46 episodes

Guy Windsor and friends discuss sword training, historical swordsmanship, research, and other topics. Guests include well-known instructors and experts in the field.

The Sword Guy Podcast theswordguy

    • Hobbies
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Guy Windsor and friends discuss sword training, historical swordsmanship, research, and other topics. Guests include well-known instructors and experts in the field.

    Swords and Historical Handcrafts, with Bill Grandy

    Swords and Historical Handcrafts, with Bill Grandy

    Episode 45

    Bill Grandy is a long time professional historical martial arts instructor at the Virginia Academy of Fencing (VAF) in the United States, and also a historical handcrafter making beautiful scabbards and shields and things. Check out his website at www.historicalhandcrafts.com.
    In this episode we talk about lots of different aspects of being a sword person, including teaching professionally and as an amateur; getting to play with antique swords and the work of the Oakeshott Institute; and owning Michael Chidester’s wonderful facsimiles of medieval manuscripts. We also talk about getting books written and published (or not), and how a sport fencing background influences your teaching of historical martial arts. There’s even more too - this episode really does cover a lot!
    Useful links:
    Bill’s websites: www.historicalhandcrafts.com for his leather and woodwork, and for the full details and pictures of the Schiavona and Dussack we talk about in the episode: www.thehemaists.com

    Bill’s Styrian Dussack
    For more on the Oakeshott Institute and antique swords, here’s my conversation with Craig Johnson: https://guywindsor.net/2021/02/how-to-make-swords-episode33/
    For more about Wiktenauer and Michael Chidester, my conversation with Michael is here: https://guywindsor.net/2020/11/wiktenauer-episode21/ and Michael’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/michaelchidester
    The Virginia Academy of Fencing: www.vafinc.com
    And finally, for woodworkers, this is the YouTube channel by Rex Krueger we talk about: Rex Krueger: Making Woodwork Fun. Here’s a photo of my dovetail joint, as promised:

    For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at https://guywindsor.net/
    And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Fire and Cauldrons, with Ruth Goodman

    Fire and Cauldrons, with Ruth Goodman

    The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 44

    Ruth Goodman is a social and domestic historian working with museums, theatre, television and educational establishments. She has presented and consulted on several highly successful television series for the BBC. She has also written several excellent books we'll be talking about today, including The Domestic Revolution, How to be a Tudor and How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England.
    In this episode, Ruth and I talk about some of the lesser known, but nonetheless fascinating aspects of life in the Middle Ages, without what we think of “essential” cleaning products, or temperature controlled ovens. Yet people did get their clothes properly clean, and they were able to bake excellent cakes, pastries and bread. Ruth explains how they did this, and the type of learning that has been largely lost nowadays.
    In our wide-ranging conversation, we also cover the importance of sheds, leaving kids in forests, giving knives to toddlers, and understanding fire. Ruth has a special passion for medieval cauldrons. Here’s a picture:

    We also talk about how people would have dressed and moved at this time, all of which is very relevant if you are interested in martial arts from this, or any other period of history. We discuss how to research when there aren’t many sources available – as it turns out, there are many ways to skin a rabbit.
    For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work check out his website at https://guywindsor.net/
    And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

    • 59 min
    What is a Sword?

    What is a Sword?

    Episode 43
    What is a sword? When does a dagger become a sword? When does a sword become a spear? Can a boomerang even be a sword?
    In a follow-up to my conversation with Australian martial artist and philosopher, Damon Young, this special episode picks up where episode 31 finishes, with a discussion where we try to come to an agreement on what a definition of a sword might be. If you have ever wondered about this very question, or already have your own definition in mind, have a listen and see if you agree with us!

    Damon is the author of books like Philosophy in the Garden, and On Getting Off: Sex and Philosophy. He has also edited a couple of books on philosophy and martial arts: Engagement, Philosophy and the Martial Arts, and Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness.
    If you missed the first part of my conversation with Damon, you can find it here. It’s about the importance of the study of philosophy when practising martial arts. How we know the difference between bravery and foolhardiness, how can someone engage in violence and still be a good person. And perhaps, most importantly, however we define them, why are swords so damn cool?
    You can also support the show at Patreon.com/TheSwordGuy Patrons get access to the episode transcriptions as they are produced, the opportunity to suggest questions for upcoming guests, and even some outtakes from the interviews. Join us!

