The Sword Guy Podcast show

The Sword Guy Podcast

Summary: Guy Windsor and friends discuss sword training, historical swordsmanship, research, and other topics. Guests include well-known instructors and experts in the field. You can support the show at

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast
  • Visit Website
  • RSS
  • Artist: theswordguy
  • Copyright: Copyright 2020 All rights reserved.


 Turning the tables, with Guy and Jess | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:49:25

The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 53 To celebrate a whole year of The Sword Guy Podcast, we are going right back to where it all began, with Jess Finley. Except this time the tables are turned and it’s Jess interviewing me! In our wide-ranging conversation we talk about my history of antiques restoration and starting a sword school. We also talk in depth about flipping hierarchies on their head to give students what they want, and how to deal with those rare students who roll their eyes at our teaching. Jess also gets to ask the now very familiar question: "What’s the best idea you have never acted upon?”   For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at    

 Challenge of the Month: meditate in June | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:10

For a free meditation class, see: For a complete transcription and other cool stuff, see And check out the Paradoxes of Defence audiobook here:

 The Sparkle School, with Claire Wemyss | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:07:50

Episode 52 Claire Wemyss lives in Vancouver and is a coach, educator, and co-founder of Kunst des Funkelns, which focusses on the martial arts of medieval Germany and runs from Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly. In this episode, Claire describes how she and her training partner Jon Mills came up with the name of Kunst des Funkelns, her love for the Messer, and why play-based learning is so important.  Claire is also an ADHD coach, and towards the end of our conversation, she describes how coaches can best work with neurodivergent students, and how neurodivergent students themselves can self-advocate to ensure they get the most out of the learning environment. Useful links: Kunst des Funkelns on Instagram.  I said in the episode I would post a link to Foametheus Forge, but they don’t appear to be in business any more. Episode 5 with Kaja Sadowski Episode 23 with Da’Mon Stith For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at

 Mines and Mimeographs, with Steven Muhlberger | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:20:55

Episode 51 Professor Steven Muhlberger is an absolute legend in the historical martial arts community and is a 50 year veteran of the SCA. In this episode we talk about the very early days of the SCA, and how newsletters were vital in spreading the word. His books are foundationally important for anyone who is studying medieval martial arts, and they include Deeds of Arms, Jousts and Tournaments, Formal Combat in the Fourteenth Century, Royal Jousts, Murder, Rape and Treason: Judicial Combat in the Late Middle Ages and all sorts of other titles too. You can find more information at As you can see from the list of book titles, Steven is something of an expert in chivalric combat in the 14th century, and in our conversation he describes some that took place in France, and his favourite story of the Duke of Bourbon fighting some English roughnecks in a tiny mine, which led to a great result for all involved. Read more from Steven in Muhlberger's World History blog: For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at

 Silver's Paradoxes- in glorious audio! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 09:34 In 1599 George Silver, gentleman, published his Paradoxes of Defence, which lambastes the outlandish (i.e. foreign) Italian rapier fencing that was becoming popular in England, and offers an extraordinary window into the medieval martial arts that the rapier was superceding. Whatever you think about Silver, or rapier fencing, his book is simply essential reading for all historical martial artists. It is one of the few historical fencing sources that doesn't rely on images, so it struck me that it would make an excellent audiobook. Why not listen to Silver in the car, while cooking, doing housework, or whatever else? And, why not have him read not only in our modern pronunciation, but also in Original pronunciation? I hired Jonathan Hartman to do a modern narration, and Ben Crystal to do the Original pronunciation. Renowned historical harpist Andrew Lawrence-King is providing the musical punctuation. This project provides Silver's work in an accessible format, and an unmissable opportunity to compare and contrast the two versions. If you are a sword person, a historian, a linguist, re-enactor or a Shakespeare fan, this is for you. I've put together a crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds to pay for the rest of the work. If you think this is a good idea, please support it!   

 Revolution, Cooking and Knitting with Monica Gaudio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:18:01

The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 50 It’s the 50th episode! This week I’m in conversation with Monica Gaudio, known in the SCA as Illadore de Bedegrayne, and she is a cook, fencer, Marshal, Seneschal, knitter, Laurel and Master of Defence. We get into what all those titles mean in the episode. Monica has been studying medieval cookery for 30 years, with a mostly hands-on approach, i.e. trying to feed anywhere from 40 to 150 people at feast or dinner in the most "period" way possible. She is known for an internet furore concerning a plagiarised apple pie recipe, which kicked off a massive “nerd rage”. So much so, there is a Wikipedia page about it: Here's the medieval cooking website that Monica manages: When we talk about knitting, the book mentioned is this one: and this is what a Monmouth Cap looks like: (Image from As well as medieval cookery and knitting, we discuss the antagonism between the SCA and HEMA communities, and go into a bit of detail about how the SCA is structured and what all the different titles mean. Monica is an accomplished fencer, currently ranked 35th, and she shares her techniques for getting into the right mindset for the many tournaments that she competes in. For more on mindset, check out my Solo Training course, which Monica very kindly recommends: And finally, listen to the end to hear about the revolution Monica is starting in the SCA, and the wider historical martial arts world. To join her, contact Monica on: For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at        

