Trainers for smallsword

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Dave B » 12 Jun 2014 18:24

MEversbergII wrote:Hm, one of those would double the cost of the unit - probably putting them well out of the hands of my practice club. How are the practice blades no good? Are these different from what modern fencing clubs use? That's a fast game, quicker than any drill work I'd be doing, but I'm not wanting to risk anyone's safety.

M.


Lots of modern fencing clubs use these traditional cheap blades for beginers, and they get snapped all the time. It doesn't matter there, as (in reputable UK clubs at least) everyone has to wear breeches, plastron and jacket, and turning etc is forbidden. In my experience many Hema groups will let people do smallsword in less protective kit than that.

I'd say the cheap ones are fine for drill, but how long do people do drill for before you want to move them on to at least competitive looseplay.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby KevinMurakoshi » 12 Jun 2014 18:34

Dave B wrote:Lots of modern fencing clubs use these traditional cheap blades for beginers, and they get snapped all the time. It doesn't matter there, as (in reputable UK clubs at least) everyone has to wear breeches, plastron and jacket, and turning etc is forbidden. In my experience many Hema groups will let people do smallsword in less protective kit than that.

I'd say the cheap ones are fine for drill, but how long do people do drill for before you want to move them on to at least competitive looseplay.


The general rule for our club is that you'll probably break a cheap blade every 3-6 months with regular use. The local University club has switched to LP blades for all it's loaner gear because they last a whole lot longer and tend to break flat.

If you are going to fence with them, I'd agree with Dave. Wear a jacket, breeches and an underarm protector. Don't fence with them in T-shirts. I've seen an epee bladed rapier break on a friend of mine. It penetrated two layers of his duck gambison, but stopped at the third (of 6). If he'd been wearing a t-shirt he'd have been run through.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 13 Jun 2014 01:07

Hm, I think this is the first time a weapon I've fenced with has had this as a problem. I'll bring it up to the club with the above perams (a couple cheaper ones for drills, pair of pricier ones for the assault) and see what I can work out. I'll mention that snapping is a frequent issue. I have a practice foil that I've had for years but only used infrequently...now I'm highly suspicious of it!

The full uniform costs several hundred including a plastron - they'll probably not go for that. I've considered getting a GDFB gambeson set for general purpose HEMA for eons now - will that do it? They're cheaper and look rather robust.

M.

EDIT: Have gambesons fallen from fashion in HEMA? Last time I checked out competition vids, everyone looked like they were wearing motorcycle armour.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby KevinMurakoshi » 13 Jun 2014 02:06

MEversbergII wrote:Hm, I think this is the first time a weapon I've fenced with has had this as a problem. I'll bring it up to the club with the above perams (a couple cheaper ones for drills, pair of pricier ones for the assault) and see what I can work out. I'll mention that snapping is a frequent issue. I have a practice foil that I've had for years but only used infrequently...now I'm highly suspicious of it!


I do think that it's likely that depending on the type of fencing you're going to be doing, you won't break a blade for some time. (5-6" in bend is considerable, for example). However, sport fencers consider their blades as a disposable resource, one that will eventually break and need to be replaced.(1) As such, the need to protect against broken blades is important from a safety perspective.

A gambison would probably work, though you can always go the inexpensive route and get an inexpensive underarm protector and the $20 jacket from triplette. The whole set would be $35+shipping.
http://www.triplette.com/catalog.php?item=18&catid=33&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D333
http://www.triplette.com/catalog.php?item=307&catid=76&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D76

You probably don't need breeches if you're not targeting the legs.

(1) Sport fencers armor assuming blades will break. I think a lot of HEMA people (myself included) assume that our swords won't break and armor as if they're indestructible.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 13 Jun 2014 02:24

Excellent; I'll let them know so they can make a decision, thanks.

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 13 Jun 2014 02:34

Sorry for the double post, but what about ZWA's offerings?

I found this while looking for a better grip (which I also found): http://www.zenwarriorarmory.com/catalog ... egory%3D40

Double wide epee, claims to be durable - SCA grade. A little cheaper than LP, but not by much. The site also has a number of suitable accessories. Could be too rigid for the assault?

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby KevinMurakoshi » 13 Jun 2014 06:23

MEversbergII wrote:Sorry for the double post, but what about ZWA's offerings?

I found this while looking for a better grip (which I also found): http://www.zenwarriorarmory.com/catalog ... egory%3D40

Double wide epee, claims to be durable - SCA grade. A little cheaper than LP, but not by much. The site also has a number of suitable accessories. Could be too rigid for the assault?.


I've got two Dennis Graves smallswords. One with a cut down BF and one with a Zen Warrior double wide. I'd say the ZWA blade is really stiff. I think that it depends a bit on how hard you're going to hit. Otherwise it's a fine blade. The LP blade is considerably softer hitting.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Dave B » 13 Jun 2014 12:07

KevinMurakoshi wrote:
I do think that it's likely that depending on the type of fencing you're going to be doing, you won't break a blade for some time. (5-6" in bend is considerable, for example). However, sport fencers consider their blades as a disposable resource, one that will eventually break and need to be replaced.(1) As such, the need to protect against broken blades is important from a safety perspective.


