Part 1: European Edged Weapon Combat Systems

It is a common misconception that Europeans had no form of matrial arts, either with edged weapons, or hand to hand. This misconception is perpetuated because of the very early and fast adaptation and use of firearms by the europeans, whereas the Asian countries either banned the use of firearms, or found them too inaccurate or too expensive to deploy in the necessary numbers. Japan in particular banned the use of firearms until the end of the 18th century, as they found if offensive that any peasant could kill a trained samurai at range with a firearm. The Europeans had just as rich, complicated, and ultimately effective martial combat systems as the Asians, but they fell by the wayside with the use of firearms. There are many combat manuals for European Martial Arts, and a resurgence of those who are studying them. One such organization that advocates the teachings of these systems is ARMA.(Website link) ARMA is generally based on the German and Italian forms of combat. The main weapon of which is the Longsword, but is not limited to just one weapon like Kendo. Here in this article, ZAC intends to educate you in the devestating effectiveness of European Martial Arts.

Watch this to see how effective Longsword is against another armed opponent. This at 1/4 to 1/2 speed. Full speed is too fast to demonstrate the techniques. (We know zombies aren’t going to swing swords, this is in case you encounter other survivors armed with swords or machetes.) These moves are also devestatingly effective against unarmed opponents/zombies.

In addition to the Longsword, Europeans used a weapon called a Rondel, it is much like a Dagger, or Dirk, but specifically designed to split chainmail links and pierce other types of armor. Usually with a triangle shaped blade, and commonly only one sharpened edge.

Watch this to see Rondel Fighting. It also applies to other knife fighting techniques with single and double edged knives. The purpose of this is to slash and stab your opponent.

These Videos are intended to illustrate how devestating and effective European Martial Arts can be. One can only imagine how effective these tactics would be against the undead. When I was an Active member of ARMA, we trained one on one, but we also trained against multiple armed opponents. I once fought and won against 3 armed opponents. Since zombies aren’t going to be swinging swords, using this style of combat could prove to be outstandingly effective.

Here are some more videos that showcase the use of Medieval European Edged Weapons:

—Longsword vs. Katana Sparring (Good east vs west fight showing the differences in styles)
—This is a sword form you can practice to see how demanding swordsmanship is, but its a form you can master in an afternoon. (BTW love this guys beard!)

I realize this is more of a visual and video filled article, but to discribe this in words is nearly impossible. Please watch all of the videos before you comment. This will be a series highlighting edged weapon fighting forms that are easily available for study in civilized parts of the world.(Americas, Europe, ect.)

You can also get equipment to practice this European Martial Art for very cheap.

Waster(Practice Sword) We recommend wood or plastic. The foam swords wear out fast and don’t accurately portray the fighting characteristics of the sword. These range in price from $7-$30

If you wish to spar with others, then there is some safety equipment that you will need.
Fencing Mask
Gloves (Hockey/Lacrosse gloves are preferred. Or Armored gloves)
Arm Pads
Shin pads (Not necessary, but geting wacked in the shin really hurts like hell.)
A lot of this stuff can be found cheaper at large sporting goods stores, or in used equipment stores like Play it again sports.