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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > I just ordered my first sword. Reply to topic
 
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: I just ordered my first sword.         Reply with quote

I don't quite know what's happenned to me, I've spent 30 years in Asian/Indonesian martial arts, and within the last week I've become obsessed with medieval swords. Crazy! Happenned out of the blue.

So I found this site, and read a BUNCH of great reviews, (you guys are the motherlode of info. on this subject) and decided to bite the bullet.

I was looking for a fast blade that I could dual wield, so I was looking pretty hard at the Prince and Squire after reading the review, also the Poitiers, the Kern and the Kingmaker. Holy CROW! How the heck is a noob to choose?!

So I just called them up and asked them. GREAT customer service, Mike is great. He steered me to the Kern.
With a last name like Malone the Kern was a perfect match :-).

Now I'm going to have to spend the next 30 years training in a whole new school of martial arts!
This is all crazy fun to me, I'm really glad to find this site as I'm sure I'll have a BUNCH of questions to search in the forums.

What would you guys recommend for a blade to fight alongside the Kern? With so many beautiful blades, I just couldn't go for a matching Kern.

Any recommendations on books for dual wield and basics? I have some skill in double stick, but I'm sure this is going to be a somewhat different animal. I can see I'm going to have to invest in a couple of I33 Maestro's as well.

Since when did polished steel become crack?

Great to be here, and great to have you guys as a resource.

Thanks,

Scott
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're certainly on the right track looking at historical manuals. One of the things you'll find tin those is that there isn't any European tradition of dual sword wielding. These weapons work just fine by themselves but can also be accurately and effectively paired with shields and daggers. No long offhand weapons, though.

If you really want something historically and culturally appropriate for your offhand I would encourage you to look into the use of a target (a.k.a. "targe). This is a medium-size shield worn on the offhand forearm and what an Irish swordsman of the period would have used offhand if he used anything at all. Follow the links in the next post to get information on the construction of Irish targets.

For training with sword and target, sword and buckler, sword and dagger, staff, bill, etc., I think you would find these books rewarding:

Master of Defense: The Works of George Silver
http://www.amazon.com/Master-Defense-Works-Ge...amp;sr=8-2

English Swordsmanship: The True Fight of George Silver
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1891448277/r...d_i=507846

English Martial Arts

Highland Swordsmanship: Techniques of the Scottish Sword Masters

Highland swordsmanship might not have as much for you as the others here, but it's something to consider getting if your interest in British martial arts deepens. I have that and English Martial Arts (which I think you'd love). I have Hand's I33 work and I suspect that his Silver work would be quite useful to you.


Given your serious MA background, I'd also encourage you to see if ARMA has anything to interest you:

http://www.thearma.org/

Lots of historical texts there, and even more for members.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Tue 19 Aug, 2008 12:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a thread on Irish targets, with links to still more good information:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=target



And here's an out-of-date (Jan. 2006) guide to myArmoury.com threads on Irish arms and armour subjects:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=target

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great stuff, thanks Sean.

I saw the Arma site while I was nosing around. Interesting, but dosen't look like there is anyone in my area.
I'm sure I'll find someone around here if I look long enough though.

I'll take your book recommendations to heart and start with English Martial Arts.

I have a while until my Kern is paid for and ships, and a bit longer until my Maestro I33 rolls in, so I have some time.
The bad part is I'm ready to start yesterday :-)

I'll have to consider the targe, but I'm used to having 2 weapons rolling, so It might be a tough transition.

Pretty amazing to have so much information and training ahead of me. Pretty exciting stuff.

Thanks for the links, I'll have to grab a pint and dig in tonight, looks like a ton of info.

Super-super, thanks for the reply and the info Sean.
You are a gentleman and a scholar. :-)

Scott
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Marc Pengryffyn




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G'Day R. Scott,

While it wasn't used historically, for all sorts of reasons, training with two western swords *is* a lot of fun! I haven't your eastern martial arts background- some chinese and japanese MA but almost no sword work- but became fascinated with dual sword use after I injured my right hand and discovered I could fence left-handed (with a *lot* of work!). After that, I began to wonder seriously about dual sword possibilities, and when I joined the SCA dual sword became my favorite style.

