Guy's Blog

Guy frequently keeps this blog updated with thoughts, challenges, interviews and more!

How are your knees?

See those knees? Those hips? That's going to take some work…

Historical martial arts can be hard on the knees. But in my experience, 99% of the time the ‘crazy' positions we see in the sources (like the extract from Meyer, above), are perfectly attainable with a little, or a lot, of work, without significant risk of injury. It just takes patience, caution, and knowledge. I can't help you with patience or caution, but if you don't already have the knowledge, I can help. I have a free knee maintenance course designed to teach you the very basics of how to look after yourself while working on the mechanics of whatever historical swordsmanship style you practice.

A few months ago I got an email from Tony, one of my online students. He wrote:

I know you're extremely busy so you don't have to read the whole thing but I just wanted to say THANK YOU at the very least.

I have been interested in HEMA and learning long sword for years but never found a club or school nearby to help me learn. I have some martial arts experience, having a black belt in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan, and when I started looking into online videos and classes in my area, I paid close attention to the fundamentals like I'd been taught- footwork and stances (guards). I was pretty shocked to find that everyone in my area studies German long sword and the instructors pretty much have everyone picking up a sword and throwing zwerchaus in the beginner classes.

Then I saw Fiore practitioners, including yourself, online. Besides a solid grounding in fundamentals, the movements seemed very graceful. I did ballroom dancing for several years (it's how I met my wife), so I knew that I could make my body move like that. There was just one problem. I needed conditioning and I knew from personal experience that running was the easiest way for me to lose weight. Unfortunately, I had injured both of my knees when I was younger doing Tang Soo Do (a hyperextended kick), marching band (I did a spin turn on one foot but my heel got stuck in the turf), and the general punishment associated with running. I haven't been exercising in years and gained about 80 pounds as a result.

Fortunately, I discovered your free Knee Maintenance course, which has enabled me to resume my regular running routine. After going through the course, I realized that my knees were no longer moving correctly and, as you said in the video, the culprit was my hips. While I used to be able to do the splits, I had lost considerable flexibility in my hips, which was affecting my whole structure. I've also added the 7 way hips to my routine in addition to the knee massage. So far, I've dropped 35 pounds in the past three months, and I'm running 3 miles a day with no knee pain or injuries.

You can imagine how pleased I was to hear it. The main reason I teach swordsmanship for a living (as opposed to just training for fun) is the way it can transform lives. Over the weekend, Tony got back to me with a question, and added the following:

Finally, I’m still running every day to keep in shape for longsword training. No more knee pain. Lost 46+ lbs and counting. That knee maintenance course is amazing!

This makes me very, very, happy.

Of course as a good scientist (or trying to be), I have to add that just because it works for Tony doesn't mean it will work for you. And I'm not a medical doctor. But the course users are all invited to complete a short survey. Here are the results:

So the chances are good that it will help you. The course is completely free, and you can find it here. If you haven't tried it yet, perhaps you should!

I'm sure you have an opinion: do share!

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