Can you actually learn to sword fight?

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by StBarbarella, May 24, 2004.

  1. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    Just a smal tiny qeustion.
    if you are interested in sword play with western styled swords why learn knedo/kenjutsu or some other eastern sword art?
    While there are similarites there are also differences.
    its like learning modern fencing to learn how to sword fight, fencing as it is today is rather far removed from real combat, especially sabre and foil.
    Sure learning fencing or an ESA willl help with foot work but there is more to fighintg than foot work althouh it is really imporatant.
    the SCA is ok if you like to club each other with big sticsk while hiding behind imposlbly large and light shields.
    Not that all SCAdians fight like that, just most of them.

    So any hoo if you wanna learn how to use a 'broadsword' whatever it is or a longsword or a gretesword or whatver it is why not learn from a system that teaches how to use that weapon rather learn a system than teaches a another weapons that has some similarites?

    EDIT: a rather belated edit for spelling and some grammer
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2004
  2. R. Laine

    R. Laine New Member

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    Interesting, thanks!

    Rabbe
     
  3. Sloan

    Sloan weaver of the pattern

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    It is very easy to find classes on actual sword fighting. Try looking into the SCA. There whole thing is about reliving medevil life. They also do medevil battles! Im a member so I would know. There are very strict rules in these battles, but you still put on real battle ready armor, get a shield, and get a battle ready sword to go into battle with and beat the crap out of people in medevil style.
     
  4. Sloan

    Sloan weaver of the pattern

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    It is very easy to find classes on actual sword fighting. Try looking into the SCA. There whole thing is about reliving medevil life. They also do medevil battles! Im a member so I would know. There are very strict rules in these battles, but you still put on real battle ready armor, get a shield, and get a battle ready sword to go into battle with and beat the crap out of people in medevil style. You can also try some of the weopan based martial arts, or for that matter, any of the martial arts.
     
  5. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    um yeah.
    an SCA "sword" is a stick of rattan between and inch and quarter and two inches in diamter. They often either have their COG to far out or too close to be sowrd like.
    And some of teh "real battle ready armor" wouldnt stand up to a real sword. PLactic armor and wax hardened leather will be cut like cold butter. Stainlees steel and alumimum are not historically accurate materials to make a suit of armor out of.
    If you join the SCA you are learning how to bash another person around with a bat made of rattan not how to fence. the closest teh SCA has gotten to real swordmanship is the, currentyl, not active sidesworde experiment and the "rapier" combat form, which is only now becoe morelike rapier rather than an epee stuck in an rapier hilt.

    EDIT: and I used to in teh SCA so I would know.
     
  6. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Agreed. And don't attack me, I'm in a dark ages re-enacting group. We don't learn from manuals, we just fight with metal weapons and shields, so we learn the basics, but we're not actually learning how to be lethal. We, like the SCA, enjoy blade style combat, without the death and blood and hospitalisation :)

    So I'd say that yes, I know basically how to handle a sword, and if some thug attacked me with a baseball bat and i had one too, i'd probably kick his ass. But someone who was actually trained in swordfighting as a martial art rather than a sport like we treat it, would likely be able to kill me without breaking a sweat.

    However, if you're not into actually killing people, then re-enactment groups are heaps of fun because we do costuming and armouring and feasting and combat archery etc. Think of it as a lifestyle more than a deathstyle :)
     
  7. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    NOT ATTACKING :p

    I have no problem with reenactment groups in general. I have a problem when people who are in reenactment groups and say that joining will get you real training. Its a sport, a sport some find fun and others, like myself find not too fun. Its like saying that sport fencing is the pinnacle of western swordmanship.

    If you want to sword fight while dressed like you are from whatever century then SCA and other reenactment groups are great, but if you want to learn swordmanship as a martial art and potential selfdefence then reenactment groups arent relaly the way to go. Ive joined the SCa to learn to use weapons after a while I realized that it was a sport that can teach some stuff but it is lacking in several areas, mostly things that are done for saftey reasons.
     
  8. Lady Dark Moon

    Lady Dark Moon Goddess of Black Magic

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    wait... what IS the difference between sword fighting and fencing? I know, I'm hopeless....
     
  9. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Fencing (derived from French "de fence" -- which the English word "defence" came from) is a specific type of sword fighting (swordplay) which evolved from ritualisic duelling. The three primary weapons used in fencing: foils, epees, and sabres; are modelled after the weapons in use as both personal protection and in such duels.

