Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in London

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Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in London

Postby Matt Easton » 08 Jan 2010 14:56

Last edited by Matt Easton on 29 May 2011 11:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby Matt Easton » 23 Mar 2011 13:49

Please note that for various reasons I did not open up this club in Guildford, but instead expanded the programme of my class in London - we now teach Victorian infantry sabre, based on the manual of John Musgrave Waite (1880), every other week. New students are always welcome.
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby GrantRCanada » 23 Mar 2011 16:27

Sounds grand .... alas, I am located just a wee bit too far away to participate! :(

However, here is one possible "theme photo" for your class .... :wink:
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby Matt Easton » 24 Mar 2011 11:38

Very nice, and this is the same 'engaging guard' taught by Waite in his manual. :)
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby Jules » 26 Mar 2011 10:02

Great photo!

What are those 'skittles' being manipulated in the background?

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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby zerostate » 26 Mar 2011 14:40

Jules wrote:Great photo!

What are those 'skittles' being manipulated in the background?

Jules


They are clubs, a common feature of gymnastic or athletic training in the Victorian period. They are a type of training weight. There was IIRC a set of drills that were worked through with them.

Chris

"Cookery is the art of preparing and softening food by the action of fire, so as to render it fit for digestion" - Instructions to Military Cooks in the Preperation of Dinners at the Instructional Kitchen, Aldershot, 1878.
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby GrantRCanada » 26 Mar 2011 16:53

Yes, here is a detail from an interesting period photograph showing (in typical 'posed' fashion) a physical exercise drill on deck -

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Note the fencing muskets, undoubtedly made up from P'53 or Snider-conversion rifles, on the mat .....

For the complete image, click on this thumbnail (after which you will likely have to click again on the image that takes you to, to see it full-size ....)

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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby Jules » 26 Mar 2011 17:48

Fascinating stuff....I saw pair (in oak) in a junk shop a few months ago, going for a song, and was tempted (I'm mad about Victorian treen) but I wasn't sure what exactly they were (the shop assistant wasn't much help). Oh well, as they say, buy it when you see it, 'cos you won't find it when you want it! Never mind.

Those fencing rifles are intriguing, as I haven't seen such a conversion before, just the Martini conversions and the later pre-WW1 ones.

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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby Matt Easton » 31 Mar 2011 16:29

Hi Jules, if you want to find out more about them have a search online for "Indian clubs", which is what they were known as. They have actually received a bit of a revival recently in gymns as people start to realise that some old forms of exercise were surprisingly effective. Indian Clubs were used a lot by martial artists like singlestickers, bayoneteers etc as they really work the same muscle groups and tendons. I have also seen them fairly regularly in antique shops - usually they get labelled as skittles, because dealers of course have no idea what they actually are. Look around for sets of 2 skittles, they are surprisingly common!
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in London

Postby jeffex » 02 Jun 2011 13:11

Matt Easton wrote:More details here:
http://www.swordfightlondon.com



Thanks for the details.
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in London

Postby tabony » 03 Jun 2011 02:53

More Royal Navy gym equipment and cutlass fencing
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Re: Victorian sword, cutlass and bayonet fencing in Guildfor

Postby jf42 » 26 Jun 2011 23:14

Jules wrote:
Those fencing rifles are intriguing, as I haven't seen such a conversion before, just the Martini conversions and the later pre-WW1 ones.

Jules


A flash from the past: in our school gymnasium we had a rifle with the retractable rod and a button on the end. I don't remember it having a magazine but I think it had a bolt. There was only ever the one, which was primarily used by our three RN/Royal Marines gym instructors to teach us how to deal with enemy sentries- well, to be honest they were always 'Jerry'- in any number of dark and destructive ways. However, on one occasion one of the PTIs put on a dazzling demonstration of bayonet fencing drill worthy of the Chinese People's National Opera. His target was a hapless poor boy with only a fencing mask and a thin plastron to protect him. Liberal education.
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