Ben Kerr

Ben Kerr

Ben has always had a great fascination with history, and while living in the United States during his teenage years, he pursued this fascination relentlessly. In 1998 he contacted the HACA (run by John Clements) with regards to learning HEMA, which spurred his initial learning of the European sword arts beginning with the study of the German Longsword (mainly Talhoffer). The same year he began studying Okinawan Karate and later went on to specialise in, then teach, the Okinawan Weapon Arts, culminating in becoming a black belt in 2004.

He took up bagpiping in 2002 and qualified as a piper in 2003 where he went on to work with and perform for Palm Beach Pipes and Drums, Donald Trump, Universal Studios, the US Marine Corps, Florida Renaissance Festival and the British Army. At the same time he also began training in various heritage crafts, but most notably as a blacksmith. Prior to leaving the US he was awarded with a recognition of his devotion to the study of Historical Arts and swore an oath to his instructors that he would "learn all he could and teach all he knew"...this became his guiding motto.

In 2006 after returning to the UK to attend university, he founded the GUCDS as a way of fulfilling his oath. From the GUCDS grew the concept of forming the Academy and founding other groups as well. He continues to study HEMA, Heritage Crafting and Music, but is now strongly focused on training others to instruct these subjects, as this allows a much greater reach than he could manage alone. His primary HEMA interests are the study of battlefield combat and the training of individuals to take part in this activity. His two degrees have focused on this, and his Masters thesis caused his intense interest in the Highland Broadsword and Targe.

For contributions to the HEMA community, Ben received membership of HEMAC in 2012.

Quick links to items on this page:

Experience:
- Teaching Experience
- Research Credentials

Services:
- Private Tuition
- Seminars, Workshops & Events
- Tournaments & Competitions
- Tournament Judge Training
- Crafting: Project Sessions
- Crafting: Skills Courses

Rates and Fees:
- Hourly Rate
- Overtime Rate
- Daily Rate
- Discounted Rates

Contact:
Contact Form

Services

Private Tuition

Standard short lessons can be arranged at £20 per hour, or £10 for half an hour. This is often discounted to £15 per hour (£10 for half an hour) for AHA subscribers.

Longer, more intensive private tuition over the course of a day (8 hours) can be booked at the £150 day rate, and AHA subscribers can book day-long tuition at a discounted rate of £125 for the 8 hours.

Further to the tuition fees, any expenses related to transport, venue hire, accommodation and meals should be provided. Standard short lessons will rarely involve any of these additional fees, but day-long sessions will usually incur at least some extra expenses.


Seminars, Workshops & Events

This fee includes all the preparation time that goes into researching and planning for the event, development of lesson plans and tailoring the ideas the meet the requirements of the event. Generally speaking, for each hour of teaching time, at least half an hour of researching and planning has gone into the process beforehand.

It will cost £150 per day of instructing to hire Ben to teach at your event. Therefore a weekend seminar would cost £300 and would include two full days of teaching time.

Clubs affiliated to the Academy of Historical Arts can receive a discounted rate of £125 per day of instruction.

Further to these fees for teaching time, any expenses related to transport, venue hire, accommodation and meals should be provided.


Tournaments & Competitions

It will cost £150 for a day to have Ben work, judge, judge and/or administrate at your event.

Clubs affiliated to the Academy of Historical Arts can receive a discounted rate of £125 per day of work.

Further to these fees for time, any expenses related to transport, venue hire, accommodation and meals should be provided.


Tournament Judge Training

This fee includes all the preparation time that goes into researching and planning for the event, development of lesson plans and tailoring the ideas the meet the requirements of the event. Generally speaking, for each hour of teaching time, at least half an hour of researching and planning has gone into the process beforehand.

It will cost £150 per day of instructing to hire Ben to provide a tournament judge training event. Therefore a weekend seminar would cost £300 and would include two full days of teaching time.

Clubs affiliated to the Academy of Historical Arts can receive a discounted rate of £125 per day of instruction.

