The Sword Guy Podcast
Stretto and Surgery, with Elizabeth Scott

Stretto and Surgery, with Elizabeth Scott

July 1, 2022

Elizabeth Scott is a historical martial arts and armoured combat practitioner on foot and on horseback, as well as being a surgeon. In our conversation we cover the obvious risks to your fingers when taking part in armoured combat, which could be highly problematic in Elizabeth’s profession. We talk about the mindset needed for both swordsmanship, surgery, and flying a plane, where failure can mean death. How can these skills be taught in the safest way?

We also have a discussion about ‘stretto’ and what Fiore meant by the term. Guy explains his interpretation and why, according to him, stretto is not just a description of measure.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

You’ve been holding your lightsaber all wrong, with Kyle Rowling

You’ve been holding your lightsaber all wrong, with Kyle Rowling

June 24, 2022

Kyle Rowling is a fight master, director of the Action Acting Academy, and he is also the man who taught Samuel L Jackson how to use a lightsaber. In this episode we hear about how Kyle became Christopher Lee’s body double, the real ending to the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and what it’s like to have your own action figure and Lego minifigure.

Kyle has body doubled all the Sith characters in Star Wars, even General Grievous, and alongside legendary stunt coordinator, Nick Gillard, taught Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen how to wield a lightsaber. And yes, you’re holding it wrong.

Listen in for Kyle’s incredible stories of what it is like to work behind and in front of the camera on Star Wars.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Training Nerds in the Desert, with Skye Hilton

Training Nerds in the Desert, with Skye Hilton

June 17, 2022

Skye Hilton is a historical martial arts instructor and fitness trainer, best known as The Nerd Trainer, who lives in West Texas, hundreds of miles from the nearest sword school, so when she moved out there from California she started her own school to find people to play with: www.theswordschool.org/.

In this episode we talk about the best exercises people can do before starting sword classes, imposter syndrome, “fendente bots”, and taking part in “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death,” a US History network series. Forged in Fire is an obstacle course of increasingly crazy things you have to cut, break, bash, stab and get to the end in order to progress to a harder obstacle course. Here are some photos of Skye with her chopper, cutting through dry bamboo and even a PVC pipe filled with gravel: https://swordschool.com/podcast/training-nerds-in-the-desert-with-skye-hilton/

We also have a good chat about sharpening and how sharp medieval swordsmen were able to get their blades, so this is a good episode for fellow blade sharpening enthusiasts!

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Pain is the best teacher, ideally somebody else’s. With Steaphen Fick

Pain is the best teacher, ideally somebody else’s. With Steaphen Fick

June 10, 2022

Today’s episode is with Steaphen Fick, who is a historical martial arts instructor and a fight choreographer, and also an old comrade in arms since we met in Edinburgh in the nineties. In fact, in this episode you will hear about a certain naked escapade involving swords in Finland in 1999. Click here for a picture of us, fully clothed, from the same trip.

Steaphen founded the Davenriche European Martial Arts School in Santa Clara, California in 2000 and it is still going 22 years later. We will be talking about how he managed that, and how he has built it up into having 8700 square feet of space to include swords, archery, axe throwing, and even airsoft. There is a lot in this episode about running a business, which would be of interest to anyone thinking of setting up their own school.

Academically, Steaphen is perhaps best known for his interpretive work on Joseph Swetnam. Swetnam may have been a horrible man, but he had useful footwork for when you’re standing on a moving deck of a ship and a different style from the Italians of the same period. We talk about how one would manage Swetnam’s 12 foot lunge, and here is the link to the Max Your Lunge blog post.

 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

What is a Round Table? With Elizabeth Champion

What is a Round Table? With Elizabeth Champion

June 3, 2022

Elizabeth Champion is an arms and armour historian specialising in high medieval Round Table tournaments and the Merlin legends. She's also a historical fencer, co-founder of Stratford Swords and an ex-cage fighter.

In our conversation we discuss what was a Round Table Tournament. Is it to do with King Arthur, or the arrangement of the tables, or both? If you have come across anything to do with Round Tables in your reading, if you think you might know something, check if it's in Elizabeth’s appendix here: https://swordschool.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Appendix-Round-Tables-of-England-Scotland-and-Wales-1230-1330-E.Champion-Final.pdf If it's already there, Elizabeth already knows about it. And if it isn't there, send it to me and I'll pass it on to her. Let’s crowdsource this and get to the bottom of it!

Elizabeth tells us about her cage fighting days, and the injury she sustained that led to fibromyalgia and chronic pain. She also has autism and ADHD, and is able to give us some useful advice for fellow instructors and practitioners to help make our clubs as inclusive and supportive as possible.

As well as all that, listen to this episode for top tips like why you need to put a sock on the end of a stick, how to make an axe safe to carry around the streets using just a brown paper bag, how to bear to watch terrible sword fights in films, and how many Dyson vacuum cleaners a cuirass is worth.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Synthetic Armour and Smithing in France, with Anthony Rischard

Synthetic Armour and Smithing in France, with Anthony Rischard

May 27, 2022

Anthony Rischard is a blacksmith, historical martial arts practitioner and proprietor of Black Armoury, one of the largest suppliers of historical martial arts gear in Europe. In our conversation we talk about how Anthony gave up his office job to become a full time blacksmith in France, and his move into starting Black Armoury. Have a listen to find out why they began producing suits of armour made entirely from synthetic materials and what the benefits of plastic are compared to steel. The last couple of years have been unusually challenging for Anthony’s business, especially with the current supply issues across Europe and the situation in Ukraine.

