London Longsword Academy's recently released Obsessio is a brilliantly executed account of the I.33 manual. With a running time of roughly thirty minutes, their demonstration is thorough yet concise. As a relatively inexperienced student of Sword & Buckler, I found their demonstration to have the right balance between repetition and pace. Although their demonstration moves quickly, Dave and his counterpart manage to detail each sequence with precision which is eloquently narrated--never rushing too quickly, and never lingering on any one point for longer than necessary.
One challenge faced by anyone attempting to assimilate the substance of I.33 lies, of course, in practical and efficient interpretations of the highly stylized, two-dimensional illustrations. In this respect, the practitioners at London Longsword Academy has certainly given me some new angles from which to view the manual.
Besides the academic vigor which has clearly gone into the making of this demonstration, the cinematography is also quite pleasing . The music is right, the setting is right and, of course, the demonstrators themselves are a pleasure to watch. Even when demonstrating a basic ward, one can easily see that these guys are motivated and enthusiastic about bringing the manual to life. If their goal was to make the manual more accessible to the student, they've nailed it.
In short, Obsessio is a clean and straightforward account of Sword & Buckler fundamentals which is relevant for Student and Master alike. Personally, I see it as both a training and an academic tool which I will continue to reference time and again as I progress in my own study of Sword & Buckler.
Hats off to Dave and the talented swordsmen of London Longsword Academy for their continued contribution to the art. I look forward lto see what they come up with next!