Knightly Knife Defence

I came across something that frightened me the other day.  A certain Western Martial Arts school was offering a workshop on Fiore’s dagger plays.  That isn’t the worrisome part.  No, the part that gave me pause was that they were advertising it as being conducive to modern knife defence.  Now don’t get me wrong, the grappling system as taught by Fiore d’ei Liberi in the 14th century is an excellent art.  If taught in the right way it is an invaluable tool for self defence.  However, there are a lot of traps you can easily fall into that makes teaching irresponsible.  Continue reading

Staff Party

One of the more common and interesting discussions in swordplay is that of which weapon is the “best.”  It seems there are as many opinions as there are weapons.  Some think the rapier is best, because of its reach and preeminence in the a one on one duel.  Some argue for the longsword for its versatility and power.  There is the side that likes the basket hilted broadsword for hand protection and ease of carry.  Some people even say the katana is best because they know nothing about swords.  It’s always a fun conversation. Continue reading

On Defense of Self and the Case for Swords

There was a time when swordplay was considered self defence.  Now, if you were to draw a sword in order to protect yourself, there is a great chance that the threat wont be taken seriously.  This of course, forces the defender in to using lethal force, a less than ideal situation in my mind.

I am a pacifist at heart, despite my martial training, though I would be willing to fight if the situation called for it.  I would argue, in fact, that my martial training gives me a greater freedom to be a pacifist.  Having a range of combative options grants greater ability to get myself clear of harm without significantly harming an antagonist.  I have heard other, far more strict pacifist argue that they would never fight back in a self defence situation, but I have a hard time understanding that particular point of view. Continue reading