General HMA
Difficulty level
Beginner & Intermediate & Advanced

The Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts

By Guy Windsor

“Benefit from the experience of one of the most accomplished experts in the field. A must-read for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.” – Roland Warzecha, DIMICATOR

The warriors, knights and duellists of old depended on their skill at arms for their lives.

You can learn their techniques and tactics too.

From renowned swordsman and teacher Guy Windsor comes an indispensable resource for anyone interested in martial arts, swordsmanship, and history.

Through this book Guy will teach you how to train your mind and body to become an expert in historical martial arts. It includes the seven principles of mastery, considers the ethics of martial arts, and goes into detail about the process of recreating historical martial arts from written sources.

On the practical side, Guy explains how to develop your skills, and lays out the path for students to become teachers, covering the basics of safe training, looking after your body, and even starting your own training group and teaching basic classes.

An accessible, motivating read that includes many suggestions for further study, including courses, books and other resources, this book sets out to answer every question about historical martial arts you may have. Note that this is not a training manual for a specific style: it provides the foundations for every style.

Your journey starts here. You decide where it ends.

Buy direct from Guy at the Swordschool Shop: Click here

You can find my books at all the usual online retailers. However, it really helps me if you buy direct through the Swordschool shop. You can also ask your local library or bookstore to order a copy for you.

Narrated By: Kelley Costigan
Run Time: 10 hr 25 min
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As a long time solo student of Historical Martial Arts, The Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts and Guy’s other works have encouraged me to take my training to the next level. The advice in this book has helped me start a small club and provided well grounded advice for developing classes and instruction based on the author’s experience. Guy’s book also has plenty of advice which has helped me better plan out my personal training and to help me make better use of the original sources. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in HMA, particularly those in need of advice for getting started with planning a training program.
-Cameron Atkinson, Canberra.

A comprehensive guide to the rewarding pursuit of historical martial arts, from choosing a source, study and research of historical manuals to developing and conducting a training program that serves your purpose best. Benefit from the experience of one of the most accomplished experts in the field. A must-read for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
-Roland Warzecha, DIMICATOR.

I have several of Guy’s books. They have helped me focus on my training to a much higher degree than before. I have the digital copy of Theory and Practice. The first read through has given me quite a bit to think about, and I know that each re-read is going to be even more helpful. I highly recommend “Theory and Practice” to anyone, be they beginner or expert.

Note: It doesn’t matter if you are a Fiore guy, a Ringneck student, or any of the later guys, this will help you do what you do at a better level. Guy will help you think about how you think about what you are doing with a sword.

Buy this book.
-Agricola, review on Amazon

This is the book I wish I had when I started my journey into historical martial arts three decades ago. With the exploding popularity of the subject, we’re seeing an abundance of translations and interpretations of the source material, but very few core sources on how to actually go about using them effectively. This book organizes these elements into a foundation for a personal practice, a study group, a school, or beyond. As an experienced practitioner, it’s helped me reset my priorities and add depth to my practice. If you’re new to the field, all I can say is start here.
-Eric Mauer, review on Amazon