Views seem to be clear here on bullshido as to what they are towards studying at home. But sometimes, sometimes, it is impossible to find a sparring partner/school.
I was previously doing BJJ, but my anxiety got so unbelievably bad (I have a severe disorder) that I am now stuck at home. I enjoy boxing and have learned enough to utilize proper form on various bags, though I am still looking for something else. I was looking at one handed western sword play, something I could study from books and practice.
If you think there is no way I can learn proper form at home, alone, then please tell me. Be rude, be honest, be brutal! When I go into that hospital once a week all I get is pity and sympathetic looks, so please be straight forward.
As a side note - I am looking for sword play certainly, as the weighted practice blades can be somewhat heavy and I do these Martial Arts purely for fitness. I'm not looking for books with flashy "Beat the snot out of any 10 year old girl" or some book by a renown "master" with a prestigious lineage of master swordsman. Just you know, fundamental basics that I can enjoy and use for exercise.
In the end, I want to have fun. Am I ever going to have to break out a sword in a self defense situation? No. Am I ever going to have to use exact boxing technique in a self defense situation? No. I have come to a point in my life where I realize these things are for health and as a great hobby, if you let them be. I look forward to your answers, I really do. I'm going to bed now, have a nice day guys. To the rest of you that want to study at home, I hope you find what you're looking for, night!
Some arts simply will not be anywhere near where you live. So sometimes home study is your only option. 99% of my western sword practice is backyard experimentation. There are a lot more usable wester sword books and even DVDs these days so you can definitely get started this way. Just understand that you are limited in your progression when you train in a vacuume. At the vary least some training partners would be useful.
You are basically mimicking not "learning," as Martial Arts are basically a a hands on effort IMO. Still, you can still have fun with it just don't expect to be SD oriented in a situation. Since you say fitness and hobbying is your goal home DVDs will be perfectly fine IMO. We say no because people want to learn Self Defense and be able to fight from DVDs.
The question of whether you would/could have at least one training partner is crucial.
My opinion is that you can learn through mimickry, but it is far inferior to having some educated input and interactive sparring. I've tried it both ways, and the more interaction and sparring I've had, the farther I've gotten, and I actually learn very well with written material. So I'd say, for my part, go ahead and utilize whatever resources are available, but don't have any illusions about what exactly you're into. A man with a hatchet might be able to chop some wood, and there's something to that, but he won't go as far as a man with a chainsaw. Ever heard of John Henry?
So even if you learn all about your art, don't claim any expertise until you've proven you can hold your own with an expert. Geekdom does not equal artistry.
It is not impossible to learn without a live instructor but it is quite a bit harder. Without someone there to check for errors, offer correction, and clue in to "shortcuts," quite a bit can be lost. The problem is compounded it the student does not have a base in something similar which would allow insights and is further compounded if the student does not have access to a training partner.
Some folks in the WMA community are able to form a local club and travel elsewhere for periodic instruction and correction.
Peace favor your sword,
What reference material would you all suggest and cheap (being relative to what the standard prices are) metal swords? Thank you so much for you input, hopefully my anxiety is beaten soon so I can actually find a sparring partner/instructor and build on what I learn greatly. Thank you again :).
I’m not an expert, but I am pretty sure that the experts can better help you if you clarify what you’re interested in: Rapier, sword and shield, longsword? Italian, German, Spanish? Bit of everything?
Originally Posted by jdturner11
One bit of fun reference material for Italian rapier, Ridolfo Capoferro’s 1610 insructional Gran Simulacro dell’arte e dell’uso della Scherma in a very nice (and very free) translated PDF
Hanwei makes inexpensive swords. I’m not a big fan of their 43" training rapiers (too whippy), though the shorter ones are OK; I know they make at least one longsword (the Tinker Practical), which seems okay, but I don’t really know longsword or longswords.
and cheap (being relative to what the standard prices are) metal swords?
I was thinking more along the lines of italian-ish one handed. One handed because it seems much more agile to me and I'm a huge cardio-centric guy and Italian because I'm well... mostly Italian. Hah :). Easy enough! Thank you for the link! Rapier sounds interesting, I'm going to look into that! Thanks so much Petter!
If the whole "one-handed European swordplay" field is open for you, that basically suggests rapier (very often with sidearms such as dagger or buckler), saber and smallsword/foil. "One-handed" doesn't necessarily equal agility in the sense I think you mean, though; the reason sidearms were often used with rapiers is that the weapons themselves were long to the point of being a bit unwieldy, so it made sense to use them in conjunction with shorter/smaller weapons in the off-hand.
If you're particularly interested in solo training in historical European swordplay as an exercise routine, I would actually recommend any of the German or Italian two-handed sword methods. You get a much more symmetrical, whole-body workout with a two-handed weapon.
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