Skip to main content

Book review: Swordfighting, for Writers, Game Designers, and Martial Artists

"This book is a collection of essays and articles, about half of which have been adapted from Guy’s successful blog, at guywindsor.com, the rest have never been published before."

http://guywindsor.net/blog/books/swordfighting-the-book/#sthash.5lezJdED.dpuf

Just a quick review of this book. Firstly I should say I'm a big fan of Guy Windsor. I read his Swordsman's Companion back in the day and since then I've kept up to date with his blog. I am, at the moment, very interested in reading general thoughts on the Art of swordsmanship so when he released this I was quite excited. I also found it quite interesting how you would explain the Art concisely to a complete lay person who perhaps isn't interested in wielding a sword but just wants to understand how it works. Great stuff I thought.

Now, I don't think the book does that or that Guy was really making much of an effort with this book. It really is just a loosely strung together collection of his online material and I very much got the impression that this was a book written for the sake of using that online material to generate income, i.e. a book that could be sold. I think I highlighted about three pages as noteworthy to come back to, which is unusual for any book I read on martial arts. I also think if I was a writer or game designer I wouldn't really have got much out of it either. On the flip side at $9.99 I hardly feel like I've wasted my money. The concept is good and perhaps it will stimulate someone to do it better?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kit mod: heavy sparring glove 2

This is a follow on to heavy sparring gloves and SPES arm protectors.

Finally: a pretty good HEMA glove.

Essentially I've created this final stage by removing the cuff from the gauntlet and attaching Velcro so the SPES arm & elbow protection attaches to the gauntlet. The Velcro attaches under the lip of the arm protection providing a solid join between the pieces.

My photography is lame but I hope you get the idea:



Good protection.

I would say that this setup has good protection from injury from sparring blows from fingers to elbow. Against full force blows it takes it down from injury to some mild discomfort and possibly light bruising, against moderate blows you feel some pressure with no discomfort. The fingers are where I've invested the heaviest protection but there is still some room for improvement.


Light weight

Because the weight is distributed along the length of the arm rather than at the wrist/hands end and because they can fit quite tightly to your body they seem…

Halberd Waster

Several times through my historical martial arts career I've got it into my head that I'd like to do halberd. However, the issues with a suitable waster have tended to put me off, specifically creating anything that can be used at something approaching full intention. The issue is that if you make the head from the usual materials (steel, aluminium, wood, leather etc) you have to exercise extreme caution at very slow speed because all you've made is a giant heavy mace on the end of a 6ft lever.

Recently I was working on making foam swords for another side project and while doing this it occurred to me that foam was the obvious solution to the halberd head issue. Pretty quickly I developed this simple waster.

The head is cut from EVA foam matting. This material is importantly both ultra light and pretty robust. To get a good strength I cut two head shapes out and stuck them together. The bracket to attach the head to the pole is just PVC piping with a slot cut into it for th…

Absolutely no absolutes

The more I study and learn of historical fighting, and the more I teach, the more I become careful in throwing around "absolutes" in terms of technique. I find that to say that something is "wrong" is a sub-optimal way of thinking about fencing that hinders development. Rather I like to highlight that everything is situational, i.e. with a proper understanding of the principles of fencing that there is often a time and a place where a particular technique is optimal and that you should not completely discount anything.

For example:

(and I'd like to make it clear that I'm not being negative on these examples, I liked and remembered both these videos I'm just using them to illustrate a pedagogical mindset.)

In this interesting video, the view is put forward that you should cut and step at the same pace to ensure that your hand and body land together. This is so that you cut with maximum strength and for reasons of balance.  The idea of not stepping and cu…