Further to these fees for teaching time, any expenses related to transport, venue hire, accommodation and meals should be provided.


Crafting: Project Based Classes

Ben is able to run special one off crafting sessions in many aspects of heritage crafting. This sort of session is strongly focused on completing a specific project, such as a crossbow or a highland targe. Participants will walk away with a completed item, and will have gained a little experience in many aspects of crafting work; however, only what skills are necessary to complete the project will be taught, so techniques may not be explored in much depth.

Ben holds an MA in history and an MLitt in war studies, and has a long background in heritage crafting. As a result, day craft courses will involve detailed descriptions of the item and its place in history. By the end of the course, participants will have an understanding of when in history the item was used, how it was used, what the historical production techniques are and how they differ from the modern production techniques, who would have made or used the item, and where the item was used.

These events are excellent for people who would like to dabble with new skills and to take home a finished item at the end of the session.

Each participant will have to purchase a craft kit with all the materials for the class. Additionally, the instructor's teaching time will be billed at a rate of £150 per day of teaching. Clubs affiliated to the Academy may receive a discounted rate of £125 per day for teaching time. Further to these fees for teaching time and materials, any expenses related to transport, venue hire, accommodation and meals should be provided.

If you wish for a class to be developed, based around a particular historical item, then this is possible and a quote can be given for the research and development costs.


Crafting: Skills Based Courses

Ben is able to develop and run longer crafting courses to focus on and teach a specific heritage craft. These courses do not focus on the completion of specific projects, but rather the passing-on of a skill or technique. For example, a course on leatherwork will not necessarily be about the completion of a project such as a set of carved leather bracers, but rather it will focus on a series of practise pieces designed to teach participants about the various skills involved in leatherwork, that can then be applied to projects at a later date.

Ben holds an MA in history and an MLitt in war studies, and has a long background in heritage crafting. As a result, day craft courses will involve detailed descriptions of the item and its place in history. By the end of the course, participants will have an understanding of when in history the item was used, how it was used, what the historical production techniques are and how they differ from the modern production techniques, who would have made or used the item, and where the item was used.

Participants will also learn how to source materials for projects, be advised on tools, learn to design and plan projects including how to determine sale costs for completed items and about the different material choices based on levels of historical accuracy.

Courses will normally involve a series of sessions spread over a few weeks. Most sessions will last for 2-3 hours, and course will be at the standard hourly rate of £20 an hour. Material costs will also need to be covered; these will be sourced at the most reasonable and affordable price for the right quality and type of materials for the craft skills. Further to these fees for teaching time and materials, any expenses related to transport, venue hire, accommodation and meals should be provided.

If you are interested in booking a course of sessions for your group or organisation, then please get in touch and we will be happy to provide a quote for your needs.

Rates and Fees

Standard Hourly Rate

£20 per hour is Ben's standard rate for projects that are to be calculated by the hour. This rate is in effect during normal working hours during the week; if a project requires work to be done at inconvenient times (such as the evening or very early morning), then the "overtime" rate will be used for those times.


Overtime Rate

"Overtime" will be calculated at the rate of £30 per hour. If a project calculated by the hour requires more hours than agreed (or requires hours at an inconvenient time of day), or if a day-long project requires more than 8 hours of work, then this is the rate that will be charged for the "overtime" hours.


Daily Rate

£150 is Ben's going rate for day-long projects that involve 8 hours of working time in a single day. If a day-long project requires more than 8 hours of work, then the additional time will be charged at the "overtime" rate.


Discounted Rates

Ben is willing to discount his rates for AHA subscribers, clubs affiliated to the Academy of Historical Arts, and good causes. Depending on the situation, different discounts may be negotiated.

Contact Form

If you would like to get in touch with Ben to talk about engaging his services, please fill out this contact form and he will get back to you as soon as possible.

When you submit this form, your message will be emailed to the Academy of Historical Arts administrative staff, who will respond as soon as possible. You will also receive an email copy of the message for your own records.

Quick Contact Form

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