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Traditional Fencing

Group classes and private instruction held in Jackson, Madison, Ridgeland, & Brandon.


Mississippi Academy of Arms
Longsword Class

Academy Headmaster Rez Johnson with three of his Longsword students

The Mississippi Academy of Arms offers instruction in several styles of Historical Swordsmanship, one of which is the German Langschwert or Longsword.

The Longsword was a European weapon originally used by knights and military men during the late Medieval ages through the Renaissance (c. 1250 to 1550 AD). Longswords had long cruciform hilts with grips six inches or more in length and straight double-edged blades which were usually over thirty-five inches in length or longer. They weighed between 2 and 4.5 pounds.

The longsword was primarily a two handed weapon which could also be handled single handed if necessary. The longsword was used for striking, cutting, and thrusting and all of its parts (blade, crossguard, and pommel) were used for offensive purposes. Half-swording (like two-handed stick fighting), disarms, joint locks, grappling, and take downs were all a part of Longsword training.

The main style of Longsword taught at the Mississippi Academy of Arms is the German School of Longsword, primarily the Liechtenauer method upon which Talhoffer later based his martial art.

"In the year 1389 we find the first written evidence of a fencing master who shaped the way of fighting with this weapon for a very long time." Johannes Liechtenauer formulated a pragmatic martial art around the use of the Longsword. His method included fighting in armor as well as on foot and on Horseback. There is no surviving manual written by Liechtenauer, however several of his students wrote copied his cryptic verses and wrote short explanations to them.

"To reconstruct Liechtenauer’s Long sword technique we use primarily five surviving fencing manuals which all explain the teaching of Liechtenauer: Peter von Danzig, Hans von Speyer, Eucliv, Sigmund Ringeck, and an anonymous work known under the title Goliath. As secondary sources we use the fencing manuals of Johachim Myer and the House Book which is generally attributed to the Priest Hanko Döbringer. Every reconstruction of an historical fighting art can only represent the current state of research. Even though we can be sure about the principles of the art thanks to the many sources it’s possible that new sources we may find in the future will offer different points of view on certain aspects."

German Longsword Class
Thursdays: 7:30 - 8:30 pm (Ages: 13 & Up)

For more information about how you can study this fascinating historical weapon and other Western Martial Arts at the Mississippi Academy of Arms contact us.

"In martial arts, as in life, the real winner is not the person who defeats another human opponent, but rather the person who defeats his own inadequacies, who develops self-discipline and self-control over his own thoughts, tongue, attitude, and actions. Who aspires to continually improve himself to become a better martial artist, and more importantly a better person, by developing the traditional Christian virtues and character traits of honesty, integrity, courtesy, reliability, loyalty, patience, perseverance and genteel manners. Who chooses to live his life, in all he does, both public and private, honorably in accordance with this code of conduct. This is the true meaning of The Code of Honor. Without this code of honor a martial art is reduced to a mere sport with no inherent life-changing values to contribute. The Code of Honor is considered paramount in the USTFA and at the Mississippi Academy of Arms." Rez Johnson




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Mississippi Academy of Arms