Technical and Theoretical Study
As part of our training, we take the theoretical study of the techniques involved in the art seriously, instilling the need for a technical understanding just as much as we train from a technical proficiency. The Academy uses several components to teach its students as much as possible, giving each and every person the best chance to develop as Swordsmen and Martial Artists.
Mastery of the Weapons
The Academy of Swordsmanship is first and foremost a school specialising in the art of swordplay, yet we also offer instruction in wide range of weapons and unarmed combative techniques and strategies, aimed at dealing with both armed and armoured attackers.
Our Instruction takes two formats, the first method is a structured study of the principles of combat and their applications through various mediums, known as the “Seven Forms of Combat”, all students begin their studies in this field, learning all the key points to develop each student into a competent fighter, able to take part in open competition against their peers. Another avenue is a Historical Study, also known as HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts, where we read from manuals written by the Masters of old, studying their lessons and learning from their teachings.
We can transition lessons between both formats, taking a lesson from a manual, studying its principles and developing the skill to match both the student and their weapons. Visa-versa, where study of principles and learning how the Masters developed their techniques gives each student a far richer understanding of the texts in context and practice.
The Seven Forms
The system used to instruct the students of the Academy to allow for mixed weapon contests are the ‘Seven Forms’. These forms are blocks of principle and strategy used to guide and develop the students as they explore the martial arts.
These Seven Forms are broken down as follows:
Offence, Defence, Duelling, Evasion, Suppression, Balance and Free
The student will be encouraged to select and train with a weapon they have a particular affinity for and begin to develop a cohesive strategy and series of techniques specific to their use of the weapon. Through this mechanism of instruction, the Academy can participate in mixed weapon sparring, where the various swordsmanship and martial communities. The ultimate aim for this system is to get the student to pair technical ability with a developed tactical and strategic focus, which allows the student to engage opponents in a wider variety of situations, though this method of study can take a while to mature, the result is a well-rounded student of the martial sciences
Historical European Martial Arts
HEMA is a rapidly growing community dedicated to the revival and study of historic manuals written by renowned masters of the craft, whose lessons have been carried through the ages by their study and writings.
The Academy of Swordsmanship will have access to these texts and its instructors will assist students in both the readings of the texts as well as the technical application of the lessons, ensuring that the techniques produced by the student are both correct as per the written instruction, but also applicable in combat.
For Longsword, we primarily study the following sources:
Joachim Meyer: The Art of Combat, 1570
Fiore dei Liberi: The Flower of Battle, 1400-1409
For Sabre, we primarily study the following source:
Charles Roworth: The Art of Defence, 1789
For Rapier, we primarily study the following source:
Ridolfo Capo Ferro: The Art and Use of Fencing, 1610