179 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

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 ‱ 9 Ratings

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

    Horse Armour at the Royal Armouries, with Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys

    Horse Armour at the Royal Armouries, with Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys

    For transcriptions and more detailed shownotes, please go to: https://swordschool.com/podcast/horse-armour-at-the-royal-armouries-with-eleanor-wilkinson-keys/
    To support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy
    Today’s episode is with Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys, who is Assistant Curator of Arms and Armour at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. She has an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Leeds, and works with the European armour and edge weapons collections, which makes us all extremely jealous, and the Asian and African collection which also makes us extremely jealous. She works there with Natasha Bennett, who you may recall from Episode 82.
    In our conversation, we talk about how Eleanor got into her career and why a jousting helmet sparked her interest in working at the Royal Armouries. Ellie’s particular interest is in later jousting, when the kit got really weird and wonderful. We chat about some of the fantastic decoration on both the horses’ and knights’ armour, such as dragons, snails with wings, and even squirrels. 
    We also talk about the best way to visit a big museum where there is just too much to see. Ellie tells us which pieces at the Royal Armouries she would make a beeline for.
    Finally, Guy sets Ellie a challenge, and if you are looking at this after 28th November 2024, you’ll be able to see the results of that challenge!
    Photos:
    https://royalarmouries.org/collection/object/object-20471
    https://royalarmouries.org/collection/object/object-1292
     

    • 57 min
    Bronze Age Britons Were Weird, with Dr James Dilley

    Bronze Age Britons Were Weird, with Dr James Dilley

    For transcriptions and more detailed shownotes, please go to: https://swordschool.com/podcast/bronze-age-britons-were-weird-with-dr-james-dilley/ 
    To support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy
    Dr James Dilley is an archaeologist and craftsman specializing in prehistoric technologies such as flintknapping, and casting bronze weaponry. He is the founder of Ancient Craft, a company that provides expertise and experiences to individuals and educational institutions.
    James has three archaeology degrees, which seems like an awful lot. He has a BSc exploring polished stone axes, an MA focusing on bone flintknapping hammers, and a PhD from the University of Southampton on Upper Paleolithic hunting technology. So if you get lost in the woods with just a stone, James is clearly your man.
    In our conversation, we talk about how James got into his career and started Ancient Craft. We talk about casting swords out of bronze, how to do it and what the swords are like. Listen right to the end for a bonus question about hilt design. I can confirm, casting your broadsword is really good fun. I did that with James a while ago. Here’s a video of me casting the sword:
    ​https://vimeo.com/886422500
    Heres a link to the Grotsetter sword: https://nms.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-100-102-426-C&scache=1yxxwujgq5&searchdb=scran
    We also talk about some of the weird finds (or things we haven’t found) from the Bronze Age period. For example, the Tollense battlefield site in Germany, where after the huge battle all the bodies were just left there. Another weirdness is the complete lack of Bronze Age armour found in Britain, when there was loads just over the Channel in France. Why didn’t the Brits wear armour? Were they just too brave? Also, why didn’t they eat any fish in Bronze Age Britain? And what did they do with their dead? Why can’t we find human bones? Surely the theory that people were cannibals can’t be true? Listen to the episode for speculative answers to these questions and more!

    • 2 hrs 4 min
    Community and the Club with Samantha West

    Community and the Club with Samantha West

    For transcriptions and more detailed shownotes, please go to: https://swordschool.com/podcast/community-and-the-club-with-samantha-west/
    To support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy
    Sam West is an instructor at the Dueling Weapons Academy of Renaissance Fencing aka DWARF, a historical martial arts club in Barrie, Ontario, where she teaches Italian longsword, 1.33 sword and buckler, and rapier.
    We chat about running a non-profit club and creating an open and inclusive space for everyone to take part in HEMA. Sam is passionate about relating the club to the community, and she tells us about the different projects they get involved in to help the local community and also create awareness of HEMA. 
    Amongst other things, she's also involved with running The Gathering of the Blades, which is not a tournament. It’s a historical martial arts buffet of a weekend seminar.
    We also talk about smallsword, aka murder spikes, access to equipment, bringing together women in HEMA, translating sources, and starting your own club to have people to play with.
    You can find Sam’s school at Barrieswords.ca.

    • 1 hr 40 min
    The Politics of Eastern and Western Martial Arts, with Jonathan Bluestein

    The Politics of Eastern and Western Martial Arts, with Jonathan Bluestein

    For transcriptions and more detailed shownotes, please go to: https://swordschool.com/podcast/the-politics-of-eastern-and-western-martial-arts-with-jonathan-bluestein/ 
    To support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy
     
    Jonathan Bluestein is a martial artist and author who contacted Guy with some interesting questions related to his research. Jonathan is looking into the similarities and differences between the traditional Chinese martial arts and traditional European Martial Arts, both in Medieval and Renaissance times as well as in our everyday lives today.
     
    Jonathan’s background is in traditional oriental martial arts in general and he practices and teaches traditional Chinese martial arts from his school in Israel. He is the author of a number of books on the martial arts as well as other topics. He’s also a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine.
     
    Jonathan is currently in the midst of working on a book called Martial Arts Politics Explained. In this episode we discuss how we might classify different types of martial arts school, and how the structures and hierarchies of different types of schools inform the politics within the school. Jonanthan explains how Chinese martial arts schools work and the culture of family and disciples within them. We discuss how the cultures within Western historical martial arts schools compare.
     
