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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Medieval swordplay self taught ..? Reply to topic
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Jody A




Location: Vancouver, BC
Joined: 24 Sep 2007
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Reading list: 65 books

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Medieval swordplay self taught ..?         Reply with quote

I live in a part of the country where medieval sword play instruction is not offered (a small island in the Pacific off the coast of British Columbia) ... does anyone have a good reference book/DVD that I can start with to self teach myself some basics? I would like to learn to practice cut, thrust, and guard moves without a partner, but with soft targets. I have searched through the bookstore and reviews, but I can't seem to find a single, strong resource. I am in the 12th - 14th centuries, my sword is an Albion Knight, and I don't have a buckler ... any ideas?? Idea Question
QUI FALSITATE VIVIT, ANIMAM OCCIDIT. FALSUS IN ORE, CARET HONORE.
"Who lives in falsehood slays his soul, whose speech is false, his honour".
Inscription on type XII dated 1040-60 (Records, Oakeshott)
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan, 2008 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Get a buckler (88USD from Mercs Tailor) and the book "The Medieval Sword and Shield".

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Mark Shier
Industry Professional




Joined: 27 Mar 2005

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: medieval swordsmanship         Reply with quote

It's not easy (and sometimes not safe) learning by yourself. I'd suggest Guy Windsor's Swordsman's Companion as your best bet to start with: http://www.amazon.com/Swordmans-Companion-Tra...1891448412 . It covers all of the basics, from a Fiore point of view: Safety, cutting, drills, workouts, etc.. If you can spare the time, 4W is coming up soon, and it's in Seattle- http://www.academiadellaspada.com/events/4w/2008/about.html . There are at least two from Victoria going, so it should be possible to get a ride.
If you don't mind traveling to the big island off the coast of BC, we have a Fiore practice every Tuesday night, and can usually be persuaded to share any knowledge we have at other times by arrangement.
mark
Lynx Sword Study Group
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Medieval swordplay self taught ..?         Reply with quote

Jody A wrote:
I would like to learn ...... my sword is an Albion Knight

Jody

Please buy yourself a wooden waster to train with as you learn to handle a sword!

Learning swordsmenship is a process in which many mistakes are made. Those mistakes often involve hitting parts of one's own body. Therefore, an Albion Knight is not a good sword to learn with because it is a real sword. You cannot afford to make a single mistake with your Albion Knight. Hit your leg and you will probably die.

We look forware to hearing from you for many years to come.

Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW
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Adam Rudling




Location: Coventry, England
Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you definately wanting to train in an early medieval style then the only really good books to get are 'The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship' by Jeffrey Forgeng & 'Medieval Sword & Shield' by Paul Wagner & Stephen Hand.

The first is a facsimile of the I.33 manual in the Royal Armouries collection & the second is an interpretative manual based on that manuscript. The original is dated between 13-14th century.

Definately get yourself a wooden training sword though !

I would also recommend the occasionaly visit to Sword Forum International (SFI) , often helpfull - if you ask the right questions.

Have fun training !

Adam
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Shawn Henthorn




Location: Amarillo TX
Joined: 25 May 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes get a training blade (I HAVE hacked my self with a live blade... not an experiance I wish to repeat) ...I hate wasters but i use a Hanwei Practical Norman. If you hate the idea of bucklers, take a look at "English Swordsmanship" by Stephen Hand. It is meant for use with a basket hilt but you will still find good stuff for a plain single hand in there.[/i]
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also check out http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB2/index.php...

some good answers can be found there.

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Lee Craven





Joined: 31 Aug 2006

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Might I suggest

The German Longsword DVD by the group Ochs

Combined with Toblers Fighting with the German Longsword?

http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VI...ProdID=178
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lee Craven wrote:
Might I suggest

The German Longsword DVD by the group Ochs

Combined with Toblers Fighting with the German Longsword?

http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VI...ProdID=178


I second that, as the DVD helps a lot to understand the " static " pictures in the book, but taking lessons helped me understand the DVD better. Wink

Obviously if there are no training groups in your area this isn't an option.

Having a training partner might help but if both people are complete novices this might be of limited help !?

In a case like this I would suggest training very slowly at half speed or even quarter speed: Understanding the moves and then trying them out accurately is much more important than any speed of execution. Good control of the wasters and avoiding contact is also essential for safety.

Being very new to training myself take the above suggestions with a grain of salt.

You can find most if not all of the suggested books and the DVD here:
http://www.revival.us/
http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VI...tegory=232

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Corey D. Sullivan




Location: Canada
Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest making yourself a pell, in addition to the books and DVD's. It does wonders to improve technique and to help get the basics down. The more elaborate ones can aid in footwork ans guards as well.


