Below is a video guide to the German Longsword Forms developed by Kyle Lazzarevich and Scott Farrell of the Chivalry Today Educational Program. Please note, this is only a basic guide to facilitate home practice of these forms, and is not meant as a how-to guide for learning swordplay. This is not a substitute for a coach’s instruction, as there are countless subtleties which lie far beyond the author’s ability to explain in words alone without writing extensive (and likely boring) essays on each form – a task which he is in no way eager to undertake.
The forms developed for Swords Of Chivalry fall into various categories, including Stark (strength), Mut (courage), Weisheit (wisdom), and Vater (father), each of which revolves around a certain set of skills or techniques for students to learn and practice. The specifics of each will be explained further below.
The word Stark in German means “strong” or “strength.” Just as the foundations of a building must be its strongest point, so too must the basics of the students’ sword work be strong, or else their technique and abilities will collapse upon them under pressure. The Stark Forms focus on the basic techniques of swordplay – the four wards and five Meisterhaw – so that the students may lay a strong foundation upon which to build the rest of their growing knowledge.
All Stark forms are designed to move fluidly from one into the next. The forms begin with a single series of movements forward and end with a second series of movements backward, returning more or less to the students’ point of origin. Each form will start with the students in their Strong-Side Vom Tag, and end in their Weak-Side Vom Tag. The students then repeat the form with their strong/weak mirrored, ending up back on their Strong-Side Vom Tag ready to begin the next form or repeat the last.