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Falchion Combat Training

Falchion Fight Display Team

Combat within the group is performed by the Falchion Fight Display Team. All members of the FFDT are trained to use safe and entertaining mock-combat techniques. We do not choreograph or stage our combats, instead relying on skill and training to perform an extended combat.

Any member of Team Falchion may be trained to use weapons, so long as they are

For further information about Falchion training, please contact the Training Instructor or see the Learning/Requirements section below.

This video shows Dan H and Nick H demonstrating part of a typical warm-up routine.

Requirements

Attitude and Approach

To be trained using steel weapons in Team Falchion, members must be physically capable of swinging a weapon without causing harm to their own body. We will train people to make sure they don't cause harm to others! Our instructors monitor new trainees, and have the final say on whether they feel someone is unsafe. Fighting with blunted steel weapons is a contact sport, so focus, discipline and stamina are important. It can be an exhilarating and rewarding hobby, but people must remember to treat their weapons, their opponents and themselves, with the due respect.

Kit

For unarmoured training, the minimum kit is a pair of gloves and helmet. Loose fitting trousers and shirt are also recommended, and footwear that won't cause slips and slides. Other protection is at the trainee's discretion, but items such as cricket boxes, knee pads or elbow pads can be worn without affecting training techniques.

For armoured training, gauntlets and helmet are essential, as is padded body armour (gambeson). Maille armour, or steel leg, arm and body harness will alter the way a fighter moves, and so the type of armour used is basically what the participant wants to use in semi-contact combat.

It's usually a good idea to bring some drinking water, or such things as Lucozade Sport drinks.

Most of the weapons we use are made by Lancaster's Armourie; we believe these weapons to be the best quality for full-contact use, and have a remarkable safety record.

Training structure

Novice training with wooden swords Nearly all trainees start by learning the basic defences and attacks with an arming sword. This is the standard weapon used in 14th Century re-enactment. The style we teach is based on the Fast Accurate Safe Technique (F.A.S.T) as used by the Early Medieval Alliance, and other groups. Upon this, we utilise Attack and Response as developed by Knights School at Cosmeston. We have used it in arena demonstrations, free-form swordplay, battlefield re-enactments and full contact tournaments. This standard has been shown to be safe, fun to take part in, and also entertaining to watch.

After showing competence and safety with an arming sword, trainees can learn to train in a variety of weapons, or weapon combinations, available to the team. We currently have weapons such as Some of our weapons - by no means all of them! poniard, buckler, basilard, hand-and-a-half sword, two-handed sword, battle-axe, poll-axe, hand-axe, mace, shield, spear and bardiche and of course, a falchion. More importantly, we have people who can train others to use those weapons safely and effectively. Anyone can buy a re-enactment or display weapon, being able to use it without hurting a fellow participant is much more important.

We grade people very simply. With each weapon type there are 4 grades:

Although we don't prevent people from using their own weapons on a battlefield, we do tend to dissuade people from taking part with a particular weapon, until they are Competent with it. We can't stress highly enough the importance of safety of everyone concerned in a combat.

If someone is accepted as an Instructor grade of a weapon, then they are expected to pass on their knowledge and experience to others in the team.

Venues

For indoor training - usually on Tuesday nights - we are normally at Draycott Scout Hut from 7:30pm. As a lot of the group have other commitments, it's not always possible to get enough numbers to make it worthwhile hiring the scout hut - but on average we train about twice a month. During summer, we can also train outside, so don't need to book the scout hut, and training can go ahead even if just two people turn up.

We are always on the look-out for other venues. The main concerns are adequate room to swing weapons (this means vertically as well), and low cost (or free!). Being heated helps! Costs are split between the attendees, usually £2-3 per member, £5.00 for non-members.

Maps and Directions

The Google Maps website gives good maps of the locations of our training venues. You can enter the search terms listed below, to find them.