Since the start of the pandemic, I have had a lack of people to fight. In any case, those that do want to fight don't want to come within 6 feet of me. :D

(Additionally, pole-arms are not as studied as I wish and can quickly become deadly!)

So this leaves me to train on my own. I am aware and use the Meyer Square, Farfalle di Ferro, but I am looking to make a pell and give myself something else to do.

Are there any known historic documents/treatises on training with a pell or other self-training techniques?

  • Nobody becomes deadly quickly, except to civilians. Don't get into swordfights unless you've devoted your life to the art. Even then it's not a good idea, and if your name is not Bob Anderson or Yu Chenghui, you will probably die. Full contact sparring with blunt metal swords is fun, but that is distinct from high-level fencing, and surviving an engagement. (Most engagements in FIE and HEMA today are surely "mutual death".) Don't mistake sport fencing and cutting stationary objects with the real thing.
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 10, 2021 at 22:43
  • @DukeZhou Yes, using "fighting" in my initial post was a bit of glibness and I thought it would be obvious given that this is a HEMA post. Alas, "obvious" cannot apply to internet communication. Fighting here means "HEMA sparring with blunt (but still 'combat ready') weapons and a non-compliant partner wearing helmet/gorget/gambeson/gloves/other protective gear". I apologize for any distress this bit of wink-and-nod abbreviation may have caused.
    – PipperChip
    Aug 11, 2021 at 13:37
  • Understood. I get worried b/c there is a lot of blade fetishization going on these days, and people confusing cutting stationary objects with swordsmanship, which is actually the art of defending the body with the sword, such that protective gear is only one part of real training. I'd recommend finding some "rice & beans" sparring drills, and practice them until your hands bleed. Use sword analogs of sparring weight, lighter weight, and significantly heavier weight. Go slow with the extra-heavy—there the idea is to build muscle and tendon strength without injuring the joints.
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 16, 2021 at 23:22
  • Drill the basics, especially footwork. I still feel lucky to have had an excellent FIE saber instructor when I was starting out, because he taught me how to drill for sparring. I personally find the Chinese system more extensive because it's extant, not reconstructed, but we come to sparring last, only after many years, where western starts out with it. The main thing is just repetition, repetition, repetition, until the body mechanics are natural, then two-person drilling to train the reflexes. Sparring is fun, but for those who don't practice basics, it's just reinforcing bad habits.
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 16, 2021 at 23:25


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.