I'll say it again, before I get jumped on, western dual sword use is *not* historical. However, I found that it was a valid martial system to play around with, and to my mind there can be benefits to training that way. Plus it's a great challenge and a lot of fun!

On the topic of which sword to use in your off hand... I always used basket-hilted swords for the extra hand protection, especially since my style uses the forte and guard to catch the opponent's weapon and SCA rattan can easily break fingers even through good gauntlets. The swords I used were always matched evenly for length, weight and balance. I experimented with using different swords in each hand and it never really worked for me. The handling differences just became awkward to apply effectively. Of course, others may have a completely different approach, but from my experience, I'd recommend using swords that are pretty evenly matched. That's not to say they have to be identical, just about the same weight, length and balance. Personally, I'm toying with the idea at the moment of buying two Hanwei mortuary hilts (SH2004), for this very purpose....

Whatever you choose, welcome to the company of WMA addiction, and have fun!

Marc

Tradition is the illusion of permanence.
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Chris Fields




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yeah, I thought dual wielding wasn't hostorical for western arts. I have a 20 years martial arts background as well, mostly in kung fu, so I know duel wielding can be alot of fun. We have have a lot of dual dao forms.

I was actually surprised you went with the kern, it's light, but it's long!

I think I would of went with 2 of either the sheriff, or yeoman, or sovereign, personally.

Have fun though, good luck on your next choice.

If you go with I33, then definitly get a nice buckler. I actually like sword and buckler better than dual wielding now that i have done it. =)
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmmm.

I'm really ignorant when it comes to Western blades, so any input would be helpful.

For those that like to dual wield, which Albion blades would you choose and why.

I have votes for sheriff, yeoman, or sovereign so far. Why would you pick those over the Kern?
I do like to get up close and personal with 2 knives, as that is Kuntao range, but why would the length of the Kern be a detriment?

I'm looking for a good mix between cut and thrust.

So where can I find a decent buckler? I'll have to check that out, it does look like fun.

Scott

I lived in Tampa almost all my life Chris. My family still lives there.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. Scott Malone wrote:
For those that like to dual wield, which Albion blades would you choose and why.


Using two swords at once really isn't done in historical European swordmanship, other than in a few rare instances of rapier use. There is some discussion of such things on the forum and the search function will point you there.

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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good. I'm glad Nathan mentioned the whole "case of rapiers" thing. Not sure the style would blend well with your stick skills, but there it is. Come to think of it, I could have sworn I read somewhere about people using two dussaks, though that might be my imagination.

To keep your off hand from being bored, you might enjoy a dussack, katzbalger, baselard or cinquedea. I own the buckler from Mercenary's Tailor, and it's nice and sturdy, but A&A has a good selection as well.

Welcome to the obsession! Big Grin

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess I should have started this in Off-topic chat now that I look at the forums.

Sorry if I wandered out of the realm of Historic Arms Talk.

I'll get it all straight before too long.

Thanks Nathan.
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Chris Fields




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kun Tao you say... thats what I teach here in tampa. Good to see another Kun Tao person Big Grin Your stick forms and our dao forms are probably very similar. I would choose those albions just because they are shorter and stouter.

btw, I love the double knive work of Kun Tao as well.

What lineage are you training under? I am finding that alot of the lineages are mostly all tied back to the same person, William Reeders or Liu Sheong.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With English Martial Arts and I33 as inspiration, I predict you will fill your offhand with a buckler or dagger. I think that folks initially assume that target and buckler are static defenses, but buckler in particular is used very dynamically in conjunction with the sword. Your left will certainly not be bored! If you want another blade, a good dagger is a winner, too.

Check this out (ignore the "Rapier" title--this is ARMA sword & buckler v. sword and dagger):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi7TAQOWhKc

Don't blink or you'll miss the head shot at the end!

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2008 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Fields wrote:
Kun Tao you say... thats what I teach here in tampa. Good to see another Kun Tao person Big Grin Your stick forms and our dao forms are probably very similar. I would choose those albions just because they are shorter and stouter.

btw, I love the double knive work of Kun Tao as well.

What lineage are you training under? I am finding that alot of the lineages are mostly all tied back to the same person, William Reeders or Liu Sheong.


