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.


Awareness is a vital ability, without information we willnot be able to choose the appropriate actions or responses. We make use of our senses to gain information from our surroundings, what should we be aware of, what is useful and what is not. 
 When we say Eye Contact. This is an approach for training This means that the combatant’s eyes are on those of their opponent from the beginning to the end of the encounter, simultaneously making use of their peripheral vision to take in the greatest range of visual information from the surrounding area.
Our Awareness will allow us to dvelop and express our Intention


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.


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 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.


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 use ones body to move in the space of the encounter and the weapons/Tools that we have.


In fighting and combat, Time Is vital, this is not Time in a pure chronological sense. It is a way to understand action.
Tempo here is Actions over Time, How many Actions I can do in a certain Time
Speed here is Distance over Time, This how much time to cover how much Distance 
Are all based on the application of all of the principals though balance is vital.
Rhythm is similar to to Tempo, however include the effects on commitment, an action with more commitment will produce a follw up Actions that is slower, a less committed action will allow and action that has quicker follow up action. This will lead to a change in Rhythm

Closely allied to TIME,  TEMPO, SPEED and RHYTHM.
Distance is a more Objective scale of space between two points, most of then beteween the fighters  for example. 
Measure, here is the ability of the fighter to make or use the apace of their Intended action. For example two combatants may be 6 feet apart but due to hieght, length of limbs and weapons one may be in measure and able to Hit while the other may not


Making use of the weapons based upon the affordances it provideds whether by design or Opertunity. We need to understand why the weapon is designed the way it is.

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