Sword fighting isn't about knowing it's about doing.

One thing that has become abundantly clear to me after studying historical European martial arts for the last ten plus years is that raw knowledge in of itself is not very impressive. As we get more and more published source material of ever better quality translation this is a trend that will only increase. In my current training sessions it is not uncommon for a typical conversation to involve discussion and comparison between up to four or five sources ranging from 1.33 to the 19th century. Raw knowledge is not the scarce resource that once it might have been.

Likewise, with the more you read the more you become aware that between the 13th century and 19th century there was little invented that was new and in fact generally you see the same body mechanics reinvented over and over, adapted to different technological and cultural circumstances. Therefore with a grounding in the underlying principles of sword fighting you can comprehend and digest new sources relatively quickly and easily. 

Thus these days I find turning that knowledge into useful action is the only outcome I find interesting. Ultimately there comes a point when you appreciate that sword fighting isn't about knowing it's about doing. 

I can see that plenty of people show that they have knowledge of the theory but far less who can actually pull it off or have any actual skill or finesse with it. This is the current frontier of HEMA and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something.

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