Longsword & Rapier
Difficulty level
Beginner & Intermediate

The Seven Principles of Mastery

Volume 1 of

By Guy Windsor

Guy Windsor has been training swordsmen and swordswomen for a very long time. This short book distills his principles of training swordsmanship into seven key ideas, divided into three internal principles, and four external principles. They are:


1) Mindfulness
2) Flow
3) Adopt Useful Beliefs


4) No Injuries
5) The Pareto Principle
6) Run a Diagnostic
7) Distinguish between knowledge and skill

This essential short guide describes each principle and gives exercises for developing your ability to apply each of them. Follow these for maximum effectiveness in your art, work, and life.

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This is a most useful and timely work for the HEMA (Historic European Martial Arts) community. Mr. Windsor writes in a clear and engaging style. He cites his sources and integrates them beautifully into his work, but never fails to credit them. But most importantly, he motivates the reader to better themselves. His words are about swordsmanship, but have much farther reaching applications. I cannot recommend this work strongly enough for anyone who wishes to forge a path to bettering themselves.

A very nice introduction to the wonderful world of HEMA, also you MUST take a look at the author other books and at his website; you won’t be sorry.

This book is a very thoughtful collection of ideas and principles that any swordsman, martial artist, or self improvement guru could hope to start with. Guy posits a collection of internal and external characteristics that will help any one who wants to learn to grow into a better person.