Longsword technique

theletch1

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For all of you that thought the European longsword was really just a big cudgel for swinging more like a club check out this clip of some actual technique. I'm surprised at how similar a lot of this is to a lot of the eastern use of the sword and jo staff is.
 
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Flying Crane

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Interesting clip. I think we have Hollywood to thank for this idea that European swordwork was just swinging a big heavy chunk of sharp metal in an unsophisticated, clublike manner. In reality, European swordwork had much of the same sophistication we see in Asian swordwork, many similar techniques, and the weapon itself was much lighter and lively than we thought. I guess it's because the European sword methods were pretty much lost for such a long time, we didn't begin to see it again until recently when people started to re-figure it out. We tend to forget, when we don't see something for a long time.
 

Grenadier

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In reality, European swordwork had much of the same sophistication we see in Asian swordwork, many similar techniques, and the weapon itself was much lighter and lively than we thought.

Yup. European blades rarely went over a few pounds. The argument of "Well, they needed to bash through heavy armor" never really held much water, since that's why they also used maces, flails, hammers, etc., even weapons that resembled picks.

Europeans also had access to iron ore that was of much better quality than the Japanese, which translated into superior steels.


I guess it's because the European sword methods were pretty much lost for such a long time, we didn't begin to see it again until recently when people started to re-figure it out. We tend to forget, when we don't see something for a long time.

I think it's always been there, just not nearly has hyped as their Japanese counterparts. Still, it's good that there's been a bit of a revival.

On a side note, I still get a chuckle when I hear of people insisting that European knights would swing around a 60 pound long / broadsword, hoping to knock down their armor-clad opponents who wore suits of armor weighing 150 pounds, etc. :)
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I actually saw a good arms and armor show with a British Museum curator who pretty much dispelled this myth as he did cartwheels in his historic british armor.

However having said that there are differances in technique from Europe to Asia and yet lot's of similarities as well. (it is a sword after all)
 

thardey

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We study Marrozzo for longsword and sword-and-buckler fighting. People forget that your average longsword was light enough to be used one-handed. The other hand appears to have the same role as for a Katana -- more support and accuracy rather than strength.

The other fun thing we do is to pit a rapier against a longsword. (Not the later, quicker lighter versions of hollywood, but the older, heavier rapiers that are more closely related to a straight saber.) The longsword is actually very quick in comparison, and incredibly versatile. It actually feels about like a very well balanced saber.
 

Langenschwert

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That clip is one of my favourite WMA clips on youtube. Here's another that's quite nice:


best regards,

-Mark
 
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avm247

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Coming late to the thread, but great stuff! Thanks for posting. I see a lot of similarities to the way we train in Estalilla Kabaroan Eskrima (merging as well as Bambolia strikes).
 

Sukerkin

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Very interesting stuff indeed. I've had a hankering to learn Western swordwork for years but have never been able to find anywhere near at hand to learn it. There're some re-enactors but, not to be critical of that band of worthies, that's not what I'm seeking.

One of these days, I shall have to buy myself a bastard-sword and then, with that on hand, I might be inspired to seek harder for the tuition I'm after (as opposed to waiting for it to fall into my lap :O).
 

thardey

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Neat! Reminds me of FMA techniques!

I took a lesson once from some FMA'ers who did a guest seminar at my Karate studio.

Their footwork was based on the male /\ and female \/ triangles. A lot of historical fencing uses a variation of this idea (either triangles or angles within a circle). The FMA'ers said that a lot of the footwork and style was influenced by the spanish setters in the area, and I could definetely see the relationship and influence.

Some of the knife-dueling drills were exactly the same as you find in the notes of Italian and Spanish dueling manuals and notes.

So, if what these guys taught was accurate, then there's a good reason for that!
 

thardey

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Very interesting stuff indeed. I've had a hankering to learn Western swordwork for years but have never been able to find anywhere near at hand to learn it. There're some re-enactors but, not to be critical of that band of worthies, that's not what I'm seeking.

One of these days, I shall have to buy myself a bastard-sword and then, with that on hand, I might be inspired to seek harder for the tuition I'm after (as opposed to waiting for it to fall into my lap :O).

Our training longswords are movie-prop swords made of aircraft grade aluminum (or, if you prefer, "aluminium" :asian: ) That way we're less likely to hurt ourselves, plus we have to be more careful when we block, to make sure that we don't "static" block or we damage the swords.
 

Sukerkin

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Our training longswords are movie-prop swords made of aircraft grade aluminum (or, if you prefer, "aluminium" :asian: ) That way we're less likely to hurt ourselves, plus we have to be more careful when we block, to make sure that we don't "static" block or we damage the swords.

An thought provoking note, thardey ... and the 'aluminum' gag was much appreciated :D.

I'm curious and wonder if you could elaborate, why would you not use 'wasters' for partner training and sparring and 'drill' with steel?
 

thardey

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An thought provoking note, thardey ... and the 'aluminum' gag was much appreciated :D.

I'm curious and wonder if you could elaborate, why would you not use 'wasters' for partner training and sparring and 'drill' with steel?

Simple, we "drill" with partners!

Actually, we do have a solo form for sword and buckler, but those are for heavy rapiers, which we use steel for drilling and sparring.

I've spent several vacations in current or former British colonies, and they always picked on the way I said "aluminum". Plus I learned a lot about "bangers and mash", and "Bubbles and squeak"! Actually, I plan on being in London about a year from now.
 

Sukerkin

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Thanks for the martial insight, my friend.

I have recently heard that Americans have a very good reason why they say 'Aluminum' rather than 'Aluminium' - it rather takes the humour out of a perfectly good cultural difference :(.

Still, you chaps can't say "tomato" or "potato" properly and call the Boot of a car the Trunk and the Bonnet the Hood, so all is not lost :p :lol:.

Seriously, I hope you make it to London (and further hope that you get to see more of the country as, similar to capitals the world over, the City is very different from 'average' England). If you need any help with 'translation', either linguistic or cultural, please feel free to ask :tup:.
 

thardey

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Don't forget that you refer to flashlight as though it's on fire (a "Torch"?) which always confused me when we would take them scuba diving. ;)

I've never heard a good reason for the aluminum/aluminium thing -- we're probably just being stubborn, which we find humorous in itself. Is the proper British spelling aluminIum?
 

Sukerkin

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:lol:

But a flashlight is a signalling device whereas a torch is source of illumination :).

The ever popular aluminum/aluminium difference has the boringly prosaic denoument that we decided that if something is an element then it must have an -ium suffix whereas you chaps went with what the fellow who actually created it wanted it to be called. So, cough, cough, shudder, mutter, I think you guys actually have the right of it :shame slays me:.
 

thardey

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:lol:

But a flashlight is a signalling device whereas a torch is source of illumination :).

The ever popular aluminum/aluminium difference has the boringly prosaic denoument that we decided that if something is an element then it must have an -ium suffix whereas you chaps went with what the fellow who actually created it wanted it to be called. So, cough, cough, shudder, mutter, I think you guys actually have the right of it :shame slays me:.

You're right, that does take the fun out of it. :(

I've never been so disappointed to be on the "correct" side in my life!

"I'm gonna miss being disreputable" - Luther "Mission: Impossible"
 

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