long sword exercises

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Rifter
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Rifter » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:33 pm

I work on small productions here as a part time sword master and choreographer and while I study traditional techniques as most in the field do it is getting harder to make fights that please the general audience and any re enactors as well. Sometimes a director wants something I know is not even remotely correct or is basically a set of flashy moves that in an actual encounter would look great...right up until the enemy simply doesn't wait for the hero to finish the spin and run him through.

Some production get traditional fighting but it doesn't look appealing to anyone but a re enactor...any time there's any combat erics here at the local faire people watch the 14th century guys fight with steel....but then leave after a short time because...it really is just hacking and while using technique...isn't all that exciting to watch...something on the opposite scale like star wars...looks really awesome, spins, sounds and while based on technique from various sources...is not going to translate well with an actual blade. I got into this industry because of shows and films like Highlander and no it's not correct in terms of poise, technique or even accents ;) but the idea is to convey a story. Any sword master on a production has had either Olympic fencing as a background, eastern martial arts of various types or worked under a fellow sword master for a lot of productions. With all the info out there currently it's harder to come up with original ideas for films in general let alone fight sequences. Work shops such as Paddy Crean allow people to undertake these challenges and eventually when you have fellows such as us we watch films and in the back of our heads we go 'ok that wasn't right'. I don't want to ramble on too much but would like to say that I love seeing all the techniques were sharing but in a scope of film or stage...like any good movie it's about inspiring and telling a story. Not especially about whether the sword fight was using correct period strikes and parry's.
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Yavion » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:38 am

I honestly think you could do a fight scene using actual technique and make it appeal to both. It's really a matter of cinematography and editing.

I mean; these are traditional plays, and they would need very little help to make them "Movie Cool."

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Rifter
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Rifter » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:47 pm

well every strike in a film has a basis in actual form but when I'm hired I'm an employee and you don't want to be telling a production company what you want to see, they may ask, they may give you tons of room but ultimately 'movie cool' really depends on each person, I loved the fight scenes in Troy and Princess Bride but I know other swordsman who really don't care for them at all. I think if the director of the stunt really cares and puts his best into it then whether the film works or doesn't he can at least say hey I did that and I worked this much of actual style into it and so on.

In any case these vids are great for those who don't have schools nearby
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby mcapanelli » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:47 pm

Rifter wrote:well every strike in a film has a basis in actual form but when I'm hired I'm an employee and you don't want to be telling a production company what you want to see, they may ask, they may give you tons of room but ultimately 'movie cool' really depends on each person, I loved the fight scenes in Troy and Princess Bride but I know other swordsman who really don't care for them at all. I think if the director of the stunt really cares and puts his best into it then whether the film works or doesn't he can at least say hey I did that and I worked this much of actual style into it and so on.

In any case these vids are great for those who don't have schools nearby


HEMA and theatrical fencing are definitely different arts, but they have different end goals so I'd expect them to be different. Using historical technique is cool, but seeing as most fights were over rather fast it'd make for lousy TV. While I'd rather watch historical fighting at thins point, I still enjoy a well excited theatrical piece. Hell, I'm a game of thrones fan and from a martial perspective the fighting is hogwash, but it sure is cool to look at. The last episode must have been an bear to train all those actors and get it all on film like that. The fighting looks real enough to convince the audience while serving its purpose in driving the story line to where its supposed to go. That IMO is an art in and of itself.
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Greg » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:02 am

A-men. It's called performing, and the word has FAR more meaning than most give it.
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Kortoso » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:10 pm

willmc349 wrote:I plan on using a hand and a half sword. I would like the exercises to help build strength.

...perhaps we can move away from stage combat discussions...
The pell is a tool of great ancient ancestry: it was used by Roman legionaries and gladiators alike, as well as medieval knights. But it teaches the swordsman to cut TO the target rather than THROUGH the target. Practitioners of tameshigiri will understand.

I'd stick to drilling on various cuts from various angles, emphasizing completion and follow-through. Unfortunately many unschooled swordsmen tend to develop bad habits such as rotating the blade.

Try your hand at cutting milk jugs filled with water. That's a practical exercise that gives you immediate feedback. It's also loads of fun.

Use of a double-weight sword is also related as an ancient practice. Modern sports science also supports it! Now you have a use for that over-heavy wall hanger sword after all. :)
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Beornmann » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:49 pm

I remember seeing a demo years ago near the Tower of London, where two knights fought with unbelievably heavy pieces. With sluggish and exaggerated effort, they bashed on each other for our medieval feast's entertainment. How far we have come.

There is show. There is sport. There is combat. Similar, but different.
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Kortoso » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:08 pm

Aye, double-weight swords for training only (or for fools) and light, fast blades for making widows.
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Ursus » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:46 am

Thought Id share this for anyone interested. This is a workout I made up about five years ago and have done twice a week since.

Longsword burpies- Shadow fence for 30 seconds with normal waster then drop and do one burpie, repeat for 30 seconds then do two burpies, continue until you reach five burpies.

Five minutes of continuous fast paced Shadow fencing or Pell work with leg weights on with normal waster.

Five Minutes of continuous fast paced shadow fencing with weighted waster.

Longsword Suicides- Each time you stop, do two fast paced floryshes before running to next destination. Repeat at each stop.

Cool Down- five minutes of slow/medium paced shadow fencing.
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Kortoso » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:47 pm

Yavion wrote:I honestly think you could do a fight scene using actual technique and make it appeal to both. It's really a matter of cinematography and editing.

I mean; these are traditional plays, and they would need very little help to make them "Movie Cool."

One of my favorites:


For some reason, I am getting a big black square on my screen right now. :shock: :?:

I like the video, too. It reminds me of this:
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Re: long sword exercises

Postby Rifter » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:46 pm

There's a pretty large HEMA and 14th century group here who does a lot of stuff and lots love it but personally I get bored of watching it quick, maybe it's why I work in film PT anyway, I like the idea of a fight telling a story that immersive to an audience but there are certainly times when I just want to see real swords hit real armor and see if anyone gets kicked in the arse....or as I've seen on some vids..drop kicked...
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