Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Foam Sword or Axe is Best for Beginners


When it comes to teaching someone the ins and outs of using a sword or axe in combat or in sporting events, the commonly held advice is for a beginner to use a weapon made of foam to prevent injuries. In fact, ancient fighters often used wooden-made swords back in the day when knights ruled the land. The thinking was, “why expose a newbie to dangerous swordplay?”

Another aspect of learning the art of using a sword or axe is linked to the term “swordsmanship.” In general, this term refers to “learned” skills that today include the use of swords and an axe made of foam to prevent dangerous injuries during fencing or lessons in the ancient art of the sword and axe as a weapon. There are textbook examples in history books of Vikings, medieval knights and others who have used these weapons in battle or as a sport.

Swordsmanship means knowing your way around a sword

The need to train young and old, male and female, in the art of swordsmanship means instructors need tools that are proven safe. Thus, there are many schools and individuals who use swords and an axe made of hard foam as a “safe duplicate”; state fencing instructors commenting online today about their tools of the trade. In turn, a modern day instruction book states that, “until the student is fully comfortable with a real sword or axe, duplicates made of foam should be used.”

Meanwhile, the student may wish to shift from a “fake sword or axe” to a real one made of steel when and if the instructor feels the student’s mindful of the responsibility of holding and using an actual weapon during a sporting or training exercise. There are many top fencing and sword fighting services featured online today at leading sport and training websites. There are also traditional brick and mortar gyms and other facilities that cater in the art of swordsmanship, fencing and even fighting with an axe. Again, the emphasis is always on personal safety when using either a real sword or axe because the person holding such a weapon can actually kill someone very easily if not trained in various safety protocols.

Developing proper swordplay skills

At the end of the day, anyone trained in the use of a real sword or axe must have a good reason to use such a weapon. For instance, a textbook training scenario for all people who use a real sword and fence is to spend time practicing safety measures. In turn, there’s a commonly held point of view with swordsmanship instructors that, “using a sword made of foam” helps prevent needless accidents. The foam replacement sword is also a great teaching tool for various safety techniques that can only be learned when the student is actually using a sword or axe in a fencing or battle scenario.

The development of a swordsman includes:

- Teaching both male and female students that a sword or axe is a very dangerous weapon, and it should be treated with that point of view and respect.

- Helping new students learn the essential swordsmanship rules of footwork and posture because such rules are still being used in official fencing circles; including fencing tournaments, college and civilian fencing schools and even top swordsmanship competitions.

- Establishing a system of parrying and attack methods using foam sword or axe first before a student is ready for actual combat.

Overall, there’s a longstanding point of view that anyone who is being trained to use a sword or axe should first use one made of foam because it’s best for beginners.

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