This article was originally posted on Encased in Steel on 25th March 2016. It has been edited and improved for posting here.
I often hear the advice that you should train with a heavier sword, in order to improve your strength, balance, coordination, stamina, whatever. In fact, this notion is recorded as early as Vegetius, who wrote about Roman training methods.
In this article, I will argue that lighter swords are in fact more beneficial for beginners, and that people should not rush into using a heavier sword before they are ready.
I believe that there is a difference between a system and a bag of tricks, where historical martial arts are concerned. Both are effective, and both are important to have in your repertoire; the greatest skill, however, the greatest skill comes with recreating a full system, and being able to incorporate a variety of tricks into that system without making it any less systematic.
Many people are interested in the practice of Viking sword and shield, and expect that other HEMA clubs will share their interest in this system. It can result in surprise and confusion when other people and clubs then have very little interest in the system, and perhaps do not even consider Viking sword and shield to be an example of HEMA. Why might this be? And how can we approach such a study in a constructive fashion?
Since October last year, Matt Easton and Keith Farrell have been working hard to mobilise the UK HEMA community to respond to the government consultation on the proposed Offensive Weapons Bill. Now that the wording of the proposed bill has become available on the government’s website, here are our initial thoughts on specific parts of the bill, and some conclusions that we can draw from it.
The government has moved forward with its proposed legislation (the draft Offensive Weapons Bill) to ban the delivery of bladed articles purchased online to residential addresses. The Home Office has released the first draft of the new Offensive Weapon Bill on 19 June 2018.
If you have been intrigued by the idea of starting to fence with the sabre, then a common question is what sabre system to study? There are so many different systems that have been written about, so what sabre system is good for a beginner?Read more →
This article was originally posted on Encased in Steel on 13th November 2015. It has been edited and improved for posting here.
“Should I have siderings on my feder?” is a common question that people ask when contemplating the purchase of a new feder, especially if it is their first such purchase. Previously, I wrote an article about what to look for when buying your first feder from Regenyei Armory, and this article will hopefully be a useful companion piece to expand upon the subject of siderings.
This article was originally posted on Encased in Steel on 5th June 2015. It has been edited and improved for posting here.
When HEMA practitioners discuss protective gear, and for which kind of activity it is most suitable, someone usually says that a piece of gear is “suitable for steel” or “good for synthetics but not for steel”. However, I believe this is the wrong way to look at the use of training swords for historical fencing, and the protective equipment that must be worn, as it forces a certain dichotomy that ignores the most important aspect of risk when fencing: intensity.
This article was originally posted on Encased in Steel on 17th April 2015. It has been edited and improved for posting here.
Many longsword practitioners choose to buy their first feder or training sword from Péter Regenyei at Regenyei Armory. These swords are now ubiquitous throughout the longsword community in Europe, and are becoming more popular across the world. One of the greatest strengths of Péter’s feders is the large number of standard options that you can choose when ordering your sword, to make it just right for you – but this can also lead to confusion if you have not had the opportunity to handle swords with some of the different options.
I have had the pleasure and the opportunity to handle many variations of Péter’s feders. Since I have received many requests for advice from people looking to buy their first feder, I have put together my thoughts on the issue and have produced this article as a point of references for people going through the dilemma of deciding what to order.
A feder is a good option for training tool, as opposed to a “blunt longsword”. The weight and flexibility can make them safer tools – it does not always make such a huge difference for you, but it really does make quite a difference for the people who will be receiving your strikes and thrusts!