The European Historical Combat Guild

Investigating Europe's Historical combative methods and behaviours

The Principles


At the core of the Guilds teaching, are the principles. The principles should apply to every situation. The Guild members believe these govern movement in general and combat specifically. Some will be self evident others will become apparent through practice and repetition. An understanding of these principles should allow the combatant to create his or her particular solution to any problem or combat situation.


The design of the human body will dictate the ways in which it is able to move most easily. The position of the body at any particular time will determine the way in which the weapon is used. The correct application of the principles should ensure that the combatant would be able to exploit the best possible options offered by body mechanics.


This means that the combatant’s eyes are focused on those of their opponent from the beginning to the end of the fight, simultaneously making use of their peripheral vision to take in the greatest range of visual information from the surrounding area.


Once we make eye contact our main principle, then balance is held to be vital, for without it all other principles cannot be applied. Whether attacking or defending balance is imperative if the student is to keep control of their body and their weapon.


The intention is the level of power behind each strike, which dictates its intended depth of penetration. Also the corresponding level of energy used in defence. The level of intention should be modified during training in the interests of safety.


Closely associated with intention and based on the application of good balance, this is the ability to ensure that movement is executed in a way that allows the practitioner to achieve the desired result, with safety in training and the required power in reality.


To make all movements only with the energy that will achieve the desired result.


The ability to move offensively or defensively is vital and is dependent on correct centred balance.


Are all based on the application of all of the principals though balance is vital.


At the beginning of a combat, distance will vary depending on the type of weapon used. Distance is a determining factor as to the types of attack and defence that can be made.


To make the correct use of the weapon’s design in the most advantageous way in any given situation whether in attack or defence. All parts of a weapon can be used in attack or defence.

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