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parsed(2024-07-12) - pubdate: 07/24
pub date: 1720760400
today: 1713762000, pubdate > today = true

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The Art and Science of Sword Fighting

A Complete Instructional Guide

July 12, 2024 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781594399879
Reader Reward Price: $37.35 info
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This title will be released on Jul 12, 2024. Pre-order now.


The best of both Eastern and Western Sword Fighting Techniques

Sword fighting is a vigorous activity that develops strength, speed, and overall physical fitness. It also promotes mental acuity and quick thinking. Once you have developed the requisite skills to the point where you no longer have to think about them to perform them properly, you can focus your attention on out-witting your opponent in an exciting game of physical chess.

The Art and Science of Sword Fighting takes an innovative, progressive approach to swordsmanship. Consisting of an eclectic collection of high-percentage sword fighting techniques borrowed from many diverse sources, these universal concepts can easily be applied to fighting with a wide variety of swords.

The Art and Science of Sword Fighting is aimed at creating a formidable general practitioner, someone who is comfortable fighting with a variety of swords. This approach provides a solid foundation in the general art of sword fighting, a necessity for beginners and experts alike. Later, once you have determined what your strengths are and where your personal interests lie, you may choose to go on to specialize in a particular brand of swordsmanship. Regardless of what that style may be, this strong foundation will serve you well.

By not focusing on the historical context of any particular style, advanced practitioners, regardless of personal style or affiliation, might transcend stylistic differences to come together as a swordsman or a swordswoman in order to discover the universal concepts that underlie all styles. Such collaborations serve to improve the collective understanding of sword fighting.

The Art and Science of Sword Fighting is divided into two main sections.

  • Part One focuses on wielding a one-handed sword.
  • Subsections include offense, defense, fencing, and advanced techniques.
  • Part Two focuses on wielding a two-handed sword.
  • Subsections include offense, defense, fencing, and advanced techniques.

This book takes a bold, progressive approach to the topic of next generation fencing. The condensed course of study is designed to teach you how to use just about any sword; an eclectic approach to the art of swordsmanship aimed at ferreting out the universal concepts common to wielding a sword. By taking this fresh, methodical approach to the topic, any student can quickly learn the Art and Science of Sword Fighting.

About this Author

Joe Varady, M.Ed., 7th danbegan his formal martial arts training in 1986. Over the past three decades, he has cross trained in eastern martial arts such as karate, tae kwon do, judo, wing chun, and eskrima, as well as various western martial arts including boxing, fencing, long sword, sword and shield, pole-axe, and various methods of armored fighting. Joe is also a trained educator with a master's degree in Elementary Education.
Joe currently shares his martial arts knowledge as the head instructor of two programs: traditional martial arts through Satori Dojo, founded in 1994, and eclectic weapons systems through Modern Gladiatorial Arts, founded in 2016. He is an active member of the Universal Systems of Martial Arts Organization, a fellowship that provides practitioners of different styles of martial arts with an open forum for sharing techniques and principles. Joe was inducted into the Philadelphia Historic Martial Arts Society Hall of Fame in July 2016. In 2021, after more than 35 years in the martial arts, he was promoted to Grandmaster, 7th degree, at the age of 52.
Joe Varady is the author of three book and video series, The Art and Science of Staff Fighting (2016), The Art and Science of Stick Fighting (2020), and The Art and Science of Self Defense (2022).
Joe Varady resides in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

ISBN: 9781594399879
Format: Trade paperback
Series: Martial Science
Pages: 268
Publisher: YMAA Publication Center
Published: 2024-07-12


"A true masterpiece. The Art and Science of Sword Fighting provides a concise yet thorough encyclopedic-level knowledge of the sword, its history, the various designs and attributes, and the great masters who wielded them. But more significantly, this work serves as an instructional guide for anyone, at any level, who desires to understand the use of this weapon. The ingenious training aids along with the workouts and drills enhance your use of the weapon and will significantly improve your sword-fighting skills, will broaden your overall techniques, and will provide a solid foundation from which to develop a universal approach to modern-day sword fighting. A perfect reference manual and instructional guide for both the beginner and the most advanced practitioner." -- Master Michael J. Gallagher, USA Taekwondo national weapons champion, 2015 inductee of the Philadelphia Historic Martial Arts Society Hall of Fame, 2018 inductee of the Pennsylvania Karate Hall of Fame


"A fountain of knowledge for sword fighting. If you want to know more than just basic sword techniques and want to learn how to actually fight with the sword, this is the book for you.

I have collected all of Master Varady's books and videos. What's nice is how they all tie together through similar techniques and strategies, yet each book/video gives you new gems of knowledge. I have learned a lot through Master Varady's teaching and I'm sure you will too." -- Paul Peterson, Shihan, founder of Kingdom Karate


"No matter if you are an expert fencer or just have a passing interest in swords and sword fighting, this book is well worth your time. It is so full of information that even a long-term practitioner may learn about something they didn't already know." -- Sifu Brian William Jewell, author of The Wisdom of Wing Chun and Life Lessons Learned Through Sparring


"Drawing from a wide range of martial arts, Varady distills universal principles to create a style-neutral guide to mid-length and long blade. Whether your interests lie in modern sport fencing, HEMA, or kendo, this manual demonstrates the essential techniques that form the foundation of attack and defense across disciplines. While it is perfect for beginning and intermediate level students, advanced practitioners will also find it useful for both the analysis and breakdown of techniques and to learn some tips and tricks to put into their own game.

One added bonus for the beginner is Varady's guidance in selecting appropriate protective gear and in obtaining or constructing training equipment to meet your particular needs." -- Bernie Mojzes, Shodan, Chang's School of Martial Arts, student Live Steel Fight Academy and Modern Gladiatorial Arts


"Another home run from Grandmaster Joe Varady. The Art and Science of Sword Fighting presents the reader a master class in learning to fight with the sword. Grandmaster Joe's background as a professional educator shines through as he takes the student on a logical progression of lessons, drills, and skill challenges. With a variety of solo and partner activities as well as sample workouts for each of the nine skill levels. Whether you've studied sword fighting before or are a complete novice, this book should absolutely be part of your personal curriculum." -- Sensei Seth Clearwater, instructor Satori Dojo


"A comprehensive look at the history of sword fighting with step-by-step instructions on how to successfully train in swordsmanship. Complete with illustrations, this well-written book details methodical training steps to ensure proficiency through disciplined practice. Highly recommended!" -- Master Terri Giamartino


"A comprehensive training system. The Art and Science of Sword Fighting is the complete instruction manual. The book wastes no time, diving straight into techniques while providing sufficient introduction and history. Varady explains and supports the techniques with the physics of sword fighting, research from historical master swordsmen of Europe and Asia, and his years of real-life experimentation.

Learn about the unique structure of one-handed short swords, two-handed long swords, and master swords. The training lessons cover footwork, defense, and attack angles, all illustrated with quality photographs that are easy to follow. As a master instructor, Varady provides mental preparation, safety, and the gritty but fair spirit of competition. He draws from his years of extensive experience in actual combat competition to produce an excellent training source.

Using illustrations, Master Varady describes how to build your own training targets and equipment and recommends the best professional armor and swords for training and competition.

All martial artists, whether beginner or expert, whether weaponless or armed, will benefit from reading this training guide. I did." -- Michael A. Ponzio, Shichidan, Cuong Nhu Martial Arts

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