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2015-12-02 - 001-005 - HDR - Black Fencer Synthetic Montante V2

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posted by alias vmax137 on Friday 11th of November 2016 12:46:48 PM

Salute to the best squadron in the US Navy, VFA-137 Kestrels. This monster is 62” long and weighs 4.25 lbs. The point of balance is 4” away from the cross guard or about 20.5” away from the pommel. At mid-swing this may cause enough facial hair to grow where Tony Stark is obligated to high five the swordsman as part of the Awesome Facial Hair Bros. It's going to remain an exclusive club though as this version was made in a very limited run and Black Fencer's new versions while nicer looking are shorter and lighter. 2016-11-16 This was shot after about six months receiving the montante and this is being written almost a year and half later. I've sat on writing this for a while because there were more knowledgeable people reviewing this but asking around online and off it still seems that it remains an exotic piece of gear. Edited: Added Maintenance – Corrosion Control section. You would think that it would have been the first section completed with how rust is like catnip to this waster. Ongoing edits for corrections and clarity as time allows. Disclaimer I do my best to keep things factual here and give opinions in good faith but I'm just another guy on the internet. The contents here should be used as jump-off points rather than anything authoritative. This isn't meant to be complete, just an introduction and covering or adding to topics that I haven’t seen mentioned, mentioned rarely, or are difficult to find. I get absolutely no compensation at the time of this writing and hope that this will inspire people to go out and help revitalize and support the continuation of not only Historical European Martial Arts, but all lost arts. Links are provided throughout the body when appropriate to break up the wall of text and will be repeated at the end for convenience. I suggest it's ok skip reading the rest of this and head to the Links and Resources section where the interesting stuff is at. HEMA This equipment was designed for HEMA practitioners. Briefly HEMA or Historical European Martial Arts seeks to revitalize lost arts. It is scholarly and martially driven and differs from sport fencing, the SCA, Battle of the Nations, and other combat sports. Many of these arts have few to no living practitioners so interpreting written and illustrated works and pressure testing those interpretations are used. It very roughly covers European martial arts from the Viking Age through World War I and studies may involve study of cultures and martial that are outside of Europe proper depending on the level of interaction and influence in history. It's not just all about swords although there's a lot of that – unarmed combat, axes, daggers, polearms, bows and crossbows, shillelagh, bayonet, and more are included. Some of the more unusual defensive weapons that I came across include cloaks, umbrellas, beer mugs, lanterns, and - in the case of Gladiatoria MS KK5013 - thrown pommels. The first major attempt revitalizing these lost arts occurred in the Victorian era that stopped by the end of World War I. It has been on a slow boil by dedicated researchers and the curious until about the early or mid 2000's when the internet connected martial artists, smiths, linguists, historians, and other enthusiasts. Back to the Source – Historical European Martial Arts documentary: HEMA Alliance club finder: Background Giant swords are cool. Dark Souls have players wielding a Zweihänder in each hand doing one-handed oberhaus. Gutts in the Berserk anime use his 500lb. sword-like hunk of cursed steel to cleave Apostles into halves on his quest for vengeance. Other than the visual impact and the loud klangs made by Gutts they never really impressed me enough to look into them. They're only for the battlefield used against pikes, are big and slow, and are more for show than anything – at least that's what I keep hearing from most people and popular sources. Fortunately that isn't the whole picture. Skallagrim on his YouTube channel did a review of a Purpleheart Armoy montante synthetics waster or training sword. To me it was ugly but rugged and the heavier weight and balance made it a good piece of gear for conditioning. The newer versions are much better looking and have options for a metal guard. I would prefer them for conditioning and the increased weight that is closer to the historical average. James Clark's interpretations using the montante and spadone and Matt Galas's very impressive montante drils really changed my mind about what can be possible with such a large weapon. Finally Doppelsöldner's comparison review between Purpleheart's and Black Fencer's montante made me decide to get a Black Fancer synthetic montante. So a thank you to all and especially James Clark, Matt Easton of Scholagladiatoria, and Matt Galas for demonstrating and explaining online what I've been missing. A sincere thanks also to those who have done hard work on alternative or outdated interpretations but decided to keep the videos up on