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Christopher VaughnStrever




Location: San Antonio, TX
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 382

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: An Online Sword Instructor         Reply with quote

Today I am making a purchase that will complete my suit of Armor (Lacking period shoes) From ankle to head I will be enclosed in steel. My next puchase (After today) will be a sword. I would like to acquire a practical training in the use of the sword. This is the one I have been considering the most to purchase...
http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ma...ce-I33.htm

Since my suit is of mid to late 15th century,
Should I choose this sword or would something else be more practical?
Should I go with a sharp such as Albion's Yeoman? (Or are there any suggestions to swords by other makers?)

These next couple of paragraphs sound as If everything is directed soley to me, however I feel that the outcome could be more benifical for many people. Seeing as they are most likely in the same circle of circumstances that I am in.

Here is my highest concern, I would like to practice and train to use the sword (While suited in my armor) in a historical manner. I do not care to join a group, however I am open to the possibility (There are no groups in San Antonio, TX that I know of) and I cannot afford a teacher.

The next paragraph my sound unusual though I feel the question should be asked.

I desire to learn how to execute proper foot work, Weight distribution, and sword handling and all the other things I have no idea to even ask about. Would it be possible for you, the community to instruct me of how to be trained in these arts? Or are there books that would benifit me for instruction? And, could a book take the place of a teacher?

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Felix R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2009 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The I33 of Albion is a good single handed trainer. The Yeoman would not help you much as it is not your timeframe, thought it is a fantastic sword.

Wiht footwork training, just attend to any type of martial arts you like. There is foot work in every type. For self training you would at least need a partner to train the basic contact things. Many techniques come from the bind something you can hardly train yourself.

For a very good start you would be well advised to get this DVD, that basically covers everything you need to know to begin with: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...=fiore+dvd
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: An Online Sword Instructor         Reply with quote

Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:
This is the one I have been considering the most to purchase...
http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ma...ce-I33.htm
Since my suit is of mid to late 15th century,
Should I choose this sword or would something else be more practical?


http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ma...enauer.htm
This is more along the lines of a 15th century knightly sword.


Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:
I desire to learn how to execute proper foot work, Weight distribution, and sword handling and all the other things I have no idea to even ask about. Would it be possible for you, the community to instruct me of how to be trained in these arts? Or are there books that would benifit me for instruction? And, could a book take the place of a teacher?


If you have a background in a related MA (even modern fencing) you can learn from a book... but there really is a need for instruction from a good teacher. Thanks to the internet there are videos to watch, books to buy and forums to ask questions.

It still comes down to needing a second pair of eyes and hands to correct form, smooth out footwork, and train with. Paired drills are a must, solo forms are a part of learning, but to really learn you need to have the feedback of the opponent and their weapon.

Cheers,

DT

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


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Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: An Online Sword Instructor         Reply with quote

Hi Christopher,

Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:
I do not care to join a group,


I don't mean this to sound snarky, but why not? You can't learn swordsmanship without someone to practice with.

Quote:
and I cannot afford a teacher.


I really hate to sound like "grampa" here, but you say you've spent money on a full suit of harness that you want to train in, are looking to purchase a sword to go with it, but that you can't afford a teacher? I'm not trying to give you a lecture, but that's kind of backwards. Happy Especially considering that, with certain exceptions, most martial arts instructors from any background (Eastern or Western) charge FAR less than a full harness would cost.

I don't want to be rude, but I bring this up because I wonder if perhaps you aren't being very realistic in what you're asking. I genuinely don't want you to take that as an insult. I want to you to evaluate what you want.

Quote:
Would it be possible for you, the community to instruct me of how to be trained in these arts?


Not really, no. Not unless if you were willing to travel. The internet can give some vague advice, and there are now multitudes of videos and DVDS that can give a nice snapshot of the art in motion, but they cannot replace real, hands on instruction. I can probably write a ten page paper on basic stance alone that I could also teach you in five minutes in person.

Your best bet, if you can't find local instruction, would be to travel to one of the many excellent events that are hosted throughout the country. The semi-annual Western Martial Arts Workshop happens to be my favorite, but there are other excellent ones such as ISMAC, 4W, Chivalric Weekend, and more. The cost of travel and the event for a weekend would cost you less than an Albion sword, and will be worth far more to you if you are serious about martial arts study. I'm not exagerating in the slightest, either: If you go to one, single event, you will come home realizing just how much of the world of swordsmanship you had never realized existed, and you will also be lightyears ahead of your studies than if you had relied on the internet alone.

Your next best bet, if you can't find local instruction and can't go to one of these events, is to learn from another similar martial art (such as Japanese swordsmanship, for example) and combine that with books on European swordsmanship. This way you can learn proper body mechanics, theory, and drills, and you can use books to start to get a better picture of what those in Europe did. (Because even though the arts are different, there are far more similarities in approaches than differences, particularly if you are able to identify those differences... hence the books.)

Quote:
Or are there books that would benifit me for instruction?


Yes, there are some wonderful books available. Please have a look in the "Books" section of this site to see some excellent recommendations and user reviews.

