German Longsword study group located in
Port Macquarie NSW Australia

Welcome to the Vier Leger study group blog, our vehicle for growing awareness of medieval swordsmanship in our local area.

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Monday, 20 October 2008

Albion Arrival

Vier Leger warmly welcomes it's latest additions - two amazing new Albion Swords!

First up is The Liechtenauer - a steel training blade with unequaled style. Its design is a great balance between robust feel and flex at the point. This is a very fast weapon with an alive feel in motion, which is further enhanced by its long grip and sturdy cord wrap.

After a fellow swordsman allowed us a first-hand examination, and told tales of its ability to hold its own against other training blades with minimal nicks and scratches, we were sure that we wanted to add this piece to our collection.

Next up is The Talhoffer - our first sharp, acquired with test cutting in mind. This blade has an aggressive feel that loves to move forward, and a point which is very threatening!

Aesthetically, there is beauty in the diamond cross-section of the blade, and a powerful look to the waisted grip. This is a very intimidating sword, every bit as inspired as it is lethal.

And here's the kick to the uninitiated - the swords weigh approximately 1.5 kilos each. Quite a shock to those expecting a medieval sword to be a heavy, clumsy weapon, wielded only through brute force.

To the contrary, these blades are quick and reactive, making them well designed for their purpose of performing quick cuts and thrusts, and allowing for fast follow-up and recovery movements.

Never held a sword before? Interested to see how they were employed? Contact us - we'd love to invite you to see them first hand.

Follow the link for more from the team at Albion Swords, including their awe-inspiring catalogue and amazing customer testimonials.

For more on our favourite sharp-pointy-one, read a review of The Talhoffer from with some great pics!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Rules

Many of our rules are commonsense and will be familiar to those who have trained in other martial arts. If you are interested in training with our group, we require you to read and agree to abide by these rules.

1. Respect participants; Respect the Sword
I understand that a sword, regardless of its material construction, is a potentially dangerous weapon and if used inappropriately will cause harm to others. I accept my responsibility to act with care and safety at all times and to do no harm, whether through personal carelessness, inattention or inappropriate action. I accept that while the session leader and their appointed representative(s) will monitor and supervise the group, it is my responsibility to ensure my own safety, and the safety of my actions in regard to others.

2. Train appropriate to your partners' needs
I understand that I may be required to train with partners of varying skill levels. I will make every effort to ensure that my partners' needs, in respect to their current skill level, are considered when undertaking training with them. I will always ask when unsure.

3. Contact appropriate to pre-determined levels
I accept my responsibility to avoid or minimise weapon contact with my partner(s). I understand that different levels of weapon contact may be made in different exercises as determined by the session leader, and undertake to adhere to these determinations, emphasising safety and respect at all times. I will ensure that all my safety gear is in good working condition before use. Where I do not have or cannot obtain safety gear appropriate for a particular drill or exercise, I will not participate.

4. Obtain consent
I understand the importance of ensuring that my partner is ready before any drill or exercise is started. I understand that this may be made by verbal or non-verbal means such as a nod, hand gesture or salute. I understand that I may withdraw my consent to participate at any time, and when necessary to do so, I shall do so verbally in a clear, loud manner, and I will aim to do so at a time and in such a way that no harm is brought to any person(s).

5. Come to attention
I understand that I am required to come to attention when the session leader or their appointed representative is delivering instructions or explanations to myself individually, or to the group as a whole. For safety, this is done by holding the sword at rest in a vertical position, either straight up or straight down; if I am unsure I will ask.

6. Train clean
I understand that it is my responsibility to ensure that my body and clothing are reasonably clean, and that any open wounds are appropriately covered, before training for the safety and comfort of all participants. I also accept that attending a session whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unacceptable and will result in exclusion from all future sessions.

We reserve the right to amend or edit these rules at any time. We undertake to inform all registered participants of any changes as soon as possible after such changes or additions are made.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Last Updated 19 Oct 08

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

What happens in a training session?

If you've been reading about us and you're interested in trying historic swordsmanship, you may be asking yourself, "I wonder what can I look forward to at a training session?"

The Structure of a Session

A typical training session at Vier Leger is comprised of:
  • A warm up, focused on joint mobility in preparation for wielding a sword;
  • Unpartnered drills - including stepping, guards, cuts and transitions;
  • Partnered drills with the sword; and,
  • Strength and conditioning exercises.
Each session will range from 1 to 2 hours in duration.

What will I be doing in my first few sessions?

As a beginner, the first thing you will practice is how to stand, hold and move with the sword.

Then you will work on the four principle guards and the basic cuts and thrusts.

These practical elements will be interspersed with sword terminology and an introduction to the Liechtenauer tradition. You will also receive an overview of how we approach further training and what you have to look forward to in the future.

This will fill up your first couple of sessions and should be enough to help you decide if this is the martial art for you.

Where to from there?

Your initial training is about familiarising yourself with the sword and getting acquainted with how to properly hold and move with it.

Once you are comfortable with the sword and can demonstrate a reasonable understanding of basic movements, you will begin practicing partnered drills, which will facilitate your entry into our general curriculum.

What's with the Strength & Conditioning?

We at Vier Leger believe that fitness is an essential part of practicing any martial art. While our overall approach is in developing general fitness for our participants, our strength and conditioning training for swordplay gives particular attention to the core, rotator-cuff, and the grip.

The ARMA have posted an excellent article titled The Role of Fitness in Historical Fencing which is well worth the read. We share their views on the importance of physical fitness.

Our current approach to strength and conditioning will be covered in an upcoming post.

Do I need a sword?

We will make training weapons available for use by beginners. You will only be required to purchase your own sword if you decide to continue training with us.

All training is delivered at a level appropriate to your skill and needs, and always with a safety first approach.

How do I start?

Please contact us for information on attending your first session.