Strategies for the Middle-Aged Fencer

My opponent and I circle, just out of measure. We adopt various counter guards based on what we see in each other’s posture and perceived intent. The moment comes, and my opponent launches a thrust to my mask. I was waiting for this, I can see it coming, but my body can’t move as fast as my mind wants it to and my counter is just a split second too late.  – There are a number of factors that contribute to the outcome described above. My opponent is faster, has better form, and has a better feel for measure than … Continue reading Strategies for the Middle-Aged Fencer

DIY Fokos

If you are interested in trying out fokos techniques from the book “Hungarian Hussar Sabre and Fokos Fencing” by Russ Mitchell, you will need a Fokos! There are options available for sale on the internet (such as this one https://www.woodenswords.com/Hungarian_Axe_Fokos_p/vb.fokos.9.htm), but I wanted to try and create one myself. I was able to do so by spending $31.78 in materials and using tools I already owned to create something I am fairly happy with. If you wanted, you could do this even cheaper if you had some spare parts around.  Of note, you will notice that my fokos has a … Continue reading DIY Fokos

Castille Complete Economy Basket Hilt Broadsword Review

The Castille complete economy basket hilt sword is a relatively new option in the traditionally expensive space of HEMA-safe steel broadswords. At $260, the sword is shockingly affordable in comparison to most of the competing products (you can see the bottom of my review of the Purpleheart hybrid broadsword here for some links to other options on the market). Here are some of my impressions of the sword in no particular order now that I have used it a number of times: Balance is very good, feels great to swing around. A bit on the light side for a broadsword, … Continue reading Castille Complete Economy Basket Hilt Broadsword Review

Getting Started with Messer in HEMA

If you are curious about the Messer as a HEMA weapon or just starting out, I hope the information below is helpful. Feedback is welcome and appreciated in the comments. Messer is a really fun weapon that I have picked up and enjoyed over the past few months. When I first became interested in the sword, I had to look online to find information as it was not a weapon my local club was studying at the time. My goal with this article is to share the sources that got me going as well as provide the Messer apprentice curriculum … Continue reading Getting Started with Messer in HEMA

Re-Wrapping the handle of a Regenyei Feder

Over the past few months, the handle of my Regenyei feder had developed a noticeable “wiggle”. While the function of the sword was not impacted, I found the slight movement distracting and annoying. As the problem was getting worse over time, I suspected the issue was with the wood under the handle wrap. I removed the leather wrap using a razor blade and used some sandpaper to clean up the wood. After careful inspection, I found that the wood had a number of cracks that presented themselves when the sword was stressed. I applied some wood glue into the cracks and … Continue reading Re-Wrapping the handle of a Regenyei Feder

Sword Feats

I recently ordered a reprint copy of Lessons in sabre, singlestick, sabre & bayonet, and sword feats; how to use a cut-and-thrust sword by J.M. Waite from abebooks.com to add to my HEMA library. Near the end, there is a list of “Sword Feats” that I found very interesting and wanted to share. A sabre is used in each of the illustrations and the author states that the sword needs to be sized and balanced for the strength and size of the swordsman. ·      Lead Bar Cutting – Cut a triangular bar of lead that is 12 inches in length … Continue reading Sword Feats

Koning Gloves, 2 Year Review

Koning Gloves are my favorite piece of kit and have kept my hands safe for two years. In the time I have owned them, I have taken many hits to the hands from synthetic and steel weapons alike. Once broken-in (more on this later), I have found the mobility and flexibility to be better than any other gloves I have tried. The Koning glove is a heavy HEMA glove with at least 4 layers: The first layer is leather and provides much of the glove’s distinct look and toughness. Second, there are internal plates that align when the hand is … Continue reading Koning Gloves, 2 Year Review