Robert MacLeod has a long and varied history with the martial arts and swordplay. As a young boy he attended Judo classes in England. Later at university he joined the fencing club and studied sabre. Then in the late 1990s he trained for several years in Tae-Kwon-Do. A move to Kingston in 2002 led to his investigating a number of different Eastern martial arts over a period of several years. During this time he was searching for a practice to extend his understanding of martial combat beyond that which he had gained through fencing and Tae-Kwon-Do. Then in 2009 he finally found what he was looking for when he discovered the Historical European Martial Arts and joined a local study group working in the German longsword tradition. For several years he also trained in the highland broadsword. Then in 2014, a combination of factors led Robert to integrate his experience as a post-secondary educator with his study of the Western Martial Arts by opening Ironwood Sword School. Robert has attended numerous HEMA seminars, tournaments, and events and has taken classes with many highly experienced instructors.
Barry Keyes has been playing with swords since he was a child when he and his brother made their own swords out of aluminium so they could practice fighting with them. As an adult, he has been studying HEMA since 2003 when he started a German longsword study group. Now he has taken on the roll of Senior Instructor at Ironwood Sword School in addition to his ongoing passion for being an armourer and bladesmith.