German Longsword


June 13, 2013, 02:10 PM
I swung by a friend's Liechtenauer style longsword class yesterday. Very interesting fencing style. Quite different from the traditional fencing I abused in college. Has anyone else gotten involved in this or the German late Medieval longswords? Apparently this is a revived school of fencing methods that's getting a lot more attention in the past few years.

I'm picking up one of the Liechtenauer blunts from Albion. It's not cheap but handling one yesterday was exceptionally fun. It's not at all the big bulky blade I was expecting.

If you are into this, what cutting blades are you using?

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Archaic Weapon
June 13, 2013, 06:15 PM
I am into this type of martial art. I am, however, broke because of broken blades(and I don't mean the cheap ones). I currently have a Traditional Filipino Weapons Golok, not exactly a Longsword, but the craftsmanship is phenomenal, especially for the price.

I am interested in the Albion. I'd like to hear how yours turns out. I lack anyone to train with, and it makes it hard to learn a lot of the material, in my experience, without someone to compete against and compare notes with.

Best wishes on your endeavor.

June 13, 2013, 09:04 PM
I believe they make some plastic ones which per my instructor are much better than the wooden ones anyway. I've been using the plastic longsword for drill.

FWIW, my club has no webpage and only posts in the local bulletin boards. Check parks and rec or any public gyms. IIRC, you were looking at flintlocks and I strongly suspect if you hook up with primitive shooters (I KNOW they exist in Louisiana) you'll find some folks tied into this stuff as well.

Archaic Weapon
June 13, 2013, 09:15 PM
The problem is, Louisianians don't group together much, or advertise. Quarrelsome and distrustful on the whole. The only groups I know about are down south, and the only thing resembling a fighting school is the kind of local SCA, and they do this weird, safety first quasi fighting mess that does not in the least interest me.

Archaic Weapon
June 14, 2013, 12:56 AM
The Albion is at a really good price, I have to say.

Archaic Weapon
June 14, 2013, 01:56 AM
As I pointed out on the Hawk thread, I actually prefer axes when I can get them in a realistic weight and a properly built handle. I have used several types of shield in the past, enough to know that if it ain't a buckler, Medieval shields aren't fun to play with without at least an gambeson and helm of some type. I currently have a two weight flail and a Arms and Armor Viking spear, works wonders on armadillos.

I am hoping to build and start working on late Highland gear some time in the next year, basket hilt broadsword, dirk, tomahawk, targe, two handed Claymore eventually. Maybe a Sparth or Lochabar Ax. Wanting to build some armor, for safety sake. Nothing quite like having a three foot razorblade that you just sharpened being slung at you to put an understanding of mortality and practice in you. Unrecommended advice.

June 14, 2013, 12:34 PM
I did my very first shooting down there in the 70's with the local smoke pole folks when I was just a kid. They were pretty friendly then.

Here's a good demo of various strikes--in this case to the head.

June 14, 2013, 01:07 PM
Cosmoline, I used to practice this art with a study group in undergrad. I consider it to be very elegant and I really like how any combat action can be understood as transition from one guard to another. The art had comprehensive principles that could cover any situation in a duel if you could internalize them perfectly (if only). The one exception would be if you are fighting a berserker or suicidal opponent; if the other guy doesn't care about getting hit first, then the German way of defense through seizing initiative won't save your life.

I haven't drilled with it in years but I still have my old longsword. It's a repro of a 16th century blade from Czech maker Lutel: I'll post pictures when I get home today.

June 16, 2013, 02:17 PM
Is it one of the ones the site calls "hand and a half" swords? The terms get confused sometimes.

Sam Cade
June 16, 2013, 02:24 PM
Have you made your way over the the ARMA Cosmo?

June 16, 2013, 06:32 PM
I have. I've also run across some pretty heated discussions about the leadership there. Personally I don't care much about that stuff or about the titles and proprietary disputes. But I do appreciate the work that's gone into reviving these lost arts.

June 18, 2013, 08:17 AM
Is it one of the ones the site calls "hand and a half" swords? The terms get confused sometimes.

Yes, it has a three-foot blade with a double-handed grip, weighing about 4 lbs. Lutel makes swords that are on the heavy side for historical weapons, but they're sturdy and tough.

June 18, 2013, 01:28 PM
Arms and Armor ( another maker to look at. They have both trainers and live blades.

June 18, 2013, 01:35 PM
I've got an order in with Albion for one of their very nice trainers, but the turnaround is 4 months! So I'm looking for a heavy, hard plastic trainer for now. Something that may run a little more weight than the real thing to help strength training.

Sam Cade
June 18, 2013, 02:13 PM
So I'm looking for a heavy, hard plastic trainer for now. Something that may run a little more weight than the real thing to help strength training.

Amazingly, Cold Steel has a good waster.

They retail for about $30.

June 21, 2013, 02:17 PM
I've tried one of those but it's a real noodle in the sun. This one is better:

I'm liking the course so far. Most of the more experienced students are already black belts in one EMA or another. There is a considerable amount of crossover, the big difference being the western arts were written down and the eastern arts were learned through tradition. But they get to very similar places in the end. Footwork, posture, and learning to let the blade lead are key. The biggest difference with Kendo I'm seeing so far is the myriad of fresh options you have with a long sword if your first strike meets steel. A slight change of grip and position will put your foes head on the point like an olive in a cocktail. They're fearsome weapons for slashing both directions and thrusting, plus you can grab the blade and stab that way to get through plate. I'm glad we don't actually duel with them anymore. Esp. since in our "try to hit me" bouts with the instructor, his blade bops my head and grates across my face protector in about a fifth of a second, before I've even started moving. With a sharp that would be my eyeballs looking in new independent directions.

Sam Cade
June 21, 2013, 02:29 PM
This one is better:

HDPE blades?

June 21, 2013, 03:48 PM
I think so. It's a thinner profile and smacks a bit harder. The pommel is steel to counterbalance.

July 11, 2013, 01:32 PM
I finally got the plastic waster from woodenswords. It's very nicely balanced and did well in the "winding" techniques yesterday.

I have to say, this is both great fun and a fantastic workout. As you speed up and learn the maneuvers the action gets more and more explosive. The masters were very big on very powerful and fast attacks. Even the defenses are attacks or lead-ins to more attacks. The blade is not swung so much as fired at the other guy, using a combination of pushing, pulling and lunging. The folks reviving the art have been doing it for long enough now to really start to appreciate the finer points, and it's turning into a genuine martial art. And unlike modern sport fencing, when you get hit your mask is ringing or your shoulder smacked and you know without doubt you'd have been done in by a real blade. There's none of this touching your jacket nonsense. Heck if you get into a close bind you attack the other guy directly with a leg-breaker.

The full harness techniques are even more brutal, with lots of half-swording and jabbing quillons into eyes. I wonder why the movies featuring armored ground combat never seem to show this stuff. In fact I don't remember ever seeing half-sword methods in any movie. There aren't even many films set during that late medieval - early modern period. They tend to end at the fantasy version of the dark ages and start up again around the time of Shakespeare.

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