Weapons were a normal part of life in Medieval Europe.
Everyone would have a weapon on them, be it a child, peasant, merchant or a soldier, each one of them would have at least a dagger/knife at their belt, short sword (messer) or a sabre (dussack). Military class would have access to a long range weapons such as spear, pikes, polearms of various kind while nobility (knights) would have their own state of art weapons such as longsword.
Because of that medieval combat was designed as a universal system rather than a set of instructions for a specific weapon. It started with Ringen – unarmed combat self-defence system based on throws, takedowns and arm locks which created a foundation for all other weapons. Each new weapon added additional distance that needed to be covered by the opponent which created additional layers of protection: dagger/knife – close distance, sword/messer – medium distance, spear, polearms, staff – long distance.
At Cork Blademasters we start with the most advanced weapon of them all – Knight’s Longsword which can bridge all distances and overcome all other weapons thanks to the skill and technique. Once you learn it you will have a full overview of the system and all other weapons will become just another extension of the master weapon. At the beginner level we teach longsword only.
At advanced level we learn the whole system: ringen (an unarmed self defence skill), knife/dagger, messer/sabre, longsword, polearms. While Longsword still remains our primary weapon, all other weapons are being trained at regular intervals in order to develop understanding of the system and the ability to switch to whatever is available in any particular situation. After all, medieval combat is designed to keep you alive. It’s a survival system.
But that’s not all!
We play in other Arts too! Currently we also train Italian Sidesword from the Bolognese Tradition and in near future we will also add Sabre to our tournament ready weapon repertoire.