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Meet the Freelance Academy Press Team


Gregory D. Mele – Publisher and Partner

Greg has had an abiding love for all things medieval since early childhood. He began indulging this passion as a teenager through historical reenactment, before melding his love of history into his collegiate studies, graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with degrees in History and Journalism.

His period of interest is the 12th - 14th centuries, with a particular interest in the Plantagenets, the Crusader Kingdoms, Italy at the birth of the Renaissance, and the documentation and reconstruction of medieval European martial arts. His current interests and research focuses Italian martial traditions from the 14th to mid-16th centuries, and has presented several papers on this topic at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has presented several papers and demonstrations at the Kalamazoo International Medievalist Conference, the University of Chicago and Loyola University.

As an author, Greg has a number of publications as an author, co-author and contributor including Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi: the 15th Century Swordsmanship of Master Filippo Vadi (co-authored with Luca Porzio), contributions to SPADA: An Anthology of Swordsmanship and In the Service of Mars: Proceedings from the Western Martial Arts Workshops 1999 – 2009 (2010), and the 2010 edition of the World Martial Arts Encyclopedia. He is a regular contributor to Western Martial Arts Illustrated, on whose editorial board he serves. Greg is also the author of The Art of Arms: Medieval Italian Swordsmanship, the first in an instructional series on the martial arts of Fiore dei Liberi.

Within the Western martial arts community, Greg is best known for co-founding the Chicago Swordplay Guild in 1999 to create a formal venue to study historical European swordsmanship and its adjunct arts. In October of that year he also organized and hosted the first Western Martial Arts Workshop as an attempt to promote these arts amongst practitioners throughout North America. Now approaching its tenth anniversary, the workshop draws participants from three continents.

He has been an invited instructor at the Western Martial Arts Workshop, the Schola St. George Swordplay Symposium, in the San Francisco Bay area, the Symposium on the Western Arts of Swordsmanship through History at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, UK, and a number of private seminars in the USA and Canada.


Christian Henry Tobler, Author and Partner

Christian Henry Tobler has been a longtime student of swordsmanship, especially as it applies to the pursuit of the chivalric ideals. He has been focused on the study of medieval Fechtbücher (“Fight books”) since the late 1990s. He is a passionate advocate of the medieval Liechtenauer School, and his work in translating and interpreting the Ringeck Fechtbuch firmly established him as an important contributor to the growing community of Western martial artists. This work was published in the 2001 title Secrets of German Medieval Swordsmanship: Sigmund Ringeck’s Commentaries on Johannes Liechtenauer’s VerseA training guide for modern practitioners, revised in this volume, Fighting with the German Longsword, followed in 2004. In Service of the Duke: The 15th Century Fighting Treatise of Paulus Kal, a facsimile, translation, and analysis of a lavishly illustrated Fechtbuch was published in 2006. His most recent releases were In Saint George’s Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts, in 2010, and Captain of the Guild: Master Peter Falkner’s Art of Knightly Defense, in 2011. He has also produced two instructional DVDs of the growing German Medieval Martial Arts series—Volume 1: The Poleaxe and Volume 2: Sword, Buckler, and Messer—along with various articles and downloadable media treating German historic combat. 

Mr. Tobler was born in 1963 in Paterson, New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Bridgeport’s computer engineering program, he has worked as a software developer, product manager, and marketing specialist in the analytical instrumentation and publishing fields. He is the current Grand Master of the Order of Selohaar, an eclectic order of chivalry that he co-founded in 1979, and serves as Principal Instructor for its associated school of swordsmanship, the Selohaar Fechtschule. A veteran of 25 years of armoured tournament fighting, he is also an avid collector of reproduction arms and armour. He has taught classes at numerous historic martial arts symposia, and has traveled the United States, Canada, and Europe teaching numerous weekend-long seminars. He has lectured at the 38th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 2011, he founded the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association (CFAA), a confraternity of like-minded historic martial arts practitioners and schools.

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