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D. Phillip Caron




Location: Arcadia, FL
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Two- Handed Trainer         Reply with quote

I may be about to open a flood gate but here goes. I can see where working with a two-handed sword would be an excellent form of exercise if done properly and regularly. Is there a book, easily found, which goes thru the basics of two-handed sword drill? It would have to be liberally pictured as well as descriptive. Understand that I have no sword community around me, and my sword use knowledge comes completely from Hollywood.
The first casualty of battle is bravado, the second is macho.
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Mike Capanelli




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well first off you should purge yourself of any and all Hollywood images you have of sword use. There more then likely completely wrong at best. Hollywood really doesn't care about getting it right and just wants to deliver to people the already established impression of what fighting with a sword should look like. With that.................................

I'd pick up a Purpleheart armory Great Sword. It's big and heavy and will fit the bill for what you want to do. Then I'd pick up a good book (I Recommend "Fighting With The German Longsword" if you can find it) and just work through the drills, picking up speed and intensity as your body learns the movements. Just going through drill # 4 (If memory serves. I always get the drill numbers wrong) with gusto a few times will give you a decent cardio workout. Supplement that with a little dab of PX 90 and maybe a brisk Sunday jog and you'll be ion great shape in no time. Now all I need to do is follow my own advice. That's always the hard part isn't it?

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have a German Longsword article on our Features page. While a longsword and a true two hander are different animals (depending on your definition), it's worth checking out.
Happy

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D. Phillip Caron




Location: Arcadia, FL
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is the book I need information about. Not a sword. Fact is, for protection of body, dogs and property, I will start with a wooden trainer and work up to a blunt or a practical. And I agree with above. Planning and acquisition are the easy parts. It's the second sweat that's the bear, then the third.
The first casualty of battle is bravado, the second is macho.
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The purple heart armory great sword is a wooden waster. And I have to agree its an excellent training tool, I have two, the second has a steel pommel to pull the balance point back. This makes for a simulator that is closer in feel to an actual sword.

As for books, kilt of Athena has a new Fiore book which I just received as a Christmas gift.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Battaglia+

It covers everything from unarmed combat through dagger, one and two handed swords, pole ax, up to mounted combat.

For solo drilling I would actually send you to YouTube. Search for long sword Florish, florych, flourish, and you will find solo drills that look like Kata's which you can play over, pause, rewind, etc. that will give you some drills to practice.

Somewhere there is a map of historic martial arts classes but I can' seem to track it down. Perhaps another forum member has a link?
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There isn't very much available on two-handed sword, compared with longsword and (one-handed) sword.

Freely available is "Memorial of the Practice of the Montante", (1651, by Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo). English translation can be gotten from http://oakeshott.org/Article.html. This is a set of forms/patterns (called "rules"), so is well suited for solo practice. The translation above lacks pictures, so, for your purposes, it isn't self-contained. But a lot of people are working with this stuff, and you'll find video of the rules on youtube etc. Search for "montante rules" and see if you like what you see. Doing the rules will give you the basic biomechanics of working with a two-hander, and you can go on from there and make your own routines too.

There is also Ken Mondscheinís The Art of the Two-Handed Sword. I haven't seen this book, so can't comment on the content, but the ad copy is good!

Since exercise is one of your motivations, then training with a full-weight full-size sword is a good idea, rather than a lighter wooden (or whatever) sword (which would be a safer option for partner work or sparring). Arms & Armor offer a montante trainer and a spadone trainer, which might be OK. A cheaper (and heavier, and longer) option is Hanwei's Lowlander sword. This last sword is sharp, but you could blunten it for safer training. For exercise oriented training, you might like to be in the 3-3.5kg range (and the Lowlander is nicely there). Otherwise, about 1.8-3.5kg is OK. Don't go above 3.5 or it will be too heavy, and don't go much below 2kg, or you won't be forced to move with it properly. So if you start with a wooden trainer, aim for a minimum of 2kg.

(For solo work, a steel trainer (or a well-blunted Lowlander with rounded point) would be as safe as wood, as far as hitting things goes. Wood is safer for your muscles and joints when starting, since it's lighter.)

