Feder Training Sword


When practicing with weapons during the middle ages people had the same issues to take into consideration as today: safety, authenticity and affordability. You would not want to damage the edges of a prized heirloom when sparring, nor risk your health and safety. Wooden swords known as wasters were used, as were sticks, and it is likely that regular but blunted swords were used for a more realistic experience. The earliest known swords which were made specifically for training are the two-handed fechtschwert, now commonly known as federschwert or simply feder. They first appear in the early 1400s and were in use for about 350 years all over Europe.

The earliest manuscript in the Liechtenauer tradition, a German tradition of fencing, is dated to about 1390, and some of the most influential manuscripts of that tradition date from the 16th C, such as Joachim Meyers “Kunst des Fechtens” or the “Art of Fencing” from 1570. In all these treatises the feder is closely related to longsword practice, which by the late 16th C. had mainly been reduced to use in fencing schools. Towards the Renaissance period practicing with a feder was essentially civilian and sportive in nature. In the previous centuries duels, personal combats and preparation for warfare had been the main motivation for sword practice. As during the renaissance the longsword was no longer a common weapon in warfare nor in dueling, its continued practice relied on taking a somewhat sportive attitude to longswordplay. Training to use a longsword was no longer just a practise in the use of newest weapons to keep you safe and alive but also keeping up traditions and honoring the past as well as training yourself mentally and physically for combat. For some combatants training to use a longsword during the 16th Century might have been a historical form of historical re-enactment if you like.

A feder is nowadays used especially for training and competitions, and has the general form of a longsword. The ricasso has a typical flared schildt and the blade is flat with blunt rounded edges. There are theories about the peculiar shape of the blade, one being that together with the heavy pommel the shape shifts the mass of the blade towards the hands, making controlling the point easier. That way there also isn’t enough mass at the tip to severly hurt an opponent. A feder is excellent if you intend to train without armour, as instructed in the fencing manuals of the period.

This feder has a semi-flexible blade that is stiff enough for proper blade control but flexible enough for safe thrust-practise. The handle has a wood core covered with leather. The cross-guard and pommel are made of steel. The end of the tang is threaded and the pommel has a recess to fit the hexagonal nut to secure and tighten the hilt. This allows the hilt to be easily re-tightened or dismantled for inspection. Made by Viktor Berbekucz. Specs may vary from piece to piece.

Overall length:135,5 cm
Blade length:100 cm
Handle length:34,5 cm
Weight:1,5 kg
Point of Balance:8,3 cm
Width at Guard:43 mm
Width at Tip:18 mm
Thickness at Guard:6,0 mm
Thickness at Tip:2,2 mm
Blade material: 51CrV4 Carbon Steel
Sharpness: Blunt

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