Review of the Armour Class sharp longsword (MS6T)

Results of a cutting session with a sharp Armour Class longsword. Photo by Keith Farrell, 2016.

Armour Class has been around in the re-enactment and HEMA communities for at least a couple of decades. Their swords have an excellent name and reputation in re-enactment circles, although they haven’t always been so popular in HEMA clubs: the blunt swords are designed for re-enactment purposes, and are usually too heavy and unbalanced for historical fencing. However, they do make custom swords, and their sharp and semi-sharp blades are perfectly suitable for HEMA.

I bought my Armour Class sharp longsword (model MS6T on their website, perhaps more fully named their “14th Century Hand & a Half Medieval sword with thirty five inch blade”) several years ago, and have been using it for cutting practice ever since.

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The importance of books 16: Andrea Morini

Andrea Morini. Image from Facebook.

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Andrea Morini, who is an instructor at Sala d’Arme Achille Marozzo in Italy. He teaches and has competed at international events in Europe.

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You cannot hide from boolean data

Keith Farrell cutting with a sharp longsword. Photo by Daria Izdebska, 2017.

One of the most important developments in my practice of fencing was when I started doing test cutting, because this gave me boolean data, and either I succeeded or I failed. There was no longer any way to hide behind an excuse for why a technique didn’t work, as the data was perfectly clear: it either worked or it didn’t.

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The importance of books 15: Rob Runacres

Rob Runacres. Image from the Renaissance Sword Club website.

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Rob Runacres, who is an instructor at the Renaissance Sword Club in England. He has taught and competed at international events in Europe and the USA, and is also a publisher author.

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Review of the Carnage Claymores “technical” sabre

Carnage Claymores “technical” sabres. Image from the Carnage Claymores page on Facebook.

Carnage Claymores is a relatively new smithy that has opened in Scotland recently, with a focus on making Scottish swords for the HEMA community. Thomas McConnell is the smith behind the company; he is also the instructor at the Highland Broadsword Fencing Angus club, and he participates in and teaches at events across the UK.

This sword is the “technical” sabre model that is intended for relatively light, gentle practice with a focus on technical work. It is not intended or designed for full-contact, high-intensity sparring, so the maker cannot provide any guarantee of its durability if it is used for an inappropriate intensity of sparring.

I feel that it is good to have this kind of division between sword types. Various makers offer “light” and “heavy” blades, or “soft” and “hard” blades, or “flexible” and “stiff” blades for different intensities of training and sparring, so it is a tried-and-tested idea used by several well-known HEMA smiths. It means that when you order and receive your sword, you know exactly what kind of training is appropriate and inappropriate, and you can use the right kind of sword for any given activity. Obviously taking a light blade into a competition could result in a broken blade, and using a painfully stiff blade for regular training is just not very friendly towards your training partners.

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The importance of books 14: Alberto Bomprezzi

Alberto Bomprezzi. Image by Jose Manuel Tellado Orcoyen, from Facebook.

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Alberto Bomprezzi, who is the director of Asociación Española de Esgrima Antigua in Spain, and who is a well known instructor at events across Europe.

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