I've been collecting swords since my early teens. It's a sickness,
it really is. :) Even after having sold several along the way after
losing interest in them individually, the overall sword count has steadily grown.
This sword made number 40 in my collection, a new overall high.
For the last couple of years before obtaining it, I've been in a
historical swordsmanship class at VAF,
and as our group has been migrating towards working with steel swords,
I decided to get one of the best trainers currently on the market, in
terms of my particular tastes.
Though it is built for training and sparring, it is very much a real
sword in every way. The only difference being that since it's designed
to be safe, rather than deadly, the goal was to build a blade with as
thick and blunt of an edge as possible. In order to accomodate this
and still maintain the balance, the profile width of the blade is
much smaller than normal, making for a thin appearance. To maintain
the blade strength at the critical location of joining the hilt, there
is a sturdy ricasso. From what I understand, all of this has a historical
context, as there were training weapons constructed similarly back in
Though "Arms & Armor" makes several practice swords, the fechterspiel
in particular is extremely nice. It's very lively and well balanced,
even more so than prior versions of it. It's quickly going to become
the yardstick by which I measure all longswords, so to speak.