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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jun, 2014 7:15 am    Post subject: Long and relatively heavy singlehander wielding?         Reply with quote

Greetings, good people of myArmoury! I have a kind of a fetish on long and heavy singlehanded swords, but I realized I enjoy wielding smaller and lighter swords much more, so much that I tried to sell some of my heavier swords recently... I can handle quite heavy swords in the german longsword style with two hands and I don't think I'm too weak to handle heavier singlehanders, I just wield them the wrong way probably... So I'm asking for some information on how to handle heavy swords with one hand properly. Dismounted, of course. I guess it's going to involve shield, and that's not a problem, I have my reenactment 13th/14th century heater. And a kite, too. So, anything is welcome, videos, your own experiences... Shoot! Wink
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jun, 2014 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know the proper method Luka, if there was one in the period you are talking about (I assume 12-13 century), but I spent 2-3 years doing daily drills with some bigger single hand swords (like the Del Tin 2130 with longer 35" blade for example) and got pretty comfortable with them. I just started from the 14th century arming sword drills I had learned in school and then naturally adjusted the motion over time to make it work. It takes less snap in the wrist between fixed guard positions and more shoulder motion and just going with the flow, letting the sword do what it wants to do. I suppose it helps to have relatively big shoulders, so that just turning the torso transmits a lot of whip-like motion into the blade. Then just keep 'er goin'. Hand size vs. grip length may be an issue. I found that having the heel of the hand wedged against the brazil nut pommels on that era of sword helped leverage the sword upwards and then hold it up in a stationary position.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 05 Jun, 2014 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka,

What makes you think you wield them in the wrong way? Do you mean you strike with them improperly? What gives you that impression?

The reason I ask is that, provided you can strike with a long sword, you can also strike with a single handed sword properly. I do not think one can speak about fundamental differences in how long single handed swords are wielded. My guess is that you just need to spend more time practicing so that your body can become comfortable with the dynamic of a longer sword; I'm not sure how much can be said about it in writing.

The one thing I can say is that I find maintaining good balance becomes trickier with my heftier single-handed swords. It can be easy to have the mass of the sword trying to pull you off-balance when you strike. In this, as with other things, better physical fitness undoubtedly helps, as will repeated practice in striking with heftier swords- which should help your fitness, too.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,227

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jun, 2014 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, I simply forgot I started this topic. Blush
Craig, I strike well enough, but when trying to imagine me fighting with them with a kite or heater shield, it seems to me that keeping hand high the whole time and having to make a recovery after blow by raising the hand and sword up is a bit of an energy waste, but it might be it's the only way for fighting dismounted in a shield wall. More free wielding in a duel setting or on horse would be much easier...
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 20 Jun, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka,

How low is your sword arm when you finish your cut? I normally do not let my sword travel below my collarbone when delivering strikes; if you do, it would probably fatigue you significantly more quickly.

Although we have no fencing books for sword and shield, it seems very likely that one might strike to the head and, depending upon how your strike is displaced, then raise the sword arm high so the sword hangs in a position to thrust behind the shield. Making a second, follow-up attack in this way seems that it would require less energy than freely striking again. I think it would work better against a flat top kite shield, which appear to have been used fairly passively, judging from period art. By contrast, it looks to me that heater shields were often turned outward or inward to displace a blow, and this might move your sword into a position where such a follow-up attack is impossible.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Jun, 2014 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luca, do what I do....or give it a try, anyway. Being an old Vikinger, I'm used to heavy single-handers. Try moving the hilt of your sword only, while keeping the point in a small area. If you control the point, you own the battle. I actually try to write my name in cursive script with mine. A blade-heavy sword must be manipulated, and once the sword arm is used to it...it becomes second nature. After a while of drilling with one of my big single-handers, I can pick up one of my Renaissance-era swords and they feel like toys. Of course, I drill with a Dane Axe and a long-bladed spear also, so my arms are used to the weight. Give it a shot.....Can't hurt. Big Grin .........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 20 Jun, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark makes a very good point, which is as applicable for long sword as it is for single handed sword. One of the most effective ways to practice with a sword is to put your attention on manipulating the hilt and making the hilt motion as cleanly and precisely as possible. The natural tendency when holding a sword is to try to move the whole weapon when striking. Your focus tends to be on moving and striking with the whole blade. Yet, much of the time, when you practice moving the sword hilt with as much precision and control as possible, the rest of the sword tends to move in very clean, crisp lines. You don't need to worry too much about the point; it will travel nicely on its own. In moving the hilt, you move the whole sword. Practicing this way is one of the secrets to becoming excellent with a sword.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jun, 2014 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you , Craig. You just said exactly what the rest of my thoughts were. Big Grin ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,227

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jun, 2014 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some very good advices people, thanks. I guess the biggest problem is that when I don't actually strike anything like I would in combat, I have to try too hard to stop the swing that would naturally be stopped by the target... Also, changing from strike to thrust and than to another strike like you suggested is the easiest and most natural...
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