short Spear 

3/19//22 11 a.m.

Ever look at a sword-cane and say its not pointy enough? Sword-canes are cool and all but you know the Spear ruled the battlefield. Well you are in luck, the class on short spear is here. Based on Zulu fighting arts you too can learn to use a Iklwa. The most versatile weapon this side of history and the Steampunk Verse.

Sifu Fred Kaye

Sifu Fred Kaye’s martial career spans over 50 years. Coach Fred’s martial foundation is in the Chinese martial traditions, ranging from external Northern/Southern Shaolin styles to Internal Ba Gua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan, Lu Huo Quan, and Tai Chi Ch’uan. Over the last 8 years, Fred has expanded his martial journey with a continuous exploration of western martial arts Bartitsu, La Defense dans la Rue, and other global fighting arts. Coach Fred has developed a training program integrating classic warrior training, featuring Indian Clubs, Maces and health wands to allow warriors and any person to maintain health at any age. Sifu Kaye can be reached at


La Defense Dans La Rue

3/20/22 9 a.m.

La Defense dans la Rue is a term applied to various systems of personal combat developed in France around the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and is part of the same developing interest in urban street defense that spawned the similar art of Bartitsu in England. Developed to defend against the dreaded Parisian Apache street gangs.

Indian Clubs 

3/19/22 9 a.m.

Even Steampunks need to exercise.  Experience the exercises that British Expeditionary forces used to expand the Victorian Empire. Indian clubs were exceptionally popular during the health craze of the late Victorian era, used by military cadets and well-heeled ladies alike, and even appeared as a gymnastic event in the 1904 and 1932 Olympics. If participants do not have clubs they could use two short sticks or a pair of small bottles.

Defending Your Airship

3/19/22 1 p.m.

A fan favorite for many years at Gaslight Gathering, CombatCon and  Clockwork Alchemy every year! Learn what every airship crew member needs to know when defending against an aerial attack and repelling a boarding action. We will study close combat use of Singlestick, 19th Century Saber, Steampunk longsword, Cutlass, war club and boarding axe on land, sea and air in our Steampunk universe.

Michael Kirkley

Michael Kirkley has been studying martial arts for most of his adult life. At first it started with Kempo, Aikido, Kung fu and Krav Maga. In the early 2000s he started taking his first HEMA (Historic European Martial Artes) classes. From that stemmed wrestling, knife fighting, sword fighting, axes and pugilism. One thing he will always mention is that all of these artes flow together and all follow similar rules, just adjusted for the styles timing and distance. You can reach Michael at


Bowie Knife: An American Dueling

3/19/22 noon

The Vidalia Sandbar fight made Jim Bowie famous, but what about the knife he used?  We’ll go over the basic of what is a bowie knife and how one would fight with one.

Walking Stick – A Gentleman’s Defense Against Ruffians

3/20/22 11 a.m.

Walking down the street and accosted by ruffians what do you do?  You fall back on the one thing almost all gentlemen carried, the walking stick.  This will cover basics strikes footwork and defense used while carrying a walking stick and how you might use it against different attack common to ruffians.

David Laudenslager – The Saber Legion (TSL)

David Laudenslager is a National Fight Director and Representative for the Northern California Charter of The Saber Legion (TSL), the international LED saber combat organization. He is very excited to be one of the hosts of TSL Underground at Clockwork Alchemy. He was the director of the 4th Effervescent Etherblade Tournment, which occurred during Clockwork Alchemy 2019. David has fought in TSL international tournaments in Minneapolis and Las Vegas, where he has placed in every year since 2017. He also fights in the TSL Championship Series division, where he is currently one half of the TSL Tag Team Champions. In addition to LED saber combat, David is a practitioner of British singlestick and spear and currently trains in Italian rapier at the Davenriche European Martial Artes School. David lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children, working as a Software QA Engineer at Apple. 


TSL Aetherblade Open

3/18/22 6 p.m.

The 2022 Etherblade Open, here again at Clockwork Alchemy, is hosted by The Saber Legion (TSL) Steampunk Charter.

