Trainers for smallsword

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Dave B » 29 Apr 2015 14:39

Ian Brackley wrote:E. Castle, after examining extensive collections of antique weapons theorized that one reason the circular parry was not seen in French smallsword texts until the second half of the 18th century was due the weapons of the period c. 1680-1720 being heavier than examples one might encounter c. 1750-1820.


Although William Hope, in his early days when he still used the sword the right way up, was a big fan of circular parries, and whilst he isn't french the rest of Vade Mecum (1691?) seems pretty similar to contemporaneous french stuff. And come to that whilst Liancour (very french, same dateline) does not recommend the circular parry (contre-dégageant) he does describe it, and also teaches a big circular parry covering all the lines of attack.

I suspect that there are just aren't so many early smallsword texts so it's possible to overinterpret the absence of a particular technique.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 29 Apr 2015 16:02

The recent American Smallsword Symposium has firmly converted me over to the Leon Paul steam blade camp. I had the opportunity to handle and (Crudely) fence with a few, and can attest to their lightness. Further, having seen some of Joel Mason's work in person, I will say that his craftsmanship is phenomenal.

I did hold one of Joel's hilts fitted with a Leon Paul that felt a little too far back in weight, however. That may have been just me.

The example of Benjamin Arm's work was also pretty nice.

Also, I cannot, based on my experience, recommend ZWA's court sword. I ordered some hilt parts to re-purpose the musketeer blades I had laying around, and the grips were seemingly impossible to keep still. They just have a simple hole through them, which allows them to twist around the tang of the blade. One came wholly impossible to work with (too large bore), while the other began to fail during use. Others may have had a more positive experience, but I think I will shy away from that vendor for now on - for those parts at least. Their jackets are still pretty nice looking, and their 19th century foil parts haven't let me down at all.

When I get home this evening I'll try to put up a separate thread for sharing out the pictures I took.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Ian Brackley » 30 Apr 2015 20:54

knirirr wrote:
Reinier wrote:Alas, the FB link is not open to me...


Me neither.



Oh blast. Sorry about that, folks. Let me work on that... :oops:
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Ian Brackley » 30 Apr 2015 21:28

Try again....
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Ian Brackley » 30 Apr 2015 21:29

once more...
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Reinier » 02 May 2015 18:49

Looks nice! :)
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby JakeH » 18 Sep 2017 00:36

Arise ARISE zombie thread!

Many of the links in this thread have gone stale and no longer yield the undoubtedly good results they did when fresh.

My goal is early (Hope/McBane) smallsword which is a little longer and beefier (almost bordering on being a transitional rapier as I recall) than the classical French smallsword of a century later.

I know that ZWA and LP are still out there, but are there other options? I'd like to bring in trainers for circa 100$ which rules out all the pretty swords from players like Darkwood and A&A, but at this point it's more about function than form.

What's the going solution for a club on a budget?

Thanks In Advance
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby knirirr » 18 Sep 2017 08:47

If you're looking for club weapons for a budget then these are the blades I've found best:

https://www.leonpaul.com/lp-non-electri ... blade.html

They are very resilient, available in 32" lengths and being quite flexible students don't find the hits too uncomfortable. A drawback, though is that they aren't so good for taking on heavier cutting swords.

As for hilts, we've been using foil furniture for the beginner's fleurets; LP do an ambidextrous foil grip which works nicely with a foil shell and épée pommel. Of course, the result isn't particularly attractive but it is functional and should be within your budget.
"FOR, to my certain knowledge I can affirm, that no People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French."
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby JakeH » 21 Sep 2017 01:22

Thanks Milo. It's helpful to know what is working for other people.

Two questions:

Is the 32in length the best for McBane/Hope? I know some groups are using significantly longer swords (as long as Silver's 'Perfect Length'). What has your experience shown?

What distinguishes a fleuret built on one of the blades you indicate with a LP ambidextrous grip, foil shell and epee pommel from the LP 'Smallsword beginner weapon'? Does the latter use a different blade?

Incidentally, I have a copy of your book on order as well and am looking forward to reading it. That's one thing from the original thread that seems to have withstood the ravages of time.

Cheers,
Jake
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby knirirr » 21 Sep 2017 09:35

JakeH wrote:Is the 32in length the best for McBane/Hope? I know some groups are using significantly longer swords (as long as Silver's 'Perfect Length'). What has your experience shown?


I've found that the 32" blades are generally pretty good, and the length makes the New Method a bit easier. SWH liked fencing quite close, anyway. But, a 35" blade works well enough, particularly if you are 6' tall or more.
In my experience, "perfect length" is about that of walking stick, which turns out to be a little shorter than what I've seen described as Silver's preference.

JakeH wrote:What distinguishes a fleuret built on one of the blades you indicate with a LP ambidextrous grip, foil shell and epee pommel from the LP 'Smallsword beginner weapon'? Does the latter use a different blade?


I didn't realise that they were still doing these - I hadn't found them on the site recently, but a quick DDG search turned them up:

https://www.leonpaul.com/smallsword-starter-weapon.html

This is exactly what I meant, and described in my book. Some time after that was published Phil Crawley managed to persuade LP to offer them ready-made so that people attending the Smallsword Symposium could more easily order them.

JakeH wrote:Incidentally, I have a copy of your book on order as well and am looking forward to reading it. That's one thing from the original thread that seems to have withstood the ravages of time.


Excellent, many thanks. I hope that it is of some use to you.
Any comments/questions, please let me know. The LSD is on Twitter, in case you use that:

https://twitter.com/sirwilliamhope
"FOR, to my certain knowledge I can affirm, that no People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French."
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby JakeH » 22 Sep 2017 00:50

Thanks again Milo,

What in particular about the 32in. blade did you find works easier? Is it a matter of being closer and better able to apply commands (vs sitting back and sniping at distance say?) or does the length become burdensome for disengages and parades?

