Chase Driskell - 03 Dec 2017
I am a HEMA practitioner out of a group that studies Joachim Meyer and is experimenting with Bolognese sidesword and I.33 sword and buckler. Accordingly, I was looking for something of an all-purpose sidesword or one handed trainer that could handle something of each of those styles and mixed weapon bouts against longswords in particular. I found it in this trainer. About the sword proper - The blade is about 37" long, with a point of balance at approximately 5" above the cross. The photos on the page do not do the blade itself justice - it is heavier and more durable than it looks from what you see here, so take note accordingly. The blade is 3/16 inch thick at the thickest point on the strong, tapering down to 1/8 inch at the tip to give you an idea of the dimensions. We tested this against Regenyei longswords in freeplay and it has enough blade presence to achieve an overbind easily on those longswords even against some pressure. If you do buy it, it will be heavier than expected from the photos, and feels like a great cutter and thruster. Be prepared for a forearm exercise, as the blade presence can work against a fencer who isn't accustomed to a heavier single handed blade. Pros: Good blade presence, POB 5" helps with cutting. Enough room to use fairly large lacrosse gloves (if you finger the ricasso as in Bolognese sidesword). Thick rounded off edges on the strong and the weak of the blade. Cons: the metal on the upper part of the cross is rough, so if you finger the ricasso, wear gloves or file it down. Doesn't come with a protective cap for the tip, and tip is not spatulated, so invest in a cap in order to protect your training partners before taking it into anything but solo training. I gave this a 4/5 for a rating because it was somewhat rough on the top part of the cross, immediately adjacent to the blade and it does not come with a cap for the tip, but this is something that I had members of my study group practice with and nearly all of them (Meyerites) liked it. This is one we would invest in as a beginner sidesword trainer and for mixed weapon bouts, as it seems to handle medium intensity sparring well!