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The Art of Longsword Fighting (Hardback)

Teaching the Foundations of Sigmund Ringeck’s Style

Medieval History Frontline Books Frontline: Medieval 16th Century

By Benjamin J Smith
Frontline Books
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 250 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526768988
Published: 30th June 2021

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RRP £30.00

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Historical European Martial Arts became a major international movement over the last two decades. Clubs and schools sprang up on every populated continent pursuing a wide variety of activities and styles. Because the movement is still so new many clubs lack people with experience researching, practicing, or teaching long dead martial arts.

In The Art of Longsword Fighting Ben Smith offers his interpretation of the foundational sections of the art of fighting with the longsword taught by Sigmund Ringeck, one of the preeminent masters of the Liechtenauer tradition. He offers his method of teaching it based on his twenty years of research into historical teaching methods, the evidence within Ringeck’s texts, and the writings of his contemporaries both inside and outside his tradition.

He lays out the concepts for understanding the structure and form of a martial art style, the process of physical research, the results of his research into the training methods of this particular style, and offers the most transparent published interpretation to date of the foundational section of Ringeck’s longsword style to show how he justifies his interpretation and teaching methods he recommends. All of this is achieved through a panoply of photographs showing each movement, along with explanatory diagrams, and explanations detailing how and when to introduce each next step in the curriculum, in a manner that is faithful to Ringeck’s style.

This book will help you understand this martial arts style as a complete entity, use current historical research effectively, and will prove invaluable to martial artists and researchers of the Renaissance era.

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About Benjamin J Smith

BENJAMIN J. SMITH began training in historical European martial arts in 2000 at the age of 17.  He earned his Masters Degree in Public History in 2008 from Washington State University, and achieved a certification to teach a dao style of Gao Baguazhang in 2012, under the tutelage of Robert J. Arnold.  He began interpreting and teaching Sigmund Ringeck’s longsword style in 2009.  In 2014 he moved to Boise, Idaho, and founded his current group, The Hilt and Cross, and has been teaching there ever since.

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Following the success of Jeffrey L. Forgeng’s translation of Joachim Meyer’s The Art of Sword Combat, the author was alerted to an earlier recension of the work which was discovered in Lund University Library in Sweden. The manuscript, produced in Strassburg around 1568, is illustrated with thirty watercolour images and seven ink diagrams. The text covers combat with the longsword (hand-and-a-half sword), dusack (a one-handed practice weapon comparable to a sabre), and rapier. The manuscript’s theoretical discussion of guards is one of the most critical passages to understanding this key…

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