Join us for the first Northern California Saber Legion Tournament of 2022. All are invited to come and watch, however participation is for active TSL members. Anyone that has attended any of the War Room classes on LED Saber Flourishes and Choreography will enjoy seeing these skills taken to full contact combat levels. Saber Legion armor requirements will be in effect. Rules and videos from previous tournaments can be found on The Saber Legion Facebook and Youtube pages.

Rey Magdael 

Rey Magdael has been studying several different martial arts for the past four decades. His background in both “hard” and “soft” styles has given him a rich appreciation of the ways that practice has touched his life and the lives of everyone he has the pleasure of practicing with. The War Room gives him the all-too-rare opportunity to keep his skills sharp and share his insight to anyone willing to return the favor. 



318/22 5 p.m.

Sticks, staves, batons and other solid pieces of wood have been the go-to weaponry for populations around the world. In this session, Rey will introduce the basic concepts of how to defend yourself when you have this deceptively simple weapon in your hands.


3/18/22 2 p.m.

Facing an opponent with a blade can be intimidating. From icepicks to balisongs to daggers to shortswords, an opponent with a weapon as versatile as this one can be a problem for the uninitiated. In this workshop, Rey will teach you the basics of grip, defensive postures, and how to be effective with a blade at the ready.

Improvised Weapons

3/19/22 5 p.m.

You can’t plan for everything. But in a pinch, anything can be a weapon if you’re holding it right. This workshop will focus on what can happen when you’re caught in an impromptu confrontation and how you can effectively leverage items at hand to get through the encounter, as well as the practical, legal and realistic implications there are when you have to be effective at a moment’s notice.

Jonathan Magno AKA: Captain Merrill

As for Captain Merrill, the mysterious freelancer was born and raised in a small port town along the outskirts of the Sri Vijaya Empire. Born to a Western trader and local woman, Captain Merrill spent a childhood entranced by tales of adventure and exploration. However, the declining empire brought poverty and hardship to Merill’s village. He made a vow to travel forth in search of fame and riches to build and support his distant home. Thus, the beginning of the WarBow Free Companies.

On his many travels, Captain Merrill knew that there would be dangers. So he made it a point to find teachers to increase his knowledge of the world. Whether it be through books or with others, he consistently found ways to increase his skillset. Procuring many volumes and teachers from every walk of life. Although the lessons from prize fighters, weapons masters, and rogues who could scale across any obstacle held closer to his heart.


An Adventurer’s Experience: Learn to Defend an Ambush!

3/18/22 noon; 3/19/22 6 p.m.; 3/20/22 3 p.m.

1) The Beginner is where people can learn the basics of shooting and range safety in our enclosed shooting booth.

2) Shooting Under Pressure: Learn to shoot a bow at inflatable targets connected to a scoreboard. 2 teams work against each other to get the highest amount of points in the time frame. 

3) Ambush! This will be similar to #2 above although we will have sky pirate staff who will be ambushing the participants by throwing balls. The archers shoot at the balls to stop them or evade. The goal is simple, “survive the ambush” by avoiding the balls and shooting the inflatable targets. This will be scored as well.

For more information go to

Tin Ngo
Saber Guild Temple Ahch-To

Tin Ngo is the Local Director of Saber Guild Temple Ahch-To, a Star Wars themed, volunteer costuming club that focuses on creating choreographed lightsaber shows for charity and community events. The Saber Guild is Lucasfilm’s preferred lightsaber club, and has been invited to perform and teach at Star Wars Celebration, along with many other charity events and conventions.”


Intro to Lightsaber Choreography with the Saber Guild

3/19/22 2 p.m.

Pick up a lightsaber and bring out your inner Jedi or Sith! Learn the basics of our choreography system and an introductory fight scene!

Visit or for more information.

Advanced Lightsaber Choreography with the Saber Guild

3/20/22 Noon

Pick up a lightsaber and bring out your inner Jedi or Sith! Learn advanced flourishes you can add to a basic fight to make it your own. 

Visit or for more information.

