Longsword

Historical background

The longsword gradually grew in length from shorter swords while it was in use between the 14th and 16th century. The sword was a powerful weapon that played a central role in the fencing arts of the time, according to the manuals that are preserved from the time. There are mainly two schools of longsword fencing, the German and the Italian schools. Several manuals have been written for the schools by different masters.

The training at MHFS focuses mainly on the 1570 manual written by the German master Joachim Meyer. His fencing is oriented towards taking part in a so called fechtschule, a historical type of sport fencing competition. We also study other German manuals to compliment Meyer since he does not teach any thrusts.

Basic and advanced classes

  • 18.30 tuesday is the starting time for the basic longsword class. Everyone regardless of knowledge and equipment level are encouraged to participate. We will warm up together and then start the class.
  • At 19.45 the basic class is over and the advanced class begins its training. If you’re not qualified for the advanced class, it’s okay to stay in the hall, but the instructors will have their focus on the advanced class. If you want to participate in the advanced class, you are expected to be warmed up and ready to start your training at 19.45. Participants in the advanced class are encouraged to participate in the basic class as often as possible.

Equipment and skill requirements:

Basic class:

The basic class has no equipment or skill requirements other than sports shoes for indoor use and workout clothes. However, we encourage all beginners to get their own equipment as soon as possible.

Advanced class:

To be able to participate in the class, the following equipment is required as a minimum:

  • A longsword feder (approved for sparring)
  • Approved longsword gloves
  • Fencing mask (with cover and back-of-the-head protection)
  • Neck Protector
  • Cup (for those who need it at competitions).

In addition, you are encouraged, for your own development, to get full sparring equipment. The extra equipment you will need to complete is the following:

  • Fencing jacket
  • Elbow protection
  • Knee and shin protection
  • Breastplate (for those who need it in competition)

In order to join the advanced class, you must have been training actively for at least a year and be approved by the head instructor. Any exceptions are dealt with by the head instructor.

The vision for the groups

In order to develop our way of training and you as individual fencers we have come to the conclusion that a split between a basic and an advanced class is necessary.

The goal of the basic class is to give a basic understanding of fencing and techniques after the end of the first term. It is more important to have a good grasp on basic techniques and the flow of fencing than to be able to recall 362 techniques from of 14 different manuals.

The aim for the advanced class will be to develop the fencers skills through coached sparring, advanced exercises at high or low pace and free sparring. A lot of focus will be put on how you can apply techniques in sparring or against a non-cooperating opponent. We will also look further into Meyer’s Art of Combat and his fencing system.

Practical application

The longsword is used with both hands on the hilt which makes it simple to maneuver around the whole body. As opposed to sword and buckler fighting only one weapon is used and it has to both defend and attack. The longsword techniques therefore often both cover the fencer and attacks at the same time.

The longsword is capable of strong attacks and can easily cause injuries if it is treated without proper respect. To take part in full contact sparing a complete set of safety equipment is needed. Precision and control is a must when using the longsword.