YouTube for educational purposes. Greatswords Greatswords are true two-handed swords meaning that while one-handed techniques exist both hands are usually used for control and speed because of the increased weight and length involved over a shorter two-handed sword such as a longsword. Greatsword lengths ranges from being a little longer than longswords to large German Zweihänders that can be six feet or longer. Their increased weights from 4 lbs. and change to over 8 lbs. is heavier than most shorter swords but is in line with polearms of similar length. With many greatswords in the category of a pseudo pole-arm their more specialized employment and the techniques also differentiate them from longswords. Dark Soulers and other gamers may use Zweihänder as a shorthand for a greatsword which is technically true - two hander - and at the same time can be confusing as it usually refers to designs specific to Germanic greatswords. I will use the term greatsword as a generic description of true two-handed swords whose increased scale generally allows or requires them to be used differently than longswords. Scholagladiatoria talks about two-handed greatswords: Montante The montante is a lighter and smaller greatsword used in the Iberian Peninsula in what is now modern Spain and Portugal. Used from around the 14th-16th century it has similarities to its Italian cousin the spadone. By smaller very roughly with the point down on the ground it comes up to somewhere between the ear and the height of its wielder, and by lighter it means that it weighs somewhere between 5-8 lbs. As hinted there is a lot of variation and overlap in length and weight with what swords that are assumed used against pike formations. Like many other types of artifacts there is a danger of using surviving examples as representatives of the whole when they may be kept because of providence, rarity, novelty, or have simply survived by luck. Scholagladiatoria's remarks on greatsword weights: When greatswords are mentioned they are generally assumed to be used only in the battlefields. Strangely the montante is typically viewed only as a bodyguard weapon which I'm guessing is because Figueiredo's specialized treatise concentrating on multiple attackers is the one most that is most well known. Montantes were in fact used in battlefields defending formations, by scouts expecting to be outnumbered, by body guards in the streets and urban choke points defending VIPs, and were even used to control bouts in duels and tournaments before a long pole took its place. It's an unusual weapon where it's more specialize than the longsword and more flexible than larger greatswords. For more history I highly recommend reading the following: Memorial of the Practice of the Montante - Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo - Myers and Hick (link doesn't currently seem to work but there are copies floating out there) An Overview of the Iberian Montante, an article that explores different Iberian fencing system philosophies: Those that are looking east may want to check out greatswords in saber form such as the Chinese zhanmadao and changdao, as well as the Japanese odachi and their long-hilted cousin the nagamaki. South Coast Swords - Ordering and Shipping South Coast Swords is based out of Southern California and is currently the only US importer of Black Fencer gear. Because of the montante's large size and with no way for disassembly shipping to Seattle cost over $50USD. Despite the bulk it actually arrived within a week shipped in a long rectangular box that was intentionally flattened into an envelope with very large bulges near the bottom. Black Fencer cross caps were also thrown in for free by South Coast Swords (thank you SCS!). Black Fencer Synthetic Montante V2 I should say again that this version is discontinued and Black Fencer's new V4 synthetic montantes are smaller and lighter and also a bit nicer looking. Upon receiving the practice weapon or waster I noticed brownish-red stains over the pommel and crossguards. Upon closer inspection they were not rust but after cleaning it turned out to be preservation material, probably similar to Renaissance Wax. The waster is solidly built with no wobbling. Cosmetically it has a workman quality to it and there were some scratches along the blade that didn't look like it was from use but more from loose storage during transportation along with other items. For the price it's fine. Had I wanted something that looks really nice I would have gotten a steel blunt montante from Danelli Armouries. There was a very slight set or bend in the blade. It's not an issue and is useful in that it allowed me to lean the montante against a corner for storage with no worry. This look at the Black Fencer synthetic montante is only from a solo practice perspective. It's popular enough where the local HEMA club I attended has one but still exotic enough where I may be the only one that practice with it. Blade The white synthetic blade is 42” long but actually extends as part of the grip capped by a peened pommel. The tip is rounded bu I wouldn't want to catch a thrust with it at full speed. There is a slight profile taper and