Discussion in 'The European Art of Fencing' started by Cruentus, Jan 2, 2005.
Interesting link on American Saber fighting:
Pete Kautz and crew do good work. It is really simple to use compared to civilian dueling sabre in the French or Italian schools.
I am a fan of Kautz's work myself.
I own several reproduction calvary sabers and Eastern curved blade weapons.. the same draw cuts that work well with eastern weapons can work with the Western calvary saber, as well. For a good realistic movie example of draw cuts, with a single handed weapon (for those who do not know the theory) the scene in Hidalgo where the black bodyguard fights the Bedouin kidnappers is excellent.
The main reason for the curve of all these blades was calvary use, (horse or camel) the better ability to glance the blade off a passing enemy without excess shock to the wielder.
I generally prefer a straight Viking-Damascus blade/other straight short sword/Falchion or forward tilted Kukri/Falcata design as they are more practical for ground based hand to hand fighting, IMO. A good folded steel or fine carbon steel Asian blade (Katana, Wakisashi, etc..) would do well these days also as we don't wear full armor
If for any reason I were to be horsed (I have riding experience but don't currently own a horse then the curved weapons would be more suitable.
What reproduction sabers do you own, and are they suitable for training?
What you (or any of you) recommend for a good reasonably priced American Saber?
I am looking at picking a few up, which is why I ask...
I own several Indian forged steel repros of US and European cavalry sabers. Surprisingly good quality steel, made by Windlass Steelcrafts in India. I get them wholesale, if you see a sword on line that you like, PM me and I'll try to get you a better price if you like. Most retail swords are way over priced with up to 60% markup. I also own several copies of Bulgarian cavalry sabers which are mostly decorative. And a wonderful high carbon steel two handed Persian weapon which is my favorite curved blade. Works great with Kali footwork. If you just want a good bargain steel saber for training, the India manufacture cavalry swords are just fine. They will even cut quite well. I bought mine years ago for $45 each. I don't know exactly what is available right now, however.
If you want a real hard core quality fighting weapon that could be used for genuine calvary warfare, Cold Steel is your best bet, but $$$. I like to have at least one all out quality fighting weapon for each type of cheaper repro pair that I train with. I get these wholesale and would be happy to sell you any one of these cheap (like less than 10% over wholesale plus shipping if I can obtain it)
Here's the Cold Steel light cavalry saber, these are fighting/high quality weapons.. look around that site for what you might want, there are several saber designs: http://www.coldsteel.com/88s.html
If you wanted to try a quality manufacture extreme draw cut weapon, here's one : http://www.casiberia.com/cas_website/product_details.asp?id=SR038
If I or any of my instructors wanted to get into the American, French, or Italian arts that you and others do, what would you suggest? Do you have any good web sites I could reference? Book suggestions?
You can divide the Western Martial arts world any number of ways, but one was is between Living Traditions (LT) and Historical European Swordsmanship (HES). HES studies those weapons without LT and even some that have it by using the printed treatises. There are a lot of these schools/study groups popping up all over. Check out http://swordforum.com/ for forums and lists of groups.
Dueling sabre is well within the range of LT so that's the way to go for that weapon.
M. Martinez teaches French and Italian sabre.
M. Crown http://www.classicalfencing.com/ is in Ithaca teaches French sabre in Ithaca, NY
M. Sinclair http://www.scherma-antica.org/ Teaches Italian sabre in Italy
M. Manusardi in Italy http://web.tiscalinet.it/canneitaliana/ teaches sabre as well as cane
M. Lurz http://home.pacbell.net/parsec-e/ teaching in California - Italian
M. Hayes http://www.northwestacademyofarms.com/ in Oregon - Italian
Maitre Zakrzewski teaches Polish Infantry sabre in Canada, but I don't know if he has a website.
I think the best book one could get is Barbasetti's 'The Art of the Sabre and the Epee' if you're looking for something already in English.
Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or DVDs to learn the basics of Sabers, Foils or Epee? I am not looking to ever compete. I am just looking for dills and such to do on my own. More to just use them for exercise. I am in the middle of Nebraska and there are no instructors nearby (closest one is 5.5 hours away). Any suggestion would be appreciated.
Is there a college club near you?
Cold Steel's free DVD on swords has a section dedicated to saber drills. Not a huge amount of material, but you can't beat the price.
Free? Is it promotional with a purchase, then?
All we have here is a very poor community college, with no fencing
whatsoever. We only have one martial arts school here and that's in
Ninjitsu, not my cup of tea. Saber has always interested me, so I figured
I could learn some basic drills to practice alone for exercise. I have no
intentions or believe that I will ever duel or spar with anyone, since there
is no interests at all for this where I live. It's like the lacrosse sticks I have, no here plays Lacrosse, but my Daughter and I play cath back and forth and play our own little backyard game for fun. The more variety I have in activities, the more likely I am to exercise.
I ordered the free DVDs and will probably end up ordering the saber set when I get the money, as they are quite expensive. Cold Steel is the first place I have seen offer someting like that. If anyone else can recommend any other DVDs/Books/VHS that I can learn various drills from for the saber, I would appreciate it. It looks like it would be something fun to do. I appreciate you guys giving me advice.
It's promotional- they show how well their swords cut and such- but no purchase is required. Just go to their website and request it. It's like a video catalog with an instructional bonus. They'll send you a paper catalog along with it.
Thanks, I'll do that!
There are some new sabres as well at
I haven't gotten my hands on them yet though...
Would you recommend these rapiers, or something similar, for the Spanish weapon seminar to be taught in Maplewood, NJ next month - or would a standard fencing sabre suffice?
A standard sabre should be fine as long as it has an S2000 blade (the same kind now required for sport fencing). If you have a pre 2000 blade, I'd say it's too light.
Thank you. The Radaelli and Hutton Sabres currently available from a couple of manufacturers would also be o.k. (?).
For the HES approach to the Western Martial Arts, check out www.thearma.org
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