    Like duels, the art of fencing is governed by a specific set of rules, and in the strictest sense takes place between two people.

    Swordplay, on the other hand, encompasses ALL swordfighting techniques. This includes fencing, but also involves various types of martial arts (martial arts meaning all arts of war, not Asian martial arts specifically). This may be one on one, or one swordsman against may opponents.
     
  10. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Hack and slash, cut and thrust, sword and shield type stuff you see in the movies (bad reference point but you know what I mean) could probably come under the broader heading of "sword fighting." To me, "Fencing" is rapier, saber, epee, foil etc, more Olympic style fencing.
     
  11. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    technically fencing used to emcompass are forms of armed combat and think unarmed combat as well. because they were arts of offence and defence and fencing is derived from teh german Fechten which means to fight.
     
  12. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    I was told it was fron the French defense, but that sounds plausible as well.


    Anyways, here is a good link that will answer many questions.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/fencing
     
  13. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    thats twaht modern dictionaries say but it relaly doesnt make any sense in that there is both offence and defence. They both seem to be words that based on the same root word Fence with the suffixes O- and de- It doesnt make much sense how offence could be derived from defence it has to be Fence. Or atleast it makes sense to me in some twisted way. I used ot have aan interested in the etymology of words in the English langaue, read one too many dictionaries as a child.

    Likly fechten and Fence both come from some other langauge, possibly latin. rats I dont have latin or spanish dictionary.
    Ok I need ot stop before I go further off topic.
     
  14. Gregorius0202

    Gregorius0202 The Bronze Warrior

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    Okay, I think what you people are looking for as the median is WMA. These are simply "Western Martial Arts." Folks around the US and Europe have started taking Medieval and Reniassance swordfighting handbooks (the few that survive) and learning about them back to front, in experience, not just studying the text.

    Okay, there are lots of reenactors that are seriously into this stuff... And MANY reenactors DO do it right, unlike common belief. I hang out on some Armor forums, myself, and we talk about this stuff occassionally. But, instead of popping in somewhere and asking a question that isn't asked a lot, and getting only a small crowd of answers, just go here:

    http://forums.swordforum.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=30&forumid=9

    That's the Sword Forum International (huge, awesome place) Historic Combat section! Now, go into the European Swordsmanship forum and look around. ALL of your answers will be in there, or put out for you if you start a thread.

    The Fantasy Forum is good for a chat and all, but you have to look further if you really want to investigate such a topic. The SFI is the place to go!

    -Gregory-
     
  15. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    SFI is a great source of info, for fencing so is www.fencing.net .
     
  16. Kellarly

    Kellarly Snow Merchant

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    I would also say SFI rules :D

    Plus get some reading material from http://www.chivalrybookshelf.com/

    Preferably either Christian Henry Tobler or Guy Windsor (both good for beginners, esp. Windsors book).
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2005
  17. hand of god

    hand of god New Member

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    If you can be bothered with social niceties then fencing is the best start. You learn timing and basic principal but the weapons and rules definitely get in the way of having a decent duel, first blood, to the death etc...

    Re-enactment groups are the way to go if you want all the armor and weapons (plus belting the Cr#p out of people with bits of metal) but you have to "pull" the blows\

    if you want the thrill of a decent fight then just anoy some wiccan clan and they may atack you with swords.

    if your a creepy nerd like me then get a decent sword, watch lots of movies, read lots of books and practice lots.

    So, yeah you can learn to swordfight :hackit:
     
  18. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    I disagree that the weapons get in the way of a decent duel. The epee is a very great weapons to learn, and transitions very well into smallsword (not to be confused with the short sword).
     
  19. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    It's all a compromise nowadays.

    Real fighting techniques, as can be found in George Silver style manuals, teach real ways to kill and disable people. If you use these moves you have to compromise and use wooden or padded weapons.
    Or you can use steel for some moves, but then you need helmets or fencing masks and paded jackets etc. And then you need to pull your blows.

    If you want to fight with "real" steel swords then you can't do the real moves. So it's all a compromise these days, unless you're a psycho who wants to go to jail for killing someone with a sword :)
     
  20. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    That's interesting you say that Mububban. Because my two fencing coaches fight with 100 year old weapons and they certainly don't pull their blows.
     
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