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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: 248
Illustrations: 250 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526768988
Published: 31st March 2021

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RRP £30.00

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The teaching of Historical European Martial Arts has widespread appeal with numerous clubs in many countries. However, comparatively few people who run their own club have qualifications that would make them an instructor in traditional martial arts organizations. Even those with such qualifications lack in-depth cohesive resources for teaching a given style – often because they can only work from incomplete sources. Thus, the need for a book which is grounded in exhaustive research into historical teaching methods and in particular focusing on the specific style of Sigmund Ringeck, who was himself a teacher of fighting arts in the late 14th century or the early or mid-15th century.

In The Art of Longsword Fighting, Benjamin J. Smith therefore offers the broader information necessary for teachers of historical swordsmanship to deliver courses based on original, authentic techniques. This includes the various cutting methods, the role of competition in learning these arts, the mechanics of the interpretive process, and insights into how to use a wide range of activities to enhance students’ experience.

All of this is achieved through a panoply of photographs showing each move along with explanatory diagrams as well as detailing how and when to introduce each next step in a manner that is faithful to Ringeck’s style. There is no current literature available which demonstrates how each move should be undertaken and, most importantly, why each step should be taken in the sequences described.

There is no doubt that a book of this nature has been long awaited and will be welcomed by instructors and students alike as well as those general readers interested in fencing and the longsword of the Renaissance period.

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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 joined the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA) and spent most of the next eight years applying that organization’s method. Benjamin left the ARMA in 2008 to pursue his own approach. He joined the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance in 2009 and began working seriously on his interpretations of Sigmund Ringeck’s longsword teachings. 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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