Sidesword Fundamentals I: Posture & Movement (SSW-050)


13 topics, 13 min video
Sample: 1.3 Cutting & Footwork

The sidesword is sometimes called a cut-and-thrust rapier because it has a similar hilt design to late renaissance rapiers. They are typically between 35" and 40" in total length with blade lengths varying between 30" and 38". They are broad bladed, capable of the thrust and the cut. The typical weight is between 2 and 4 lbs.

The arming sword fits similar dimensional properties to the sidesword but is typically on the shorter end of the spectrum and features a hilt made up of only a simple cross and optionally a finger ring.

What You'll Learn

  • how to grip the sword
  • body posture and basic footwork
  • the names of the eight cuts, and solo patterns for practicing them
  • wrist cuts, elbow cuts, and shoulder cuts
  • the Italian names of the guards used in our system

Practitioners of other single-handed systems (German, English or Spanish, for instance) will see many mechanical similarities, even though the terminology may be different.

After each set of lesson videos you'll find review quizzes and practice instructions to help you learn and retain the material.

Prerequisite: A fuller exploration of swordplay technique and vocabulary is found in the Longsword Fundamentals and Rapier Fundamentals course series. Although not expressly required, the Sidesword Fundamentals course series assumes familiarity with many of these terms.

What You'll Need

  • A sword specifically made for practice, preferably one constructed, weighted and balanced to match the sword being studied.
  • If you don't have a sword, a wooden dowel or other staff (36–42 inches for rapier/sidesword, 40–50 inches for longsword).
  • Gloves can make handling some swords more comfortable and prevent abraisions.
  • A mirror, video camera, or partner to help check your form and provide feedback.

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Acknowledgement of Safety and Risk

  1. Practice all exercises slowly and with control.
  2. Practice using training swords that are not sharp and are specifically made for practice.
  3. Use protective gear for all exercises. In many of our videos we are not wearing head, throat or body protection in order to make clear explanation more possible. You should always use protective gear when practicing these arts regardless of the exercise.
  4. Be aware that injuries in training are always possible. Ensure that you are practicing with care and caution at all times.
  5. DuelloTV is not responsible for any injuries that occur as a result of sword practice inspired from our videos.