Guy Windsor was born in Cambridge, England in 1973, and he grew up in England, Argentina, Botswana and Peru. His first fencing lesson was from his grandfather, Dr. Hector Apergis, from whom he learned that most vital skill: extension first!
He began regular martial arts lessons in 1985, practicing Korean karate at the Gaberone Golf club, and took up sport fencing at school in 1987, specialising in the foil for four years before adding the sabre. In 1992 he enrolled at Edinburgh University, where his studies in English Literature, Biology and Spanish took a back seat to his immersion in the martial arts then available: T’ai Chi Chuan, Okinawan Kobudo, Shukokai Karate and Aikido. He also studied fencing at the University club, and represented the University on a few occasions. In 1993-4 he was in charge of sabre training for the club. During his first year at Edinburgh University, Mr Windsor met fellow sword enthusiasts, and in 1994 they formed the Dawn Duellists Society. He was also instrumental in setting up the British Federation of Historical Swordplay in 1999.
Mr Windsor first came to Helsinki, Finland, on a student exchange in 1994-1995. After returning home, Mr Windsor completed his MA in English Literature, and began work as a cabinet maker and antiques restorer, while teaching fencing at the DDS. In September 2000 he decided to teach swordsmanship full-time and in March 2001 he opened The School of European Swordsmanship in Helsinki. The school now has branches and study groups all over the world.
Mr Windsor has a broad and deep training in Western swordsmanship, and has conducted research into most of the recorded swordsmanship styles between 1300 and 1800, and is a specialist in the works of Fiore dei Liberi, Ridolfo Capoferro, the anonymous I.33, and Domenico Angelo.
His is the author of the following books:
The Swordsman’s Companion, a training manual for medieval Italian longsword (2004)
The Duellist’s Companion, a training manual for 17th century Italian rapier (2006)
The Little Book of Push-ups (2009)
The Armizare Vade Mecum: mnemonic verses for Fiore’s art of Arms (2011)
Mastering the Art of Arms vol 1: the Medieval Dagger (2012); a training guide to Fiore’s dagger material
Veni Vadi Vici: a transcription, translation and commentary on Philippo Vadi’s De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi(2013)
He has also helped to create the first ever card game based on an historical swordsmanship style. Audatia accurately models Mr Windsor’s interpretation of the theory, terminology and tactics of Fiore’s Art of Arms.
A summary of the primary weapons and systems covered at the school can be found here, and the detailed syllabus here. For many years he has been particularly interested in the internal, meditative and medical aspects of martial arts training. To this end, he incorporates massage and breathing exercises at an early stage in the syllabus.
Mr Windsor divides his time between his own training, teaching at his salle in Helsinki, and taking workshops across Finland and abroad. When he has time to spare from parenting, research, teaching, and training, he enjoys traditional bowmaking, cabinet-making, archery, riding, shooting, reading. Some examples of his woodworking projects can be found here, and his blog on matters of swordsmanship here. He married in 2006, and his daughters were born in 2007 and 2008.