Where can I learn swordfighting

Discussion in 'Historical Re-enactment' started by FireSnake, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. FireSnake

    FireSnake Bhaal Spawn

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    Well, I have been pracicing with my friend, I use a stick that I have added metal in to so it is more balenced and weighs closer to the real sword, he uses a staff and all I have to say is that it hurts like hell if he hits you.Anyway I have been wanting to learn proper technique, but I have no idea where to go to learn it.

    Anyhelp would be greatly apreciated,especially if it is in Wisconsin, some where near milwauke.
     
  2. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    Kendo/Kenjutsu is all over the place. The SCA kingdom of North Shield is up there.
    Wearing gloves, hockey gloves with plastic if you can't get a decent gaunlets will help since you are most likely to break your fingers if you get hit with serious force. A helmet would be good too, and maybe a cup. Just suggestions so it doesn't hurt so much.
     
  3. FireSnake

    FireSnake Bhaal Spawn

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    Thanks.I looked up a kendo place and so far the closest one is in lacrose wich is not that far.I will probably go there as soon as I get a car, and I have also been looking at the prices and they dont start so high, so when I start working it wont be to tough on my wallet.
     
  4. FireSnake

    FireSnake Bhaal Spawn

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    Sorry to double post but I just realized how far LaCross is, I thought it was a different place.So for now I cant find anything that is close to milwaukee.
     
  5. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    You can always look for an ARMA group or someother WMA group in the area. i dont know of any offhand.
    Check swordforum.com
    and
    thearma.com

    And you could always buy some books on the subject and start with them.
    Not the best ideabut everyone started somewhere.
    Check out chivalrybookself.com for books on the subject
    Windsors The Swordsman's companion and Christiann Tobler's Fighting with the German Longsword are good placeds to start. I own Toblers book and his other Screts of German Medieval Swordsmanship.
     
  6. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    ARMA tends to be a bit uptight, but if you're into authenticity they're wonderful. Though they also focus more on later than most fantasy books, or SCA periods. Another way for simply practicing is to make yourself a pell. Pressured wood or a metal pole wrapped in carpet and or foam will do. Mine is all fancy and actually looks somewhat humanoid while ahving a 16 guage steel helmet on it. That's very excessive for a beginner. Balancing it either requires digging a hole, making a cross on the bottom with very tall planks, or my choice which is to put it in a tire and fill the tire with concrete. Once you have a pell you can practice beating on it with whatver you have. It won't tire out like a friend, and it's good for learning where a blow will actually stop. Which is something you cannot get from a kata. If it isn't just a pole, or at least has a head on it, that will be better since it will teach you to fight with verticle blows instead of just horizontal. Drilling attacks into your muscle memory can then be practiced without outside help. Defense though will still require another human being.
     
  7. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    Yeah ARMA can be massivly uptight but the same can be said of the SCA. I myself am not affilated with either group. I sued to be SCA but i left because of the periods nazis forcing out my group and few related groups because we weren period enough for the stick jocks in power.
    I had a pell at my folks home made from a Speed limit sign post and buried about foot in the earth. I broke a bokken and cracked a hickory shortsword waster on it.
     
  8. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    I've met authenticity nazis in the SCA, but where I'm from they are fairly rare if you stay away from the RUMs, colleges, and heralds. I'm surprised that stick jocks were being that uptight. They often don't mind wearing kydex under a tabard for armor. I take it that you did not pad your pell?
    Hmm... that was a bit off topic.
    Some other things that you could try would be non kenjutsu/kendo sword styles. There are other oriental ones that may be closer to you. If you're interested in things like that.
    I’m not coming up with anything else that might be a useful place to teach you how to really specifically swordfight well.
    It's a shame that learning fencing outside of the SCA seems to be all in the hands of strip fencing which is annoying whether it is foil, epee, or even saber, and narrow focus reenactment groups.
     
  9. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    Yeah I was surpirsed too but aparenty this stick jock, who was king a while back they killed off SCA shinai, wanted all the fightrs in the next Crown ourney to wear armor from the same period or other such nonesnese.
    It relly bugs me when a non hitoricaly correct fighting stlye is used to decided the "king" who can then make stupid policy changes and can say that this fighitng stlye isnt period.
    talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
    SCA heavies comes up with techniques that only work in SCA stick fighitng and then say that its thebest way to learn real swordmanship.
    Hence threason Im not part of the SCA. I never became an actuall paying memeber so my voice wasnt important and when I was jsut getting to wehre I was ging to be come a paying member they killed the only reason I was in it and toss something out to fill the vacumn, which I also have no voice in because it several hours away from me and im not a member of the SCA and im just a kid. Therefore everything I say isnt important.
    Here is the online group for the thing that replaced what I was doing.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnarmoredCombat/?yguid=69710496
    Its supposed to be a period fighitng guild........
     