I'm glad I wasn't missing a subtlety (that's what smallsword is all about after all) between the pre-assembled and home-brewed fleurets.

I assiduously avoid social media, but I do appreciate the pointer. Frankly, too much of twitter seems to be indulging in LSD ;) without my input.

I'll see how I get on with your book plus the primary sources. I'm sure questions will arise down the road.

Cheers,
Jake
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby knirirr » 22 Sep 2017 10:55

JakeH wrote:What in particular about the 32in. blade did you find works easier? Is it a matter of being closer and better able to apply commands (vs sitting back and sniping at distance say?) or does the length become burdensome for disengages and parades?


It's primarily the latter - disengages &c are easier with the shorter blade, particularly in the hanging guard. SWH likes quite close play so the shorter blade isn't really a problem.

JakeH wrote:I assiduously avoid social media, but I do appreciate the pointer. Frankly, too much of twitter seems to be indulging in LSD ;) without my input.


It does at least have the advantage that anything posted there can be seen without logging in, so even those who don't wish to have an account can follow updates, such as in this manner:

https://www.howtogeek.com/117306/HOW-TO ... SS-READER/

I rather wish that more organisations which post on certain other social media would cross-post to Twitter so I could at least see their news updates.
"FOR, to my certain knowledge I can affirm, that no People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French."
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby JakeH » 25 Sep 2017 02:17

Hi Milo,

Practical, but damning with faint praise as I consider that the 'certain other social media' site you reference to be a malign pox at best and something I stubbornly refuse to associate with in any way whatsoever (rather than merely avoid as I do Twitter).

I miss the days when organizations created and maintained actual websites to communicate rather than falling for the quick and easy seduction of the dark side.

but I wander off topic and an probably being excessively political somehow. No more of that.

I'm waiting on some details about shipping from LP, but am looking forward to assembling some fleurets and putting them to the test.

Cheers,
Jake
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby knirirr » 25 Sep 2017 16:57

JakeH wrote:Practical, but damning with faint praise as I consider that the 'certain other social media' site you reference to be a malign pox at best and something I stubbornly refuse to associate with in any way whatsoever (rather than merely avoid as I do Twitter).

I miss the days when organizations created and maintained actual websites to communicate rather than falling for the quick and easy seduction of the dark side.


I have nothing to do with it either.
Strangely, certain hobbies such as target shooting, software development and fiddling with mobile phone operating systems can easily be undertaken with mailing lists, forums, blogs (with RSS feeds) and so on. Academics seem to like Twitter - my colleagues frequently tweet their conference attendances, and it is useful for exchanging remarks on 18th-century swordplay with historians (e.g. those involved with the British Society of 18th Century Studies). It's only HEMA and living history that, in my experience at least, have gone very much over to the dark side.

Anyway, one more thing. I don't recall if you're in the UK but if you are then I ought to plug this, whilst I remember:

https://smallswordsymposium.com/

A couple of our chaps are either presenting or assisting with classes. Here's one:

http://www.departmentv.net/2017/07/hope ... annotated/
"FOR, to my certain knowledge I can affirm, that no People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French."
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby JakeH » 28 Sep 2017 04:00

Sadly, I'm on the wrong side of the pond and miss out on a good many Symposia such as this and the Sabre Symposium. Perhaps one day I'll find a chance to make the flights necessary. Meanwhile, I'll have to make due with the sources and the kindness of friendly forumites.

I've downloaded the annotated Vindication and will enjoy digesting it at leisure. One thing I'll say about Hope is that he does like to write. Thank you kindly for linking it.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Ulrich von L...n » 23 Oct 2017 06:27

OFF:
It was interesting to read:

JakeH wrote:I miss the days when organizations created and maintained actual websites to communicate rather than falling for the quick and easy seduction of the dark side.

knirirr wrote:It's only HEMA and living history that, in my experience at least, have gone very much over to the dark side.


On the other hand it is quite possible to "fight back", at least at the local level. In Hungary we have been operating a topic called Fencing as MA since January 2015, with more than 6100 posts (replies) and 31 contributors, despite the overwhelming influence of the Dark Side. The amount of replies isn't bad even according to the SG's usual reply rates - one of the largest topics in the this section, New Knight Shop Sparring Swords has 892 replies.

Anyway Vive La Résistance! ;-)
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Thearos » 23 Oct 2017 06:49

A former student of Dr Thurston, I have a size 0 LP épée blade (=30.5 in) on my fleuret / smallsword simulator o trainer. I'm about 5'11'' which is not tall for a LSD student; the shorter blade works rather well, I thought.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Wes350 » 13 Nov 2017 19:58

So...

Wondering what type of smallsword trainer blades hold up over the long run? particular brands mode numbers ??

I'm looking to return to western martail arts but I'm finding the sources of current equipment etc.. to be rather scattered to say the least.

Whanks,
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Thearos » 14 Nov 2017 17:18

Dr Thurston recommends Leon Paul non-electrified epee blade, and others have concurred.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby knirirr » 14 Nov 2017 17:38

Thearos wrote:Dr Thurston recommends Leon Paul non-electrified epee blade, and others have concurred.


Indeed, they're good for salle play, despite some shortcomings if they are used to face rapiers, sabres &c.
"FOR, to my certain knowledge I can affirm, that no People in the World, have a swifter Hand in Thrusting, nor any, a more loose or uncertain Parade, than the French."
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