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Alexander Ren




Location: Florida
Joined: 18 Apr 2005

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2006 8:49 pm    Post subject: First Real Sword         Reply with quote

Finally got enough money at the same time as Albion's New Years sale. I bought one of their unsharpened Squire Line 13th Century Great Swords and it arrived today. I have a couple of books on longsword techniques and am planning on doing some training in a friend's back yard on the weekends.

Even though I don't have much room to maneuver in my apartment, there is a marked difference between it and the cheap wallhanger claymore I got before I knew better. I am looking forward to this weekend when I will have enough room to compare the two more thoroughly (though I will be very careful with the claymore since it is not very well put together).

I don't own a digital camera but I will try to get some pictures up as soon as I can.

Alex
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 818

PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats Alex. The Albion Squire Line series is great to start off with. Happy -Ted
"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2006 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexander;

Congratulations but remember that even a dull blade can break bones and even cut if handled with enough force.

Even if I can't give you first hand advice I would imagine that if you do some sparring / training with a friend always stay in control of the sword and your emotions and move at half speed or lower and pull your blows before contact ! Even more if you don't use some protective armour of some sort.

I'm sure that those much more qualified than I can give you advice here and will give you more detailed practical safety tips if you need it.

I'm assuming here that you are just starting to learn how to do this safely: That wall hanger could just snap at the guard.
Eek!

A steel sword against a wooden waister ? I don't know how well different training tools can be mixed? A bad mismatch might damage one or the other or just not be safe.

Using the steel Albion for solo training might be a better idea and using a pair of wooden waisters for sparring.

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




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: First Real Sword         Reply with quote

Alexander Ren wrote:
Finally got enough money at the same time as Albion's New Years sale. I bought one of their unsharpened Squire Line 13th Century Great Swords and it arrived today. I have a couple of books on longsword techniques and am planning on doing some training in a friend's back yard on the weekends.

Even though I don't have much room to maneuver in my apartment, there is a marked difference between it and the cheap wallhanger claymore I got before I knew better. I am looking forward to this weekend when I will have enough room to compare the two more thoroughly (though I will be very careful with the claymore since it is not very well put together).

I don't own a digital camera but I will try to get some pictures up as soon as I can.

Alex


I'm curious as to the books you have to work from. Training solely from books, with no experienced person to guide you, can be a dangerous prospect with such a large sword. I'll second Jean's suggestion to keep the steel blade for solo practice and use wooden wasters or something else for paired drills. DON'T jump right into sparring to see how it works. That's a good way for one or both of you to get hurt. Build experience with patterned drills first.

Again, I don't know what books you have. If one of them is Guy Windsor's longsword training book, you have a good place to start.
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Alexander Ren




Location: Florida
Joined: 18 Apr 2005

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I acually am only planning on solo drills exclusively. The friend I mention is only providing his backyard and doesn't plan on participating.

Kel,

Yes, I do have Guy Windsor's book: "The Swordsman's Companion" as well as "Fighting with the German Longsword" by Christian Henry Tobler.

I have been training for about two and a half years in Shotokan Karate so I understand that not having anyone to correct me can cause problems with my technique. Unfortunately, I don't have much alternative since I have been unable to find anyone in the Pensacola area that I can train under.

I am hoping that some of the basic foot-work and body mechanics from Shotokan will transfer over; however, yes I do plan on taking it slow for the next few months at least.

Jean,

As far as the wall-hanger goes, I plan on only going through a few of the drills in those books concerning foot-work and transitions from one guard to another. I will not be doing any cuts with it.

Again, thanks everyone for your encouragment and advice... Alex
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Jessica Finley
Industry Professional



Location: Topeka, Kansas
Joined: 29 Dec 2003

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexander -

I am going to be in Pensacola March 4 & 5 to perform at the Gulf Coast Ren Fest. If you come out, we could do some work with drills and such between my performances. I work German Medieval Martial Arts, so I could help with some of that if you're interested. There will also be some members of Higgins Armory Sword Guild (hope that's the right name) there that could advise on Silver, I.33 or Meyer, if you're more interested in that.

Anyways, shoot me a PM if you're interested in getting together.
Jess

Edited to fix the dates of the festival


Last edited by Jessica Finley on Thu 16 Feb, 2006 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alexander Ren




Location: Florida
Joined: 18 Apr 2005

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica,

You should be getting my pm any minute.
Thanks... Alex
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Shawn Shaw




Location: Boston, MA USA
Joined: 07 Jan 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Fri 17 Feb, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got both of those books you mention, Alex, and I use them for my own solo drilling. I've found them to be easy to follow, interesting, and the photographs help alot (having a full length mirror nearby can help you see your body positioning and such better and correct at least some mistakes). I've also found that oftentimes, you can just "feel" when you're doing something wrong. So, I just try to pay attention to my body and say, "Huh, the way I did that makes me feel off balance when I come down into X guard, did I do that wrong?".

Of course there's no substitute for in-person training and I'm actually hoping to hook up with the Higgins Sword Guild (I'm less than an hour from Worcester!) in the near future, as soon as I figure out my schedule for March.

Oh, and to my neighbor's utter credit, I didn't get so much as a strange look when he brought the trash out to see me slicing away at nothing in my backyard with my MRL 15th C longsword. I guess I'll have to try harder next time...

Good luck, have fun, don't get hurt. :-)
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 818

PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Alex,

Jean and Kel brought up an excellent idea Idea : wasters (practice swords made of wood). I have two from Purpleheart (www.woodenswords.com). They're safe, durable, extremely lightweight, well-balanced ... and can be lots of fun! And bonus, they're not very expensive at all. Big Grin

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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