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Swordfighting, for Writers, Game Designers and Martial Artists Kindle Edition
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- Publication Date : March 20, 2015
- File Size : 5309 KB
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print Length : 243 pages
- Publisher : The School of European Swordsmanship (March 20, 2015)
- ASIN : B00URIUAIW
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #302,713 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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--The actual, historical documents that DO exist on forgotten European martial arts. In short, knights and duelists had an art--and it was deadly.
--Sport fencing has virtually no resemblance to actual combat techniques.
--Methods and purposes behind martial training is habitually portrayed in fiction with gross inaccuracies. If you want to write a convincing trainer/pupil relationship, this is an excellent book.
--There are a variety of important things to think about in conceiving of a fight scene, from setting, to combatants, to circumstances, to personalities of the fighters.
--As a writer, you can get in the head of swordfighters, adding to the complexity of a scene.
If I had one critique of this book, it's the vignette style in which its written. I felt many of the entries about veracity of historical techniques and training curriculum, while interesting, weren't always pertinent to portraying an exciting action sequence. However, this book is invaluable to inculcating the writer with a foundation of what makes a sword fight. Perhaps that is more valuable than a simple "how to write" book. My skill at writing sword fights has grown an order of magnitude since reading this book, and I even look at famous sword fights in movies with a new perspective.
I highly recommend this book for any writer (or general aficionado) interested in sword combat for any era--consider it an essential primer. I do hope Guy writes much more on this subject!
What seems to be is a collection of articles written for a blog. Some of them are interesting. Too many of them are autobiographical, though that might be justified as people will want to know why they should trust his thoughts with no recognizable accreditation.
You can find a good part (not all) of the content of this book for free in the author blog, I prefer to buy the book, help the author and re-read the posts in comfort.
Also I agree to disagree with Mr. Windsor on several points, like considering sugar a poison instead of as a luxury to be enjoyed sparingly, and the egalitarian idea that innate differences (or talent) do not exist and that success is a matter of only practice. Yes practice is perhaps the most important indicator but why some people can do contless hours of training and not others? Also with small children you can see that some can learn faster than others.
That said I find his ideas very fruitful:
1.- That you should train with a deep reward to improving your overall health, the fact that he "repairs" the "defects" that people bring to training is something almost always not done in martial arts and especially in sport competition training. After all there is a fresh supply of young hopefuls so coaches usually don't care much about their charges.
2.- The use of sharps is controversial, it is dangerous and it certainly gives a very different perspective on using a sword. Even the modest use of a point d' arret in fencing will change the way anyone fences.
3.- The reality of using a weapon for it's intended purpose and not for sport is I believe closer with something like the single stick than with a medieval sword that would be impossible to use for real, but it is worthy of deep thought specially if you are writing about it or trying to create a game, and in here you will find a man who lives what he preaches.
4.- The level of scholarship involved is truly amazing, he studies the original sources frequently in the original language, goes into the real world of practice and corrects his ideas and gives the reader and prospective student a distilled and modern way to learn a forgotten art.
5.- From the point of view of some one who is in a place that makes very difficult to get practice material, people interested in pointy arts, teachers and even reading material Mr. Windsor opens a window that is invaluable.
I bought the book and read it quite quickly I might update this review after a more detailed second reading. In any case is (to me) worth the money and the time.
The surprise was in how much this mindset carries over to life in general. Act or panic. Prepare or freeze. These choices are part of everything we do.
Top reviews from other countries
He did, but not about writing sword fights. Fellow writers beware. Unless you are really, really useless, there's nothing in Windsor's treatment of how to write a sword fight that you won't already know. However, if you want to peer into the mind and practice of one of the most brilliant pedagogues I have ever encountered, then go for it!
What's clear from reading Swordfighting is that Windsor is a committed, thoughtful and imaginative teacher who has considered long, hard and deeply how to teach swordfighting while remaining committed to the historical principles that guide his vision of swordmanship. As such, the book offers a valuable insight into the sort of pedagogical thinking that should inform any physical teaching (my wife, who is a voice teacher, found it hugely valuable) as well as speaking much about Windsor's own journey as a man extracting an ancient skill from manuscripts and fleshing them in his own practice. Far more fascinating than it has any right to be!
The author has widely studied historical swordsmanship and runs a longsword training school. In short, he knows what he is talking about.
The book covers the practicalities of sword fighting and more importantly the character of a skilled swordsman, and the training regime which necessarily focuses on training the mentality rather than the body.
Are your characters fighting in a battle, a duel, a training session or for sport? They are very different. Are they aiming to cause a death? Consider the moral implications.
The book also covers characterisation and the good writing of a fight scene.
The author includes a lot of his personal story but this doesn't detract from what is a very valuable resource for authors. Well worth a place on your bookshelf.
This books is filled with insightful and reflective articles on a lifetime of martial arts training, specifically, working with the sword. Anyone who wants to understand what it feels like to be a swordsman, to get into that mindset, would do well to study this accessible book. I've yet to meet Guy in person, but he's on my bucket list!