English Longsword

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Louie, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Several groups have been researching period text manuscripts describing methods of English Longsword, here's a sample of their interpretation....

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3WI_yiDs1c"]English Longsword - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cbSyeTAU9A"]Paul vs Tall Dave longsword 08 - YouTube[/ame]

    The English Primary Sources are -

    Harley Manuscript 3542, folios 82-85
    "The Harleian Manuscript" consists of eight solo drills, seven paired drills, four fragmentary paired drills, and a mnemonic rhyme, referred to as "the Man that Would." This forms the basis for beginning level curriculum, as well as providing key concepts and philosophies for the style of swordplay the text represents.

    Cottonian Manuscript Titus XXV, folios 105r-v
    "The Cotton Titus Manuscript" is a short set of linked attacks, grouped under "Strokes of the 2-Hand Sword" and "Strokes at the 2-Hand Staff." This text serves mainly as a "bridge" between the Harleian Manuscript and the Ledall Manuscript, although it does offer some insight concerning the use of the sword as being related to the use of the staff.

    British Royal Library Additional Manuscript 39,542
    "The Ledall Manuscript" consists of 38 plays, and is so-called because of a signature at the end of the text reading "J. Ledall." This text serves to further clarify important concepts of longsword use in an English style, and also acts as a sort of link between the late medieval Harleian Manuscript and the Renaissance works of Englishman George Silver.

    Details of these sources can be found at-

  2. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    very intersting.

    Peace favor your sword,
  3. RAbid Hamster

    RAbid Hamster Herr Trubelmacher

    cant wait till bear kops a look at this and comments
  4. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    No no, atleast they are using steel weapons and it's not those foam sword morons. The fact there is no footwork, posture, intent or good technique is another matter.

    The Bear.
  5. RAbid Hamster

    RAbid Hamster Herr Trubelmacher

    can only see the second clip at present...
    intent - looked like they were playing with a 5 year old
    technique - didnt see anything that even vaguely looked like an integrated technique, saw a couple of german guards that got discarded pretty quickly in favour of trying to touch each other on the glove with a tippy tap. Little in the way of second intent except for a lot of pointless banging of steel (aluminium?)
    footwork - half the time they are standing with their feet together or mincing about on their toes. guard was shocking.

    a rabid practitioner of german would have punished and manhandled them and an italian would have picked them apart. Get the fundamentals sorted before you start posting on utube you tubes. :mad:
  6. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    I'm still wondering why they didn't take up blacksmithing if all they wanted to do is beat metal.

    BTW your not missing anything in vid #1 it's equally horrible.

    The Bear.
  7. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I've heard Kendoka/Kenjutsuka say exactly the same thing of German and Fiore guys, "A highly ranked competitor would eat them alive."

    It appears to be early in the research and rediscovery process and they are doubtless eager to "get the word out" and share their enthusiasm. What did early German/Fiore guys look like before they had 20 years of practice and scholarship to disect and refine their newly rediscovered arts?

    Peace favor your sword,
  8. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    The problem is those with experience in other forms of swordsmanship shall look at the videos and think NOT GOOD. They should have restricted it to showing the kamae rather than immediately performing "combat".

    I am with bear do not put out videos unless you know what you are doing at least to certain standard.

    regards koyo
  9. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Absolutely right they would. Everyone I know in WMA fencing has more holes than a swiss cheese in there fencing (ME INCLUDED) even the so called big names. There is far too much Scholarly nonsense and not enough trying to fix major problems like how to fight in Krieg without leaving openings for counters or how to enter correctly to close off counter attacks.

    Too right Koyo. Exactly the reason Hamster and I have imposed a ban on ANY Glasgow Duellists material being posted on the net. We can more than hold our own against any longsword group in freeplay but we are so far from being happy with our skill level that it is unthinkable to post anything.

    The Bear.
  10. RAbid Hamster

    RAbid Hamster Herr Trubelmacher

    So early in their research they have nothing of any worth and have managed to produce and circulate something that makes them look like a bunch of LARPers having a laff. That clip is TOTALLY without merit - no footwork, no intent, no second intention, no technique other than banging steel - I could get that sort of display with my beginners class but even they have more sense.

    Posting this on utube is all about ego, not enthusiasm. You post something you can be proud of ... something polished for close scrutiny and appraisal in peer review ... not something without form, structure or merit.

    In that way I took my technique (and class) to celtic exchange for critique with another german longsword group.