no distal taper with a constant blade thickness of 0.6”. Because of this it takes a fair amount of speed before a low whump can be heard. Using tachikaze as an audible confirmation for blade alignment isn't doable enough to be of use, or at least not with my ability. I ran my hand down the blade while clamping my thumb and forefinger into the fullers forming the letter C and found that the fullers are off lengthwise from each other by half and inch on either side. There is no negative effect from this save for a mental annoyance. I have heard of no such problems with newer versions of this waster. The white color is part of Black Fencer's design cue for their synthetics. It may not be sexy or realistic but it allows people to see that a plastic stick is being swung at a park instead of calling the police in panic. Lugs / Horns / Parrying Hooks The triangular parrying hooks sticking out just ahead of the ricasso on the blade gives it a distinctive look. As far as I can tell for the synthetic blade it's mostly for aesthetics and maybe some very minor weight balancing. Not all real montantes have them but they are an additional safety that deflect incoming blades to the side because the scale of the montante can change engagement angles compared to a longsword. I'm fine with them and actually prefer the look. Scholgladiatoria talks about lugs / horns / parrying hooks on some greatswords: Side Rings The side rings don't appear on all montantes but they are a welcomed additional protection. Looks nice too. The ones on the Black Fencer is rounded on the outside and flat on the interior rings. Doppelsöldner from his YouTube review talked about how the edge extending right to the top of the grip took chunks of skin out of his hand. His solution was to choke back a bit and file edges. For my montante waster it wasn't going to cut paper or anything but it could be a problem if the hand is pinched at speed so it was easily filed down. I choke back a bit anyway because as big as it is some movement in the hands is still required to execute two-handed moulinettes. The rings look adequate for protection. Some people on the intertubes noted that since a hand sans thumb can fit through the rings they don't offer thrust protection but there were no comments about crossguards having the same deficiency; it's not what they're primarily for. The side rings take care of cuts while the monstrous blade can take care of thrusts. As a side note some of the Dark Souls games have swords that omitted modeling the side rings in 3D but the ring profiles can be seen clearly on the flat textures where the crossguard meets the grip. Crossguard The crossguards are like most things on this montante waster noticeably large although larger ones on actual montantes and other greatswords were also used historically. They're scaled in response to the different binding angle as a consequence of the montante's longer blade against shorter swords. The crossguards are about 13.75” and with the safety rubber cross caps on about 14.75”. They look and feel very sturdy. There are some noticeable aesthetic issues as if bits and pieces of metal were melted together leaving minor air pockets and tips of metal that has been safely filed down. Pics of newer versions show a much better looking quality but nothing is biting into my hand so that is acceptable. Scholagladiatoria's remarks on the large guard size used by some greatswords: Grip The grip is a course cord wrap that does the job. The coarseness can be taken care of with some baby powder if drills are to done barehanded but I recommend thick padded fencing glove to absorb the still very rectangular shape and the impact shocks. One annoying thing I immediately found out is that the cord wrap glue or binding agent becomes soluble when it comes into contact with water. I'm not sure if this is a curing issue and asking Doppelsöldner his V2 had no issues, only that the cords started separating in large sections where they slid up and down along the grip freely. Pommel The pommel is peened so the entire waster can't be disassembled easily like hex bolt designs. For the price it's to be expected and is acceptable. For others this may be a deal breaker as the pommel can't be used to end him rightly. Black Fencer Synthetic Montante V2 Overall Impressions Loves to rust to the point where I'm consciously using fencing and mechanics gloves during handling to avoid having to do later polishing. I'm not sure how clubs will find the time to maintain a bunch of these considering I don't have acid sweat and my steel federschwert can be directly handled for a week before staining appears. Very workman-like – lots of cosmetic flaws very rough. For the price it's acceptable. Very solidly built, I would not be worried about receiving a blow on the crossguard by another synthetic montante. For future versions of the montante synthetic trainer I like to see the increased quality Black Fencer is showing with their current line of wasters, but with a slightly heavier and longer version this synthetic montante. This is a personal taste but with the rubber crossguard end caps, the rounded side rings, and the parrying hooks I think the