The Beginner’s Guide to German Longsword, part 6: How to strike, vol. I

INTRODUCTION So now we know how to hold a sword, stand with a sword, and walk with a sword. Now comes the fun part: striking with a sword! There is a LOT of things to cover here, so there will be several articles on it. We will start with the very basics: the strikes from […]

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 […]

Khutulun, the Wrestling Khan

Before we get into the historical figure, there is a bit of context that we need to address: namely, Bökh, or mongolian wrestling. It’s a tradition that spans back thousands of years, and is still very popular in Mongolia. It is considered as the main part of the “three manly skills”: horseback riding, archery, and […]

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 […]

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