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What is Stav?

See how we train at Somerset Stav Martial Arts
Please click on the video to view.

Stav is a European tradition of body, mind and spirit training from Norway. Stav literally means knowledge of the rune staves which covers many different subjects including mythology, healing, crafts, forms of meditation and shamanic practices, and much more.

Stav is also taught and practised through martial arts training. Ivar Hafskjold, our chief instructor, not only learned Stav as a young man growing up in Norway but spent 14 years in Japan studying traditional Japanese martial arts. Ivar settled in the UK in 1991. He took on four students, one of whom was Graham Butcher, your local Stav instructor.

He was recognised as a Stav teacher in 1996 and has taught regularly ever since.

Graham is fully insured for teaching Stav as a martial art.

Find out more about Graham here.

Stav training is based on three primary areas:

The Runes of the Younger Futhork

Runic Stances which develop posture and balance. The stances also provide the basic body positions for weapon and unarmed training. Find out more about runes here.

The Lines which show the structure for cutting with weapons and how to strike effectively. Working with the lines allows you to control and take the balance of an opponent in unarmed applications.

Five Principles which provide training in tactics and strategy.

A Stav class will include:

  • The stances, providing the foundation for all other training
  • Solo training exercises
  • Two person drills, teaching and exploring the five principles
  • The emphasis is always on discovering how to use the body as efficiently as possible rather than expending energy for the sake of it. Stav training teaches you how to see clearly, move efficiently and respond effectively.

    Beginner training focusses on the stances and drills with the staff. Advanced training uses the axe, cudgel, spear, tein or dagger and unarmed close quarter combat skills.

    It is easier to demonstrate than explain and your first lesson is free, so why not find out for yourself?

    Please see the full programme of classes and courses.

    Please join the Ice and Fire Stav Facebook Group, it is a closed group and we have around 200 members from all over the world. I regularly publish articles about Stav, interesting posts and information on training opportunities. Just visit here and apply to join.

    For more information please email Graham or telephone him on 0771 358 5954.