overall profile is currently my favorite out of all the synthetic montantes available right now. I was using a synthetic longsword waster before transitioning to a heavier and more blade heavy Peter Regenyei federschwert and the montante absolutely made the learning curve shallower in handling the feder. For people in a similar situation, have an interest in the montante, want to increase conditioning, or are looking for a unique experience without investing a grand (USD) in steel after all said and done, I recommend this as well as any other quality synthetic montante for drills. Maintenance - Corrosion Prevention Clean with isopropyl alcohol using a rag. For crevices such as the top and bottom of the crossguard near the blade I would be careful with alcohol since it still contains some water and maybe use WD-40 instead. If wet use WD-40 to displace water. WD-40's corrosion prevention and lubrication properties rapidly evaporates so it's not a good choice for long-term protection and should be used mostly for water displacement. Rough polish the rust off with a new dry scouring pad or sponge with green pad for more comfortable handling. This pad will be dedicated to rough polishing so don't reuse for cookware! Go over the spot and the rest of the adjacent metal using long straight strokes. Spot cleaning will leave noticeable marks. I prefer a rough satin finish but further mirror polishing can be done with a high grit number fine sand paper or with Metal Glo Polishing Paste. Use isopropyl alcohol or WD-40 on rag to clean off any residue from the polish. Any light machine oil that is safe with skin contact will do. Thick viscous oils tend to trap air and dust more easily. I use non-toxic food-grade mineral oil made for preserving cutting boards and kitchen knives. Avoid using cooking oil such as olive and corn oil since they can go rancid. Some of the expensive sword oils are scented mineral oils. Basic mineral oil can be found cheaply in many drug stores. I will occasionally go over cracks and crevices with an oily cotton swab. For large flat surfaces all that's needed is a very thin layer since thicker layers trap dust more easily. If after a few hours or a day wavy lines of oil can easily be seen that means that too much was applied. A quick dry wipe is all that's needed. Dust can contain moisture or at the very least break through the protective oil film. Remove dust accumulation by dry wiping with a rag as needed. Handling with dry fencing gloves will lessen the work needed in the future. Handling by hand is fine as long as the areas touched are wiped down with a clean cloth. For this montante waster the guard and pommel should be wiped down after handling within a day. Re-oiling schedule after drills for me is a dry wipe down when it's cold weather if no sweat touched it. For warmer weather it's a drop or two of oil on rage and then wiped and I found this laziness is good for a month before stains start to appear. For hot weather with tons of sweat it's best to start cleaning from the beginning as soon as possible to avoid having to polish. Re-oiling schedule for storage depends on the surrounding moisture and salt content. Try a week and oil more often or less from that point depending on the amount of corrosion seen. I have let my montante sat for a month with no issue but your mileage may vary. For long-term storage such as a year or more thick Renaissance Wax can be applied to the guard and pommel. Montante Drilling Using Figueiredo as a Source There were fencing masters that didn't think too much of montantes, saying the size was more for show and urged students to be brave. These words of encouragement were given for good reason. Against shorter swords up to longswords the montante can blow through guards, sometimes causing unsuspecting opponents to stab themselves with their own swords. A rapier is regarded as a very flexible sword and can be a good match against the montante but being usually a one-handed weapon it will be in danger if the point was made to waver too far off the line. Against shieldsmen the wide arcs can enter their blindspots an the momentum upon impact of the shield can cause the blade to slide into an unprotected area. In the right hands the montante can be a blatantly disgusting tool. There's enough similarities with the Italian spadone where sources such as Francesco Alfieri's Lo Spadone can be used. I have The Art of the Two-Handed Sword by Ken Mondschein that I mostly look through as a comparison and with general conditioning. Instead I decided to use Memorial of the Practice of the Montante by Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo, translated into English by Eric Myers and Steve Hick, second version, sometimes spelled as Figueyredo. It's not an easy treatise as it's all text and no illustrations. James Clark's interpretation even though viewed from a single angle is invaluable in that he conveniently provides all of the simple and composed rules with a pair of videos. This is in no way criticizing the videos but it is necessary to read Figueiredo's words to find intent which can be difficult when it's translated into English. It's also necessary to look and compare