Maestro Dr. John Sullins

Dr. Sullins is a Professor of Philosophy at Sonoma State University and director of the Fencing Masters Certificate Program ( 

Additionally he serves as an advisor and coach for the university’s fencing club and teaches theatrical fencing in the theater arts department.  He also teaches Italian Sabre and historical fencing at En Garde Fencing in Santa Rosa California (

Professor Sullins has four decades of experience in fencing and various martial arts (mixed martial arts mostly) and has been teaching fencing and WMA for over thirty years.  

Dr. Sullins studied under many great fencing teachers but most of his training was done with Maestro William Gaugler and Military Master at Arms Ralph Sahm at the San Jose State Military Fencing Masters Program.  He earned three Military Instructors at Arms certificates in foil épée and sabre, a Military Provost at Arms certificate and Military Master at Arms certificate (  Dr. Sullins’ fencing style traces its roots through the Italian Roman-Neapolitan School and the School of Leghorn which both have much deeper roots to earlier styles of fencing back at least 500 years or more.  

Professor Sullins is an expert within the tradition of classical Italian sabre.  In 1990, Dr. Sullins encountered a heavy antique fencing sabres in an arms and armor shop in Rome and since that time he has been helping to resurrect that style of fencing.   In the mid 1990’s he started the Broadsword and Heavy Sabre yahoo group

( and who were successful in getting some manufacturers to build heavy sabre blades and weapons.  There are now many decent heavy fencing sabres available and good helmets and protective gear is also available from Terry Tindle (  


Victorian Sabre

3/19/22 3 p.m.

For the benefit of all gentlefolk traveling under adverse circumstances, a short course of instruction will be held in dueling and military Sabre. Useful in solving personal duels of honor and dissuading the advances of those unfortunates whom have become zombified. Equipment will be provided. The prudent adventurer is advised to come adorned with attire appropriate for active participation.

Instructors of the 2022 War Room

Click on the individual instructors to see their class information.

Brooke Boyer
Chad Goerzen
David Laudenslager
Fred Kaye
Henry Hill
John Sullins
Jonathan Magno
Rey Magdael
Tin Ngo
Michael Kirkley

Safety Rules and Guidelines

At Clockwork Alchemy, the safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers is our highest priority. As most War Room classes are participatory in nature, our martial arts classes often include physical contact—both with the War Room Crew Members and with other guests. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all, participants are required to adhere to the following safety rules and guidelines:

  1. Convention Guests wishing to participate in War Room classes must read and sign the activities waiver.
  2. “Safe Interaction” with Instructors and Crew Members (Staff and Volunteers) will be observed at all times. War Room Instructors (and Crew) have the final say as to what is safe interaction. While you might have Martial Arts experience, or feel capable of handling “harder” interaction and/or contact, the Instructors are highly-trained in their Arts, and are the best judge of what is acceptable and safe under the circumstances.
  3. Safety gear may be required in some classes. Instructors will determine the use of and monitor all safety gear. Refusal to wear Instructor-required safety gear will prevent you from participating in class interaction.
  4. Full Contact interaction is not permissible at any time, even with appropriate safety equipment.
  5. All interactions will be closely monitored by the Instructors and Crew Members at all times. Please do not initiate interactions except under direct supervision of War Room Crew.
  6. Guests may use personal practice weapons in War Room classes under the following guidelines:
    1. All weapons but must be approved by the War Room Captain, their designated second, or the class Instructor.
    2. All weapons must have appropriate blunt tips and appropriate safety devices.
    3. Permitted weapons materials: wooden–natural fibers such as bamboo or rattan; and plastic–plastic practice or “waster” weapons.
    4. Non-permitted weapons materials: metal weapons of any sort, including but not limited to knives, swords, etc.
    5. Non-permitted weapons types: edged, spiked, serrated, or tooth-based weapons (of any material) whereby the weapon could cause lacerations or punctures in normal usage.
  7. All Clockwork Alchemy safety protocols will be observed.

Any violations of rules and/or guidelines may result in expulsion from the War Room and/or the Clockwork Alchemy convention.

We hope you enjoy your tour of duty in the War Room!