Fantasy Faction

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: S. K. Inkslinger on December 01, 2018, 02:00:14 AM

Title: Sword Fighting
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on December 01, 2018, 02:00:14 AM
Does anyone here do any kind of sword fighting martial arts (HEMA in particular)? What are your thoughts and opinions on it?
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: CameronJohnston on December 01, 2018, 08:03:19 AM
I'm a little out of practice buy yeah, I've done a fair bit of german longsword, broadsword, and a little sword and targe, bayonet and quarterstaff.
What kind of things did you want to know?   
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on December 01, 2018, 01:17:06 PM
When it actually came to the time to ask I'm not fully sure what to inquire too, hahah. Is it fun and do you enjoy using certain types of weapons more than others? Also, since european longswords aren't really available in my area, do you think I could replace it with, say a katana, and do the same drills as for a longsword?

Thanks Cameron!  :D
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: Peat on December 01, 2018, 01:47:09 PM
Tagging @Anna Smith-Spark in the hope she sees, as I know she does.

I'd love to start but time and budget are against me.
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: Rostum on December 01, 2018, 04:28:51 PM
I have dabbled with various styles and fought with a range of European weapons not through HEMA though. I have also tried kendo and gone through the moves with real (18th and 19th centaury) Katanas. The European styles for cutlass and sabre are very different from use of Katana which largely avoids parries and favours diagonal cuts.
Movies tend to use a katana the way Kendo uses bokken  which is a modern sport and doesn't follow the way a katana would be used.
There are various European long sword techniques (from Scotland to Italy) which are completely different from the Japanese styles and they are very different weapons.

I would suggest trying what you can be taught locally and seeing if learning the discipline  is for you before focussing on a European style or weapon, which will involve travel and cost. Trust me its hard enough to do in the UK.

For me I prefer fighting with a spear over everything else but that depends on the situation. One on One you need space to move, but you get to keep your opponent out of reach. In a crush a dagger is often more useful than a sword. it all really depends on your situation.
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on December 02, 2018, 02:06:55 AM
I have dabbled with various styles and fought with a range of European weapons not through HEMA though. I have also tried kendo and gone through the moves with real (18th and 19th centaury) Katanas. The European styles for cutlass and sabre are very different from use of Katana which largely avoids parries and favours diagonal cuts.
Movies tend to use a katana the way Kendo uses bokken  which is a modern sport and doesn't follow the way a katana would be used.
There are various European long sword techniques (from Scotland to Italy) which are completely different from the Japanese styles and they are very different weapons.

I would suggest trying what you can be taught locally and seeing if learning the discipline  is for you before focussing on a European style or weapon, which will involve travel and cost. Trust me its hard enough to do in the UK.

For me I prefer fighting with a spear over everything else but that depends on the situation. One on One you need space to move, but you get to keep your opponent out of reach. In a crush a dagger is often more useful than a sword. it all really depends on your situation.

Wow that's great insight, Rostum, thank you so much!  :D I also thought that the style in HEMA/ european sword fighting seemed quite different from the Japanese style, now I knew for sure. I tried looking into kendo myself, but there seemed to be numerous alterations from traditional sword fighting too (more of the sports and arts part in the martial arts, I guess) I stumbled on some videos teaching kali, a fillipino martial arts training on how to use a dagger and that seemed interesting as well, hahah. 
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: Rostum on December 02, 2018, 04:50:12 AM
you need to talk to @The Gem Cutter  about playing with knives
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: NedMarcus on December 02, 2018, 07:46:58 AM
I used to learn sword fighting as a part of my kung fu class, but had to give up to get more time to write. It was hard, painful, and sometimes bloody. I've also practiced sword forms, which are much gentler.

Now, I mostly focus on learning to use short sticks.

Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 04, 2018, 10:50:10 PM
When it actually came to the time to ask I'm not fully sure what to inquire too, hahah. Is it fun and do you enjoy using certain types of weapons more than others? Also, since european longswords aren't really available in my area, do you think I could replace it with, say a katana, and do the same drills as for a longsword?

Thanks Cameron!  :D
I am inexperienced with European styles. For non-European styles for fun and defense, I suggest you look at the broad family of Philippino stick/knife/sword martial arts: Kali, escrima, and their various subsects, like pekiti tersia. Their moves are interchangeable and there are practitioners who can teach. Unlike many other arts, these are less-pretty more-effective arts with simple, stackable moves that are effective open-handed, with a car key, a screwdriver, or a stick, in addition to edged weapons. They are practical and evolved, so there's more subtlety than there appears.

