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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
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Reading list: 4 books

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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Fabri Armorum "Sporting" Longsword and Rondel Dagg         Reply with quote

Several months ago I ordered a blunt longsword trainer and matching Rondel dagger from Fabri Armorum (Jiri Krondak in Prague, CZ). My group has several pairs of his gauntlets and two of his excellent helmets and I thought we'd get one of his practice swords.

To add to the fun, I asked him to ship the finished products to my hotel in Greece. Yes, Greece--my wife and I were going on vacation. And it is nice to have a practice sword on vacation, right? I hope you laughed. As a further aside, I'll add that I could have recruited an entire class of Fiore enthusiasts from fellow tourists and native Greek islanders; that my morning training caused me to meet an old shepherd with a fund of wonderful tales, and a German tourist who's brother does Talhoffer... but that's not the purpose of this review.

As a final aside that is pertinent to this review, I took Greg Miele's edition of Vadi on vacation as well. Which leads me to the sword.

The Fabri sword is, for the cost, a very good product, but it is the lightest, fastest longsword in our club and I was at first very disappointed by its complete lack of distal taper. The blade seems to me (and I'm not by any means an expert) to be ground from a piece of flat stock, with the last eight inches ground thinner and rendered more flexible. Because of this, the sword is very fast; the heavy disk pommel gives the blade a point of balance almost at the swordsman's right thumb, and the blade rotates or turns like lightning in exchange for a certain lack of authority in a cover, parry, or wind.

The hilt is visually attractive, with a decorative wire wrap over leather. I will, in time, wire wrap the pommel half of the grip as I wear steel gauntlets to spar and train and they generally cut the upper hilt to ribbons. But I can't fault the hilt--it's pretty and it works. As I usually use an Albion Lichtenauer, I was surprised by the utility of the disk pommel; I found the disk to have an effect on the grip of my left hand not unlike having a pistol grip on an electric foil.

The blade is plain, unpolished, and as ground. It is light and flexible--bad cutting is ruthlessly punished by the whippy blade. On the other hand, with a serene hand (I think that's what Vadi says) it cuts very well, as several hundred Greek fennel plants will testify, despite the blunt edges! (Fennel grows wild and about 8 feet tall in Greece this time of year).

On the down side, I dislike the tip, which has had width braised on for safety and yet is NOT wide enough for my taste. I'd like it better without the braised on width, but with the same curve and thickness as the point of the rondel dagger. In sparring, the blade proved softer than my Albion or the Arms and Armour trainer, but hard enough for several years of serious use. However, it seems to me--and I am NOT an expert--that this is a trainer for someone intending to "fence" with a longsword, and not someone intending to, for instance, fight in armour, or make sharp, direct covers or parries of heavy blows

Summary--a good buy for the money--if you want a light, fast longsword.

Rondel Dagger (blunt)

Attractive, reasonable authentic, and well built, the blade is heavy enough to survive in the lists and I think the pictures say it all. However, the blade has NO flex, so this is NOT a trainer for unarmoured combat.







Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
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Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Christian,

did you do thrusts with this blade? Isn't the flat tip of the blade *meant* to flex in thrusts to make them safer (as the brazed-on tip is there for safety, too, I guess). Furthermore: how does the sword react in a bind in the flat portion? Does it hold the bind or does it flex under the pressure of the partners blade?

I own several "normal" Krondaks. Most of his off-the-shelve products are meant for reenactment and show-combat. They are no beauties, but enduring trainers. I think these sporting blades are Jiris attempt at making blades meant for safe sparring and historical fencing. I own one of his normal longswords and it is just a tad bit stiffer than an Albion Liechtenauer in the thrust (but way heavier and has a cruder finish). I hand it out to starters in our group, but don't allow them to do thrusts.

Thomas

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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is a beautiful thruster. I guess I should have said that moire baldly... its what I meant when I said it was for "fencing." But it is so light that in a hard bind... well, I'm a thing, light boned guy and I need a heavier sword to match a bigger opponent.

Still--I'm a totally satisfied customer. It's fine trainer. But not a replacement for my Albion! (nor should it be, at the price).

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
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