There are a lot of photos to share with you for this episode! Visit the episode page on Swordschool.com to see them: https://swordschool.com/podcast/synthetic-armour-and-smithing-in-france-with-anthony-rischard/ 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Smacking People in the Head… Gracefully. With Riri Nitihardjo

Smacking People in the Head… Gracefully. With Riri Nitihardjo

May 20, 2022

Riri Nitihardjo is a martial arts (and ballet) practitioner from Jakarta, Indonesia. Riri first got interested in swords when she discovered The Lord of the Rings and wanted to learn how to wield a sword like Aragorn. She became so hooked on Tolkein that she took a linguistics programme at university – though they wouldn’t let her do her graduate thesis on Elvish languages.

The historical European martial arts scene is very small in Indonesia, so Riri and her friends started their own club. Five years later and the club, Gwaith-i-Megyr, is still going strong, with no formal structure and no paperwork.

We chat about starting new things in your forties and how anyone at any age can get stronger and fitter and learn a new skill. Riri has been learning ballet, which has been really helpful for her sword training. If you are feeling “too old” for something, listen to this episode!

 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Is there anything Daniel Jaquet can’t do in armour?

Is there anything Daniel Jaquet can’t do in armour?

May 13, 2022

Dr. Daniel Jaquet should need no introduction. He has been extremely active in both the academic and practical aspects of medieval combat research for the last couple of decades or more. 

He has a Ph.D. from Geneva University in medieval history, on combat in armour at the end of the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Renaissance, based on studying combat manuals. So, he has a Ph.D. in actual, proper medieval sword fighting stuff, not just general medieval history stuff. He is a founder and co-editor of Acta Periodica Duellatorum, the only academic journal focussing on historical martial arts. 

Daniel is perhaps best known for his work on how well a knight could move in full armour, producing video demonstrations of climbing walls and ladders, doing flips and even chopping firewood in full armour.

We don’t just talk about armour, we also cover women fighters in history, and getting the study of historical European martial arts recognised as an academic field of study. And then Daniel’s electricity gets cut off by his neighbour’s builders, which means a rather abrupt end to this episode.

There are a few links to share with you, but before all that, you ought to see the video of the obstacle run in armour: https://youtu.be/pAzI1UvlQqw

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

Judging and Jeopardy, with Rebecca Glass

Judging and Jeopardy, with Rebecca Glass

May 6, 2022

Rebecca Glass is a historical martial arts instructor and an avid baseball fan. She has also appeared on the TV quiz show Jeopardy and is a part of the Trivia scene. In our conversation we talk about all three of these interests, plus judging historical martial arts tournaments. Rebecca is highly respected as a fight director, so we talk about what makes a good judge and how to make the right decisions when judging a fight.

We start by talking about Liechtenauer’s Zettel, and this is the book Rebecca mentions: Sword, Science and Society, by James Acutt.

When we talk about managing your mindset during tournaments (or any sports), this is the book mentioned: The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion: Sports psychology, by Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall.

Finally, we also talk about the ideal alcohol pairing for doughnuts. What do you think would be best? Single malt? Champagne?

 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

 

Fabris vs. Capoferro, with Reinier van Noort

Fabris vs. Capoferro, with Reinier van Noort

April 29, 2022

Dr. Reinier van Noort is a martial arts instructor and translator of over a dozen historical fencing treatises. He now lives in Norway but is originally from the Netherlands, so we talk about his impressive skills in translating from one foreign language into another. You can find Reinier’s work at www.bruchius.com, and his list of publications here: Publications - Ense et Mente (bruchius.com).

 

We covered a lot in our conversation as you can see from the following notes:

 

 Jägerstock

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter you’ll probably know that I have been working on the Jägerstock as promised in the interview. Reinier’s book that includes the Jägerstock is: The Martial Arts of Georg Johann Pascha. There's also a free translation of the Jägerstock material here: http://www.bruchius.com/docs/Pascha%20Hunting%20Staff%20by%20RvN.pdf. The book version is a newer translation, based on a later text that has a few more lessons, and some better plates.

In my newsletter of 18th March I posted my first Jägerstock video: https://vimeo.com/688832535/a4fc0fa994 Please note, I shot it before I’d even finished making the proper Jägerstock, so I’m winging it with a bo staff. I’ve also got a longish video of me actually making the weapon (while musing on matters history and craft),

https://vimeo.com/698975685/b526163231

Another on lessons 1-3 with the finished weapon,

https://vimeo.com/698975706/2021cc549a

 

And several more in the works. My current plan is to create a course on my teachable platform (which will be bundled in with the Mastering the Art of Arms subscription, of course), where I’ll post the videos as they are made. And when I have a working interpretation of the whole book (which is 34 lessons, each one of which is a short form), add those to the Solo Training course as a new section, and also release the whole ‘from book to working interpretation’ series as an object lesson in how I go about the interpretation process with an unfamiliar source, style, and weapon.

 

Fabris and Capoferro

After the Jägerstock chat we also have a bit to say about Fabris and Capoferro. As mentioned in the episode, here is Reinier’s Fabris lecture: Longpoint 2017 - Lecture: From Fabris to Pascha - YouTube. Reinier says he has expanded the lineage a bit since the lecture.

We have a bit of a discussion about the lunge – read more on how to Max Your Lunge here:  https://guywindsor.net/2022/04/max-your-lunge/ 

You can see the picture of Guy’s 1610 Capoferro, with the 1609 page stuck over the top of the 1610 page on podcast page on his website: https://swordschool.com/podcast/fabris-vs-capoferro-with-reinier-van-noort/ 

 

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://swordschool.com/podcast  

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

 

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