New Stirling Arms Italian Side Sword

For Historical European Fighting Arts, Weaponry, & Armor

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David Kirksey
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:23 pm

New Stirling Arms Italian Side Sword

Postby David Kirksey » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:16 am

Greetings all!

I was just wondering what people are hearing about the New Stirling Arms side sword waster. I have heard great things about the other products, but can't seem to find anything on the side sword. I figured the reviews are probably favorable, but just wanted to hear it from someone directly.


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John Farthing
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:09 pm
Location: ARMA Middle Tennessee

Postby John Farthing » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:00 am


While the ARMA does not officially endorse or promote any business or businesses, many of our membership have found NSA to be among the top producers of high quality training tools for use in the earnest training and reconstrution of our craft. I personally own several NSA wasters with which I am wholeheartedly pleased. Furthermore, I do not believe I have handled or otherwise worked with any of NSA's product line in which I was not impressed with the quality of craftsmanship and the transference of such into form and function as it applies to the needs of such a tool in practical application and skills training. (In the interest of full disclosure, it might be pointed out that the NSA 'Messer' does run a bit on the heavy side and requires a modicum of control when used in paired work against a partner. This is little more than a need to employ a requisite judiciousness in training but, does not [nor is it intended to] diminish the quality, craftsmanship and contruct of this [or any other] trainer from NSA's line).

As to the specifics of the 'Italian side sword' model of which you speak, I (sadly) have had no actual 'hands on' time with this particular weapon/training tool. I can however, tell you that the 'ARMA' side sword was specifically developed in colaboration with the ARMA to meet the needs of the ARMA's side sword curriculum. I personally, have found no weapon (trainer or otherwise) to date, which is more suited (in my individual opinion) to working through certain material (for example: the 'Rappier' of Joachim Meyer c. 1560- 1570, it is important to note that the weapon Meyer refers to as a 'Rappier' is, in fact, much more akin to the side-sword than the later 'true' Rapier of Masters like, Capo Ferro, Fabris, et. al.). In addition, and again on a personal note, I would likely credit my 'ARMA' Side Sword Waster from NSA as being the favourite wooden training weapon that I own! (This is saying alot for the quality and construct of this waster, since the Longsword is my first choice of weapon, period!)

I hope you find my comments helpful and good luck in choosing a suitable waster which will hopefully meet your training requirements!
-John Farthing, Free Scholar
ARMA Deputy Director

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Stacy Clifford
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Stacy Clifford » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:55 am

The one drawback of the current ARMA side sword model from NSA is that the joint between the cross/rings and the blade is too thin and cracks too easily if you do much sparring with it. NSA consulted with us on a design update recently which hopefully fixes this problem and offers a couple of other changes. We saw the results at IG11 a couple of weeks ago and they look very promising, though we have yet to test them. Not sure at what point they will release the new design to the public.

As far as the Italian side sword goes, I've handled it at their table once or twice and it's more slender than the ARMA version, lighter weight, but still pretty long as I recall. NSA always balances their pieces well. That model seems a bit fragile to me though; if you spar against another one you'll be fine, but I don't think it would survive too much pounding by sturdier weapons for very long if you share our penchant for cross-weapon sparring.
Stacy Clifford
ARMA Houston, TX

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