December 18, 2018, 03:35:50 PM

Author Topic: Sword Fighting  (Read 401 times)

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Sword Fighting
« 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?

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #1 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?   

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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #2 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

Offline Peat

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #3 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.
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Rostum

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #4 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.

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #5 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. 

Offline Rostum

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 04:50:12 AM »
you need to talk to @The Gem Cutter  about playing with knives

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #7 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.


Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #8 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.
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #9 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

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #11 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

Good overview of the angles common to almost all weapons martial arts (unsure about European styles):  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
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #12 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

Good overview of the angles common to almost all weapons martial arts (unsure about European styles):  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

Thank you, master Gem!  :D *salute*

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #13 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


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Offline xiagan

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Re: Sword Fighting
« Reply #14 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. 
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