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Matt C.




Location: Kennesaw, GA
Joined: 10 Jul 2006

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jul, 2006 11:51 pm    Post subject: New to sword-collecting, need advice...         Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I've spent the last couple days reading and lurking on this board, and I must say, I'm impressed!

Anyways, I'm just posting to introduce myself, and to ask a bit of advice. Lately, I have become interested in learning about and collecting swords. However, I'm not sure of a few things, and couldn't really determine the answers using the "Search" function.

1. Do the majority of the collectors here actually use their swords (as in cutting), or just keep them at home on display of some sort?

2. Where in the heck should I start?? I know the smart choice would be to learn a lot before I actually purchase my first sword, so I'll do that. I'd really like to train in swordfighting techniques, do any of yall do that?

3. I live in Kennesaw, Georgia. If there are any of you that attend any kind of training groups or facilities in Georgia at all, please let me know. As I said, I'd like to learn the proper techniques of it, as well as make friends that share this interest. I own my own vehicle, so driving a little ways isn't that much of a problem.


Thanks a lot ahead of time for any advice/help, I really appreciate it!
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 1,001

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First Matt, welcome aboard.

You've started at a good spot already by coming here and your on the right track as far as reading & learning
as much as you can to begin. Nathan R.,crew and members have done an excellent at bulding a great information site.

Next you would need to determine what type of sword or time period your are most interested in and do some more reading/study. Once you've established that, decide what type/style of swordsmanship training you'd like to study and then........read some more.

Ask questions from people here and you will surely find the answer to most things or at least get pointed in the right direction. Books and other info. are as much of this hobby as the swords themselves. This is a very addictive & expensive hobby, so be patient, it will pay off in the end for you both financially and fundimentally.

To try and answer your first question, I think alot of the fine folks here use their swords to some compacity, whether it be in test cutting, historical swordsmanship, re-enactments, etc. But most got started by just collecting.


Hope this was of some help and keep coming back, you are sure to learn something with each visit.


Cheers,

Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: New to sword-collecting, need advice...         Reply with quote

>1. Do the majority of the collectors here actually use their swords (as in cutting), or just keep them at home on display of >some sort?

There is no one type of collector, but many of us do study one type of swordsmanship or another. German longsword is most popular, as it has the most surviving manuals on use. Basically, few western weapons have a living lineage, but many many have extremely detailed instruction manuals.

>2. Where in the heck should I start?? I know the smart choice would be to learn a lot before I actually purchase my first >sword, so I'll do that. I'd really like to train in sword fighting techniques, do any of yall do that?

I would recommend getting a book from Christian Tolber or Stephan Hand, (Look at Chivalry bookshelf.) http://chivalrybookshelf.com/ and choose a style. There are many other fine men in the WMAs community, but these two really stand out in making their material accessible to the new student. Also, get a wooden sword and start with that.
The best starter set I can recommend is a waster, Tolber's Fighting with the German Longsword, and the Longsword DVD from Ochs. Don't play with a sharp until you know a bit about working with a waster, you really don't want to take parts off.

An excellent choice for a first sword would be an ATrim. I don't have one, I'm saving, but everyone who does says they stand up to a lot of abuse and handle like dreams.



>3. I live in Kennesaw, Georgia. If there are any of you that attend any kind of training groups or facilities in Georgia at all, >please let me know. As I said, I'd like to learn the proper techniques of it, as well as make friends that share this interest. >I own my own vehicle, so driving a little ways isn't that much of a problem.

Since comments on groups that are less the positive are discouraged on all public forums, I have sent you a private message on this topic. Basically, don't join a group right away. You need time to adapt before joining a group.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Gabriel Lebec
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome Matt! I think William and George's advice is pretty solid. One of the nice things about myArmoury, however, isn't just its forums, but its content-oriented structure and the resulting wealth of resources it presents, especially for new collectors.

For example:

Top Shelf
Books
Not sure where to start with books? The myArmoury team has written a "top picks" article to get you started. Or you can look in the books section for member reviews and other articles.

Note that myArmoury has given a lot of western sword collectors a place to share their enthusiasm, but that that isn't this site's explicit focus (per the sticky thread at the top of the first sub-board). More articles on other cultures are pending and/or in demand, so if you were interested in something and don't see it, ask about it here! I can give some recommendations on how to start learning about nihonto (Japanese edged weaponry), for example.

Features
Introduction to the Sword
While you're reading and researching, check out the featured articles. myArmoury members have written a huge amount of very useful and engaging material, distilling respected academic sources into top-grade web content.

You may especially want to read everything under the heading "Definitions, Terminology, and Beginner Info," such as the Intro to Swords article. Good stuff that will get you up to speed with most of the basics.