other interpretations along with outdated ones to get a better understanding. James Clark's interpretation of Figueiredo's 16 Simnple Rules of the Montante: James Clark's interpretation of Figueiredo's 16 Composed Rules of the Montante: Figueiredo's treatise assumes that the student knows basic swordsmanship and that there is an instructor available to interpret the instructions or rules. There might also be oral transmission components that were complementary to the treatises and are lost as well. The rules themselves are curious in that like a number of Chinese forms and Japanese katas they are memorized and are visually demonstrative. This is because blunt montantes metal or synthetic are too dangerous to spar at full speed and intent. Immediately the question then is while useful in some situations how these rules would apply in an actual chaotic environment where employing detectable patterns is suicidal. Even the imperfect execution of these rules will cause the fencer to lose control using such a heavy and relatively slow weapon compared to longswords. Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza's more systematic rapier-based fencing system eventually replaced the older “vulgar fencing” and he wrote: “...why do you number the rules of the montante, when they truly are infinite in what can be done, as with all other weapons...”. Another of his writing notes the lack of pressure testing via sparring. “...when the time to put their words to practice arrives and these masters face men with swords they never manage to perform any of these rules they have so learned without opposition, other than the fear that has been seeded in the minds of the ignorant because the montante is a sword that is wielded in both hands...” But Figueiredo also written about rapiers in 1628 and his rules for the montante came later at 1653 to which at the end of his 32 rules he warned: “With the admonition that no swordsman necessarily should do this or that rule, but rather he should take from them all what he best understands and that serves him to defeat his adversaries, linking one rule to another with such prudence that neither haste will confuse the memory he should have of them, nor lack of vigor reduce the activity with which he should perform them.” The Montante Must Be Used This Way Another aspect of this treatise I'm seeing people on the intertube insist on is that the montante must be used in swirling circular motions. Nope. Or that using longsword techniques are automatically incorrect. Nope, it depends on the treatise and context. In fact other treatises that deals with similar weapon class use thrusts and a number of techniques familiar to longsword practitioners, usually against a single attacker that may be wielding a similar class of weapon. Looking at Figueiredo's work, Simple Rule 6 - Battle of the Montante, is the only rule specific to fighting against another montante that appears in his treatise. David Rawlings of LondonLongsword talks about taking a flexible approach using a montante: In other words the treatise philosophy assumes that encounters with another montante will be a rarity while fighting against multiple opponents with weapons other than the montante considered a greater possibility. In Composed Rule 6 Figueiredo assumes that the swordsman already know the ins and out of the montante to figure it out on their own when faced against a similar weapon. “Although rarely does one montante meet with another, when it happens, you should value your knowledge about the nature of all movements, both the steps of the feet as well as the blows of the montante, all of which are derived from the movements of the sword.” Longpoint 2016, James Clark and Emil Andersson free play sparring 1: Longpoint 2016, James Clark and Emil Andersson free play sparring 2: Safety for Others The blade is nylon but this thing can still maim or kill if done with full speed. There are rules in Figueiredo's treatise where the target is frequently the knee and the neck and I don't know of any HEMA safety equipment that can protect aginst full speed cuts from this trainer. Slowing down and avoiding vulnerable target areas will introduce artifacts but health and safety is much more important. I've met a couple of people belonging to the Society for Creative Anachronism. I had a lot of fun talking to them about their experiences in the SCA. Talk usually approach feasibility for SCA and since I'm not familiar with the safety criteria and I stress to them that this is not a boffer and can cause serious injury. Even padded the weight may be an issue. I welcome any SCA safeties letting me know if they successfully modified HEMA montante trainers for SCA use. I often drill in a park and some pet owners are incredibly brave letting their dogs wander near my blind spot. I often stop my drills because it doesn't matter if the owner is nice and the dog is something I wouldn't mind sitting for. If the dog wanders into my blind spot and the montante connects the dog may be eligible for astronaut wings as it arcs over the Space Needle. I don't know, maybe I should take the multi-direction rules more seriously. Safety for Yourself Bad posture and