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Thread: Highland Swordsmanship: Techniques of the Scottish Swordmasters

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    1,281

    Thumbs up Highland Swordsmanship: Techniques of the Scottish Swordmasters

    I'm no pro at this but I had so much fun reading this that I wanted to share. This book by Mark Rector breaks down the studies of two Scottish swordsmen; Sir William Hope (1707) Author of "New Method of Fencing"- and Donald McBane (1728) Author of "Expert Sword-Man's Companion". Weapons covered are baskethilt and targe, smallsword some polearms and even some pistol dueling. It's nice to read the original text and then get the modern commentary. The combination of original illistrations from the texts and then the great photos (starring our fellow forumite Dale Seago! ) prove to be helpful and insightful. One of the biggest things I enjoyed from this is how fun of a read it was. Especially the personal accounts of McBane. parts of it read like overhearing the lads at the pub comparing battle scars and the stories of how they got them- There were several times I was outright laughing at his stories. My only complaint is that I wished it was a little longer (196 pages) But its price is very fair (apx $30 USD) especially when alot of similar books go for $50 or more. Any questions feel free to ask- great book
    A man in a kilt is a man and a half!
    Clan Grant
    Craigellachie!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Port Orchard
    Posts
    642
    Allen:
    How useful did you find the techniques described? I am very new to basket-hilt systems, but I am always eager to take more in. I have this book on my amazon.com list, and would like to pick it up...of course, digging for more info is always good.
    I am starting to learn the basket hilt system of George Silver... how different (if nothing else, in a scholarly perspective) are the techniques for basket hilt + targe? Someone said that the title should have been "Lowland Swordsmanship" due to region and styles... do you find this tidbit of commentary accurate, or offensive?

  3. #3
    This book is much more geared towards the smallsword player, making only brief mention of the basket hilts. If you are looking for broadsword and backsword look at the other Scottish title by the same publisher and editor: "Highland Broadsword: Five Manuals of Scottish Regimental Swordsmanship."

    That being said, I highly reccomend both books. If you read through each you will be shown multiple, often conflicting view-points from masters of the time, which allow you to get a feel for the particulars of the styles as well as make your own, educated decisions on the proper way to use a sword.

    As for basket hilt and targe. I have one piece of advice for you: there is no sex in the... errr... When possible, parry with the edge of your targe, and never, ever, cover your face with the flat. Getting a broadsword to the head is better than blinding yourself in combat.

    All in all, great books.
    Fac et Spera
    Moderator - www.swordwiki.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Port Orchard
    Posts
    642
    Ha ha ha...
    I already own the five manuals. I liked MaGregor's lecture the most out of them so far (I am just starting to read into Angelo's treatise).
    I would like to dabble with the smallsword a bit. If I recall, Linacre teaches smallsword first, and broad/backsword second, as many of the attitudes used in smallsword translate to broadsword (although I think it was said that broadsword is a little more complex, since the smallsword is a light, fast, human hole punch). There are many conflicting ideas of sword use, but most systems are startlingly lethal, despite some of the outward appearances. Punctures, at the time (even now depending) were very hard to patch up, according to what I have read (vital organs being pierced and whatnot), which makes the smallsword particularly dangerous. I can respect all styles of swordsmanship, as everything has it's use, and existed for a reason. I just have my preferences, and own interests is all. I would ideally, like to learn about many different systems, but it is hard to take it all in at once. That being said, this is on my to buy list.

  5. #5
    I definitly suggest learning smallsword first. A broadsword player trained in smallsword will tend to make smaller, more efficient motions and keep his point on the line more often. As such, one's tempo is much better.

    As for further broadsword reading... In a moth or two I should be done with my syllabus. I'll give it a post when I finish.
    Fac et Spera
    Moderator - www.swordwiki.org

  6. #6

    Mention of Dutch knife fighting with an illustration

    Hi there,

    Apparently this book has a tiny mention of Dutch knife fighting with an illustration.
    Can somebody take a picture of that and show it to me? Need it for my research and cant afford to buy the whole book right now.

    regards,
    Jerome
    (amsterdamoffice@yahoo.com)

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