By Claymore and Gladius

Posted March 06, 2008

Since I mentioned our longswords in the sidebar I figured I should offer an explanation. Last year we were blessed to be able to attend Vision Forum's celebration of the Jamestown Quadricentennial in the Historic Triangle, allowing us to in one trip visit the actual Jamestown settlement, walk the Yorktown battlefield, and see colonial Williamsburg (a recreation of the former capital of Virginia). We saw many wonderful sights which for the sake of this post will be postponed to another time.

While we were there we came across a young entrepreneur who manufactured makeshift swords of various lengths out of PVC pipes, some foam padding, and half a ton of duct tape. We were so inspired that on returning my brother Joel pulled out a couple of hockey sticks he inherited from my older brothers when they got married and fashioned them into scale longswords measured against a standard claymore (not to be confused with the land mine of the same name). We now have besides those a shorter weapon roughly the size of the roman gladius which is my second choice when I must handicap myself against younger opponents. We fight at a slightly reduced pace seeing as how we currently don't have armor, but we do have a few scrapes and bruises nonetheless. For techniques I searched online and found an excellent article on the art of German longsword from which we base our style. Since Germany once encompassed most of Europe and influenced the rest greatly the longsword certainly may trace its history there.

Images of Unchoreographed Longsword Combat

Sparring Lefthanded With My Youngest Brother

Initial stances. (low roof guard and crossed fools guard)

I demonstrate a twisting thrust to get around his blade.

Mom wanted more action for the pictures so I switched to both hands (notice the blurred blade).

I think I was executing an overcut while changing guards.

A More Lively Combat

I almost took his arm off (not literally) with this thrust, but he voided (dodged) superbly and saved his torso (a killing stroke by our rules).

You can't see very well, but I'm twirling the sword one-handed around both sides of my body.

At this point he's lost (by our rules) his left leg via a fake followed by a direct thrust earlier on. Here you see a low right-side roof guard with the lower hand inverted for an undercut (foreground) and a left-side fool's guard (background).

"The Lads"

Here's me (top-left) with my three primary antagonists (the far-right one is our sword-smith). Here you can observe the extent of our sparring weapons: two knives (far-right), the longswords (second from right, top-left), and the gladius (bottom-left).

Looking tough. You can see a right ox-guard (top-left), something between a plow and roof guard (bottom-left), a low roof guard (second from right), and probably what would be referred to as an ox guard with the two knives (far-right).


Posted by Sandy Ferrill at 07:27 on March 06, 2008

"Sharp"-looking guys! :)

Posted by Mary at 04:33 on March 15, 2008

The "lads" are looking like young men...tall young men!

Posted by Mary at 04:38 on March 15, 2008

Micah, it's me Mary. I posted that last comment. I did register, so future comments should have my name on them. (hopefully...if I did it right)

Posted by Micah Ferrill at 02:41 on March 15, 2008

There was a glitch in the site that disconnected the comments from your account. It's fixed now :-)

Posted by Mike at 12:43 on May 16, 2008

Hi Micah, I was at the Jamestown Quadricentennial for the Jamestown 400 Treasure Hunt. I was in the sword pits for 15 minutes tops but it was one of the highlights of that trip. It's amazing how many people I met there, at the SAICFF after my Dad got runner up in the treatment competition, the first person to congratulate us was the referee from the pits. I think that there might be a couple of pictures of the forrays in the June archives of my Dad's blog ( Excellent post, I look forward to more :). God Bless, ~Mike