MAHS - Disciplines within MAHS

The Manley Academy of Historical Swordsmanship

Disciplines & Weapons within the Academy

There are many various disciplines to choose from but to become a true warrior you have to be able to master yourself. How do you master yourself if you forever change? The pursuit of development is what you must embrace, for learning about yourself while on your journey is a rare gift anyone receives.

Behold, an interactive list of what it is we do here at MAHS. No one here is ever truly satisfied with their art which is why we are always practicing. Please head over to the Class information page to find out the times and days we hold classes.
Rapier, Rapier & Dagger
The word “rapier” generally refers to a relatively long bladed sword characterised by a complex hilt which is constructed to provide protection for the hand wielding it. While the blade might be broad enough to cut to some degree (but nowhere near that of the wider swords in use around the Middle Ages such as the Longsword), the long thin blade lends itself to thrusting. The blade might be sharpened along its entire length or sharpened only from the centre to the tip (as described by Cappoferro). Pallavicini, a rapier master in 1670, strongly advocated using a weapon with two cutting edges. A typical example would weigh 1 kg and have a relatively long and slender blade of 2.5 cm or less in width, 1 metre or more in length and ending in a sharply pointed tip.
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The term rapier generally refers to a thrusting sword with a blade longer and thinner than that of the so called side sword but heavier that the small sword, a lighter weapon that would follow in the 18th century and later, but the exact form of the blade and hilt often depends on who is writing and when. It can refer to earlier Spada Da Lato and the similar espada opera, through the high rapier period of the 17th century through the small sword and duelling swords, thus context is important in understanding what is meant by the word.
The Longsword is a type of European sword characterised as having a cruciform hilt with a grip for two-handed use or single hand that also has a straight double edged blade. The Longsword type exists in a morphological continuum with the medieval knightly sword and the renaissance-era Zweihander. It was prevalent during the late medieval and renaissance periods (approximately 1350 to 1550) with early and late use reaching into the 13th and 17th centuries.
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The longsword is characterised not so much by a longer blade, but by a longer grip, which indicates a weapon designed for two-handed use. Swords with exceptionally long hilts are found throughout the High Middle Ages, but these remain rare, and are not representative of an identifiable trend before the late 13th or early 14th century.

The longsword as a late medieval type of sword emerges in the 14th century, as a military steel weapon of the earlier phase of the Hundred Years' War. It remains identifiable as a type during the period of about 1350 to 1550. It remained in use as a weapon of war intended for wielders wearing full plate armour either on foot or on horseback, throughout the late medieval period. From the late 15th century, however, it is also attested as being worn and used by unarmoured soldiers or mercenaries.

Use of the two-handed Great Sword or Schlachtschwert by infantry (as opposed to their use as a weapon of mounted and fully armoured knights) seems to have originated with the Swiss in the 14th century. By the 16th century, its military use was mostly obsolete, culminating in the brief period where the oversized Zweihänder were wielded by the German Landsknechte during the early to mid 16th century. By the second half of the 16th century, it persisted mostly as a weapon for sportive competition (Schulfechten), and possibly in knightly duels.
Here at MAHS it was originally founded on the use of the Longsword practice specifically Fiore Dei Liberi, until opening up different disciplines of weaponry thus transforming into an academy.
Cane / Walking Stick
Derived from the Rapier and Longsword syllabus MAHS has implemented a system to suit the Cane or Walking Stick.

Stick fighting is any of a variety of martial arts which use simple long slender, blunt, hand held generally wooden sticks for fighting. Some techniques can also be used with a sturdy umbrella or even a sword in its scabbard.

Although many systems are defensive combat techniques intended for use if attacked while lightly armed, others such as kendo, and gate were developed as a safe training method for dangerous weapons. Whatever their history, many stick fighting techniques lend themselves to being treated as a sport.
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A dagger is a knife with a very sharp point and two or more sharp edges. Typically designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon. Daggers have been used throughout human experience for close combat confrontations, and many cultures have used adorned daggers in ritual and ceremonial contexts. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic. A dagger in the modern sense is a weapon designed for close-proximity combat or self-defence; due to its use in historic weapon assemblages, it has associations with maleness and martiality. Double-edged knives, however, play different sorts of roles in different social contexts. In some cultures, they are neither a weapon nor a tool, but a potent symbol of manhood; in others they are ritual objects used in sacred body modifications such as circumcision.

A wide variety of thrusting knives have been described as daggers, including knives that feature only a single cutting edge, such as the European rondel dagger or the Persian pesh-kabz, or, in some instances, no cutting edge at all, such as the stiletto of the Renaissance. However, in the last hundred years or so, in most contexts, a dagger has certain definable characteristics, including a short blade with a sharply tapered point, a central spine or fuller, and usually two cutting edges sharpened the full length of the blade, or nearly so. Most daggers also feature a full crossguard to keep the hand from riding forwards onto the sharpened blade edges.

Using a mongrel system primarily from Fiore Dei Liberi, MAHS has developed a system that covers locks, binds, takedowns not just for dagger but also can be transferred to other disciplines.
Studying the Ido Portal Method, MAHS has worked endlessly to incorporate movement and callisthenics within the Academy. It is something that the more serious practitioners use to develop their body in not just the advance movements but the basics as well. Athleticism and Martial Arts as a way of life.

Through movement it is possible to advance yourself in every day things just by understanding your mechanics better. To learn our limitations, to then learn to adapt.
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Using the space provided in class, each student explores their boundaries with movement, but keeping fluid, open minded. Strength is needed sometimes of course which is why we do other types of train, some are on the gymnastic rings, others are in pairs using nothing but tennis balls. The more you open your mind, the better you will be at learning.
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Unarmed Combat
Hand-to-hand combat (sometimes abbreviated as HTH or H2H) is a lethal or non-lethal physical confrontation between two or more persons at very short range (grappling distance, or within the physical reach of a handheld weapon) that does not involve the use of ranged weapons. While the phrase "hand-to-hand" appears to refer to unarmed combat, the term is generic and may include use of melee weapons such as knives, sticks, batons, spears, or improvised weapons such as entrenching tools. While the term hand-to-hand combat originally referred principally to engagements by combatants on the battlefield, it can also refer to any personal physical engagement by two or more people, including law enforcement officers, civilians, and criminals.

Combat within close quarters (to a range just beyond grappling distance) is commonly termed close combat or close-quarters combat. It may include lethal and non-lethal weapons and methods depending upon the restrictions imposed by civilian law, military rules of engagement, or ethical codes. Close combat using firearms or other distance weapons by military combatants at the tactical level is modernly referred to as close quarter battle. The United States Army uses the term combatives to describe various military fighting systems used in hand-to-hand combat training, systems which may incorporate eclectic techniques from several different martial arts and combat sports.
Utilising our experiences from MMA we have incorporated a mixed system of ancient style Unarmed combat with Modern practices
The Manley Academy of Historical Swordsmanship
Contact us
Mr Toby Manley
Mr James Manley

Telephone: 07834 772 324