Realistic Historical Sword Fighting
Shoutout to the fuckwits who think longswords were all about random hacking and slashing.
Actually the Medieval long sword, being a one-handed blade, would usually be in conjunction with a shield, which is a style that relies more heavily on building momentum to blocking and hacking, relying on force to drive the blade through the foe. What’s in these gifs is a fighting style for the two-handed sword (such as claymores or the Bidenhänder style of blade) and hand and a half (or bastard) sword. Both of these are generally termed in the Medieval or Renaissance period as “Long Swords”, but more recognized now by the term Great Sword, that was invented for the style in 15th century fencing manuals.
If you’re interested in looking into this further, Old Swordplay: Techniques of the Great Masters by Alfred Hutton is a short, but excellent read. It’s written by a Victorian, but a military scholar familiar with the older 15th and 14th fencing restructuring and provides excellent diagrams from older fencing manuals to illustrate the more archaic styles.
Actually the classification of swords as we know them today is a fairly recent development, terms like ‘longsword’, ‘bastard sword’, and ‘hand and a half sword’ were all used, but what they were referring to is largely unknown, in fact in most treatises swords were usually simply referred to as ‘sword’.
It was only really in the Victorian era when the obsession with classifying and categorising the various types of sword lead to us beginning to use the terms we associate with them today, Ewart Oakeshott took this over-classification to a new level and its largely his definitions that we still use today.
One handed swords of course had their own styles associated with them, and in no way lacked the finesse of their two handed counterparts, (from the time that they were common enough for styles to emerge anyway), but unfortunately quite a lot of the historical sources for one handed swords deal primarily with rapiers.
That being said, there are plenty of examples of what we know today as ‘long swords’ or ‘hand and a half swords’ being used in one hand in conjunction with a shield or buckler.