Longsword 2

Known as the queen of weapons, it is the most widely used weapon in the HEMA tradition.

“The sword against any weapon is deadly, no spear, no poll-axe, no dagger can counter me.  Long or short I can bind and enter into close play entering to take the sword and to wrestle.”  Fiore dei Liberi, Fior di Battaglia

Origins:  Although there are several longsword traditions within the HEMA community, we primarily practice the Italian school, focusing on the works of Fiore Dei Liberi.  The posta (guards) and plays are drawn from his manuscript Fior di Battaglia (“Flower of Battle”) and other writings.  We are always, of course, open to incorporating other traditions with more study.fiore guards

The Weapon:  Long grips with room enough for two hands or a hand and a half and a cross guard. Long, straight, double-edged blade from 40 to 48 inches in length. The entire weapon usually weighs between 2.5 and 5 pounds.  Cuts are possible with both true and false edge, thrusts with the point, and in close play the pommel and crossguard can also be employed offensively.

The Danger Zone:  Cuts are possible with both true and false edge, thrusts with the point, and in close play the pommel and crossguard can also be employed offensively.  In addition, close play may transition to grappling and take-downs.

The Target Area:  The entire body is considered target area, but for safety cuts to the back of the head, ankles, and hands are avoided.  Take-downs and grappling are done with a minimum of strength and emphasis on finesse and training partner safety.

Prerequisite:  Currently, longsword training is offered through study group practice and we will consider adding it to our workshop curriculum if there is further interest.  Club members are eligible to join the study group, as we would like longsword students to have some background in distance, timing and other basic principles of sword combat.

Required gear:  Study group practice will primarily consist of monitored instruction, controlled solo and group drilling, and set plays.  This will require a minimum of heavy gloves and mask.  Once students have displayed some level of mastery of basic techniques, and (most importantly!) control, free sparring may be allowed with proper protective gear, including gambeson or chest armor, and proper head and hand protection.fiore3

Special note:  While we have had the opportunity to fence and learn from many in the HEMA community, special thanks are owed to Brian Stokes and Chuck Jackson of the Schola San Marco, both for their tutelage at various workshops and for their support and encouragement.

Ages: 15 and up

Free to Club Members



"Although some of these actions may seem difficult to perform, none the less you should take care to practice them well, as all aid a man who heeds the points, lines, times, and measure that ultimately govern this activity."
Camillo Agrippa