Quote:
And, could a book take the place of a teacher?


Never. Not even close. Books can give you a great start, and they can be wonderful companions to actual instruction. They can also be a temporary aid while you look for proper instruction. But can a person become good at performing heart surgery from a book alone? Would you trust a pilot who has never had any training besides books? Martial arts are no different. An Aikido instructor could type up how to do a nikyo wrist lock in a couple of pages, and even show you a video on the internet, and yet you still wouldn't fully understand until he did it to you.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Christopher VaughnStrever




Location: San Antonio, TX
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 382

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill, thank you for taking the time to type that reply. What you said is what I needed to hear and I am going to give all those points you made some serious consideration. Especially the traveling to different events (atleast one)
Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Jessica Finley
Industry Professional



Location: Topeka, Kansas
Joined: 29 Dec 2003

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to agree whole-heartedly with what Bill said. Find a way to get to a "big" event, where you'll have the opportunity to learn from a variety of instructors. You may find that you "click" with one of those instructors: You like them, their material, and their instructing style. Take the time to introduce yourself in greater detail after class and tell them how much you like what they are doing and tell them that you plan on continuing to study once you're home.

After that point, once you've gone home and bought books that support what you've learned and want to continue learning, you might be surprised to find at that point that you can continue to get help online from most if not all of the instructors in the WMA (HEMA) world. You'll have basic things like stance and footwork answered, but as you work through other techniques, you may find that you need questions answered. More often than not, the authors of these books will reply to a polite e-mail inquiry and will answer your question.

Asking someone to take you on as a long-distance student for more intense instruction is another thing. This may or may not be something that the instructor considers possible or desirable.

I can speak as someone who has worked mostly via books/online/yearly seminars - It is MUCH harder work to learn via this method than finding a physical instructor. When you do this, you are required to not only be a student, but an instructor of your own self. And then, when you need someone to work with (and you will), you will find yourself instructing them, based on nothing more than knowing one lesson more than they do.

While it may seem at first glance that this is the easy path (hey, I can work out when I want, as often as I want, with whomever I want, and for FREE), it's actually much, much, MUCH harder than attending a class physically.

Good Luck!
Jessica

Selohaar Fechtschule, Free Scholar
http://www.selohaar.org/fechtschule

Fühlen Designs, Owner/Designer/Seamstress
http://fuhlendesigns.com
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: An Online Sword Instructor         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Yes, there are some wonderful books available. Please have a look in the "Books" section of this site to see some excellent recommendations and user reviews.


Bill,
According to a post from Nathan back in August, the Book section is currently down and will be until he has time to fix it.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris, some titles to start with http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-German-Medieval...=1-1-spell
http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Art-Swordsmans...amp;sr=1-4
http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Sword-Shield-C...pd_sim_b_1
http://www.amazon.com/Fighting-German-Longswo...pd_sim_b_1
http://www.amazon.com/Swordmans-Companion-Tra...pd_sim_b_1

Theres plenty more titles, a quick search on amazon under things like medieval swordsmanship and the like will yeild many titles.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica Finley wrote:
While it may seem at first glance that this is the easy path (hey, I can work out when I want, as often as I want, with whomever I want, and for FREE), it's actually much, much, MUCH harder than attending a class physically.

I'd second that...

One of the greatest benefits of attending a regular class, in my experience, is precisely that it forces you to work with regularity, without neglecting things that you find boring or are not motivated to do right now. It also helps to have some sort of "social pressure" to keep you going when things become hard. Someone with a very strong willpower could probably go around that, but it will be more effort anyway...

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Christopher VaughnStrever




Location: San Antonio, TX
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 382

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll be purchasing a book or two in the near future, Thank you for all those helpful links and suggestions.

I am following the line of reasoning being told to me and I thank you all for helping me thus far get a good start on this new level of my Armour/Swordsman Involvment.

Are there any events planned? Or rather could links be added so I can check up on these various groups that have annual or bi-annual events? I can google Hema and Arma but thats about all that I know of.

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Jessica Finley
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Location: Topeka, Kansas
Joined: 29 Dec 2003

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 6:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some events:

CW: http://chivalricweekend.webs.com/
WMAW: www.wmaw.us
4W: http://www.4wseattle.com/
ISMAC: http://artofcombat.org/ismac/
WMAC is planning an event, nothing final up yet: http://www.wmacoalition.com/ That might be the closest to you, in Houston. At least, of the events I can pop off on the top of my head.

And I am sure there are many more.

Selohaar Fechtschule, Free Scholar
http://www.selohaar.org/fechtschule

Fühlen Designs, Owner/Designer/Seamstress
http://fuhlendesigns.com
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Scott Brown





Joined: 03 Mar 2008

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Christopher,

Today might just be your lucky day! We've just announced an International Gathering for WMA /HEMA and it's practically in your back yard! Well, OK, not really, but it's in Houston!

Take a peek at this thread for more info and don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any. http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18410


Best of luck with your training!

Scott Happy

Member, WMAC
wmacoalition.com
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