European military sword forged by Italian sword makers Del Tin. The term “Schiavona” may refer to a slavic woman in Venetian dialect. This reflects on the soldier’s preference to refer to their weapons as a “she”.
The double-edged sword is well tempered with chrome-vanadium steel and consists of a full length tang peened to the pommel. It’s overall length is 102cm with the point of balance at 13cm from the pommel.
The basket guard offers full protection for the hand, however it’s shear size may have intervened with the motion and twisting range of the wrist when swinging the sword.
This is a 1.5-hour workshop on swordsmanship mechanics, using lightsabers or straight sticks with no crossguard.* I taught this for the Bangkok Brotherhood of Historical Fencing, a HEMA group based in Thailand. To jump straight to the class, go to 6:54. This is part 1 of 2 workshops, the second is coming soon!
For those wishing to take part remotely in the workshop, I’ve included the whole session, unedited (except for free sparring at the end). A full transcript is attached below.
*The choice to use lightsabers to teach medieval swordsmanship was due to weapon-carry restrictions for the fighters getting to and from the workshop using public transport in Bangkok, so we used lightsabers and incorporated that into the class content.
I do address lightsaber-specific mechanics, but the majority of what I teach in the class is useful for general swordsmanship.
Adventures in Swordplay #2: The Powerful Potential of Pummeling People with Pommels
I’ve being going to HEMA class more frequently lately; about twice a week, and practicing on my own whenever I can find the time. Thus, our instructor decided it was time to teach us how to use all parts of our swords, and not just the sharp bits.
When “Stick Them With the Pointy End” Isn’t Enough
Today I learned that when one is in a bind, it is often more advantageous to strike with the blunt end of the sword rather than to disengage. Also, if one were to face an armored opponent, a blunt strike will cause much more damage with than a cut, since you can’t cut armor, no matter how many anime series tell you otherwise.
Thus, we conducted the pommel-bashing drill several times. I, as always, was voluntold for the demonstration. And on the fourth repetition of eating a delicious pommel, the loaner helmet caved in, slamming parts of the grill and gorget against my forehead and throat respectively. OUCH.
My brain is somehow still intact, despite the blunt-force trauma. I certainly hope my new helmet (which I’m still waiting to get delivered) provides a better defense in future sessions.
I guess I’m a glutton for punishment, because you bet your ass I’m still going to the next class.
A shotel is a curved sword originating in Abyssinia (ancient Ethiopia). It looks very much like the Near Eastern scimitars. The curve on the shotel’s blade varies from the Persian shamshir, adopting an almost semicircular shape. The blade is flat and double-edged with a diamond cross-section. The blade is about 40 inches (1,000 mm) in total length and the hilt is a simple wooden piece with no guard. The shotel was carried in a close fitting leather scabbard.
We start the next part of my segment with a European Weapon this time. Different from the usual longsword but not quite as large as the Claymore of Zweihander. It puts a balance between the lighter weight and speed of the Longsword but also means it has the weight and power of the heavier blades. I imagine it would be difficult to get used to at first but with a bit of work I don’t think it would be too much of a struggle. And in terms of range and cutting power it’d be brutally effective. Honestly don’t have much to say on this weapon but hey maybe in the future I shall.
A little something different from the two Japanese blades I’ve shared so far. This sword is actually English and not meant for combat it’s a ceremonial weapon. But honestly I’d love to come up with a way to properly use it. The lack of a stabbing tip would be troublesome but I’m sure due to it’s short length, probably light weight, and stability due to the guard, and thickness of the blade if trained with properly it could certainly be very deadly. I think I’d have more fun inventing a fighting style for this weapon than trying to learn someone else’s.
So, I have a character. He's roughly 6'5, 240 pounds, pretty much pure muscle. Would it be reasonable/possible for him to use an English Longsword as his primary weapon?
Given you’re asking, “can he lift 4lbs of steel?“ Then, yeah, probably. It’s worth remembering that most weapons aren’t particularly heavy, because you’d be swinging them around all day. Later European swords got down into the one to two pound range, meaning they weigh less than a jug of milk.
The places where you start to see heavy swords are parade weapons, which were never intended for use in combat. These were ornate weapons designed to look good mounted on the wall, or while troops were on parade. You weren’t supposed to be fighting with these things.
Swedish HEMA practitioners demo at the annual gala dinner of the Swedish
Martial Arts Federation. HEMA is the federations newest member, and
recently received the right to hold officially sanctioned national championships.
Help us get back Bill’s gear!
Stolen from Cambridge MA, 20th July 2016
To the thieves who steal medieval gear, you are really, really
stupid. When do you think you can wear or sell high quality kit without
people noticing?This is a small community that is everywhere, and we look after each
other. Give it back, and get armour or swords the way the rest of us do-
through hard work.
Please share if you feel the same way.
Anyone going into pawn shops and finding armour like this in the coming weeks, please pay attention to whether it looks like it was from a museum. Bill’s gear was top quality and very distinctive.
Below from Bill,
“Just when you think it cannot go any worse. Right now I’m crushed. I was in Cambridge today. When I went to leave, I noticed that my car (and several others) were broken into. The motherf**s took half my armour, and my ammo box of tools
I’ve lost: All of my leg armour All of my arm armour Two different gorgets Two different set of gauntlets A set of sollerets A handmade brayette A pair of period shoes.
A bunch of tools, including two hammers, four set of needle nose pliers
in various sizes, good shears, scissors, two different punches for
leather, a punch for steel/metal, a bunch of various other tools for my
armour, leather belts, buckles, straps, rivets etc in a .50 Caliber
Here is a picture of the arms and legs. They are quite unique.
I now have no real armour, I cannot fight Friday night. I can no longer do demos. I can no longer sell my art to others in the way I usually do.”