An Overview Of The Deadly Western Sword Arts By Mike Selvon

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An Overview Of The Deadly Western Sword Arts
By Mike Selvon

Kung Fu is not the only form of martial arts. The Europeans had their own martial arts history in the form of sword arts. In some of the Western cultures, sword arts are just as recognized as martial arts in many of the Eastern cultures. "The Art of War," which is the literal meaning of martial arts, is not restricted to what we normally see on television or in movies.
During 12th Century Europe, the sword arts flourished in the form of many fencing schools throughout the continent. Many of these schools produced numerous manuals on the sword arts that have survived the ages. These manuals have proven to be valuable resources as martial arts history of western sword arts. Without them, many of the finer techniques might have been lost.

The western sword arts weren't limited to blades alone: many aspects included grappling and wrestling techniques as well. Other weapons (daggers, axes, pole arms, and shields) were also a part of the training. A wide variety of swords were created to accommodate the foot soldier and mounted rider.

At one time, much like the Japanese samurai and many other warrior classes throughout martial arts history, the western sword arts were reserved for the elite alone, mainly because those who were knights or soldiers were the only ones able to afford such weaponry.

After the breakdown of the feudal system, the sword arts became available to the public at large. The "martial arts" had become "the art of self defense" as people flocked to fencing schools and took up arms for leisure or status.

Between wars throughout history, soldiers returning from battle would teach others the sword arts to prepare them for the next battle. In the Middle Ages, sword arts were no less popular that other arts that flourished during the era.

The sword arts were considered to be brutal and barbaric, but the practices were perfected and refined to present to a much more sophisticated time period.

Over time, the sword arts were replaced by more efficient weaponry and the western sword arts became sport. Undoubtedly, the western sword arts have left their mark on martial arts history. Today, movies like Lord of the Rings, Renaissance festivals, the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) and role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons have all contributed to a renewed interest in the western sword arts.

Students of HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) are working hard to separate the fantasy from fact and keep the western sword arts alive. Unlike historical re-creations and staged shows, HEMA is actively applying research and legitimate martial arts training for a more realistic approach to the sword arts.

Knowing the art of martial arts is an asset for protection. Claim your free karate secret gift, and more useful information about the western sword arts from Mike Selvon's portal, and leave a comment at his martial arts blog.

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