Historical Fencing, Practicing with Sharpened Blades

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  • #201821
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    A friend of mine is an avid historical fencer, and as he has risen in rank at his Historical Fencing Academy, I asked him to share some of his experiences on my blog. Most recently as part of his goal to obtain Courtier rank, he performed a great feat–to safely duel with sharpened blades in practice bouts by foiling the blade.

    If you you would like to read his accounts, you can do so here: Fencing with Live Steel

    You can leave questions and comments on the blog!

    Magic Seeker
    • Topics - 105
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    Very interesting, especially the emotional effects of fighting with live steel.

    Happy writing,
    Deb Salisbury
    The Mantua-Maker, Quality Historical Sewing Patterns and Books

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    He has shared a unique perspective many of us try to emulate but few have any real experience with. What an awesome resource! Thank you for posting this.

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    Sharp weapons is a pretty big and contentious topic in the historical fencing and historical European martial arts (HEMA) community today. Most people agree that training with sharp blades eventually becomes necessary at one point or another, but there’s still a great deal of disagreement on where this point lies — whether cutting practice is of any benefit to the avarage sword practitioner, how much skill and control must be learned/acquired before someone can start doing some drills with sharp swords instead of relying exclusively on blunts, and all that kind of stuff. There’s at least one article and one video I’d recommend for a good overview of this subject:



    You might also want to check out J.C. Amberger’s “The Secret History of the Sword” — it’s an old book from the 1990s so many of the things it says about HEMA have become rather outdated today, but its collection of historical anecdotes (many of which concerned duelling with sharps) is still quite interesting and useful. Best of all, Amberger has recently decided to release it for free distribution.

    Belated Merry Christmas—The Free History of the Sword

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