Historical swordsmanship - VAF
Coach Bill
Coach Bill, Director of the Historical Swordsmanship program.

Beginning Levels

VAF's popular introductory-level courses in historical swordsmanship (offered for both Youth and Teen & Adults) teach the basics of fighting with the longsword (the Medieval knightly weapon) and the rapier (the dueling sword of the Renaissance). Students may then specialize in either weapon in at the intermediate and advanced levels.

Prerequisite: None (no fencing or martial arts background is necessary)
Curriculum: Six weekly classes cover the history of European swords and swordsmanship and teach the basics of footwork and body mechanics. Using safe sword simulators, students are introduced to the basic guards and strikes of the 15th-century German Liechtenauer school of fencing with the longsword. Using rapier simulators, students are introduced to the basic stances, guards and techniques of Italian rapier combat. For both weapons, students drill techniques individually and in pairs, and are allowed to engage in safe free fencing under the supervision of the instructor.

Equipment: Students should wear loose, comfortable athletic clothes: tee shirt, sweat pants (no shorts, jeans, or pants with protruding pockets), and non-scuffing athletic footwear. A pair of gloves is required. Fencing gear (mask, jacket) and sword simulators are all available at VAF. Click here to sign up.

Prerequisite: Introductory

Curriculum: Our preparatory level will span six weekly classes to build off of the techniques previously learned in the introductory class for both the longsword and rapier. Students will learn proper decision making under pressure, strategy, and higher level fencing skills. More importantly, students will spend more time fencing, giving them the necessary foundation to move on to the Intermediate level.

Equipment: Same as Preparatory — all fencing gear is available at VAF. Click here for a schedule of upcoming Historical Swordsmanship classes.

What is Historical Swordsmanship?
Youth Program
Teen/Adult Programs
Beginning Levels
Upper Levels
Class Schedule