form while using the longsword will be punished by the opponent. Doing the same with a montante and the punishment will come from the montante itself. Pay attention to back posture, hip movement, and especially foot work as it's important to avoid fighting the montante and work with its weight and momentum. The only injury that occurred directly from montante drills were opening bloody gashes on my face. Drawing your own blood with your synthetic greatsword? What sorcery bordering on idiocy is this? Fatigue, and idiocy. Basically I moved my hands progressively closer to my body as I become tired because it's easier to hold the montante. During a sudden transition from a low guard or sword position to a ochs or posta di fenestra guard with my hand caused the end rubber cross caps to catch and rip open shaving wounds on my face. I'm actually lucky that I retained the cross caps as the steel guard ends would have done more damage. I'm beginning to appreciate the advantage of growing lots of facial hair that many montante practitioners seem to favor. Warmups For my warmups I do static and dynamic stretches and something that motivates explosiveness. Over-exaggerate guards and drill-related motions with a federschwert are done followed by proper drill forms at speed as a final check for both upper and lower body. I stop only if there's a small amount of sweat while catching a breath and the colder the ambient temperature the longer the warmup needed. For warming up and cooling down using the montante waster sometimes I include a cutting drill by de Viedma in four directions or a simpler version with more horizontal descending cuts involving being attacked from three directions. Matt Galas showing a cutting drill by de Viedma: My montante-specific warmups varies but always include doing vertical ascending false-edge cut from a low side guard that becomes a descending true-edge cut while tracing a looping “support the troops” ribbon in the air. The montante waster then ends into another low side guard at the other side of the body. I then return with an ascending false-edge cut, loop back into a true edge cut and end up where I started. I typically choose a point in the distance and concentrate my intersecting cuts at the point. Another drills I use for warmup and cool downs is based on a spadone thrust described by Giacomo di Grassi. Very roughly the waster is at posta breve or pflug short guard and assuming right-handed, the left leg is back. The spadone is then flung forward like a spear with the right hand letting go and the left holding the pommel. The left leg extends forward, then the sword is quickly retracted as the left leg steps back. One Handed? Can be done. Some people have seen me done this in the park and was surprised how relatively easy it was for them to lunge with full extension with such a heavy waster after the most minimal of instruction. Ilkka Hartikainen perfoming Marozzo's first assault, 0:41 single-handed horizontal moulinette with simultaneous attempt to grapple or disarm using the offhand. Scholagladiatoria at around 2:32 uses a variation of the drill I use from di Grassi with the left hand in a half-swording position on the blade. At this point I can do one-handed moulinettes with the montante such shown at 3:03 but I mostly limit myself to doing them with the lighter Regenyei federschwert to prevent long-term injury. Blade Alignment I mentioned the very thick blade design for weight and safety, which naturally makes it feel like trying to find blade alignment with a lightsaber. I've tried using the large crossguards as alignment aids but it only works as a gross indicator with peripheral vision. Trying to notice finer alignments with the crossguard will distract and mess up alignment anyway. What I do now is just pay attention to my forefinger knuckle position around the very rectangular grip. Drill sessions will make it seem second nature. Half-swording I only regularly half-sword with the longsword so far but yes, your choice of the offhand on the ricasso behind the parrying hooks or on the sharp edge beyond it depending on treatise and what needs to be done. Murder-stroke This is basically turning the sword upside down and striking with the pommel and crossguard to use the sword as a war hammer. Mordhau or murder-stroke: It's gotten more exposure from movies and games in development but I'm seeing this being asked about with greatswords. I haven't encountered it being used on greatswords yet but I haven't looked at very many treatises either. After doing some testing I'm going to say very unlikely or at least not as often as the shorter longswords. The blade length is already a tactical advantage in many cases and switching to a murder-stroke is a bit clumsy with such a long weapon. What are we trying to do is also a factor such as offending with blunt trauma directly to the flesh or through armor, hooking, or using as a lever during grappling. I just find it unlikely to have been used often with such long weapons but I would be very happy to be proven wrong. Of course sometimes anything goes when lives are at stake so I'm not going to outright say it never happened. A montante mordhau would