Professionally Responsible Sword Press: News for April 2016

Popular media is pushing people towards an interest in historical swordplay. But how do those same people find a school in which they can explore their new interest? Chances are, they’ve seen a demonstration of swordplay on television or at a local event — an event that is not necessarily dominated by swords or swordspersons.…

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Truncated Sword Press: News for March 2016

My apologies for the brevity of this edition of Sword Press, but the recent world situation and the concurrent obligations of service took my attention elsewhere for most of the month! Polite Parasols & Prima METRO (Vancouver, British Columbia). 10 March 16. Vancouver workshop offers lessons on umbrella etiquette, self-defence. The home salle (Academie Duello) hosted manners-maven Jason Sarai, supporting…

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Book Review: The Knightly Art of Battle by Mondschein

  Sometimes — just sometimes — on a nice summer day, one likes to sit quietly on their own at a wee Bistro table with a view of the street, sipping at one’s coffee (black, thank you very much), and concentrate on looking at pretty things.  This book qualifies as that “pretty thing”. Ken Mondschein has edited…

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This Week in HEMA Video – Fun with Fiore and The Vancouver B Movie Factory

Sometimes we have some fun during all the seriousness of swordfighting. Just sometimes. Fun with Fiore This week’s video is a Vancouver B Movie Factory episode, “The Flower of Battle”, filmed at our riding facility, Red Colt Farm, in Richmond. With Oscar-worthy performances by students Michael Molnar, Ben Davis, Chris Richardson and Mounted Combat Program…

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Specialization versus Generalization in Martial Arts

A specialist martial artist, at their most focused, tunes their training toward a single discipline and a single context. This type of specialization is something that perhaps came first to us in the Western Martial Arts with duels. For these one-on-one conflicts, individuals would train to fight within a fixed set of rules and conventions,…

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The Audacious Lion

This post is part of a series on the Segno of Fiore that displays 4 animals each representing a different martial trait the lynx, tiger, elephant, and lion. “I am the lion: nobody carries a more courageous heart. I offer everyone battle.” Tom Leoni translation – Fior di Battaglia, Getty Museum To stand across from…

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The Elephant and It’s Castle – Structural Strength in Training

“I’m the elephant, who carries a castle as freight. I never kneel or lose my stride.” Tom Leoni translation – Fior di Battaglia, Getty Museum To harness the ideals of the elephant in your martial form you must consider: Structural Alignment Placing your body in optimal positions to apply and resist force. Finding the ground…

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Fiore’s Four Animals – Achieving Martial Success

Within his 1409 manual Fior di Batagglia, Fiore dei Liberi provides us with an effective guide for reviewing our successful execution of martial technique: surrounding his diagram of blows are a series of 4 animals, each representing an essential quality of successful execution in the art: The Lynx – Positioned above the figure’s head represents…

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By the Book

I just picked up a copy of the new book on Armizare. For those of you that aren’t in the know, armizare is the word used by 14/15th Century swordmaster Fiore dei Liberi to describe the system of combat that he taught. Armizare is a whole system, featuring unarmed combat, daggers, swords, spears, axes, and…

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