Training Sword Press

Nikolaj Malnač receiving an award from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence. Now that we’ve all acquired the blades, books and besegew’s that we wanted for Christmas, it’s time to learn new WMA/HEMA techniques – or polish up those we already know.  Given the near-universal access to excellent reference material here-to-fore-seldom seen – its stands to…

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Getting the Point to your Opponent

Swordplay from the Ground: The Four Thrusts of the Sword The knight’s sword was not just a cutting weapon.  A well-aimed thrust delivered with the impulsion of a moving horse was a deadly combat technique.  It was also an effective attack from the ground. There are four basic types of thrust, defined by the orientation…

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Shoulder to Wrist: three types of cut

Swordplay from the Ground: Wrist, Elbow & Shoulder Cuts Not only are there eight lines on which to cut, there are three places from which to cut, wrist, shoulder and elbow.  For the Green Spur you are required to demonstrate all three types with the sword in one hand, and wrist and elbow cuts with…

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Happy 2013!

Good Morning and Happy New Year! (sorry, was that too loud?)   Since it is far too soon after last night’s indulgences to be practising cutting in a safe and responsible manner, I’ll eschew wrist, shoulder and elbow cuts for another week.  Instead, sit back in a comfy chair with the hangover remedy of your…

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Cutting down (and up, and across)

Swordplay from the Ground: The Eight Cuts In the last three posts I’ve covered posture, movement and turns of the body, with or without a sword in hand.  Now we’ll turn our attention to the sword and look at cutting and thrusting in the next few posts, beginning with the eight cutting lines.   Terminology…

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Bringing a 500 year old wrestling system back to life

A few weeks ago I was in Eugene, Oregon teaching a seminar at the Northwest Fencing Academy. The day after the seminar I got together with school director Sean Hayes and his senior student Mark Kruger to work with them a bit on an historical intepretation project of a 1537 wrestling manual written by a…

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Taking a Turn

Swordplay from the Ground: Turns of the Body Last week’s post on the Mounted Combat Green Spur Curriculum covered moving forward, back and side to side.  This week we’re adding turns to menu.  Demonstrate the three turns of the body. ‘Volta‘ is the Italian word for ‘turn’.  (Dressage riders will recognize it from ‘volte’, which…

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Martial Movement

Swordplay from the Ground: Movement Last week I covered the essentials of a balance and martial stance.  Now we need to add mobility, without losing the effectiveness of that grounded posture, for the second item in the mounted combat checklist: Demonstrate methods of movement The movements we are looking for are: 1. Advance: take a…

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The Gift of Stage Combat

The month of December is like a gift of stage combat. It ends with the Paddy Crean, and everyone is preparing for it for the weeks leading up to it. The Paddy Crean Workshop I’ve written about Paddy Crean and the workshop in his honour before. It’s one jam-packed week of stunts, stage combat, and…

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Taking a Stance

Last week I gave an overview of the Mounted Combat portion of the Green Spur program, which includes Swordplay from the Ground, Swordplay Knowledge and Mounted Swordplay Knowledge.  For the next little while we’ll look at each of those checklist items in a bit more detail, starting with Swordplay from the Ground: Stance and Posture…

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The Mounted Combat Curriculum – Green Spur

Like the Mastery program, we have five ranks within the Cavaliere program, denoted by Spurs: Green, Blue, Red, Silver and Gold.  To acquire each rank you need to be a triple threat, demonstrating your skill in Horsemanship, Riding and Mounted Combat. Now that we’ve covered all the things you need to know and be able…

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Victorian Shaving for Movember

The month of November is here, and the ritual of growing a mustache to raise funds for testicular cancer and other men’s health issues has been dubbed Movember. Deliberate and sometimes elaborate facial hair was common in Victorian era, so I’m sure Bartitsu enthusiasts are keen to learn more. Mustache Goals If you’re participating in…

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Prepare to Die!

Stanislavski’s primary book on Method Acting is called “An Actor Prepares,” which points to the central question: How to be an actor? In one sense, what he’s saying is: “Don’t neglect rehearsal. You can’t control what happens on stage and you can’t rely on your raw talent in the moment to save every show. A…

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