  10. FireSnake

    FireSnake Bhaal Spawn

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    Well I called everywhere and searched the yellow books for a kendo place but alas I can not find one.
     
  11. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    Kings technically have the right to create the rules for apparel and conduct at Crown Tourney. But I've never seen one that did more than insist on more than no obvious modern material armor and gear for that day. But it only applies to the people fighting to be king. They shouldn't be able to force a time period on someone who has a specific persona. Someone with a 1430's French knight persona, should not have to wear stuff from 1066. Though you are in Caid, so it will be a bit different than the Middle. However, if it's just being an authenticity nazi that you are complaining about, then you shouldn't dis the fighting style. The argument about the fighting style is old, because any actually competitive reenacters, have to find a balance between safety and authenticity. People like Legio Draconis use authentic, if dulled, weapons, but they disallow many of the more correct blows. All of these force you to learn to optimize for the rules you are given. The same is true for kendo. There are safety rules that change it to a very linear style compared to kenjutsu. The SCA allows you to use any weapon attack that you can create from what you are using. I've picked up a real sword and tried, things that are generally dissed, like wrap shots, are perfectly capable of being done with a real sword. Granted early swords are really heavy and awkward, but later ones it's not that hard. The other problem with calling a fighting style unauthentic or not is that there is very little documentation before the late middle ages. This needs to go on the SCA topic, but oh well.

    Try asking the people on the Kendoworld forum if they know of anywhere near you, but they are spread around the world so they may not.

    As I said before, Northshield is he SCA kingdom in Wisconsin, and I know you could get to them if you found an event. Since I don't know where in WI you are, I can't tell you where to look for a group. Of course, the SCA may not be the best place.
    http://northshield.org/groups/eastern.php
     
  12. FireSnake

    FireSnake Bhaal Spawn

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    I am about 30 miles north of milwaukee.
     
  13. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    so have used a sharp blade on a target doing a wrap? I saw someone doing a cut with a wrap it kinda mushed the tatmi instead of cutting.
    And the range at which you ahve to be to use a wrap s the range that historically you would either be grappling or pommel bashing.
     
  14. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    So what, you're around Fredonia?
    If you can go the 30 miles to Milwaukee, Milwaukee is huge. They've got to have something you can use in there. Whether it is something like Kendo, or a reenactment group. GenCon was there for ages.

    Pommel smashing works well against someone with an unarmored face. Grappling doesn't kill someone, or even injure them as easily as hitting them in the back of the neck with blade. However, I will admit that both bashing someone, and grappling, are far more natural things to do if you have never been trained to do a wrap. I would bet, that a wrap is not historically inaccurate, as someone probably did it. However, I would be perfectly willing to believe proof that it was never a relied upon attack with a bladed weapon. My point really was that the motion CAN be done, not that it WAS done a lot. Unfortunately, I don't know what a tatmi is, and so I can't make a comment on it. Maybe I'll look it up. The weapon I have tried doing a wrap shot was about a 30" blade broadsword. It was not stainless steel, though it was crafted better than most early swords. It does slightly affect how the blow must be thrown, but the essential mechanics are the same. It also doesn't have the pure force of a straight in shot. However, armor in period was much less protective as a whole, than the SCA assumes that it is. Only nobility would have had the level of armor that they use.
     
  15. Orkin

    Orkin The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Yep, the SCA style is focused on delivering high-torque attacks that can be felt through armor rather than the high-velocity cuts that would go through soft tissue easily.
     
  16. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    Any target that has an unarmored neck will most likly have an unarmed face. And pommel bashing can be done from a farther ditance with out exposing your armpit to a thurst. And in anycase the pommel of a sword is a large hefty chunk of iron or steel even a full faced helm wont fully prtect from the concussive force of the bash. And grapling isnt done to directly kil your oppent but to maunver tehm to where you can pin them in some way and stab with your dagger.

