The Sword Guy Podcast

Combat Theory and the Incas, with John Lennox

July 22, 2022

Dr John Lennox is one of the founders of the International Swordsmanship and Martial Arts Convention in Lansing, which moved to Vegas to become CombatCon. He's an instructor with the Historical Martial Studies Society and with the School of Two Swords.

John has a Ph.D. in the relationship between stage combat and personal combat from the late 16th century onwards, and we talk about stage combat throughout history and how actors were trained to fight on stage. For more on this, see John’s book, Stage Combat Swordplay from Shakespeare to the Present. The actor in Shakespeare’s troupe who was a master fencer was the famous clown Richard Tarleton, who was given his master’s status on Oct. 23rd, 1587 by the London Masters of Defence (Berry, 33).  Sloane’s MSS 2530 states:

                        Mtarlton was a lowed a mthe xxiijth

                        of octobere vnder henrye nayllore mr

                        1587 /          -ordenary grome off her

                        majvstes chamber” (Berry, 53)

Changing the subject somewhat, we also talk about Rumi Maki, the ancient Inca martial art. John takes us through the five elements of this Peruvian ‘stone fist’ system, but how ancient is it, really? How can we even tell whether any modern interpretation of a historical martial art is the real deal?

John’s second book is on Combat Theory. In our conversation he takes us through his thoughts on breaking down melee combat into its component parts. You can find John’s book here: Combat Theory: the Foundations of the Fight.

This is the podcast episode with Dori Coblentz where she proposes using Guy’s imaginary millions on childcare at events: episode 67.


For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at  

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