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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D. Phillip Caron




Location: Arcadia, FL
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is great to have reliable sources for questions.
Mike and Timo, I thank you. Purpuleheart trainers are at Kult of Athena where I must have seem them. They were what I had in mind. Also Timo, your recomended book is now on order. For your info, shipping is a rip at $18.00 UPS Ground when USPS would do it for half that.
Kult of Athena actually has three two-hand trainers. I'll probably end up getting all as eventually one will prove itself to be the favored.This will help when it comes time to get a "Real" two-handed sword. Thank you.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Phillip Caron wrote:
It is great to have reliable sources for questions.
Mike and Timo, I thank you. Purpuleheart trainers are at Kult of Athena where I must have seem them. They were what I had in mind. Also Timo, your recomended book is now on order. For your info, shipping is a rip at $18.00 UPS Ground when USPS would do it for half that.
Kult of Athena actually has three two-hand trainers. I'll probably end up getting all as eventually one will prove itself to be the favored.This will help when it comes time to get a "Real" two-handed sword. Thank you.


Look here at Kult of Athena:
http://www.kultofathena.com/books-weapons.asp

For longsword this one is great:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...uer+Part+I

Seeing it in motion is very important and useful and makes understanding the books easier.

Certainly, actual training with an experienced teacher is hard to replace if you actually want to learn swordsmanship as so much of it is tactile and in the feel of sword on sword, but at least for forming a mental picture of how the real stuff looked like the DVD's are very valuable.

The book recommended by Matthew is one of the best I have read or seen:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Battaglia+

The above book is more for the Italian Fiore style rather than the German styles, but both styles are contemporary to each other and both very valid and I assume that most masters or fighters of the period would be aware of both styles.

Kult of Athena is a great source for these books but here is a link to the publisher which is also a very reliable and efficient source with quality customer service:
http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/

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D. Phillip Caron




Location: Arcadia, FL
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One more time, thank you Jean. Appears you are into "bow wood" and "Sword Movies". Having denounced technology circa 1994 the DVD aspect never entered my head. As I owned DVD's in '94 I continue to buy them. I will get this one. I agree about the trainer, but I don't really see one on my horizon. But then, there may be a Journeyman on his way at this moment to my town.

p.s. Is it harmonics which damages sword handles? If so, would it not be prudent to wrap lesser priced handles with something? Seems twine would be better than a broken handle.

The first casualty of battle is bravado, the second is macho.
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William P




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks timo for linking the montante techniques, ive recently become enamoured with the zweihander, so ill be looking into it shortly
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Phillip Caron wrote:
Kult of Athena actually has three two-hand trainers.


That many? Which ones - I'm interested in looking, but I can't find that many myself.

The Windlass Pavia sword would work as a relatively cheap solo trainer, for a shortish two-hander. I like the look of the Windlass English two-hand sword (but I think it's at the light end for a trainer); it's a nice little baby two-hander, as much as a dedicated two-handed sword can be "baby".

A two-hander for relatively safe sparring is easy - get a bo/staff, and add a guard. Depending on protection being used, pad the tip, maybe the blade. Won't balance the same, and will be light, but light will help safety. You can do all sorts of two-hander training with a staff, but since it's so light, it's easy to cheat and move wrongly.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jan, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are two from Purpleheart, their Greatsword and their Long Sword. The last item at the bottom right is a Windless Two-Handed sword for $39.95. This is under accessories/ training swords. I did not include the Viking Long Sword which is also shown.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jan, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, OK. I wasn't counting longsword trainers (i.e., the Purpleheart longsword and the Windlass). The Purpleheart greatsword is a little short and very light. Might be good for sparring (as far as wood - with the resulting stiff blade - goes), but for solo two-hander work, I'd opt for something longer and heavier.

But I think it depends on what you mean by "two-handed sword". I mean something that you need two hands for, rather than being usable one-handed (which would be a hand-and-a-half sword, longsword, bastard sword, warsword (maybe)). To force authentic movement of the body, I think a heavy trainer is useful. The ones you mention look like fine longsword trainers (even the greatsword). For sparring, I'd choose the Rawlings synthetic longsword over them, but for solo longsword, maybe pell work, wood is fine.