Some methods.
http://www.woodenswords.com/Pell/ubiquitous_pell.htm

"He had scantly finyshed his saienge but the one armye espyed the other lord how hastely the souldioures buckled their healmes how quikly the archers bent ther bowes and frushed their feathers how redely the byllmen shoke their bylles and proved their staves redy to appioche and loyne when the terrible trotnpet should sound the blast to victorie or deathe."
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Jody A




Location: Vancouver, BC
Joined: 24 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks so much to everyone who's responded so quickly, and so helpfully! To recap, I am now looking at getting a waster (short sword); I'm thinking of sketching up a backyard pell; and I'm whittling down a shortlist for a book (or 2) and a DVD ... but please keep your suggestions coming as I'm learning alot and I think that this thread is probably very helpful for alot of other folks out there who are transitioning from historical interest / collecting into actual practice. Safety has always been paramount for me so your advice in this area has been very appreciated.

I am finding the different views on training methods/interpretations interesting and I am trying to navigate through this. Obviously a deep topic - but my desire to train with a short sword with a focus on "historical accuracy (12th-14th century)" may help narrow this down ...

Also your views on wooden waster vs blunt steel practice sword would be helpful, as well as your thoughts on buckler vs. no buckler (and then steel vs leather buckler) ...

I do wish I had a training partner or options for formal instruction close by but, for now, I don't, so I will be relying on your advice and the books you recommend to start self-training .. so thanks again, and keep it coming!

Respectfully, Jody A. Happy

QUI FALSITATE VIVIT, ANIMAM OCCIDIT. FALSUS IN ORE, CARET HONORE.
"Who lives in falsehood slays his soul, whose speech is false, his honour".
Inscription on type XII dated 1040-60 (Records, Oakeshott)
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Purpleheart Armoury makes good wasters; I own one of their longsword wasters and I really like it. I used it for a weekend CHT Gathering last August, and it held up really well. Mine has a metal pommel as well, which makes it balance nearly like a metal sword. I can't seem to find the option on their website, but I think if you e-mailed Mr. Darce about it he would adjust your order accordingly.

http://www.woodenswords.com/WMA/index.htm

www.addisondelisle.com
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Sean Belair
Industry Professional




Joined: 08 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

may i suggest that after some practice, film yourself making cuts and transitioning guards. post the video on the off topic forum and let some of the people here give you pointers on technique.
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Adam Rudling




Location: Coventry, England
Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeans comment on using the Och's groups DVD & Tobler's book together are very good if you want to go down the longsword route in a german style, also a thing to remember with all these books / DVD's is that they are based on the author's current interpretations & as such some of the information has now changed a fair bit.
Christian Tobler has definately changed the way he performs some actions & is quite willing & open to tell people this (another reason he's so respected) he takes part regularly in discussions on several sword websites & is often very helpfull with his udated advice.
Saying that, all the books mentioned above are really good - which doesnt make things easier & just to throw a spanner in the works there is also another DVD by the Ochs group on Messer fighting techniques which are also applicable to single handed sword use & this is an excellent product. In fact both their DVD's are really good & easy to use.

As for wether to get blunt steel or a wooden waster, well blunt wood hurts less when practising with a partner (except thrusts maybe) & is really cheap, but then steel behaves differently when used - upshot is both are good & historic !
I have both blunt steel reenactment sword & wood, mostly with beginers I use the wasters.

Adam
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Vaclav Homan




Location: Hradec, Czech
Joined: 22 Jan 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want learn medieval fencing you have many ways.
We have in Czech and Slovak long experience with rediscavering of livinhistory. There are many poeople possessed by history fencing. Teachers, schools, matches are on good level. We thanks to our Free Master Peter Koza. He has been fencing more than 40 years. It has been said that the whole Europa would fence according to M. Koza. His way of fencing is original and the most autentic. He studied all aspect of the livin and fencing of europe and world. He started as sport fencer and he has received mastership hungarian sabre. Adown years M. Koza rebuild old Martial arst practiced in central Europa. (First known master in Czech was M. Lamprecht in Prague 1389. M Koza lives in Bratislava there lived and fought Imi Lichtenfeld - founder Krav Maga).
Fencing is obout inteligence, diligence and learning by proof. It is necessary to stady oll. Anyone have some fragment of truth.