be the closest thing to ending him rightly with a pommel. Transport Skallagrim's take on transporting large swords by hand: A Chinese source mentioned that some soldiers pull out and use the adjacent soldier’s sword while Japanese odachi swordsmen have an assistant that does that for them. The Brilliance of the Chinese longsword – some pics of both Chinese and Japanese swordsman assisting each other drawing out each other's sabers: Of course not all moderns have a Lydia whose sworn to carry our burdens. You think this is a game Lydia? I have a Dakine snowboard bag for bad weather transport. Unfortunately I have to make a cardboard sheath for the grip and pommel to prevent wobbling and punching a hole through the bag. The bag is also awkward as hell to wear but light and water resistant. I currently use a VooDoo Tactical .50 caliber Drag Bag and it's usable, just not ideal. The PALS netting is oriented sideways as if it was meant to be carried by the handle instead of the backpack straps and the straps although padded well are not very ergonomic. About an inch of the montante's crossguard sticks out that I cover with a bag and zip tight around. Definitely over-engineered for carrying longswords but it's rugged enough to easily carry a longsword and a montante with a protective internal side separator. I can live with it but can't recommend the bag for this particular use. For air travel with a longsword and montante HEMA practitioners I've talked to recommended an expandable hard case design for skis and snowboards such as a SportTube. Final Thoughts Every single person that have picked up my montante waster didn't like it and prefer my longsword synthetic waster and steel federschwert. I totally get that. It took several drill sessions per week over the course of a month before I figure out that I need to use speed, my hips, and improve conditioning and footwork before it comes alive. It was during a defend from attacks from three directions drill that the montante needs a certain speed to wake up and before I was basing my tempo on sparring videos where it was slow for safety. With enough speed and long enough arcs the fingertips come into play with controlling the montante waster. The montante is an aggressive weapon and even when defending it must be used aggressively to bring out its best. It is an interesting weapon that demands much and in return gives a unique experience. The montante it seems selects its wielder rather than the other way around. So pick up a montante; that awesome facial hair isn't going to grow by itself. Boy, girl, you are a montante, that is all. Thanks for dropping by. Links and Resources Introduction to HEMA Back to the Source – Historical European Martial Arts documentary: HEMA Alliance club finder: Gear Black Fencer makes the montante seen here: Danelli Armoury sharp and blunt montante: Purpleheart Armory's Montante trainers: Regenyei Armoury. I recommend doing research and talking to people who are familiar with the montante and spadone for customizing the crossguard placement as they may be too far forward for some: South Coast Swords is currently the only US importer of Black Fencer gear: Home-made spadone for those low on funds but want to join in on the fun: Doppelsöldner's comparison review between Purpleheart's and Black Fencer's montante: Montante History and Use Memorial of the Practice of the Montante - Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo - Myers and Hick (link doesn't currently seem to work but there are copies floating out there) An Overview of the Iberian Montante, an article that explores different Iberian fencing system philosophies: David Rawlings of LondonLongsword talks about taking a flexible approach using a montante: Longpoint 2016, James Clark and Emil Andersson free play sparring 1: Longpoint 2016, James Clark and Emil Andersson free play sparring 2: Interpretations of Figueiredo's Memorial of the Practice of the Montante James Clark's interpretation of Figueiredo's 16 Simnple Rules of the Montante: James Clark's interpretation of Figueiredo's 16 Composed Rules of the Montante: Other interpretations: Montante Exercises Matt Galas Montante Solo Drill – Basic Cuts: Matt Galas showing a cutting drill by de Viedma: Matt Galas Montante Solo Drill – Pivot and Thrust: Matt Galas Montante Solo Drill – 64 Cuts: Greatsword One-Handed Techniques Ilkka Hartikainen perfoming Marozzo's first assault, 0:41 single-handed horizontal moulinette with simultaneous attempt to grapple or disarm using the offhand. Scholagladiatoria's take on using greatswords with one hand: Other David Rawlings of LondonLongsword talks about taking a flexible approach using a montante: Skallagrim's take on transporting large swords by hand: Mordhau or murder-stroke: Some similarities between the montante and using the staff in Jogo do Pau: Spadone Sword Gun: You think this is a game Lydia? Montante Sparring Longpoint 2016, James Clark and Emil Andersson free play sparring 1: Longpoint 2016, James Clark and Emil Andersson free play sparring 2: Montante vs. Rotella sparring: Montante vs. Saber: Nowhere to Run Mixed Weapon Carnage:

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