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Beginner's Q&A

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

So you are thinking about joining Signum Corvus School of Arms, but have some questions.

Keep on reading, you may find some of the answers below.

Do I need to have a sword to join the class?

No, you don’t. Every weapon that is used for training purposes at Signum Corvus must be from a recognized producer or supplier, or must be inspected by the instructor before it is used for training. If you are joining us for the first time, we will provide you with the practice weapons so that you can experience historical fencing and then make an informed decision to purchase your own equipment once you decide to do so.

What equipment do I need to start?

You only need comfortable sport clothing. We recommend long pants (no jeans) and comfortable indoor or outdoor shoes, depending on the environment. We will provide you with the basic fencing equipment you will need to start. Bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure to have them.

Where can I get my own equipment?

There are a number of makers and stores that provide suitable equipment, and we would be happy to help you purchase your own equipment once you decide to do so. The equipment that you will need may vary depending on which weapon you are practicing with. If you are just starting out, we recommend that you talk to instructors and other students, see what equipment they use and how it would fit you.

I am new to historical European martial arts, what weapon should I start with?

Start with the one that you like the most. In order to successfully learn the skills, the most important factor is to enjoy what you are doing. If you can’t decide which weapon you like most, we believe longsword may be good to start with. Or you can try all of them…

Is the training physically demanding?

Historical fencing is a martial art and as such, does involve physical exertion. Our classes include dynamic warm-ups and physical conditioning. If you are swinging a piece of steel for two hours, you are most likely going to break a sweat. However, you need not worry if you haven’t been active in a while. We do adapt our training to accommodate practitioners of different skill levels.

When will I be able to fight with other students?

It will probably be some time before it comes to that. There is plenty to learn and practice (solo drills, partner drills and plays) to keep you occupied for a number of weeks. Once you have the skill to face the partner and do it safely, you will definitely have your chance.

Do you offer private classes?

Yes, we can do private classes, but it is subject to a number of factors, primarily instructor availability. Please contact us directly if you are interested.

Where can I learn more about swords and historical fencing?

While you cannot learn historical fencing purely from studying books, there is a lot of value in doing so. Please check out our Resources page to find out about our recommended study materials.

What is the difference between modern and historical fencing?

Quite too many. Instead of modern foil or epee, historical fencing uses accurate replicas of actual historical weapons that were used in the past centuries. We also strive to use fencing techniques and methods described in the historical sources. And last, but not least, historical fencing does not follow some of the rules that were introduced in modern fencing and are a rather arbitrary departure from how the duels were actually fought.

If the above did not satisfy your curiosity, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

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