Buy DVD and books are not solution. Manuscripts (Fechtbuecher) are not introduction.
You must study: fight movement (ability of balance, naturalness), history, archaeology, manners, tactics and strategy of fight.........
You must known: tempo (vor, indes, nach; stessotempo....) distance (three distance), be able to cut , sinchronize leg and arm, nacionals master (german, italy, france, spanish schools)..........
Human body and ability are indentical in the world you can study another martial arts. You must begin 3 days in week prectise. With good basic in martial art you can understand other.
Iaido and Kendo are similar to long sword fencing. Chinese fencing is good begin for rapier italy school. Kalarypajat, interesting but difficult. Balotok escrima interesting for medieval hanger. Wresling (greek-roman) very important for medieval fencing. Boxin strenght and distance. Sport fencing tempo distance...........

You must sometimes arrive in school: Magisterium, Gladiatores, ARMA, Ochs, Zornhou...........

In 12-14 century was common: shield sword, handger, origin of the long sword, nife.....

Very good web site: http://gladiatores.de/Movies.html (very good vidios with one of the best student od M. Koza)
Magisterium.cz , Thearma.org, .........

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vaclav Homan wrote:
Iaido and Kendo are similar to long sword fencing.


The other comparisons sound rather good, but this one is...well, seriously suspect. For one thing, iaido is specifically designed with one sword in mind: the katana. The longsword is generally longer and doesn't have the katana's slight curve, so it doesn't seem that the quick-draw iai techniques would be any use with European longswords.

Despite all that, iai is at least still meant to be something of a practical swordsmanship technique. Kendo, on the other hand--I don't think it'd be inaccurate to say that the relation between kendo and Japanese swordsmanship is like that between modern sport fencing and medieval European longsword. Different aims, different mindset, very different techniques. Kendo might be useful for developing an aggressive and competitive spirit but it won't be any help for learning medieval/Renaissance European swordsmanship techniques.
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Vaclav Homan




Location: Hradec, Czech
Joined: 22 Jan 2008

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for reminder but this is typical answer. View of Martial Arts at this moment in US, Canada, UK is specific. In this time is fundamental interest: constrast. Differentiate in anonymity. Peoples can see only problems and smoll contrasts but they can not see connection. We have another thinking about fencing.
Martial arts was based on premise that you can survive not as determinative element.
If you do not have good bases you can not exercise technique.
In Czech is Japanese culture very popular like Czech culture (music) in Japan.
In every small city we have iaido, kendo, karate, aikido. I practice Kendo and my sister iaido, my fellows aikido karate..
You are right iaidzucu (Dzinsuke line) is specific with sheat work (some similarities in hungarian sabre) but there are another ability. Kendo is as sport fence therefore is very goot to make basis.
Katana is longer and slight curve (tipical fot medieval two hand hanger) therefore you can not use some importent wrist techniques (reverse cut, cronary rover ?eglisch) And we common use quisk drow, sword fencing is based on quick wrist jecky move (you can read old master: Sutor Mayr...)
Fencing and approach in west are some times comik. Every need techniques but nobody have base and your body need unique fence move and work with leg and hand, noboby looking for bases.
My begin for 15 years ago: 1 year work with legs without sword.

And additional mistake: development of medieval-renaissance master of swordmanships was disconnecded. It is not thruth.

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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Vaclav Homan




Location: Hradec, Czech
Joined: 22 Jan 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 2:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am sorry for my englisch. It is problem so fast write. I hope that you understatnd.
Reason this declaration is: If you do not have good master, you must more work but it is possible to make good fencing (you must be himself master :-)
And it is similar problem with languages. If you can two language thirt language is not problem.
(My favorit language is Germany, and it is similar to englisch)

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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Peter Lewis





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 2:49 am    Post subject: DVDS AND BOOKS         Reply with quote

I get all my books and dvds on swords and sword fighting from www.paladin-press.com

They have a wide range of books and DvDs about sword fighting,forging swords and making armour.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vaclav Homan wrote:
I am sorry for my englisch. It is problem so fast write. I hope that you understatnd.
Reason this declaration is: If you do not have good master, you must more work but it is possible to make good fencing (you must be himself master :-)
And it is similar problem with languages. If you can two language thirt language is not problem.
(My favorit language is Germany, and it is similar to englisch)


Just welcome to the Forum and site and I think i understand that your main points are that the human body is the same everywhere in all historical time periods and today: What works in swordsmanship is universal in a fundamental way, although details, styles do vary.

To simplify: You recommend looking for what is common to all swordsmanship and not only what is specific to a specific style to better understand the Medieval techniques.

As to basics: The surviving documents seem to not cover the basics and assume that they are known ! The texts deal more with the advanced techniques !? Oh, I'm not an expert here but this is what I understand from what others have written in various posts.

I'm sure some will agree with you and some might disagree, but I hope that I have accurately restated your main point.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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