    IN all the historical manuals there is not one mention of a wrap while ther are plently of cuts that use the back edge of the sword. If the wrap is such an efective tactic why is it that only the SCA in their heavy armor with ratan batons that doesnt alloy pommel, hilt or sheild bashing or grapling came up with the wrap only somehitng like 30 years ago. I am fairly cetain that if it were a viable cut in the real battle field someone would ahve made note of it.

    tatami is japanese bambo floor mats. Its used at a cutting target byjapanese swort art practioners as well as western sword art practitioners. It is rolled up and sokaed over night in water and simluates human flesh when its being cut.

    And look a the range you have to be in to throw a wrap. At the range a ommel bash or a takedown would actually be much more efective.
     
  17. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    Having been inadvertently pommel smashed fairly hard by someone with a lead filled cap as their pommel, I would say that while it did shove my head back, it didn't affect me that much.
    I would say that grappling is not in the weapon forms in the SCA for three reasons. Safety, emphasis on killing blows, and tradition. Pommel smashes is due to the reliance on killing blows. However, a but spike is basically a pommel smash for all practical purposes. I'm curious as to where you are going to pull a dagger from and how you will use it if you have a weapon and shield. Without dropping what you have, that is rather hard. you only do that if you have a free hand, and that usually means you are too close, or at a serious disadvantage. There are people developing Greco-Roman early renaissance wrestling which is interesting to me since I did wrestling in high school. Thanks for explaining what the tatami is. Seems an odd material. Bamboo is normally fairly tough, I'm surprised that soaking it will do that. My only testing with this was seeing if I could swing the blade that way. It was done in the air. It would seem that the blow would be much more of a draw cut, and I've seen people in fencing do it, stop, and draw cut. The impact effect that we get in the SCA is something you only get with blunt weapons. Assuming the test with the wrap shot that you saw was done more than once to make sure that it wasn't a one shot error, than it would seem that it is less effective than I had thought, despite realizing that it wasn't as useful in real life. I disagree though that a pommel smash is more effective at wrap range. If I wrap at full extension I reach farther than I could hit with my pommel. I didn't expect the wrap shot comment to be the main conversation, but oh well.
     
  18. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    well in the period in which plate armor was used the weaponry had changed to two handed weapons and there was no sheilds used, so its not that ahrd to let a hand free of the weapon and draw your dagger.
    But seriously look at the period manuals. there is a large amount of grapling, both and out and armor as well as with hand free or with a weapon in them. And greco roman wrestling is a modern sport.

    The SCA is not the best place in the world to learn how it really was done, because of safety reasons.

    And witha full extension wrap do you mean using the back edge to strike without actually wrapping or hoking. Using the back edge to strike isnt always wrap. I throw longrange back edge cuts.
     
  19. Baka

    Baka Commander of 1000 fools

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    Shields were still used during times of plate armor. But only on horseback. That is also late period, and by the time you have the truly tremendous plate, it isn't effective for very long. A dagger also has problems killing anyone unless you get it into the armpit, groin, or somehow go through the eye slot. The gorget's are too good. Though I suppose an inside elbow, or back of the knee hit could seriously impair someone. Heavy crossbows and guns make it obsolete. Mercenary and then military pike units truly end the age of the heavy cavalry charge, especially when they get ranged support. However, we tend to ignore that during wars, though down in places like Trimaris, combat archery(with the Baldur Blunts) and siege equipment are getting serious use.
    I've looked at some late period fencing manuals, and the people there grapple a lot, but they aren't wearing armor.
    Greco-Roman as we know it has been developed from people in the renaissance attempting to recreate classic sports. Perhaps it would have been more specific to say Greco-Roman Style wrestling. I personally dislike it since folk and freestyle give so many more options. As a side note, I don't know when people remembered the existence of Pancration.
    What I'm doing as a full extension wrap involves reaching all the way out, torquing the blade and hitting them in the back with the last 4-5 inches of the blade, instead of hitting with the lower end of the last third, or even the middle. I'm hitting them on the side that the sword is on, but it definitely hits them in the back, not the side.
     
  20. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    There are actuayly quite a few manuals that have have sectiosn on armored grappling.

    And thoses places you neamed for using the fdagger on were the palces that daggers were used on as wel the palm of the hand, these were also the targets for the spear and longsword when armored. Percussive blows with a sword arent really effective agsint plate armor.

    And for your full exdtions warp how close to you have to get to hit their back?

    Now the quesitons is would you used the wrap with a single handed sword against a man in full plate?