3 Injury Prevention Tips for Rapier Fighters

One of the things I focus on in my recent book, Introduction to Italian Rapier, is healthy biomechanics. These are important not just for performance but for your long-term health. Martial arts done well can improve your strength, endurance, and physical comfort. However, done poorly, they can have the exact opposite effect, leading to strain, pain,…

Read More…

An Argument for Training with Diverse Weapons, Part 1

Recently, I was asked why we teach rapier and longsword together in our Instructor Intensives. The questioner postulated that it was like teaching sky diving and skin diving in the same program. Sure rapiers and longswords are both swords but aren’t they as distinct as these two types of “diving”? I think it’s a great…

Read More…

Choosing the Right Rapier for You

I am asked routinely how to choose the right rapier for practice. This article, cribbed from my forthcoming Introduction to the Italian Rapier book, looks at the range of historical rapiers and my opinion on how to best select a modern reproduction. The Real Thing Historical rapiers varied in dimension both throughout their evolution from…

Read More…

Book Review: “The Art of Sword Combat” by Meyer

New for this year is Dr Jeffry L. Forgeng’s translation of the recently discovered Fechtbuch ‘The Art of Sword Combat’[1] by Joachim Meyer. This new offering is thought to pre-date Meyer’s famous work, ‘The Art of Combat’ (1570) by two years. Dr Forgeng is well qualified to handle an original, old work. He’s done research…

Read More…

Barefoot or shoes? Today on “Ask Clint”!

Provost, what is better: practicing barefoot or in shoes? I prefer and recommend practicing in shoes (keep reading;  some students prefer barefoot which is fine). Ultimately, there are pitfalls to be aware of (and avoid) with either. The biggest consideration I make is for personal health. That is, will your decision (shoes or no shoes)…

Read More…

Don’t Get Hung Up on Perfect Practice

There is an interesting phrase pair I have been hearing from a lot of instructors recently. I hear: “Practice makes perfect.” Then an admonishment: “No. Practice makes permanent. So make sure you don’t practice poorly!” The first is a message of hope and resilience. If you practice and stay the course, you can find mastery.…

Read More…

Beginners Courses for Next Year/ January

A new year is coming so get into our next round of Beginner’s Courses! Prepare for swinging swords and pulling punches. We offer three different courses which cover different avenues of Western Martial Arts: Fight Like Sherlock Holmes Bartitsu is a complex martial art with many interlocking skills. Our four-week Fight Like Sherlock Holmes course gives students…

Read More…

Are your hips holding you back?

Working at the front desk of the world’s largest western swordfighting school for half a year has led me to observe something. When it comes to most weapons and styles, people have preferences that are based on a number of different factors, ranging from their training background to their childhood fantasies. Generally speaking no one seems to particularly dislike one…

Read More…