The European historical swormanship has a long tradition. The techniques we use are from manuals written between the 14th and 19th centuries. Classes of SESH:s Jyväskylä branch are based largely on Fior di Battaglia written by Italian fencing master Fiore dei Liberi in 1409.
A picture from Fior di Battaglia (Novati´s facsimile from 1902).
The way of applying old techniques to practice and the training methods we use have been developed by Guy Windsor. Historical fencing is not sports- or fantasy sword fighting but a martial art. This means that the goal is not scoring points, but to develop ones skills in battle. The complexity and flashiness of the techniques are not valued; the correct technique is the one that would have saved the swordsman’s life in a real situation.
We start training with a wooden sword (a “waster”) and focus on controlling ones body, basic positions, footwork and having the right attitude. Training consists of warming up, footwork alone or with a partner and practising armed and unarmed techniques with a partner.
In the beginning, no protective gear is used at all since the sword never actually touches the body. The point is to practice care and control of ones self and the weapon.
As basic skills increase, protective gear is used, at first fencing masks and gloves. Buying a steel sword becomes necessary at some point.
We focus on longsword techniques but we also train with other weapons, for example daggers.
More information on historical sword fighting can be found on the homepage of SESH.
Updated: 3.12.2007 00:47:16