56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
English Martial Arts, 23 May 2003
Wow! This is a book that will go a long way to help the current revival of Western Martial Arts. Essentially it's halved into history and technique -
Part 1: Terry has painstakingly researched a fascinating history of circa 15th Century English martial arts. With beautiful anecdotes and Old English documents quoted, an unbeknown history is exposed to reveal martial arts schools backed by royal support, public gradings and some very brutal competitions. There are female fighters, blind masters and Devonians winning freedom from the Spanish.
Part 2: A little background on the weapons and 'The Principles of True Fighting,' lead us into the 100+ pages of technique photographs. Incorporated here are: Broadsword, Quarterstaff, Sword & Dagger, Sword & Buckler Shield, Bill (like a pike) and Bare-Fists.
My only criticism is that besides the Stances, there isn't a lot of work for the solo practitioner. But this is amply made up for by fact that if you contact the author via the Company of Maisters website, he will put you in touch with your nearest practising group.
If you're interested in the history, it's a great read. If you want to get involved in martial arts indigenous to the West, it's indispensable.
The author has 34 years in "Beggar's Art" Kung Fu & a 2nd Dan in Karate, not to mention his Anciant Maister position in the Company of Maisters.