Lessons on the English Longsword

by Brandon P. Heslop and Benjamin G. Bradak


228 pages, 8.5" x 11"

  • Description
  • Author Bio
  • Chapter List
Additional Manuscript 39564, Cottonian Titus A XXV, and Harleian MS 3542 are believed to be the only surviving martial arts texts of medieval England. All written before 1500, these incredibly rare texts on the art and lore of the longsword have now been transcribed, translated, and boldly interpreted for modern students of the medieval combat arts. In Lessons on the English Longsword, authors Brandon Heslop and Benjamin Bradak combine dedicated scholarship with years of rigorous physical training to provide the most complete look yet at the little-known English tradition of the noble longsword, including:
  • full transcriptions and translations of the three texts, insights into training methods in medieval England, and a useful, comprehensive lexicon of terms
  • detailed photographic interpretations of the texts to serve as a visual reference in the study and application of the art of swordsmanship
  • a convincing case for a de facto pan-European art of the longsword, linking the techniques and training of the English tradition with the better-known German and Italian traditions
  • a focus on two important aspects of medieval swordsmanship found in the English manuscripts but seldom touched upon in the numerous German and Italian sources: set training forms and the facing of multiple opponents
  • a separate chapter on the cryptic poem Man Yt Wol, which unlocks the mysteries of the -"Liechtenauer's verses" of medieval England

Knights born and knights made. Battle-hardened squires and hired champions fighting to the death in trials by combat. Masters of Defence, men-at-arms, and mercenaries. Robber barons, outlaws, murderous brigands, and the private yeoman defending his lifeblood, family, and property. This is their deadly art. Learn their secrets of steel in Lessons on the English Longsword.
Brandon Heslop has been dabbling in the martial arts for 20 years but has focused on the Renaissance martial arts since he discovered them eight years ago. In his training in the European sword, he focuses primarily on the longsword, but he has an abiding interest in sword and buckler, dagger and spear as well. He and Bradak founded the Dragons Tail School of Defense.

Benjamin Glen "Casper" Bradak is a life-long martial artist who has been focusing on the martial arts of medieval/Renaissance Europe for about 10 years. He functioned as a senior instructor in the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts and developed its historical unarmed combatives curricula.
1) Breaking the Code
2) Insights into Training Methods in Medieval England
3) Fundamentals of the Art
4) Lexicon and Notes on Interpretation
5) The Scholar's Notes: Additional Manuscript 39564
6) A Fragment: Cottonian Titus A XXV
7) The Word of the Master: Harleian MS 3542
8) Man Yt Wol: The "Liechtenauer's Verses" of Medieval England