I studied Reeders Kun Tao with Tony Laughlin. He studied with Reeders and then his direct students, never before or since have I seen anyone in my life move like him. One of my all time favorite quotes comes from him.

I had been talking to people about various knives, and what they preferred tp fight with, and I noticed Tony had never shown any real preference or really spoken much about it at all. So I asked him what his favorite knife to fight with was, and without missing a beat he says, "whatever the other guy is carrying". Scary but true.

If you are training with Tony, or do in the future, be careful around him when his eyes change. :-)
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Chris Fields




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, I have heard of Tony, but I have never met him. I would love to as I have heard nothing but good things about him. I studied under John Medaska for about 16 years, who was under Thomas Pepperman, who was taught by Reeders.

There is alot of contraversy about who learned directly under Reeders, i say "who cares" as long as the style your training in works! Kun Tao training is pretty rare in the US, we are 1 of only 2 classes in Florida that I know of. The other one is based from De Thouars. I have met a few teachers from virginia and california, who initially stated that there was no way Pepperman studied directly under Reeders, they have since changed their minds on that since the past is so cloudy. Again, as long as the style works! hehe.

It is said the Reeders teachings were like "a broken mirror". A piece here, a piece there, but none of the pieces were exactly alike.

Hey, I just noticed Tony is in Tarpon Springs, is that true? If so he's only a hour or so away from where I am, I'll have to go train with him soon.

btw, thats the answer I would have given you as well, lol.
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
You're certainly on the right track looking at historical manuals. One of the things you'll find tin those is that there isn't any European tradition of dual sword wielding. These weapons work just fine by themselves but can also be accurately and effectively paired with shields and daggers. No long offhand weapons, though.


Hmm...the daggers used in sword-and-dagger styles could get pretty long--well into the size bracket of short swords--though I agree that this doesn't necessarily mean that the style could then be said to be a proper two-sword style.
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2008 1:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. Scott Malone wrote:
For those that like to dual wield, which Albion blades would you choose and why.


The Marozzo or Capo Ferro (from the Maestro line), I suppose, since they're the ones that fit best with the time period for which there are extant European manuals for two-sword styles. A&A's Milanese rapier might also be worth considering if you're really into it.
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to say I'm a bit overwhelmed.

After watching the videos that Sean and Brad linked to me, it all looks like so much damn fun.

As far as expensive hobbies go, this is worse than golf! Surprised

German longsword with grappling, rapier and single hand sword with targe and dagger - I'm going to need a second income.
I'll start with the Kern and dagger, then find or make myself a targe, but sooner or later I'm going to need a longsword and a rapier, not to mention training blades to cover all of these.

I'm really excited to start training with these weapons and learning the basics of these styles, thanks for all your information and input guys. Thanks for all the taining manual recommendations as well.


If anyone ever has any questions on acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, or qigong, I'd love to help you out.
It's what I do, and it's all I really have to offer the group at this point.

Thanks again, I'll let you know how things go. First I have to get that blade paid for. Big Grin

Scott
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. Scott Malone wrote:
If anyone ever has any questions on acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, or qigong, I'd love to help you out.


Really? Well, then, expect me to pester you with qigong questions in the near future, since I'm trying to learn it as part of Stephen Selby's reconstructed methods of Chinese archery.
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R. Scott Malone




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd be glad to try and answer any questions you have on qigong Curtis. All sorts of interesting applications for it in martial arts armed and unarmed.

On a side note, I just set up an appointment to start classes at the Rocky Mountain Swordplay guild.
They seem to have a pretty nice curriculum:

"In addition to the armizare of Fiore dei Liberi, Guild scholars have the chance to study 16th century Italian swordsmanship, based in the Bolognese tradition, which includes the arming sword, used alone and with the buckler or dagger. For senior students, other options include training in the English basket-hilted broad sword, based on the work of George Silver (c.1600), 19th century Italian Sabre (based on Barbasetti's 'Art of the Sabre and Epee'), and late 17th century French Smallsword/Spadroon (Liancour). "

Needless to say, I'm pretty ecstatic to find someone so close, that teaches western martial arts.
WOO-HOO!!!
I am on my way!
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