- What are intensive courses?
- Accommodation, meals, and travelling
- Price and deposit
What are intensive courses?
The general idea of these intensive courses is that you visit me for a weekend, or for whatever length of time you prefer, and we immerse ourselves as deeply as you like in whatever system or topic you want to explore.
We can focus on whatever it is you would like to explore. Maybe you would like to improve your cutting skills, or spend a weekend working on your fundamentals. Maybe you would like to explore the source material in greater depth, or work on bridging the gap between drilling and sparring. Maybe you would like to learn a completely new system and would appreciate an intensive introduction to set you on the right path.
Whatever takes your interest, we can work on it. And if your interest or focus changes over the course of your stay then we can explore that for as long as you wish. It would be helpful for you to have some ideas ahead of time, so that I can make the necessary preparations and have some plans (and equipment!) ready for us.
One of the interesting elements of more immersive courses is the opportunity to use technology as part of the learning process. In a single hour of private tuition, there is not much time for making several iterations of a drill, informing each attempt by referring to video clips of your performance. When we have a whole weekend, however, there is plenty of time! We can record plenty of footage and refer to it regularly as part of our learning process.
If this sounds like it could be interesting, please use the booking form below and have a chat with me about what you would like to do. I will be more than happy to discuss it with you, and hopefully we can get it all arranged and in the diary!
Accommodation, meals, and travelling
Although I used to be able to offer residential courses with accommodation provided, since having a baby I am no longer able to offer this in quite the same fashion as before. In the vast majority of situations, it would be best to find other accommodation for yourself locally (and I can help you with this task if you would like) so that you can look forward to having enough space to sleep – and, indeed, a relatively quiet night during which to sleep!
The standard fee includes provision of lunch to keep us going between training sessions, and a home-cooked dinner at my house – as well as beers and whisky (or whatever else you prefer to drink) to help our discussions about the day’s training!
If you have any special dietary requirements or issues, please do let me know about them well in advance of arriving, and I will do my best to work with you so that you can eat happily and without any worries.
Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange any or all of your meals yourself, and we can perhaps discount the fee a little if you prefer to do this.
You will need to make your travelling arrangements yourself. However, I can make suggestions if this would be helpful.
Generally speaking, if you are travelling by plane and you land at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, or if you are travelling by train and you arrive at Liverpool Lime Street or Liverpool Central Station, then I can probably meet you there and help you either back to my place or to your accommodation. I can probably help in a similar fashion for your return journey.
We can discuss the details. I will try to help if I can!
If you are travelling by car, it is not too difficult to drive to the typical training halls that we might use, or to my house.
Price and deposit
From the autumn of 2023, I would typically ask for £275 per day, or £450 for a weekend, or £1250 for a week. This could potentially be open to negotiation, although I’m more likely to be able to offer discounts for longer stays.
I would ask for a deposit to be paid when we agree on the booking, to reserve the date for you. If anyone else asks to book me for this date, I will turn them away, because you have the priority. For this reason, the deposit must be non-refundable; if you cancel the booking at a later date, then I will probably not be able to schedule anything else in its place to make up for the lost booking, so the deposit cannot be refunded if you need to cancel the booking.
The deposit should be equivalent to £50 per day of the booking; so a single day booking would have a deposit of £50, a weekend booking would have a deposit of £100, and a week-long booking would have a deposit of £350. The balance of the price can be paid around 3 or 4 weeks before the course takes place.
If you would like to bring a partner, a friend, or a clubmate with you for the intensive course, then I am more than happy to agree to this. The fee for a second person will be 50% of the standard fee, in addition to the standard fee for the first person.
If a group of you would like to visit Liverpool to do the training together, then we can discuss the prices and discounts for different group sizes, so that you can split the costs between you easily!
If you would like to discuss some other options, please do suggest them. For example, a fairly popular request has been to do some test-cutting with soaked tatami mats. We could also take a morning to go and visit the city if you would like to do during a longer stay! And you are more than welcome to attend my club Liverpool HEMA if the club’s activities overlap with your stay.
There might be some additional fees to cover the expenses for additional options, but we can discuss this when you propose your ideas.
