The Art of Longsword Fighting
The teaching of Historical European Martial Arts has widespread appeal with numerous clubs in many countries. However, comparatively few people who run their own club have qualifications that would make them an instructor in traditional martial arts organizations. Even those with such qualifications lack in-depth cohesive resources for teaching a given style – often because they can only work from incomplete sources. Thus, the need for a book which is grounded in exhaustive research into historical teaching methods and in particular focusing on the specific style of Sigmund Ringeck, who was himself a teacher of fighting arts in the late 14th century or the early or mid-15th century. In The Art of Longsword Fighting, Benjamin J. Smith therefore offers the broader information necessary for teachers of historical swordsmanship to deliver courses based on original, authentic techniques. This includes the various cutting methods, the role of competition in learning these arts, the mechanics of the interpretive process, and insights into how to use a wide range of activities to enhance students’ experience. All of this is achieved through a panoply of photographs showing each move along with explanatory diagrams as well as detailing how and when to introduce each next step in a manner that is faithful to Ringeck’s style. There is no current literature available which demonstrates how each move should be undertaken and, most importantly, why each step should be taken in the sequences described. There is no doubt that a book of this nature has been long awaited and will be welcomed by instructors and students alike as well as those general readers interested in fencing and the longsword of the Renaissance period.
- 2021 Benjamin J. Smith
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