American Saber fighting...

Discussion in 'The European Art of Fencing' started by Cruentus, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Steve, that seminar should be fantastic. Though I am not a huge fan of the rapier, Maestro Martinez is the finest rapier instructor I have ever seen in action. The reason why I am sorry I have to miss the seminar is because of James Loriega. Loriega is a fine instructor, and anyone who is interested in Western knifecraft should train with him any chance they get. I really can't say enough good things about him.

    For a little heads up on Spanish knife fighting, check out Loriega's most recent publication:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1581604718/qid=1121008645/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-2560890-6512112?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
     
  2. Shane, I didn't think ARMA trained in 19th century saber? This wasn't a thread on generic WMA, but on the saber specifically.
     
  3. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Black Belt

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    Keith,

    Thank you. I plan on attending. I guess a practice sabre with a s2000 blade would be sufficient (I don't know very much about fencing blades, equipment, etc.)? Ditto for a practice foil? I have a rapier made with a schlager blade that should be o.k.

    Best,

    Steve
     
  4. Christopher Umbs

    Christopher Umbs Yellow Belt

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    Steve,

    I'm not sure who else is making them.
    Chris
     
  5. Christopher Umbs

    Christopher Umbs Yellow Belt

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    Here's the section re: equipment for the seminar. I think my only question would be, how long is the rapier blade? 35" or 40" (see the section below about measuring the blade)?

    Chris
    "
    The classes are structured to accommodate both beginners and advance students. Students who have their own equipment are advised to bring a pair of gloves for both hands, masks, jackets, breast protectors for women, and rigid groin cups for men. Students that do not have their own equipment are asked to wear comfortable work out clothing. If you do not have a Spanish type rapier an Italian type will do. If you have no rapier at all then we advise you to bring a wooden dowel of 3/4 inch in thickness. They can be purchased at any Home Depot or neighborhood lumberyard. To measure the appropriate length, stand square and extend your sword arm out horizontally to the side. The total length of the dowel should be taken from the opposite shoulder to the tip of the middle finger of the hand of the extended arm. If you do not have a Spanish smallsword, bring a foil. An Italian foil would be preferable but a French foil will be permitted. It is important that you have a sabre, as it is essential to understand the distinction between the sabre and stick. We will provide walking sticks and navaja trainers. Although we are making allowance for those who do not have all the proper equipment and weapons it is exceedingly important to be properly equipped to achieve the best results."
     
  6. Hi John,

    We're just down the road from you in Wichita - which still isn't close. We teach an Italo-Hungarian dueling sabre form from the Radaelli/Santelli lineage (with the addition of hungarian techniques (wrist and finger cutting, and lots of false edge work) to the Radaelli/Santelli material - though we do maintain and teach all the original techniques). We're only operating on a tuesday/thursday night schedule which definitely doesn't help you at all. If Kansas City is any closer to you, I have a colleague who teaches from the Radaelli/Santelli lineage as well there and they do run a weekend (saturday afternoon) practice as well as weeknights..

    I know the sport club in Lincoln has some very good fencers - but its not classical fencing, which sounds to me more like what you're looking for. I don't know of anybody doing classical stuff up in NB unfortunately. You might want to try the Midwest Historical Fencers Project yahoogroup - perhaps somebody there might be able to help you find something closer to home.

    as a side note: the Radaelli/Pecoraro sabres from CAS-Iberia are being sold with straight blades which aren't terribly conducive to working with some of the Radaellian material, such as the Sforzi from 5th and 6th position, which work much much better with the curved blade Radaelli originally used.. Apparently CAS-I has some curved blades in the works..

    I'm working on a project to get a radaellian patterned blade in my collection reproduced by Angus Trim, but that's going to be a few more months yet.

    Darkwood Armoury has radaelli and pecoraro hilted sabres on the market as well, though I have yet to see any pictures of their curved duelling sabre blade, and haven't heard anything about it. Their guards look great, but I don't like their interpretation of the backstrap style grip..

    The Radaelli and Pecoraro guards are also availible through Negrini fencing equipment company, and are repros from an old catalog of theirs, unfortunately they didn't repro the blades or any of the other hardware.

    --
    Chris Holzman
    Moniteur D' Armes
    River City Fencing Club
     
  7. Christopher Umbs

    Christopher Umbs Yellow Belt

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    Hey Chris,

    I'd forgotten about the Darkwood sabres. I haven't handled them, but some folks who have say that they're too heavy, YMMV.

    Chris
     
  8. I haven't heard *anything* about them - so that's more than I knew before. I'm looking forward to seeing the CAS ones - Jason at Brightblades told me they are shipping in the states, but are on backorder of roughly a month. I just wish they would have done a curved blade first, but M. MacDonald explained why it was done with a straight blade - availibility, and that the blade wasn't from a Radaelli or Pecoraro anyway. I'd have been glad to donate mine to the cause, had I known about it.

    On the flip side, whenever Gus gets around to it, we'll have blunts and sharps.
     
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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  10. Christopher Umbs

    Christopher Umbs Yellow Belt

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    Chris, I hear the first batch from CAS was no good and the blades are being re-worked. Something about being too mushy on a thrust.

    Chris
     
  11. Hey Chris,

    My Maestro bought a Radaelli and a Hutton.. The Hutton is ok, if you like that kind of sabre - I don't, but the blade is decent enough - a bit soft, but not horrible.

