Tag Archives: sword


Although in this case I am defining armed combat as any hand-to-hand martial art that includes weapons (i.e; sticks, swords, knives), the same advice would also be applicable to unarmed fighting as well. Nonetheless, I am aiming these guidelines more at the fencer than the boxer.

Rule 1; You train in order to fight, so you will fight the way you train. If you train with low intensity, or pause after each technique, then you will wind up fighting the same way. True, beginners need to take the time to learn basic skills and correct their form, but once the basic movements are under their belt, it is imperative to include drills that are fluid and dynamic. After you memorize the sequence you are trying to learn you should begin practising it as though you were fighting. Circle and move in and out as you work with your partner, and when you go to execute the technique you should be sure that you are moving arrhythmically.

Movement in and out of measure;

Outside measure (both combatants are outside the distance in which they can strike each other)

-Don’t be static. Even when you are safely out of range you should not stand still. To use rapier and dagger as an example; a fencer in this style could stand in a scientifically perfect guard, with their sword covering one line and their dagger the other. However, if their opponent is clever, standing in such a perfect guard will tell them far too much. By standing still you may be covering yourself perfectly, but you are also doing very little to disguise your intent. Your opponent can see exactly how your weight is distributed, and therefore can deduce the most likely ways that you will move. Deception is paramount, especially when dealing with edged weapons.

-Move slowly, staying relaxed and calm. Rock slightly on the balls of your feet, circle and angle around your opponent while keeping measure. Don’t let your posture reveal your intentions.

Wide measure (Combatants can strike each other with a single, committed attack.)

-This measure is the one that demands the most deception. It important not to give anything away to your opponent, since an error on your part could result in immediate defeat.

-Move a little more, bounce or shift your weight just enough to keep yourself loose and disguise your intent

-Circle in both directions, and don’t let your opponent corner you into just circling one way

-Cover yourself with a guard but be loose and relaxed

Narrow measure (Combatants can strike each other without a lunge, by leaning, stepping, or reaching.)

-Never stop moving

-Gain entry with an angled approach, never step directly in to the centre line as your first attack

-If your opponent strikes first, defend while stepping to the side, not backwards,

-Try to set up rhythms and them immediately break them

-Keep the flow of the fight going until you are outside of measure again

-Don’t pause after an attack, even if it is successful, but recover out with a side step or in with an angled step

Narrowest measure (Combatants are close enough to grapple.)

-Don’t ‘arm wrestle’, move tactically and positionally

-Roll around the pressure from your opponent, don’t try to fight it with brute strength

-Attack and defend constantly without any pause or unnecessary pushing and shoving, if something doesn’t work, immediately move to plan B.


What Makes Scatha Combat Guild Different?

What makes Scatha Combat Guild different? Good question. Well, actually, you didn’t ask it, I did. It’s still a good question, though, even if I’m answering it to myself. So I’ll get on with explaining;

SCG is different for several reasons: First of all, we are not a historical martial arts school, but neither are we strictly modern in our curriculum. We have aspects of both approaches to combat training, and we have blended them in a way that hasn’t been done before. Not only that, but we have developed a physical conditioning program as part of our classes that bring phenomenal results in terms of strength, stamina, agility, balance, posture, and body awareness. I’m afraid I can’t talk too much about that part, it’s a bit of a trade secret. Someone would have to go to the trouble of coming to our classes to learn of our mysterious secrets of physical culture. Sorry to be a bit vague, lots of… goblins listening in.

As to the historical side of SCG, that comes from the fact that we teach the use of swords. We have a modern approach to swordplay inasmuch as we don’t emphasize the rote memorization of any particular historical style of fencing. We have used our experience and research to create our own standard of sword work that is based on the foundations of old-world martial arts without limiting itself to any one specific historical document. Despite the fact that we don’t stick to the ancient manuals, we can’t be said to be totally modern in this department  because, well, nobody walks around defending themselves with a sword these days. Let’s face it, though; knowing how to use a sword is really cool.

The more modern side of our curriculum is the unarmed aspect. First of all, we invented the 5×5 self-defense system; The 5×5 system is an instinctive and adaptive way of teaching people to discover what works best for them in an unexpected attack scenario. This way, students can discover their own strengths and learn to rely on their own natural habits during a fight. I think this little invention is one of my favorites – I never get tired of experimenting within the parameters of this exercise. It’s just fun.

We also teach a mixed martial arts system for unarmed fighting. It’s not like what you see in most UFC fights, though – it’s more interesting than that. Since we teach our students to be more flexible and and dynamic, we can teach them to successfully pull off techniques that are a little more technical than the popular choices for martial arts these days. We have created a blend of modern and semi-modern kick-boxing and grappling that’s part modern ju-jitsu and part medieval wrestling.

AND, we teach cane fighting. There are plenty of useful aspects of knowing how to fight with a cane, umbrella or stick. As far as I’m aware, we are the only people in Vancouver who teach this kind of stick-fighting (For those in the know, I don’t entirely mean Bartitsu, we’ve added more to it.) As mentioned, we have taken what we love and have really made it our own. In many ways we’ve broken the mold of martial arts and gone beyond our own expectations of what we thought was possible. Ok, that last bit sounded a bit over-dramatic, but it’s true.

With Scatha Combat Guild, you are going to see something new…