I'd certainly agree with most of that. For me one of the joys of smallsword (apart from being a great leveler for the smaller fencer as strength isn't particularly useful, accuracy and reading your opponent are) is that you can pull all the plays at full speed without a load of padding and with relatively low risk. It's a shame to give that up to save a few dollars on blades.

However my experience is that it's bad judge of measure and time that breaks blades, rather than hard hitting. the classic is a counter time lunge where the point hits either under the armpit or in the hollow between tit and shoulder, and the arm of the fencer who is struck prevents the blade from either pinging off or bending as is should. So beginers can break blades even if they are not particularly aggressive.

KevinMurakoshi wrote:A gambison would probably work, though you can always go the inexpensive route and get an inexpensive underarm protector and the $20 jacket from triplette. The whole set would be $35+shipping.
http://www.triplette.com/catalog.php?item=18&catid=33&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D333
http://www.triplette.com/catalog.php?item=307&catid=76&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D76


Gambesons can have a weak point in that vulnerable place under the armpit, where fencing jackets are designed to have no seam there, or a second layer behind the seam.

KevinMurakoshi wrote:You probably don't need breeches if you're not targeting the legs.


Again, I don't totally agree, a disengage under the hand or thrust to the flank can easy end up in the groinal area, I know this to my cost. I'd use tracky bottoms and a box with decent blades, but assaulting against a cheap blade I'd want breeches.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby knirirr » 13 Jun 2014 12:10

Dave B wrote:Again, I don't totally agree, a disengage under the hand or thrust to the flank can easy end up in the groinal area, I know this to my cost. I'd use tracky bottoms and a box with decent blades, but assaulting against a cheap blade I'd want breeches.


Yes, definitely.
I've found that persuading people to buy decent blades is easier than persuading them to to buy breeches or, if they have them, to wear them.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 13 Jun 2014 17:34

So either LP (flexible) or ZWA (not so much) would be equal choices above the FIE practice ones, though all three will need some underarm protection (and of course masks).

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby desdecardo » 15 Jun 2014 20:53

Has anyone had any experience with these?

http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... 8b8dca5f3f

Are they suitable for HEMA practice?

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Thearos » 16 Jun 2014 01:16

A new range from the HEMA shop ?
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Dave B » 16 Jun 2014 08:57

Interesting. not bad looking for the price.

Looks like an old school theater sword wide epee blade. In which case it's probably strong enough not to worry too much about breakage, and got a decent button, but very stiff, so that you'd need good protection to assault with it, and drilling becomes difficult because you have to lunge to touch rather than lunge to put the point several inches inside the other guy - apart from your partner getting sick of squash ball size bruises all over his or her boob, it's hard to get good form if the sword won't simulate going into the other person and you have to let your hand rise up instead.

Assuming it's a normal nut on the back, it might be a nice sword to get and if it's too stiff for drilling you could swap the blade over for that.
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Thearos » 16 Jun 2014 09:12

Isn't the blade a bit long ?
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Phil C » 16 Jun 2014 10:09

's the right length for late rapier/early smallsword (Besnard/Liancour) but a touch long for "golden age" smallsword (Girard/Angelo etc) by 3-5"
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Ian Mac Pharlaine » 16 Jun 2014 17:23

I wish I could just buy the hilt components for my 32" cut down epee blade because the blade looks like that of a sport sabers. I wonder what the brand on this piece is?
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Ian Mac Pharlaine » 16 Jun 2014 17:29

And its a boatshell guard... yuck! :x

But yes definitely a saber blade

http://www.thehemashop.com/index.php/rd ... sword.html
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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 26 Jul 2014 00:46

Finally stopped mucking about. The final decision were these from ZWA: http://www.zenwarriorarmory.com/catalog ... egory%3D70

It was the SO's final vote and that one appealed to her (visually) the most. We got them with the serpent guard and 32" "Musketeer" blade on both of them, with different pommels and grip options. Next step is to get masks and the jackets. We decided that if we didn't like the stiffness of these blades, we could always just get the Leon Paul ones anyways. The early stages of our training is likely to be much like my other WMA experience, most of which was done with MUCH stuffer blades (and basically no padding!).

If we like it enough to continue I'll just throw down for some LP blades, or even a more "smallsword" looking simulator. If not, we now have some nifty looking epee for the collection.

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby MEversbergII » 29 Jul 2014 03:34

Alright, these have arrived and man are these stiff blades. They do look the part, though, and good enough for the light contact drills we'll be doing (and more forgiving than the wooden or steel arming sword wasters I've used in the past). Some adjustments look to be required, though. I get that the point of the "V" on the epee blade is supposed to be on the inside of the curve, but should that point be on the right side or the left side, when holding the weapon? I.E. should it flex up when thrusting in tierce or down?

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Trainers for smallsword

Postby Phil C » 29 Jul 2014 09:47

Flex should be a little "up" and certainly to the outside (ie the right if you are right handed) line when in tierce.

If the hanging guard is your primary guard then it's actually a good idea to mount the blade the other way to make it more comfortable for your partner and lengthen blade life.
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