    The blade on the Radaelli is just aweful, in my opinion. Rather than a folded over point a la modern s2000 blades, the point is shaped as one would expect of a folded point, but is solid. From the debole to doppio-debole, the blade was EXTREMELY soft - to the point that a modern foil fencer could easily have turned it sideways and flicked it.. my LM S2000 blades from PBT are far stiffer. More to the point, I've had pre-S2000 blades that were stiffer than this thing - even a couple of old Scaroni blades that were stiffer - if you can believe that.

    I must say I truly dislike the shape of the blade as well - it look and feels like an overgrown S2000... like, perhaps one of the first of the BF s2000's, or the Viniti triangle sections... the point didn't track well through the cut, and I could feel the blade counter-flexing badly during montante cuts. handling was awful. I've got a curved blade in the works - should be prototyped sometime after labor day.. I intend to have it compatible with the CAS hilts, or easily modifiable to be compatible.

    The Radaelli hilt is nicely done, although they need to either modify the ferrule at the front of the grip to match the guard shape, or they need to modify the tang shape (or just set it down slightly) so that the ferrule mates with the guard on all surfaces..

    The weight was about as advertised, though the POB was closer to the guard than I like..

    If I can get money ahead, I'm going to buy one of the radaelli's so that I'll have something to fit the new blade to. I'd rather have one of the Negrini guards, but I can buy one of the CAS weapons for the same price as just the negrini guard, and would still have to come up with a backstrap...

    Still - it *is* progress.
     
  12. Christopher Umbs

    Christopher Umbs Yellow Belt

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    Chris,

    Just received this message
    --------------------------------------
    Hello,

    We are writing to everyone about the new sabres by CAS Iberia. Maestro Paul
    Macdonald showed us the prototypes for these sabres back in the Spring of
    2004. We were so pleased with the blades and the hilts that we were eagerly
    awaiting their production. We placed a substantial order as soon as we
    heard they were available. It was a huge disappointment to find out that
    what they have produced resembles the prototypes in appearance only. We
    returned the whole order because we were so greatly disappointed with the
    blades.

    The problems that we noted are;
    1. The temper of the Radaelli and Pecoraro sabre blades is incorrect. This
    is especially so in the foible. It has no temper at all, making it is
    excessively soft and whippy. The blade is too flexible with nearly no
    spring to it, which makes it feel totally lifeless. Upon careful
    examination it is clear that the blade will easily bend excessively and not
    return to true. We were shocked to see this; the prototypes in 2004 had
    accurately tempered blades which sprang back to true.
    2. The Radaelli and Pecoraro sabre blades are also too light. This renders
    the over all balance of these sabres completely wrong as all of the weight
    of the completed sabre is then concentrated in the hilt.
    3. Worst of all, these blades are all inconsistent.
    4. The blade on the Hutton has the opposite problem. The Hutton sabre blade
    is too stiff and heavy. These blades are also tempered incorrectly as they
    are too rigid and the foible has no flex at all. This makes the completed
    sabre feel like a club or hammer in the hand with the weight too far forward
    of the guard.
    5. The blade on the Hutton has some taper, but the general thickness of the
    blade is excessive.

    From our examination of CAS Iberia products, we have determined that they
    have the adequate technology and the ability to produce a good product.
    What is required is more attention to detail. We have written them
    explaining all of the above, hoping that they will correct the errors by
    making the proper adjustments and modifications on the blades.

    We are letting everyone know about this because it is important that we (the
    consumer) let weapon suppliers know that we are not willing to settle for
    second rate equipment, especially when they have the means and capacity to
    produce a better product. If we are content to purchase products that are
    "the best available" when they can clearly produce better, then there is no
    incentive for them to improve their products. This is a good opportunity
    for us to voice our concerns and let the folks at Cas Iberia know that we
    will not settle for substandard goods.

    We need to encourage the manufacturer to replicate these weapons exactly to
    the technical specs of the prototypes (rather then giving them our
    "opinions"). The specs Maestro Macdonald gave them served to produce a very
    good prototype. All we are asking is that they adhere to the specs and
    quality that they showed us they were capable of achieving in the
    prototypes.

    Sincerely,

    Maestro Ramon Martinez, Director
    Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martinez, Manager
    Martinez Academy of Arms
     
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  13. Hi, yeah - I saw that on CFML this morning - also, I have a review/pics up over on SFI as well..

    It really is rather disappointing.

    Hopefully CAS can get it fixed - I'd hate to see them not sell them due to crappy blades - despite being not a proper Radaelli blade, the more they sell, the more hilts there will be in circulation, and at least thats a step in the right direction.
     
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  14. Dwight McLemore

    Dwight McLemore Orange Belt

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    Big Dittos on Pete's Saber & Singlestick programs. This is pretty close to what I had in my program of instruction too when I ran the school in Poquoson, Va. The focus on the Military use not necessarly on the 'Dueling Saber'. I've been trying to get around training in some of this with Maestro Martinez but life, and this knife stuff keeps getting in the way. I've been blessed to have been given an original 1863 Union Saber ( I believe it was made under government contract by Ames-not sure) This weapon does not feel the same as those stock reduction one made today. Much faster and lighter than I thought.


    Best
    Dwight
     
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    An 1863 Union saber? How cool!
     
  16. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    At an OP in view of your house...
    Very cool...take care of that! :)
     
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Maybe leave it to me in your will!

    :D:D:D
     

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