Sword and Shield DVD Review


Sword and Shield (2011), by Agilitas.tv, covers basic principles and techniques of sword and buckler combat. It is 85 minutes long. It draws mostly from I.33, but it discusses other manuals as well. It doesn't cover the entire I.33, but it does take the time to suggest how to stand, how to move, when to strike, how to strike etc. They show techniques from a variety of angles, at a variety of speeds. It also shows solo drills for practicing.

This DVD has four parts:-

  1. Historical Introduction
  2. Anatomical and Physical Basics
    - Biomechanics I: Pressue, Strength & Weakness
    - Biomechanics II: Reach
    - Biomechanics III: Cutting technique & Posture
  3. Martial Basics: Wards, Actions, & Tactics
    - Right Shoulder
    - Distance and Tempo
    - Follow-up actions from the bind
    - Left Shoulder
    - At the chest
    - Underarm
    - Revision of Wards and Attacks covered so far
    - Reflections on Tactics
  4. Appendix
    - Appropriate Equipment
    - Freeplay

If I had to choose between this and the Obsesseo DVD I would choose this one. It's coverage of biomechanics, stances, tactics, and technique are deep. Following this interpretation I feel that I have better balance, and I'm better able to work from binds, or follow up a retreating opponent. I found myself watching Obsesseo and trying out the I.33 moves in it through the methods shown in Sword and Shield. Despite that, I still think that Obsesseo is a good buy because it shows more of the I.33 manual.

Not only do Agilitas explain in depth, but they also explain what makes early S & B manuals like the I:33 different from the later manuals. Of which a key difference is that early teachers recommended that the buckler cover the sword hand, whereas some later teachers recommended moving S & B independently. This depth makes it easier to know when to apply the techniques of the DVD and when they need to be changed for different tactical scenarios.

In summary, I am pleased to own this DVD. I feel it has enriched my understanding of fighting with Sword & Buckler. I believe I am a better fighter for having watched and applied it's teachings.

DVD Website: Hammaborg


kahunabig's picture

I emailed Hammaborg, thanking them for producing the DVD and got a response from Roland. I've posted our email conversation in the following comments.

kahunabig's picture

Hi Roland,

The DVD medium does work, I practise regularly from it. I bought Stephen Hands Sword & Buckler book a few years ago, I skimmed through it, practised one technique from Under Arm and never touched it again. It was too hard to interpet his pictures, I had doubts about his biomechanics, and I was too lazy to try harder. The multiple angles, and speeds in the DVD make it easy to follow along.

By all means link to it. My purpose in writing the review is to encourage other people to buy it. Which will encourage you to make more. I get more DVDs that make me a better fighter. Everybody wins .

My friend Colin McKinstry has also published a review http://www.swordsmanship.co.nz/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1281 he writes from the point of view of an instructor, as opposed to me who is a junior student.

Just out of interest, how accurate is the English speaking narrators pronunciation of Deutsch words? My Deutsch is quite poor, and I would like to do my best to say things right.


kahunabig's picture

Hi Roland,

Thank you for newer interpretation of 3rd ward. I'll give it a go. Colin is a big fan of the false edge, he teaches in another city so it is rare that I get to catch up with him. And that is what makes your DVD particularly valuable. I belong to a club where the emphasis is more on hitting one another, and less on studying historical texts. DVDs are a good way to develop skill in the absence of a skilled instructor.

What about underarm? The interpretation in the DVD has the buckler extended out in front, but the I:33 suggests that the buckler might be held closer to the body? Also the hand position of At the Breast appears to have the true edge up, but in the DVD the true faces out.

I found a series of audio translations at http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18593 by a Dutchman, couldn't find Keith Farrell's native German speaker.

Can I post an edited version of this email conversation on my review page?


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