With my introductory class just around the corner, I thought it time to shed some light on what to expect for your first Historical Longsword class: when to come, what to bring, what to wear, what to expect, and how to pay for and book a class.
There are two dates for the introductory class (Thursday, February 7th, and Tuesday, February 12th, both at 7:30-9:00). They will both cover the same material and Tuesdays will be a repeat of the previous Thursday, ongoing...
WHEN TO COME
Please come 15 minutes early. Like all gym and martial arts classes there is a little paperwork to get done before you can join in the fun. This includes a waiver to be signed. If you are under 19, this will need to be signed by your parent/guardian before we begin.
WHAT TO BRING
Bring a bottle of water to class to make sure you say hydrated! Later, when you start collecting protective equipment and training weapons of your own, you can bring those, too. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my own sweaty gloves to the shared, class gloves and there’s something cool about using ‘your’ sword in class.
Note: There will be another blog post on where to purchase Heavy and Light protective kits and swords, and some recommendations of what to buy first...
WHAT TO WEAR
You can wear standard gym attire: indoor running shoes, plus whatever you’d work-out in (something breathable). A common issue are shoes that leave black rub marks behind. This won’t likely be an issue until we begin sparring (quick direction changes leave marks), but worth considering. Another consideration would be to avoid droopy or saggy sleeves as these may catch on the cross guards and generally annoy you.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The format for the first class:
A brief hello, comments on etiquette, and an overview of the class.
Next, an introduction to the Longsword, our primary tool in this class! We’ll learn about its form and function, a brief history, and maybe even dispel some misconceptions about medieval swords!
A warm-up to get the heart pumping and some active and passive stretching to help avoid injuries.
A footwork demonstration, introducing the basic, common steps, followed by a footwork drill.
A guard demonstration, introducing several stances with cool names like Ox, Day, Fool, and Wrath, followed by some practice and a little game of Assume that Guard!
A cutting demonstration, bridging each of the guards to another, followed by more practice.
Next, we’ll put the guards, cuts, and steps together and drill some movements.
Finally, I’ll demo our first trust exercise, we’ll partner-up, and attempt attacking and defending in a really basic, slow way, using a couple of the cuts we’ve learned.
If there’s time remaining, we’ll try a second partner drill, involving some of the other cuts.
Finally, I’ll let you know about some other weapon classes in the works and then you’ll have the floor to ask any questions you might have.
This first class won’t be too intense, but expect to break a sweat! Also, expect to find some muscles you may have forgotten about - swordplay engages your whole body.
Expect to have your coordination challenged as well. Moving a sword effectively through the air, while stepping can be awkward at first. Add in the fact that all these movements will be new to you and you have yourself a recipe for a challenge!
Mostly, expect to have some fun! It’s amazing how quickly we turn into children when we’re handed a sword...
HOW TO PAY FOR & BOOK A CLASS
We will be using the ZenPlanner program where you can create a profile, login, pay for a drop-in class or a 10-pack of classes (coming soon) and then look for the Historical Longsword class and book your spot! Alternatively, you can call our host gym Wild + United to book your spot at (778) 998-7187.
Thanks for your interest in the Historical Longsword class!
Chad Herbert, Instructor