YouTube them and find a practitioner. Lessons are not expensive and they are all good exercise and hand-eye coordination builders. I am renowned among my friends for little tricks of the hand (swatting bees from the air or catching dropped objects) - and it's from my training and practice. See my poem on the Peaceful Path for my summary on the subject.
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on December 05, 2018, 06:22:59 AM
When it actually came to the time to ask I'm not fully sure what to inquire too, hahah. Is it fun and do you enjoy using certain types of weapons more than others? Also, since european longswords aren't really available in my area, do you think I could replace it with, say a katana, and do the same drills as for a longsword?

Thanks Cameron!  :D
I am inexperienced with European styles. For non-European styles for fun and defense, I suggest you look at the broad family of Philippino stick/knife/sword martial arts: Kali, escrima, and their various subsects, like pekiti tersia. Their moves are interchangeable and there are practitioners who can teach. Unlike many other arts, these are less-pretty more-effective arts with simple, stackable moves that are effective open-handed, with a car key, a screwdriver, or a stick, in addition to edged weapons. They are practical and evolved, so there's more subtlety than there appears.

YouTube them and find a practitioner. Lessons are not expensive and they are all good exercise and hand-eye coordination builders. I am renowned among my friends for little tricks of the hand (swatting bees from the air or catching dropped objects) - and it's from my training and practice. See my poem on the Peaceful Path for my summary on the subject.

That sounds amazing Gem.  ;D Totally agreed on the kali, eskrima, and other Filipino martial arts on being more practical in everyday situations. I probably won't have a sword on me when I'm outside anyway, hahah. I stumbled across a lottt of Filipino martial arts video on youtube, are there any specific teachers/ styles that you'd like to recommend, Gem?

For example, what do you think of this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaoqLJY0-jc&t=115s
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 06, 2018, 04:57:21 AM
When it actually came to the time to ask I'm not fully sure what to inquire too, hahah. Is it fun and do you enjoy using certain types of weapons more than others? Also, since european longswords aren't really available in my area, do you think I could replace it with, say a katana, and do the same drills as for a longsword?

Thanks Cameron!  :D
I am inexperienced with European styles. For non-European styles for fun and defense, I suggest you look at the broad family of Philippino stick/knife/sword martial arts: Kali, escrima, and their various subsects, like pekiti tersia. Their moves are interchangeable and there are practitioners who can teach. Unlike many other arts, these are less-pretty more-effective arts with simple, stackable moves that are effective open-handed, with a car key, a screwdriver, or a stick, in addition to edged weapons. They are practical and evolved, so there's more subtlety than there appears.

YouTube them and find a practitioner. Lessons are not expensive and they are all good exercise and hand-eye coordination builders. I am renowned among my friends for little tricks of the hand (swatting bees from the air or catching dropped objects) - and it's from my training and practice. See my poem on the Peaceful Path for my summary on the subject.

That sounds amazing Gem.  ;D Totally agreed on the kali, eskrima, and other Filipino martial arts on being more practical in everyday situations. I probably won't have a sword on me when I'm outside anyway, hahah. I stumbled across a lottt of Filipino martial arts video on youtube, are there any specific teachers/ styles that you'd like to recommend, Gem?

For example, what do you think of this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaoqLJY0-jc&t=115s

The numbered strikes he's referring to a near-universal, although I admit I do not use the reverse grip (blade pointing down in the hand, opposite the thumb) with strikes below the chest (mine) - notice the proximity between the point and his own groin. I have a 3 1/2 inch long scar in my thigh from a minor mistake I made at speed...  Anyway, all those sinwali and kali moves are very good. The follow-ons and openings created by them are in fact very sophisticated - striking vertically compels the foe to block horizontally; following with a thrust is very difficult, so you notice the alternation between slash & thrust, horizontal and vertical, combined with the footwork make it very hard to withstand your attacks. Just beware... you will learn the vulnerability you have over your whole body in new ways and come to feel your true nakedness to the average kitchen knife. Anyway, just be fucking careful. Buy rubber practice weapons and get some nunchuku - they teach the flow and give painful lessons on control that are valuable. Never go faster with a live blade than you can handle. That said, cutting yourself, as I did, teaches one the way a hot stove teaches about caution. One should fully expect to cut oneself in a true struggle. The cost of doing business.
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 06, 2018, 05:10:55 AM
Remember, for training longer is safer (harder to cut or stab oneself). Some videos of what I was trained in:
Pekiti Tersia:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrvoBIq__k&t=132s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrvoBIq__k&t=132s)

