Professor Mark P. Donnelly (S.S.S./ E.A.A./ B.F.H.S./ S.W.A.S.H.) has been studying armed combat in various incarnations since the age of thirteen. After years of research and training in the disparate disciplines of western martial arts, sport fencing, stage combat, tournament fighting and eastern martial disciplines, he moved from the US to England in 1996 to undertake a PhD in Medieval Archaeology through York and Oxford Universities.
While in England he was one of the founding fathers of the British Federation of Historical Swordplay (BFHS) (along with Paul MacDonald, Andrew Feest, Milo Thurston, Guy Windsor and Mark Hillyard).
He began teaching full-time in 1998 when he founded the Society for the Study of Swordsmanship (S.S.S.) which has expanded to cover 7 different schools throughout the north of England accounting for 100-150 students. These schools can be found in Sheffield, Leeds, York, Durham, Whitby, Hartlepool, and Newcastle. It was due to his work with the S.S.S. and the B.F.H.S. that he was awarded the title of Professor of Arms. Under these auspices he was fortunate to travel throughout the United Kingdom and Europe teaching Western Combatives, Historical Swordsmanship, Dueling, and Manly Arts.
He also created the Edenhill Academy of Arms in 2002 as a specialised research body dedicated to uncovering and translating hitherto forgotten and/or lost combat treatises and military manuals. With Edenhill Academy (enjoying both a Bishop and a Royal Prince as patrons), he has worked with HM Royal Monuments, English Heritage, the National Trust, National Maritime museum at Greenwich, Sandhurst Military Academy, as well as the HMS Trincomalee, HMS Victory, and the Grand Turk.
Prof. Donnelly has been instructing full time (daily) within Britain for over ten years and in that time has been honoured to be invited to instruct at major national and international events such as: F.I.S.A.S. in Verbania, Italy; H.E.M.A.C. at Dijon in France; A.E.E.M.A. in Madrid; A.R.G.O. in Prague; B.F.H.S. AGMs and Instructor Certifications; S.W.A.S.H. at HM Royal Armouries as well as many others.
He is a life-time research associate with Her Majesties Royal Armouries in Leeds, England as well as with The Tower of London and with the National Maritime museum, at Greenwich. Professor Donnelly has been honored to have been counted among the top ten instructors in Europe. Since returning to the States in 2008 he has taught at numerous institutions of higher learning, festivals, fairs and conventions. He currently lives in Harrisburg, PA where he runs the Keystone Academy of Dueling and Swordsmanship (K.A.D.S.).