Reviews
Collections
Albums
When you've done a lot of reading, thinking, learning, talking, etc., and are getting impatient to start your own collection, you'll note the Reviews section has scores of reviews from many production (and some custom!) manufacturers and craftsmen. The Collections and Albums both have great photos to give you a sense of a sword you might be considering as well.

One last thing. All of these terrific resources represent a group effort between the myArmoury team and ordinary members like you and me. Nathan and the others are always looking to expand the content of this site, and happy to help with the development of any articles YOU may want to write - including giving you topic suggestions and help finding research material! Something to consider as you enjoy the results of all the effort other members have put into the site. I'm working (at a sadly glacial pace Wink) on some material myself, and it's rewarding to think that that work may help some collectors or at least just provide them with a good read one weekend. Happy

Cheers,

Gabriel L.

PS - myself, I've both used some of the pieces I've owned, and own others that I'd consider too valuable to use. It all depends on your outlook, the weapon itself, whether it is an antique or new blade, etc. I'll think you'll find a ton of people here who use their swords, as well as many who never do. It's all good. Happy
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Kenton Spaulding




Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 6:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would just echo the comments you've heard thus far. Do your research, make sure that what you're purchasing fits in with you collection goals. I know when I discovered my interest in arms and armor I basically popped on a few websites (unfortunately not this one) said, "oh ok, so that is how Vikings dress" and went about spending money on what I saw. Unfortunately, I should have done a little more studying of reliable sources, which would have saved me valuable, eek, gulp, hundreds of dollars. But you are definitely on a better track than I was Big Grin

As for what I do with my swords, I have done some cutting, and hopefully someday, will have the opportunity to do some living history...probably not unless I move though Worried good luck!

Kenton
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,132

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To echo the others, read and learn before spending a lot of money on a purchase you may regret later. Define the goals of your early collection, and your budget. As others noted, we have over 150 reviews here, covering a wide range of price and quality. Reading through some of those will give you an idea of what to expect at various price points.

I started out as "just a collector" who hung stuff on the wall. Now, I'm a backyard chopper and that's good enough for me right now. I haven't had time to get into formalized martial arts, though I have several books on different systems.

Welcome and happy hunting!

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,892

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest reading, reading and reading as the best way to enter this hobby. Start with the first installment of our Paper Armoury series: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_books_team.html. Get some of the inexpensive books cited and spring for one or two of the more expensive ones (Records of the Medieval Sword or European Weapons & Armour: From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution for example). Figure out which period and weapons most interest you. Figure out how you want to use your collection. Understand the compromises you'll make depending on your intended usage. Read the reviews and articles here and ask questions. Spend lots of time in the Albums here looking at original weapons, studying details of design and construction. Soak it up!

It's important to know that there are different paths to follow in this hobby and they're not all complementary. If your focus is mainly on cutting, then you may not care that your weapon is historically accurate. If your focus is on living history or martial arts training, at some point you'll probably come to favor accuracy of design and construction and won't be happy with even the highest quality modern design. If you like to tinker and/or you're willing to accept some design and construction compromises for the sake of affordability, you may find good value in mid-level production pieces like those from MRL (although the best MRL blades are pretty good).

Keep in mind, too, that there are high-quality, performance-oriented swords that are only vaguely historic in design, construction and function, just as there are weapons of more accurate design and construction that are designed and made as decorative blunts. I would suggest that if you're serious about Western Martial Arts training, you might want to avoid both approaches. Get training tools as suggested by The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (http://www.thearma.org,) among others (by the way, the founder of ARMA lives in Atlanta and perdiodically offers classes there. The ARMA site currently lists a "Southern Regional Event - Atlanta, GA - Fall 2006 TBA" so you should keep an eye out for that event). An historically accurate sharp weapon and equivalent waster in wood or steel are a good start. You can use the sharp for solo drills and cutting, just as you could use a modern design, but if it's historically accurate it'll give you a better idea of how the weapon might have handled, historically. By the way, as far as WMA is concerned, my personal preference is for ARMA.

Just to put all my cards on the table--I'm skeptical of test-cutting as an indicator of historical function of a given weapon type. Cutting is fun and is an important part of WMA training (edge alignment and placement, footwork, judging distance, etc),. It can be a real eye-opener to get a sense of just how efficient these weapons can be. But I think it's a mistake to draw detailed historical conclusions from the practice unless you've spent lots of money to get the most historically accurate reproduction weapon available, spent lots more money on historically appropriate and accurate targets, and spent lots more money and time developing skills equivalent to those who practiced these arts historically. Even then, I suspect that the best you can hope for is a very dim and muddled view of what it was like to use these weapons in combat.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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