Stable, Striking and Mutable:  Fighting from the Guards of L’Arte dell’Armizare

Stable, Striking and Mutable: Fighting from the Guards of L’Arte dell’Armizare

“I am the sword and I am lethal against any weapon; lances, axes and dagger are worthless against me. I can become extended or withdrawn; when I get near the opponent I can enter into close play, perform disarms and abrazare. My art is to turn and to bind; I am expert in defense and […]

Why you should train with sharp swords, and how to go about it without killing anyone.

Swords are, by definition, sharp. Anything sword-like that is not sharp is either a foil, or a percussive weapon like a club. I am a swordsman, and so I use sharp swords. Do I let my beginner students fight each other (or even handle) sharps? No, of course not. But my senior students have done […]

Stop Complaining & Get Training: A Simple Challenge for 2014

by Bill Grandy, Virginia Academy of Fencing, USA (Author’s note: Before anyone calls me a hypocrite, let it be known that I am training while I write this. I’ve set the requirement for myself to do 20 squats before typing a new paragraph, with the first set starting the moment I finish this sentence… hopefully this […]

Tempo, Vor, Nach & Indes

Quotes from the Von Danzig commentaries are from In Saint George’s Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts, by Christian Tobler, published by Freelance Academy Press. Quotes from Fior di Battaglia are from Fior di Battaglia, 2nd English Edition, by Tom Leoni, published by Freelance Academy Press. Quote from Filippo Vadi from Arte Gladiatoria […]

From Drills to Free Play: Putting Practice into Practice (Part II)

Bill Grandy, Director of Historical Swordsmanship at the Virginia Academy of Fencing In Part I of this article we explored a few variations of drills to help develop both tactical proficiency as well as fluidity between actions under pressure. Those drills allowed more dynamism than static drills, and yet they are still a step apart […]

Switching Between Systems

One of the benefits to having produced things like my books and the syllabus wiki is that they provide a service to a vastly wider range of students than I can possibly train in person, who consequently ask me a wider range of questions, forcing me to think about things differently. One such example is this from Javier Andrés […]

Developing Tactical Skills at Longsword

Strategy differs materially from tactic; the latter belonging only to the mechanical movement of bodies, set in motion by the former.– Charles James, A New and Enlarged Military Dictionary (1810) Before hostile armies or fleets are brought into contact (a word which perhaps better than any other indicates the dividing line between tactics and strategy), […]