Today I got to be a fencing student! Triangle Sword Guild offers free introduction on the longsword Saturdays and Tuesdays. The instructor, Ben Strickland, and I have have been playing email tag for a few months in attempt to bring an introduction course or seminar to Mid-South. The release of the New York Times post in September compelled my curiosity in fencing sport archeology.
The concepts were generally the same as modern sabre, but scoring is somewhat is different. The video in the NY Times post explains it well. I liked how the use of two hands on the pommel and near the hilt felt like a sabre cut except modern sabre just uses the thumb and pinky in one hand. After a few footwork moves and learning the basic hand position it was easy to feel like a highlander and that we were doing the “real” sword fighting, old school style.
Our practice wasn’t too glamorous, it was outside of a community center on concrete. Ben, the instructor, was great, calm, enthusiastic and knowledgable. We got a through a basic parry and riposte drill progression. Modern sabre seems to offer more easily that instant gratification of being able to quickly get going and make a hit, however, the size of the longsword appeals to that desire to have a large destructive tool in your hand that could potencially do mortal damage. Sport fencing archeology was fun and how cool it was to meet some great folks interested in discovering and exploring this ancient blending of art and weaponry.
Thanks for reading!