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Thread: A review on Guy Windsor's "Swordsman's Companion"

  1. #1
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    A review on Guy Windsor's "Swordsman's Companion"

    Dar auf dich fasse / alle kunst haben leng / und masse

    Alte Kampfkunst
    Western Martial Arts Academy

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    Edinburgh, Athens of the North
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    Saw the man himself last night with his book. Looks a great read and I will be getting my signed copy as soon as I can.

    Having been taught by Guy before I can say that he is an excellent teacher and speaks an awful lot of sence both in the flesh and in print.
    Full Member of The Dawn Duellists Society
    www.dawnduellists.co.uk

    Instructor and Owner of Black Boar Swordsmanship School
    www.blackboarswordsmanship.co.uk

    BFHS Certified Instructor

    "Hating is easy, Loving takes true character" Hanoi Rocks

  3. #3
    I can't wait to get to the post office today! I was informed that I have a package waiting. The only thing that I have ordered recently is Guy's new book and I hope that it is waiting for me tonight!
    Norman E. Kidd

    "My sword is my shield"

    ------------------------------------------------
    Rocky Mountain Historical Combat Guild

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Hi all!

    Despite the danger of just re-iterating what my friend Stefan wrote, I'd like to post my impression of Guy's book, because I feel like it.

    The book was in the mail on Friday and I spent most of the weekend reading it, for a total of two times until now, casually at first, and then thoroughly cover-to-cover with a sword close beside me.

    Well, there'll be many more times following these first two reads.

    Although the focus seems to be mainly on the beginning swordsman who studies alone, there's a lot of insights to be found for the experienced practitioner as well.

    Building on a foundation of body coordination, posture and movement exercises, Guy Windsor takes the beginning swordsman (or -woman) through a series of solo and partner drills that should enable everyone who's coordinated enough to tie his shoes to acquire an understanding of the fundamentals of swordsmanship.

    Although I'm not a practitioner of the Italian school, I could follow all instructions and do all techniques without any problems.

    That's because Guy did not write a 'walkthough' trough the techniqes of the Italian school, but rather explained the underlying concepts and principles that ultimately transcend
    'styles' and 'schools' of fencing and demonstrated those concepts based on his interpretation of the Italian school.

    I've yet too read a book about Martial Arts (ANY kind of MA) that explains the 'How's' and 'Why's' in a manner as effortless yet comprehensible as Guy Windsor does.

    IMO, 'The Swordsman's Companion' is an absolute MUST READ for everybody who's even remotely interested in practicing Historical European Swordsmanship, no matter which style.
    It belongs on every Western Martial Artists bookshelf, nay, in every equipment bag, so it's always handy when one trains, so one can look up things.

    And look up things one should.

    I give it my unqualified recommendation and I wished that a book like this had been around when I first picked up a longsword in 1991, it would have saved me a lot of 'dead ends'.

    Congrats and a loud 'HUZZAH' to Guy for a job very well done!

    Cheers,
    Jörg
    Member of Ochs

    "It is a bad teacher that does not allow his student to become better than himself" (Sixten Ivarsson)

  5. #5
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    I got hold of a preview copy of this when Guy was in town a couple of weeks back and have read it through twice on a "casual" level until I had to give it back. I await my own copy eagerly.

    Two things struck me, other than how well put together it is. One how much much easier it will be for the next generation of swordweilders to learn the basics with books of this quality and, two, how I was actually present for most of the anecdotes that Guy tells in the notes and recognise debates that we had in the pub after training for many a year that he has now formalised into rational arguments- strange how we do not recognise "history in the making" at the time
    "That's certainly the mark of a good duellist, your Majesty - to be living."

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Hi Phil!

    Same over here, I had more than one deja vu esp. when reading the notes.

    Cheers,
    Jörg
    Member of Ochs

    "It is a bad teacher that does not allow his student to become better than himself" (Sixten Ivarsson)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Aberdeen, Scotland
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    I received my copy of “The Swordsman’s Companion” on Saturday and having spent the rest of the weekend reading it, I have to commend the author for a great piece of work.

    I have recently set up a class to study European Swordsmanship so I am still on a steep learning curve, so I can review the book from a beginner’s / intermediate’s prospective.

    It is well written, well structured, and the content is very easy to follow. It gives details of the Italian masters (Fiore Dei Liberi and Filippo Vadi), explains principles of fencing, and contains numerous practical solo and partner drills which I shall definitely be introducing into my class.

    I can not recommend this book enough for anyone who is new or an intermediate into the medieval longsword. Also, if you are an instructor of a class, or are a new student to a class, this book will really help your aid understanding and will give you practical ideas for drills. I’ll let the experts and people with more experience past their own judgement, but am sure they too will agree.

    Well done Guy, I’ll look forward to the next book!

    Michael

    Aberdeen Swordsmanship Group
    Web - www.swordsmanship.co.uk
    Email - info@swordsmanship.co.uk

  8. #8
    Put your reviews up on Amazon.com, etc. You can also recommend it instead of a certain other (eh-hem) book on the same topic, if you feel so inclined.

    Although I'm not a longsword practitioner, I think it is an excellent book--it does everything that a book of this type should. A good combination of historic techniques, practical advice, and a few anecdotes--all well-written and interesting--and without any dogma.

    Steve
    Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Seaford, Virginia (Yorktown)
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    Thumbs up The Swordsman's Companion

    I am not a big fan of the Longsword. In fact when I am grumpy, I often refer to it as 'The Dead Weapon Society' ........ Well, I think that is changing. This past weekend at Lansing I got to work with Guy and saw one of his superb classes. He has breathed new life into training on this weapon for me. I was particularily impressed with the flow aspects Guy imparts into the strikes and follow-on's. The footwork and flow forum he demonstrated at the close of his class is remarkable and critical to the use of the weapon. Really impressive and practical.....Having just got back from ISMAC I took the book out to the school and as always laid it out and started working from it. Guy Windsor has passed my test. It is truly a functional manual that will have a definite place in the curriculum at The School of Two Swords. Guy, thanks so very much for taking the to create this text. Whether you are interested in the Longsword or not, GO BUY THIS BOOK. It has multiple weapon applications.

    Best
    Dwight

  10. #10

    Guy is the guy

    Having the chance to work with Guy at ISMAC was fantastic, and the book is an excellent extention (and quite useable on its own). I highly recommend that anyone interested in the Longsword (or just learning good body mechanics) take a class by him if you have the opportunity.

    I also can say from experience now, that if you do take a class with Guy, you'll "volta stabile" like its 1499!

    Adam

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