Message from Martin "Oz" Austwick:
When I first started getting interested in Pugilism something like a decade ago there wasn't an awful lot of material available, and what there was seemed to be guarded very fiercely by the people who had it. But a chance conversation with someone I didn't knwo well, but had moved in the same circles as for some time changed that for me.
Ken Pfrenger went out of his way to point me in all the right directions, he shared material, contacts, and ideas. We chatted a lot and became the sort of firm friends that Historical European Martial Arts is full of. If you've been doing this for any length of time you probably know what I mean. You consider yourselves to be close friends, you've spent hours and hours late at night discussing your passions, you've shared your work and your thoughts. You've truly become friends, but you've never actually met.
That changed for me a couple of years ago. I was invited to teach in America at the first ever International Pugilism Symposium, and so was Ken. In real life he was just as cool as he'd always been online. Supremely confident, and incredibly clever. A funny man who dealy loved his family, and spent his time playing the bass and fighting for fun.
So when Ken died suddenly last year I was shocked, and deeply saddened. I'd lost a friend, the community had lost a great instructor. But most heartbreakingly his wife had lost her husband, and his children had lost their father. Those of us who taught alongside him at the Pugilism Symposium decided we had to do something to honour his memory and hopefully help Shannon his wife.
So Allen Reed of The Gallowglass Academy is now hosting the Ken Pfrenger Pugilism Symposium on the 17th and 18th June in Chicago. I'll be teaching, so will Allen, Kirk Lawson, and Tim Ruzicki. You can see more details and learn how to book your place here:
Ken Pfrenger Pugilism Symposium
Part of the booking fee will be donated to a fund to aid with the education of Ken and Shannon's children. There will also be an fund raising auction at the event itself. So far we have a couple of prizes - A full scholarship to the 2018 Symposium, and also Lifetime Membership to Pugilism.org I'll let you know what else is donated as we find out.
Please do everything you can to get to this event, not only is it going to be incredible, but it's going to make a real difference to a fmaily that really need it.