Steel training session

While the Coronavirus pandemic has played out, the opportunity to take part in major reenactment battles has been extremely limited and many of us are missing the sounds of metal clashing on metal! Now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted we have restarted some training sessions in the open air, although we have kept these to plastic training weapons. Over the first weekend of May, a hardy group of the Suffolk Swords team braved the rain and hail to try out a small training session with steel weapons and plate armour.

It took some time for us to kit-up for battle. At events we would normally have some helpful “squires” within the living history camps to help with the harder-to-reach buckles and straps but no such luxury here! We had a quick warm-up before getting on with some basic drills and then moved on to some mixed weapon training including arming swords, hand-and-a-half swords, axes and assorted pole-arms. 

The training agenda included:
1v1 sparring – Swords
1v1 sparring – Swords vs pole-arms
Techniques – Sword vs pole-arm, dagger vs sword
Fighting in a pair (why a good ‘tank’ is your friend)
2v2 sparring – Sword + pole-arm vs sword + pole-arm

It was hard work and reminded us how quickly we can get out of condition through the lack of steel training however we all greatly enjoyed getting back into the swing of things. The weather was probably the greatest hazard – although we were safely warm and dry inside the our kit the grass soon got slippery and in order to protect our kit from rust it needed drying and oiling at the end of the training session. We are hoping to get some more similar training in very soon, not least because we have events like Stonor Park coming up on 22nd/23rd May and the Essex Country Fair at Cressing Temple on 12th/13th June.

Hopefully see you there!

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