I've used a mix of wooden staff, rattan-and-wood sword, iron bar, blunt steel, sharp steel for two-hander training. The last three only for solo training - I don't have a sparring-suitable two-hander blunt. The cheapest option is probably a hardwood pole from the local hardware store, or steel pipe/tube.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought there might be a gap between my terms and your knowledge. Seems there was, and you pinpointed it.
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Purple heart is also currently redesigning this beast

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

Don't know when it will be available but if you are looking for a trainer for a true two handed sword it might be worth the wait.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Matthew. I like that. Excuse me for a moment while I speak with my higher authority. ....
Timo, what do you think of that trainer?

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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
Purple heart is also currently redesigning this beast

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

Don't know when it will be available but if you are looking for a trainer for a true two handed sword it might be worth the wait.

I suspect that if you asked, Purpleheart might be able to make something that falls between their greatsword and this Montante simulator. That is, close to the same length as the Montante but without the secondary quillons and perhaps with smaller quillons.

Steve

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Reich wrote:
Matthew P. Adams wrote:
Purple heart is also currently redesigning this beast

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

Don't know when it will be available but if you are looking for a trainer for a true two handed sword it might be worth the wait.

I suspect that if you asked, Purpleheart might be able to make something that falls between their greatsword and this Montante simulator. That is, close to the same length as the Montante but without the secondary quillons and perhaps with smaller quillons.


It's very pretty. Best wooden two-hander I've seen (and would still be without Parierhaken/secondary guard). It's short, but not too short (it's about the same length as the very nice Wallace Collection A474).

Might be a bit too light. I think a two-hander trainer should be at least 2kg, or at least, you should use a trainer of at least 2kg at least some of the time (perhaps not for sparring - lighter is safer if sparring). A big part of learning to use a two-hander properly is learning to move efficiently and effectively with a 2-3.5kg sword. Which, I think, one doesn't get so easily from a lightweight trainer.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Er... I have the weight part. That seems very reasonable. Please say the rest of what you said a different way. I am sure that it was perfectly logical, but not to me.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jan, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Real" two-handers mostly vary from about 150-180cm in total length, and about 2-3.5kg in weight. Often with a very large guard, sometimes with a secondary guard (Parierhaken). If it's much shorter and lighter, it's a longsword. If shorter and not lighter, you don't have enough reach to make up for the slowness due to the weight. If heavier, it's too slow.

How closely should a trainer fit into this range?

I see no reason why the length shouldn't be 150-180cm (the Purpleheart is at the bottom end of this). This must also depend in part on what kind of two-hander you want to learn to use. If a big one, then use a big trainer. If a shorter one, then a shorter trainer. Perhaps it is best to be at the long end of the range. If you can move with a long two-hander, you can move with a short two-hander - you won't be putting the point into the ground because it's longer than you are used to.

What about weight? If too light, you can move unnaturally with it. So, on this basis, 2kg or more is good. But if you want to spar with it, lighter is better for safety, and it may well be best to have a sparring weapon well below 2kg. I think a lot matters on how, and with what protection, one will spar. One can always have two trainers - one for sparring, and one for everything else. For non-sparring, in some ways, heavier is better - if you can move properly with 3-3.5kg, you can move properly with a lighter sword. If the trainer is a wooden pole, not balanced like a sword, a somewhat lighter pole will be as difficult to move as a heavier sword.

Guard and Parierhaken? This will depend on what kind of two-hander you want. In some ways, a big guard is good - you will have to learn to move so as deal with it. If you can move with a sword with a big guard, you can move with a sword with a small guard. (A474 has a small guard.) I don't think Parierhaken matter for solo training; maybe they do for sparring.

Overall, I favour a long and heavy trainer, except for sparring. But if one wants to model a particular sword or style of sword, then that might set a good length/weight target. And there are plenty of two-handers at the short end of the "typical" length range.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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