The long lost “Art of The Sword” was once considered important to the very survival of a Knight. The Sword was a way of life – one that if not followed through practice, could result in death on a battlefield or personal combat. Principle weapons of course varied – but the main weapon of choice was the vaunted Double Hand or Great Sword. It took great skill and many years of training to become well verses in the myriad of stances, attacks, guards and blocks. Without a doubt, the two “Great Houses” of Swordsmanship from the 14th through 16th Centuries, were Germany and Italy. Both developed a similar training system (although each adopted tactics indicative to each others Country).
Many Kings and Nobility spent great amounts of funds to bring Sword Masters to their Courts or Countries to teach. By the 17th Century, the use of improved firearms would spell an end to such classic weapons as The Great Sword. Rapiers and related blades were found to be more elegant – with an entirely different training system used. By this time, the dynamics for Training Houses changed to Spain, France and England.