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The Beginner’s Guide to German Longsword, part 5: The four (plus one) basic guards

We’re moving somewhere! We know some of the basics and how to step. Now it’s time to bring the sword into this equation. However, before we move on, I would like to make something clear: these are all guidelines, especially for the guards. The entire point of guards is that they put you in a […]

The Beginner’s Guide to German Longsword, part 4: How to Walk

4. Footwork Footwork is the base of all good fencing. Practice footwork regularly, preferably every session as part of your warm-up. Practice it when you have 5 minutes alone at your school or job. Do it whenever you can, as this is the first step towards quick, precise strikes. Longsword sources are somewhat scarce on […]

The Beginner’s Guide to German Longsword, part 3: How to Stand

3.1 The general stance The longsword is a two-handed cut-and-thrust weapon, and as such is mechanically different from both thrust-oriented and single-handed weapons. The most basic difference is that the center is turned towards the opponent with both shoulders, instead of having one side much closer to them than the other (with some exceptions in […]

The Beginner’s Guide to German Longsword, part 2: How to Hold a Longsword

2.1. Holding the sword Holding the sword may seem fairly straightforward, but due to the complexity and versatility of our hands, it includes a lot of finesse and detail. Here are some general guidelines, which are true for all grip positions with the longsword: Always be relaxed. Don’t grip the sword tightly. If your hands […]

The Beginner’s Guide to German Longsword, part 1: What is a longsword?

So, you want to learn how to wield a longsword like a pro! That is most excellent! The first step in that journey is to go find a good club that can get you there, because no matter how good an internet guide may be, it is no substitute for live practice and coaching. Here […]

Inspiritional historical swordspeople: Jean-Louise Michel

Granted, me being primarily a longsword fencer, I am not all that aware of later masters of the sword, but damn do they have some interesting stories! This time around in inspirational historical swordspeople: Jean-Louis Michel Born in present-day Haiti in 1785, his earliest years have a bit of a conflict in the sources. Some […]