Ah! Thank you! Can a reference specified for a certain weapon be crossed over to another? I.E. Longsword to small sabre? Also, what kind of two handed Italian swords would you recommend that I could purchases for heavy weighted practice? I have absolutely NO knowledge on the subject, so pardon my ignorance :).
In one sense, almost any type of MA or combat sport training can usefully cross over into other areas, especially re. the basic athletic faculties of endurance, flexibility, co-ordination, balance etc. Also, there are tactical concepts, etc. that are pretty much universal. That said, as a total beginner, I doubt that you'd see much in common between, say, longsword and sabre at the technical level.
The Internet is full of good references, videos etc. for Italian longsword fencing. Probably the most currently famous and influential historical master was Fiore dei Liberi, whose treatise forms the basis of much of the modern revival of the medieval Italian system. There are plenty of swords that would suit your purpose, good books on his system as well as training opportunities at the local school and conference level and so-on. Google is your friend.
Alright, it's a Saturday and I have a cold, meaning; I have plenty of time to google! I scoured the internet looking at various weapon types, found several EXTREMELY interesting books (I love to read) and am almost done with the Capoferro .pdf linked earlier. Of course, I intend to reread capoferro many times as I have learned that whenever an old text has been translated/is instructional, you never read it once.
I have decided to stick with either Rapier and Dagger or Sabre. I looked at two handed weapons and well, while I respect the martial art itself a LOT, I saw a ton of backyard-age, let's role play, weak cardio sparring. I am not into olympic fencing as I do not like the single linear line of movement but I also despise medieval reenactment. No offense to the community that enjoys that stuff, just not my thing.
Wow, I'm getting off point, pills will do that to you. Let me summarize this for everyone so far, that way there isn't much confusion:
I searched online, decided Rapier and Dagger had the better quality, though possibly more scarce, material. Longsword and various other two handed weapons seemed to attract a different level of expertise that I simply did not like. My belief on this is that since fencing is an Olympic sport, literature on historical fencing strives to have a certain level of competence compared to the Olympian modernized version.
There! By the way, for those of you thinking I'm saying that SCAers and Renaissance Fair goers are not on par physically, rest assured I am not saying that. As a whole the community of sword fighting seemed to be in very good shape. Yes, there are heavier old folk but that is what age can do. If you enjoy that stuff, do it and do it best you can.
While searching and whatnot, I arose to a question. I do heavy bag work, practicing my boxing is a great feeling. I was wondering, would this cylindrical heavy bag do well as a fencing target? It has struck me that I know what weapon I want to practice at home but what will I practice on? For aerobic I realize I can simply "shadow fence" if you will, but what about when I require physical resistance? Will an old punching bag suffice of thrusts and cuts?
If you made it through this whole mess, congratulations. I let my thoughts go wild on this post, enjoy! And thank you for taking the time to help me, everyone in this thread, means a lot.
With all due respect, that simply means that you still don't really know what you're looking for and watched the wrong videos.
Originally Posted by jdturner11
Would you mind being the helping hand that tells me what to look for? :)
There are plenty of book and video resources for athletic, martial, non-LARP historical fencing, but they tend to be geared towards martial arts training per se; exercise benefits are secondary. Basically, if you're after a home workout routine inspired by historical European swordplay, you're going to have to get inventive and combine various types of training into your own thing:
You might also add some test cutting or pell (solid target) work for variety:
I know it may be a bit off topic with the direction the thread is heading, but many styles,( and many members may think its corny), have katas whih can be practiced at home, while it would not be as effective as doing it with a partner it would still allow you better your balance, form and footwork.
I think Dd has some excellent examples and it would seem some of these could be done at home. Fact of the matter is, you need to just pick something, and start there. IMHO (in my humble opinion)
As a general response to some of those thoughts (somewhat rambly due to beer consumed while watching the UFC):
Originally Posted by jdturner11
As you can tell by my style field, most of my sword experience is rapier oriented: I practice at Academie Duello in Vancouver, where (as a junior student) I spend most of my time with Capoferro/Italian rapier. (More senior students also study longsword and sword+shield in the Fiore and Marozzo traditions.) Keep this in mind as it surely colours my perception.
Now, I have seen some students practice the ‘assaults’ that Marozzo details in his Opera Nova, with sidesword and shield, which is, I’m sure, worthwhile solo training. With the rapier, there are certainly many things you can work on by yourself, not least the posture (which Capoferro describes very, very well, and which takes a great deal of practice as it is not at all natural), but also including lunges, and for that matter cuts, though the rapier is not a great cutting weapon compared to its great power in the lunge. You could use targets such as sticks, or an object like a tennis ball suspended by a string, which you can set to swinging or more or less unpredictable motion to make a more challenging target.
A boxing bag would be a ludicrously huge target, by the way. When we do lunging drills at undefended targets at Academie Duello, our largest target is our partner’s hand. Sometimes we lunge at their fingers, one by one; sometimes we lunge at a moving finger. When you have no enemy sword to worry about and can focus solely on your own lunge, a rapier is a rather precise weapon.
However, to really get anywhere in fencing, you need a partner. Yes, it is valuable to be able to precisely hit a target, but the real trick when fencing is hitting a target while controlling your opponent’s sword (or, if you prefer voiding techniques, avoiding it). Consider all the emphasis Capoferro places on stringering and gaining the sword, particularly in the ‘art’ section of his book: This is truly the core and emphasis of his system—not merely hitting a target, but hitting it while constraining your opponent’s sword so as to protect yourself. You nerted an opponent to practice stringering, gaining, disengaging, counterdisengaging, turning in volta stabile to regain control in counter to a mezzo volta disengage, lunging in primo tempo, mezzo tempo, dui tempi…these are all very, very basic concepts, but you need an opponent to practice them. An instructor is preferable but not always available; a partner is absolutely vital for many of these things. You cannot practice timing and reactions without a partner to provide actions.
With two untrained people learning from books and videos, you would probably need a very great deal of discipline to stick to the counterintuitive but ultimately effective postures and precepts found in Capoferro rather than random flailing. I know I spent far too much time cutting and flailing rather than properly lunging in spite of good instruction. I don’t say this to discourage you, but rather to encourage you (1) to find a training partner and (2) to exercise that great deal of discipline and stick to good form rather than flailing. Never forget that the rapier is a thrusting weapon more than a cutting weapon, and that its chief offensive action is the lunge; and that Capoferro knew what he was talking about.
Wow. You guys gave me such my information, I can't thank you enough. Dd, you've been more than helpful, Petter, that post was brilliant and I love your site. Once my anxiety gets better, I'll make sure to find a partner, until them I'm sure I can build a rig to simulate a static sword. Still not as good as a partner but I found various links on pell building/focus targets so it looks like I'm set. Also looking into longsword now too, thanks to Dd's GREAT video embedds (that lady is JACKED). Thank you all so much! I'll make sure to reference this thread for anyone with the question on home study.
Tom Badillo, teaching out of San Bruno, California, associated with Bota Secreta (Facebook page) is experimenting with Distance Learning. Bota Secreta teaches, among other things, Dueling Saber, Broadsword, Singlestick, and (ims) some rapier.
Besides his saber & broadsword skills Tom is a skilled FMA practitioner, teaches Bartitsu, and is no slouch with the Bowie knife either.
Peace favor your sword,
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