    This is a wide ranging conversation which also covers philosophy, the war in Israel, straight swords versus curved swords, and Chinese medicine.
     
    You may find this list of terminology useful, which was helpfully provided by Jonathan:
     
    Names of Jonathan’s teachers:
    Master Nitzan Oren
    Grand-Master Zhou Jingxuan 
    Master Sapir Tal
    Master Stephen Jackowicz
    Master Brian Hall
     
    Martial arts Jonathan has studied and have taught:
    Xing Yi Quan
    Pigua Zhang
    Jook Lum Southern Mantis
    Bagua Zhang
    Li Jia Shaolin Quan (Li Family Shaolin)
     
    Weapons mentioned:
    Dao (Chinese curved sword)
    Miao Dao (Chinese equivalent of the Nodachi/Odachi)
     
    Historical figures and periods:
    General Qi Jiguang 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi_Jiguang
    Japanese Pirates
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wokou
    Meiji Restoration
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Restoration
    Chinese Cultural terms:
    Wuguan - 'Martial Hall' - Chinese equivalent term to 'Dojo'. 
    Kwan - the Cantonese pronunciation of 'Guan', and short for 'Wuguan'. 
    Gongfu - A high level of skill, acquired through longstanding effort and practice
    Gongfu Family (Gongfu Jia) - the martial arts family within a given lineage, of teachers and disciples
    Shifu - a teacher in a traditional relationship of a Master and an apprentice
    Tudi - a disciple of a Shifu - the Apprentice
    Bai Shi - the ceremony with which a Tudi is accepted into the Gongfu Family. 

    • 2 hrs 12 min
    Medieval Music and the Troubadours, with Alix Evans

    Medieval Music and the Troubadours, with Alix Evans

    For transcriptions and more detailed shownotes, please go to: https://swordschool.com/podcast/medieval-music-and-the-troubadours-with-alix-evans/
    To support the show, come join the Patrons at  https://www.patreon.com/theswordguy
    Alix Evans is a professional performer and teacher of historical music, founder of Falsa Musica, and has even fenced rapier in the SCA.
    We talk about what led Alix into becoming a musician, with a mention of her husband David Biggs. (Check out his episode here.) Alix explains what it is about historical music that is so interesting and how it differs from how music is commonly thought to work today.
    To listen to some troubadour music performed by Alix, at the end of the episode you can hear:
    Amours u trop tard me sui pris - attributed to Blance de Castille (who was queen of France around the beginning of the 13th century), voice and harp
    Deus enim rorem in ilas misit - by Hildegard of Bingen - this is is in phrygian!, just voice
    Ecce tempus gaudii - an instrumental setting of a 12th century song, just harp
    Gloria sanctorum - a 14th century chant from Ireland, voice and harp
    Frondens virga - another Hildegard piece just because it’s pretty, voice and symphonia (early hurdy-gurdy)
    Reis glorios - 12th century troubadour piece by Giraut de Bornelh, just voice
    Troubadours came from Occitan in around the 11th and 12th centuries. They were a diverse set of people, writing poetry and setting it to music. Some were the wandering minstrels we think of today, but many stayed in one place.
    We talk about how to make a living from your passion by having a ‘portfolio career’, and Alix tells us about her new project uncovering unknown and unfamiliar ways of making music and bringing them to audiences.
     
    For more information about Alix and her work, see her website: https://www.alix-evans.com/

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Swords in South Africa, with David Wagenfeld

    Swords in South Africa, with David Wagenfeld

    For transcriptions and more detailed shownotes, please go to: https://swordschool.com/podcast/swords-in-south-africa-with-david-wagenfeld/ 
    David Wagenfeld is a fencing coach, creator of the En Garde model for teaching fencing in schools, and the co-founder of Table Mountain Fencing and Historical European Martial Arts. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa and has been instrumental in creating the HEMA scene in the country.
    We talk about how he got into sport fencing, then coaching, then HEMA. He feels that coaching fencing is what he was born to do, but fencing in South Africa doesn’t have the history that it does in Europe, and the culture is very different.
    David tells us about the model he has created from scratch, and how it has created some extremely successful fencers, as well as a broad base of lots of students having fun. Of course, there is the equipment problem, and the challenge of being so far away from everywhere else. Over the years there has been a lot of improvisation!
    We also talk about sports psychology, what makes a good tournament fencer, and what sport fencing can teach HEMA.
    Link to En Garde Fencing
     

    • 1 hr 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Mws027 ,

Eye-opening 😁

Subtly opening up the world of historical martial arts. I have learned a lot, and I have been inspired to try new things, big fan and I hope it continues

Pocad The Magnificent ,

An absolute gem!

Not just swords, but history, how to live better and even the meaning of life.

Donadqc ,

Not just swords, but always a joy

This is the one podcast that I look forward to the most each week. Always an interesting, engaging and illuminating discussion around something to do with historical martial arts and swords, but moving off into related tangents such as dogfighting in war planes, falconry, medieval fashions, video games, The Lord of The Rings, Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars, footwear, you name it! Each spoil side is an hour well spent. Listen in, you won’t regret it.

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