The longsword, a long, two-handed sword favoured by knights in the late medieval period, is one of several weapons we study at the Noble Science Academy. This is how we approach the longsword in our fencing classes:
Sources: Fiore and Liechtenauer are the core of our longsword system, but we include techniques and principles from a variety of other longsword sources (most notably Paurñfeindt and Wallerstein).
Methodology: We strive to stay as close to the manuals as we can, even while we recognize that our system—though it is grounded entirely in historical techniques and principles—is put together in our own way.
Interpretations: We have rigourous standards in how we interpret techniques from the manuals. We’ve studied enough to be able to directly delve into the German and Italian to seek clarification where necessary, though we are not experts in either language.
Curriculum: The curriculum is structured to work from basic principles focusing on the core of the Art of the longsword, and expand on that into other aspects. It is specifically designed to teach fencers to be comfortable working in the bind so that there is no fear in them or when they reach what the Germans would call Krieg.
Teaching approach: Techniques, principles, and even guards are introduced only as they are used. For this reason, some techniques or guards that might be considered quite “basic” are not introduced until fairly late in the curriculum.
Terminology: We use both German and Italian terminology, and we expect students to learn both in their study of the longsword. We encourage students to learn what the source of each technique is so that they may understand the relationship between the manuals. As a rule, our students have no problems discussing longsword techniques and principles with those who study German longsword or Fiore.
Ranking system: We have an established ranking system (inspired by the historical London Masters of Defense). The requirements for achieving even basic ranks in the Noble Science Academy are very demanding.