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Longsword fighting. Source: Cyberguru / CC by SA 4.0.

Longsword Fighting, A Once-Forgotten Martial Art Resurfaces (Video)


In recent years Longsword fighting, a once-forgotten martial art has experienced a modern resurgence across the USA. Referred to as German longsword, it traces its roots to the late Middle Ages, but today's practitioners don modern protective gear and use blunted steel swords. Contrary to misconceptions, this is no mere theatrical performance; it's a dedicated martial art and sport. Enthusiasts like Kyanna Shirtkin, a 21-year-old engineering student, exemplify the dedication of longsword competitors. Regardless of her smaller stature, she fearlessly faces opponents twice her size, demonstrating that skill transcends size differences. Ancient manuals, previously hidden away, serve as their guides, resurrecting historical techniques.

Longsword enthusiasts go beyond academia; they organize competitive events like Long Point, North America's largest. Fights are precise and measured, following medieval dueling practices, with points awarded for the precision and control of strikes. Longsword is just one facet of historical European martial arts (Hema), encompassing various weapons, wrestling, and mounted combat. While some might seek theatrics, these fighters are driven by a genuine passion for the art. They aim not only to excel but also to share their dedication with the world.

Top image: Longsword fighting. Source: Cyberguru / CC by SA 4.0.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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