Showing posts from September, 2016

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…

Kit Mod: Blacking the Blackfencer

My only criticism in my review of the Blackfencer sythetics was that the unprotected steel easily rusts and that this is a level of care I really would rather not be bothered with in a synthetic weapon.

I investigated several options for steel care and decided upon gun bluing as the best option. Frankly it's been a breeze to put this onto mild-steel like the Blackfencer guards. I went and bought some inexpensive "gun blue" liquid from a hunting shop (Outers Gun Blue). Be careful in your purchase as their is blue for Steel and blue for Aluminium, putting the wrong thing on could be awkward. While it's called "blue" you can select from blue to black and I went with the blackest option. I picked the smallest volume bottle (60ml) and so far I've gone through half a bottle to do four weapons.

It's pretty simple to apply. Firstly you fully de-grease your steel. I used a simple degreasing spray and gave the metal and good once over with some sandpaper to re…

Di Grassi on the exercise and strength of arms

"As touching the weight or heft, which is borne in the hand, be it sword or other weapon, I commend not their opinion anyway, who will for the strengthening of a man's arm that he handle first a heavy weapon, because being first used to them, afterwards, ordinary weapons will seem the lighter unto him, but I think rather the contrary, to wit, that first to the end, he does not over burden and choke his strength, he handle a very light sword, and such a one, that he may most nimbly move. For the end of this art is not to lift up or bear great burdens, but to move swiftly. And there is no doubt but he vanquishes which is most nimble, and this nimbleness is not obtained by handling of great hefts or weights, but by often moving." - Giacomo di Grassi, His True Art of Defence 1594