Medieval Swords and Swordfighting

I have been interested in swords and swordfighting from an early age. I have a number of swords in my collection, and finally in 2008 I discovered a swordfighting school "only" an hour plus away from home. I really wish I had found such a school when I was a teenager! It seems almost a shame to begin such an athletic endeavour later in life. Still, better to start now rather than wait until I am even older :)

Swords have been used by humans for attack and defense since the earliest days of chipping rock into shapes. They only faded out of use when gunpowder began to take over. In those long years in between, swords have been refined and perfected for their purpose - defending yourself from harm, bringing harm onto others.

To start with, here are a few of my swords. Click on the image to learn more about swords and their parts.

Medieval Swords
Swords and Sword Parts


Next we have my notes on actual swordfighting. I give great thanks to the Academy of Knightly Arts for their fine instruction and information in period swordfighting. Any useful knowledge in this area is due to their patience and assistance. Anything wrong in this area is probably me mis-understanding or mis-transcribing my notes, so please let me know and I'll update the information!

Swordwork Footwork
Warm Up Exercises - Without Sword
Warm Up Exercises - With Sword
Swordfighting Stance
Advance and Retreat
Pass Forward and Pass Back
Lunge and Fade
Step Across and Pivot
Diagonal and Slope
Empty Fade


Audio Files for Sword Footwork Practice

Swordwork Stances / Guards
Boar's Tooth
Front Guard
Guard of the Woman
Half Iron Gate Guard
Full Iron Gate Guard
Long Point
Short Guard
Tail Guard
Two Horn Guard
Window Guard
Posta drill - Short
Posta drill - Full


Making / Tuning a Practice Sword
Sizing your Sword
Cutting your Sword down to size
Wrapping the Sword Hilt
Guard Decor Image


Glossary of Sword and Swordfighting Terms
What To Wear to Swordfighting Practice


Academy of Knightly Arts - Live Sword Training School in New England

Medieval Conflict
Medieval Bows and Arrows
Medieval Keeps and Castles
Medieval Weapons

Life in Medieval Days

Lisa's Medieval Romances
Seeking the Truth
Knowing Yourself
A Sense of Duty


Online Literary Magazines

Lisa Shea's Homepage