    Even after good reviews, our study still goes on ..... and I STILL dont feel the need to put anything up on utube. However we are fighters ... not scholars or posers. Thats bound to make a difference.
  11. Ran Pleasant

    Ran Pleasant Valued Member

    With the exception of a few, such as John Clements, none of those guys doing German and Fiore have 20 years of actual martial arts experience. Twenty years ago (mid-1980s) almost all of them were doing SCA, LARPing, and other forms of re-enactment. Most started seriously working with historical sources in the mid-1990s. And to be honest, from what I have seen in person and in video most of the guys doing German and Fiore are not much better than what is seen in these videos. Strangely, many groups try to down play the violence of these systems and the violence of the world in which they developed (see threads on SFI). For example, they don't spar, rather they bout,.....whatever, but they damm well don't fight.
  12. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    I have to agree with you on the quality of alot of other practioners. Seeing far to much tippy tappy hits creeping in as a means of scoring. People tapping with the flat and expecting it to count in freeplay. No wrestling at the sword. It's a sorry state.
    The nonsense spoken at SFI borders on the ridiculous, they take idealistic propaganda of the period and believe that it was actually like that. When we know from historical fact that it was a bloody and violent time.
    Nice JC name drop by the way, one thing you can't fault him on is a lack of getting his message out there. ;)

    The Bear
  13. RAbid Hamster

    RAbid Hamster Herr Trubelmacher

    Hells bells ... I agree with Ran! I need a lie down!
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    It's 2008 now. If you started in 1990 that'd be 18 years.

    Peace favor your sword,
  15. Ran Pleasant

    Ran Pleasant Valued Member

    Yes, and in 1990 only a few, such as John Clements and Terry Brown, were doing this as a martial art. The great majority who now claim 20, 25, or 30 years of experience fail to point out that most of that experience was actually playing SCA, LARPing, etc. What people were doing back in the 1990s has a direct impact upon what they do today in their interpretations.

    Why do so many still hack up their edges when doing German or Fiore swordsmenship?
    Because that's what they did during all of their experience in re-enactment/stage fighting.

    Why do so many just throw their blades together and wiggle them around (and call it Winding) rather than attempting to land strong solid blows with the full reach of their swords when doing German or Fiore swordsmenship?
    Because that's what they did during all of their experience in re-enactment/stage fighting.

    Of course a person can both engage in re-enactment and be a good martial artists...but they have to shift from one to the other and not mix them up! Re-enactment based upon martial arts is good. Martial arts based upon re-enactment is really really bad.
  16. RAbid Hamster

    RAbid Hamster Herr Trubelmacher

    dont start the edge v flat argument here cause it will end in tears like it always does.
  17. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Oh c'mon RH, what could possibly go wrong? :p

    Best regards,


    N.B. Yes, we need more intent. People should not, under any circumstances, post HSC* online. Just because it's got longswords, doesn't mean it's cool. Longswords are far too cool in themselves to be associated with HSC. In fact, every time a WMAer posts crappy stuff on youtube, God kills a kitten. It's true. Save the fluffy cute kittens. Say "NO" to HSC. :)

    *abbreviation for "Hot Steaming Crap"
  18. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    Controversial fella. Nice enough to me though.

    Also nice. Very helpful and pleasant.

    Someone else's argument.

    Also not my argument and, frankly, it's been done to death. When it comes to swords, I do 19th C. Military Saber. Edge-to-edge is A-OK. Get a new sword or have the brigade armorer give it some TLC with a stone.

    I suspect it might have something to do with what they read about "Winding" but you'd have to go have that argument with them. I'd rather stab ya with a big ol' bowie; longsword ain't my "thing."

    If you say so. Me, I'm gonna go over there [points] and whack on some training partners with my tomahawk, club 'em with my knobbed stick, punch 'em in the head with a Rounding Blow, and then Back-Heel them to the ground.

    Peace favor your sword,
  19. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    Nice Bowie. I prefer Bagwell's "Fortress" model instead, however. Why pay an extra $100 for a "mirror finish" and an extra 1/4" in length when the darn thing is already nearly 17"?

    Peace favor your sword,
  20. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Ummm no. Plenty of evidence of edge parrying. Quite frankly I'll parry with any part of a sword if it mean I live and the other guy dies. Stupid debates like this are for scholars not fighters.

    Umm again no. Never seen winding in re-enactment but it is included in Liechtenauer. If you don't include it then your not doing German, only a subset.

    I agree but then I'm not a re-enactor and never have been. Then again I'm not into ARMA interpretation of fighting either but with luck one day we'll get to go head to head Ran and we can find out whose fencing style works better.

    The Bear.

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