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Longsword

Classes for “adults” (from 15 years old)

Schedule

Tuesday evenings – 19h00 to 21h00 – Extra Time until 21h30

Thursday evenings – 19h30 to 21h30 – Extra Time until 22h00

All year long, including during vacations and holidays – no rest for the warriors.

Classes topic

Alleged portrait of Johannes Liechtenauer (1452)

Among the practices in Historical European Martials Arts, wielding the medieval sword might be the most iconic one.

From all the medieval fencing treatises available, we study the ones attributed to Meister Johannes Liechtenauer.

That choice sprang from the fact that already back then, his treatises were quite successful, being copied and spread many times, with additions here, text alterations there, that – by crossing the different sources – are offering quite some indsight about his art of combat (kunst des fechten).

Liechtenauer’s teachings are made out of three parts, the Blossfechten (fighting without armor), the Harnischfechten (fighting with armor) and the Rossfechten (fighting on horse).

For practical and material reasons, we study the Blossfechten portion but exploration of the two other ones is possible during Workshopt Time and/or Extra Time.

Vier Leger – the 4 main stances

Those Liechtenauer treatises were packed qith folios from other masters of the same era – even from the same brotherhood sometimes – and addressing other combat systems. Such as wrestling (Ott Jud) and dagger fighting (Martin Huntsfeld) that we also study in our classes as preparatory exercises leading to sword techniques. But this doesn’t stop there as we also find sword and buckler fighting (Andre Lignitzer), the complete and complex art of the messer (Johannes Lecküchner) and many more.

To discover the subtleties and specificities of these systems, we do not hesitate at peekign to other sources of the same kind and/or the same era, such as what is taught by Fiore de’i Liberi and his famous “Flower of Battle” (Fior di Battaglia, Florius de Arte Luctandi or Flos Duellatorum).

Equipment

To be noted:

Before any investment, do not be afraid to ask to different club members about gear quality, to see what’s worth or not. That will prevent you from spending money on worthless elements.

Equipment to start with

We require that you equip yourself and quickly with the following elements:

  • Yourself
  • A practice outfit both comfortable and practical
  • A fencing mask (ideally a HEMA dedicated model)
  • Light protecting gloves
  • Groin protector
  • (a bit later) A longsword simulator, HEMA compatible and made of steel

The Next Steps

These are the elements that you will add to your kit over time (roughly sorted by priority) :

  1. Back of head protection (with or without mask overlay)
  2. Throat protector
  3. Chest protector
  4. HEMA jacket (padded + throat protection)
  5. HEMA pants (padded)
  6. Heavy protecting gloves
  7. Elbows and forearms protections
  8. Knees and shins protections

Sources

The Wiktenauer: provides first hand sources

Schola Artis Gladii et Armorum: search tool in sources

Schola Gladiatoria – Sources page: from Matt Easton’s club (UK)

HS 3227a by The ARMA: presentation, transcription and translation of that document, attributed to a certain Hanko or Hans Döbringer

Instructors

Eva Varagnolo

Instructor

She hesitantly pushed the door of the Via Bruxellensis room in December 2017 and was hooked from the first contact with the blade. Passionate about larp, married to a capoeirist, she favours the beautiful gesture to the strike at any cost. Concerned about details and the respect of the discipline while keeping a playful and friendly approach, she is also in charge of the Via Bruxellensis Juniores courses for children from 10 to 14 years old.

Hannelore Van Laer

Instructor

Member since august of 2019, Hannelore (she/he) loves getting in the weeds of the sourcework. Having done higher studies in Medieval Dutch Literature & Linguistics and Modern Translation, she now teaches the system of Liechtenauer in an organized way and enjoys discussing interpretations. She uses concepts from modern sportcoaching to improve brain, brawn and body structure. Hannelore knows first aid and a CPR, believes in student support and diversity.

Romain Deltour

Instructor

Romain has been a member of the Via Bruxellensis club for more than a year, and practising HEMA since 2020. He is the treasurer of the association and ensures that it has the means to achieve its ambitions. Amateur of long sword (Liechtenauer) and sabre (Roworth and Angelo), he practices light sparring and refereeing and is passionate about welcoming new members and their integration into the association.

Ressources

Acta Periodica Duellatorum: regular publication of scientific articles covering the domains of HEMA
Resources for the Historical European Martial Arts and Sports Community: articles, sources, ressources, informations
Historical Fighting Guide – Longsword usage resources: numerous links to longsword use ressources

Shops

Interpretations

Exercices & Drills