Terms and conditions of booking
In most circumstances, booking should be made by email using the booking form above, rather than speaking on the phone or via Facebook.
We should discuss the arrangements for the course before agreeing that the booking is made for certain.
I will only ask for a deposit to secure the booking at most six months in advance. If you want to book further in advance, we can pencil something into the calendar, but I would rather we don’t lock ourselves in to anything too far in advance.
Once we agree that the booking is in place, you should pay the non-refundable deposit (as described above) to secure the dates. The booking only becomes concrete once the non-refundable deposit has been paid.
Roughly one month before the course, I will contact you to make sure everything is going to plan, and to request payment of the balance. Please do pay this as soon as possible upon receiving my request.
I will not book any hall hire until I receive the payment, unless there is an exceptional reason and we agree otherwise. Since we will use a local sports hall, there is no guarantee that the bookings can be made successfully if making booking the hall hire is left to the last minute because the payment is late. It is important that the payment of the balance can be made in a timely fashion so that I can place the booking nice and early.
I can provide training swords, so you do not need to bring any unless you particularly want to use your own swords. You will need to bring your own protective gear unless we agree otherwise. If you would like to do test cutting with tatami mats, then there will be an additional fee to cover the purchase of tatami mats (this fee will be non-refundable in the event of a cancellation).
I reserve the right to change this policy at any time.
Cancellations and refunds
Of course, I hope that nothing goes wrong before the event, and that the event can take place as planned. However, life does sometimes happen, and I think it is helpful to be upfront about how to handle these situations so that we are all on the same page about it.
If you need to cancel the booking, and have already paid the balance, then I will refund the balance but not the deposit. However, if I have already booked and paid for hall hire, any refund will be minus the cost of hall hire.
If you need to cancel the booking, and have paid the deposit but not the balance, then there will be no refund. The deposit will cover my loss of earnings in such a situation where I have kept that date available for you by turning down other work.
If I need to cancel the event for whatever reason, I will refund you the full cost of the booking, including the deposit. I guarantee that I will never cancel a booking “because something better comes along”; I will honour all bookings made, unless an unforeseen emergency requires cancellation.
I reserve the right to change this policy at any time.
Keith is a rock-solid martial artist and teacher in both understanding of and prowess in HEMA. My fencing has since made massive strides thanks to a mere week I spent with him.
Keith is methodical, patient and crystal-clear when he teaches. Spending a week with Keith opened my eyes to Ringeck as a system, self-analysis methodologies and teaching theory. He also rescued me from my training rut by isolating issues, such as my unsynchronized biomechanics, and solving them.
He clearly understands Ringeck as a system from the underlying “why” to the immediate “how”. He can break it down to explain it through clearly defined concepts, a coherent teaching system and consistent terminology. He can also then help integrate all these new concepts back into your fencing and teach you how to use his teaching for yourself or even teach others.
I recommend Keith’s residential course to anyone who is keen to take their next big step in HEMA.
Jonathan Lee | Hong Kong
Keith, the gentle-master everyone needs. I met Keith years ago during a workshop and from that time onward he continued to inspire my methodology in teaching. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to be his guest for an entire week… and again, he opened my fencing mind.
Keith is a good friend and a wonderful Master. His knowledge on the subject is so immense as well as his attention on body mechanic and the problems related with it.
He only has one downside… he lives too far from me… but maybe this is better for him!
Dave Gallo | Sala d’Arme del Folle, Italy
I used to stay at Keith’s place and train for a while, and here it is what I think about it.
First, it is very cost effective. While you stay, you can always find Keith to train with you at his backyard. If you would like to have some formal training with gear, the hall is very close to his place. That means you don’t have to waste your time on Google Maps to find your way. All these mean you can easily get an excellent instructor and sparring partner when you want!
Second, it would be very convenient for you to resolve your HEMA problems. During our study of HEMA, we have a lot of questions to solve, from interpreting the difficult manuscript to fencing concepts. By staying in Keith’s place, you can get him to demonstrate you the answer in person instead of wasting time to think a sensible answer.
Highly recommend this residential course!
Ken Kot | Hong Kong