Good overview of the angles common to almost all weapons martial arts (unsure about European styles):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxk1Gtj5b1w (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxk1Gtj5b1w)

The most fundamental block and important "move" when facing the untrained:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOnGhyLmpg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOnGhyLmpg)
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on December 06, 2018, 05:58:12 AM
Remember, for training longer is safer (harder to cut or stab oneself). Some videos of what I was trained in:
Pekiti Tersia:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrvoBIq__k&t=132s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrvoBIq__k&t=132s)

Good overview of the angles common to almost all weapons martial arts (unsure about European styles):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxk1Gtj5b1w (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxk1Gtj5b1w)

The most fundamental block and important "move" when facing the untrained:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOnGhyLmpg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOnGhyLmpg)

Thank you, master Gem!  :D *salute*
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: CameronJohnston on December 06, 2018, 09:04:32 AM
It's a hell of a lot of fun, and really good exercise too. My favourite weapon was the quarterstaff - very intuituve, very versatile, deadly and also a little bit like that scene in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with Little John on the river.

You absolutely could not replace a longsword with a katana and do the same drills - I mean sure, you could aproximate, but the curved single-edged blade is used so differently to the straight blade with two cutting edges, long crossguard and strong metal pommel that you would be better off using a straight stick to practice instead. Fortunately for you, the longsword is the most-practiced weapon in HEMA so there are loads of texts http://www.thearma.org/essays/mastercuts.html#.XAjlmYv7T4Y and youtube videos to browse: Try this one first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbyI9-JeNsA

Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: xiagan on December 06, 2018, 08:37:17 PM
My favorite quarterstaff scene is Mat against Gawyn and Galad in Jordan's Wheel of Time (book two I think). :)

I dabbled in Escrima because it's partnered with Wing Tsun Kung Fu (which I did for years before I had kids) here in Germany and I found the stuff Escrima Grandmaster Bill Newman does quite cool.

Wing Tsun (or Chun) Kung Fu evolved from fighting with weapons so a lot of the techniques you do bare handed work with a weapon (usually a knife) in your hand too (slightly altered of course).
I trained with someone who does HEMA sword fighting once and I was surprised how similar the things Liechtenauer did are to Kung Fu. Stand, moves, direction of force, etc. 
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: Rostum on December 12, 2018, 05:41:31 PM
Oh vanishing posts again. I did post up a couple of days ago honest.

I would suggest practising with blunts as a safer option especially if sparring. Before collecting militaria became inadvisable in the UK it was not uncommon to come across blunt swords. They tended to be issued that way. safer to teach and safer for horses in cavalry regiments. The order to sharpen swords was almost a ritualised command to prepare yourself for battle. A lot of swords were carried abroad still blunted and only sharpened if likely to be needed.
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: The Gem Cutter on December 14, 2018, 04:49:06 AM
Echoing Rostum, check this out:
http://www.stickman-escrima.com/Products/Hits.htm

These plastic-looking tubes (they're a carbon fiber miracle) are remarkably light but very tough. They are a dangerous weapon but only in the hands of someone who can make it really sing, so much safer than edged things, dull or not. Tons of videos on youtube illustrating the lethality of a non-sharp sword. (spoiler - they'll cleave your head right off just as well)
The HITS sticks are cheap and non-threatening and weigh mere ounces, reducing the chance of pulling something in your wrist. And although hard enough to repel a small bullet, you have to really swing them hard and directly to hurt anyone (including oneself).
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: AnnaStephens on December 29, 2018, 04:55:51 PM
I've been practising HEMA for about 6 months with an emphasis on the Italian longsword style of Fiore dei Liberi. We also do abrazare (unarmed combat) and rondel (dagger) work.
While the latter two are useful to an extent in real world situations, we are taught in line with the 15th century teachings and therefore the emphasis is on "this is how professional soldiers fought in those times, not how you would fight today". That said, if you write anything set in a medievalesque setting or are interested in that period of history, it's absolutely brilliant.
If you want to learn to defend yourself with a weapon for real world situations, pick something else. If you want to know what it's like to fight like a knight, do HEMA.
Title: Re: Sword Fighting
Post by: Rostum on February 01, 2019, 07:04:49 AM
Quote
These plastic-looking tubes (they're a carbon fiber miracle) are remarkably light but very tough.

May have to make a pair of light sabres then...