- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: Chivalry Bookshelf; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1891448218
- ISBN-13: 978-1891448218
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,993,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Highland Broadsword: Five Manuals of Scottish Regimental Swordsmanship Paperback – January 1, 2010
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About the Author
Paul Wagner & Stephen Hand, well respected teachers of Western swordsmanship and founders of the Stoccata School of Defence, have come together to decode Royal Armouries MS I.33.
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The sword fighting system is simple, easy to teach or to learn, natural, and very effective. Whenever I want to get someone interested in Western Swordsmanship, this is the first system I teach them. The rudiments of it can be taught or learned in a day, and the entire system can be learned in a few months.
The book has only two flaws. The first is that there is a lack of good photographs. Until I found the pictures on page 125, I could not make head nor tail of the system, but after finding them, it was easy to learn.
The second flaw is, as Mr. Hand stated, the overrating of the effectiveness of the Scottish Regiments. However, this has nothing to do with the effectiveness or validity of the system.
At the core of this book are the five treatises, teaching and discussing the use of the basket hilted broadsword. What we know of the use of this weapon is mostly English, due to the thoroughness of their suppression of Scottish martial culture after 1745. However, even if Scots regiments went into battle using their swords in an English manner, that does not detract from the weapon and the systems documented here. Collected together here are five of the most important and influential works on the basket hilted broadsword. These teach systems that are similar enough that you can learn them all, each one having a slightly different take on the use of the weapon, but utilising the same fundamental principles.
Also in the book are essays on the Highland regiments and on their fencing, together with excellent photos of swords from a very fine private collection. Paul gets a trifle carried away in the first essay, ascribing every English success at arms to the Scots and their wonderful charge. This is despite the 'two volleys and in with the bayonet' being recorded among English troops as early as the English Civil War (except that it was clubbed muskets, not bayonets back then) and was used by Wellington himself as Colonel of the 33rd Foot before he gained command of Highland troops. By the end of it I was waiting to hear that the Scots Regiments invented sliced bread and manned space flight in between their important work rescuing puppies and reading to blind orphans.
Still, all the essays contain great information, and an author is entitled to have an opinion, even if Paul's are usually strong. The treatises are the centrepiece of this work, and are why you'd buy it. The instructions on how to use an 18th/19th century basket hilted sword (or a sabre for that matter)are clear and unambiguous. The system is relatively easy to learn and is very effective.