Head Instructor: Mike Cherba

Mike dreamed of learning sword fighting since he was a little kid.  He pursued traditional Eastern Martial Arts and sport fencing at first before discovering historical fencing treatises and the historical fencing community in the late 1990s while studying Computer Engineering at University of Michigan.  After a few years of solo study and conferences Mike moved to Eugene Oregon where he studied the Armizare of Fiore de Liberi and Classical fencing with Maestro Sean Hayes.  It was while in Eugene that Mike first ran across Elashvili’s text Parikaoba on Khevsur sword and Buckler and became entrancedOne thing led to another, beginning with Mike painfully translating Elashvili’s text to English.  In 2014 when he moved to Portland, Mike wanted to keep practicing his arts and needed people to train with.  Since there was nobody in the Area practicing armizare, let alone Georgian sword and buckler, Mike started the group Northwest Armizare in 2014 to make some practice partners. Since then NW Armizare members have demonstrated or taught both Armizare, Georgian Sword and Buckler, and Armored combat at several events throughout the Pacific Northwest and online.

Mike’s current focus at NW Armizare is sword and buckler/shield with heavy emphasis on the Georgian Style, but also Bolognese.

Instructor: Richard Tillman

From a young age, stories of knights in shining armor and mythological heroes have captivated Richard. Growing up, he embraced his nerdity with a love of history, fantasy, role playing games, and mythology. Richard’s journey into martial arts began as a path for physical fitness, actively practicing mixed martial arts in Oklahoma for several years. Moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2013, Richard joined Northwest Armizare two years later and fell in love with the work of Fiore Di Libre. Since then, he has studied multiple different weapons, fighting styles, and their history, including 19th century Italian saber, late medieval armored combat, and historic african martial arts. Richard took up teaching as of 2021, seeking to impart love of fighting, weapons, and history to his students.

Richard’s current focus at NW Armizare is saber, with a specialization in 19th century Italian saber.