    • 51 min
    Teaching Us to Sit Still with Tim Parks

    Teaching Us to Sit Still with Tim Parks

    The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 42

    Tim Parks is a prolific novelist, non-fiction writer and translator and perhaps most importantly from my perspective, he wrote a fantastic memoir on getting into meditation, called Teach us to Sit Still. Those of you that train with me know that meditation is one of the core parts of my practise and in this episode Tim explains the circumstances that led to him going to his first meditation retreat, how it changes people, and how he does it.
    Tim has lived in Italy for many years, and we also talk about translating texts and about horribly illegible Renaissance handwriting. Discussing his book, Medici Money, leads us into a fascinating digression about the meaning and morality of money.
    To find out more about Tim Parks and his work, visit https://timparks.com/
    For more information about the host Guy Windsor check out his website at https://guywindsor.net/
    And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

    • 59 min
    Writing and Walking, with Joanna Penn

    Writing and Walking, with Joanna Penn

    Episode 41

    Joanna Penn is a writer (both fiction and non-fiction), podcaster and ultramarathon walker. She doesn’t do swords, or even a lot of history, but she has been a huge influence on my work and this podcast. We don’t talk about martial arts in this episode, but we do discuss physical training, accomplishing goals, and Joanna’s medieval-style pilgrimage from London’s Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. That’s 182 km or 113 miles on foot. This took place in 2020, which was the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, and we discuss cadaver tombs, memento mori, and what taking such a very long walk teaches you. To read more about Joanna’s pilgrimage, see:
    And a list of questions to consider when taking a pilgrimage:
    For all Joanna Penn’s books, links to her podcast, blog, and support for writers, where you will find resources to help you write, publish and market your book, as well as make a living with your writing:
    For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work check out his website at https://guywindsor.net/
    And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy

    • 47 min
    Your challenge for April

    Your challenge for April

    Eat Well.
    Last month’s challenge was very simple: prioritise sleep. While sleep quality varies hugely, it’s still basically the same thing for everyone: there’s good sleep, there’s bad sleep, and there’s enough sleep or not. We all know what we mean by ‘sleep well’. But what do we mean by ‘eat well’? ‘Eat well’ is incredibly varied. Eat well for what? The challenge this month is simply this: pay attention to what you eat and why.
    No area of human health is more riven with controversy and ill-feeling than discussions around what we eat. Very few people are actually rational about it, and I’m certainly not one of them.
    You can optimise your diet for many different things, and they will all look different. Here are some common priorities, in no particular order:
    1. Athletic performance in your chosen field. Should sprinters eat like marathon runners? Probably not.
    2. Muscle gain. All serious bodybuilders have pretty strict diets, and are often eating far more than they really want to, to persuade their bodies to store so much protein as muscle.
    3. Fat loss. Probably the most common reason people pay attention to their food habits, and also an area where emotions run very high.
    4. Pleasure. Many pleasurable foods are contraindicated by other priorities. If only chocolate was disgusting…
    5. Ethics. The food you choose to buy has been produced, distributed, and sold by people. All three of those steps have ethical considerations. Animal welfare is one; the environmental impact of crops like soy is another. How far the food has travelled is yet another.
    6. Longevity. This usually revolves around restricting calories, fasting, and other unpleasant practices.
    7. Social connections. Many food practices have social dimensions. I have dinner with my wife and kids every day. We sit down together for it, no screens. Sometimes what we eat is affected by that priority; if we’re running late and the kids are hungry, I might make something quickly so we can eat together. Making something that is a treat for the kids usually means it’s not good for my longevity, athletic performance, or fat loss. But it’s very good for my mental health to have strong bonds with my children.
    8. Convenience. How often have we eaten a less-optimal food because it was right there, instead of taking the time to make or find something better?
    9. Cost. Many people can’t afford to buy enough of the higher-quality food that would be better for them. Some people just don’t prioritise food in their budget the way they prioritise other things.
    The principles of nutrition are quite straightforward: eat enough of the things you need but not too much, avoid the things that are bad for you, and spend enough time without eating for your gut to rest. Given that we live in a culture of abundance we tend to classify diets by restrictions, and take the “getting enough” side of things for granted. Those restrictions are:
    1. Restricting specific foods. Many cultures have a taboo food that other cultures suffer no ill effects from. Most weight-loss diets have some form of ‘don’t eat sugar’. Vegetarianism restricts all meat.
    2. Restricting food quantity. You can have this much ice-cream, but no more. For most of my lifetime, most of the popular weight-loss diets have been about calorie counting, and reducing the overall quantity of food.
    3. Restricting when you can eat. Most traditional cultures have periodic fasts, and we all fast while we’re asleep. One currently popular form of this (which I actually find very useful for my body and my purposes) is the not-very-well-named “intermittent fasting”, in which you restrict food to an eating window, such as 14 hours of no food, 10 hours of food (so if you eat breakfast at 7am, you need to stop eating by 5pm). Popular versions of this include 16:8 and 20:4.
    But my own parents remember food

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Sin_ikol ,

THE sword podcast to listen to!

Guy Windsor is a fantastic teacher and is now expanding his reach into podcasting. His first year has been incredible so far, introducing a wide range of guests in terms of experience and demographics.

Mediaevalist ,

Clever and informative

Guy Windsor is one of those people I scanned through other podcasts to find, skipping right to his episode.
He’s a consummate teacher, a deeply-read and well-rounded person with a relaxed style and so much information to share.
I was very excited when the Sword Guy podcast started up - and if you’re interested in medieval martial arts, sports, teaching, training, or the betterment of the human being then I think that you’ll find something here for you too.

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