 The Progression of Teacher Training in Swordschool | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:06

Teaching well is a skill that can be learned. In this in-between-isode, I give you the key to teaching teachers. If you have a student who has expressed an interest in teaching, how can you empower them to become a good teacher? This episode covers essentials such as: Avoiding burnout Giving feedback How to teach and structure a class, take responsibility, and broaden their skills This was prepared for one of my Coaches’ Corner sessions. Coaches’ Corner sessions are a monthly get together at 3pm (UK time) on the second Saturday of each month. Each session has a theme, and we have a discussion and Q&A session afterwards. It is a really useful environment for both those who are interested in teaching and those who have decades of experience. If that sounds like your sort of thing, feel free to join us. You can find the link to the sessions at   For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at

 History is my playground, with Mike Loades | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:38:55

The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 48 Best known as a television presenter and for his appearances as a historical weapons specialist and military historian in over one hundred tv documentaries, Mike also works as a tv director, a writer and as a consultant and film-maker for the video games industry. If you've been swinging swords, certainly in Britain at least, at any point in the last 30 years, you'll certainly have heard of him. He has had three major books published, Swords and Swordsmen, War Bows and Dogs: Working Origins and Traditional Tasks, with more commissioned books in the pipeline (about horses). Other works include The Longbow, The Crossbow and The Composite Bow for Osprey and he was a primary contributor to The Worldwide History of Warfare (Thames and Hudson) and to ‘Masters of the Steppe: The Impact of the Scythians and Later Nomad Societies of Eurasia’ (Archeopress). In our conversation we cover galloping a Roman chariot through central London, war bows, dogs, castles, and what it was like doing historical martial arts before it became popular. Mike has many incredible stories and insights from his long career, which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did. As a taster, have a watch of this video showing some of his horsemanship and archery skills: This video and many more can be found on Mike’s website: The Mike Loades YouTube Channel: For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at

 Challenge of the Month: Learn a new skill in May | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 04:23

Last month’s challenge (Eat Well in April) was difficult for many people, mostly because food is such an emotional subject. Personally, I spent the month avoiding starch and sugar, which has helped with energy levels, weight management, and especially my reflux problem. I’ve also been adhering more closely to a 16:8 intermittent fasting routine, which is also better for my reflux. The odd thing is that though the house is full of Nutella, chocolate (I haven’t had my easter eggs yet), crisps, bread, etc., it’s actually been really easy to stay off them. I don’t know why, but I think planning ahead and making sure that there were starch and sugar free alternatives ready beforehand was really helpful. I’m planning on relaxing things a bit (those easter eggs need eating) but keeping off the starch most of the time, especially at breakfast. So what’s next for May? You already know how to break a habit and make a habit, and you’re hopefully sleeping better and eating better. So you are perfectly placed to start learning something new. That’s the challenge: learn a new skill. It can be anything: pick up a language on Duolingo. Knitting. Sewing yourself a shirt. Playing the lute. Or the flute. Flying a plane. You can make it something useful if you like (one of the best decisions I ever made was learning to touch-type (described here: Artist and Slugs, Typing Too)), but what I have in mind is something fun, whatever fun looks like to you. Ideally, this will put you into that arse-clenchingly frustrating “oh goddess why won’t my fingers do what they’re supposed to” beginners’ experience. So, if you’re already an accomplished woodworker, learning to carve might not give you that. But sewing might. Wood stays still- cloth moves about all over the bloody place! Getting right outside your comfort zone and putting in the time to get past that first dip is the point of this exercise. I’d ask that you commit to a regular practice schedule for the month. You can quit at the end of the month if it turns out to be not fun, or not a useful skill, but just a month should be enough for you to get the hit of beginneriness (yes, that is a word, I just wrote it) that will deliver the benefits. Those benefits are: 1. Neuroplasticity- which is just the fancy way of saying your brain making new connections and rewiring itself. This is the fundamental biological process that is learning. You get better at it the more you do it. 2. Empathy for beginners. This is especially useful for instructors, who may forget what it was like to be totally clueless at the art they are trying to teach. 3. Fun, and the satisfaction of seeing progress. You’ll probably never progress quite so far so quickly as in that first month, when you go from “this is all totally unfamiliar” to “this is really hard but I can do this first small thing”. As always with my challenges, there are no hard and fast limits. You’ll know if you’re taking the soft option, or cheating. Here’s one idea you may not have considered. I saw this last week when one of my students sent it to me (thanks Jason!): toe yoga. Have fun with that!   For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at

 People like us: the Middle Ages with Danièle Cybulskie | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:00

Episode 46 As a writer, professor, TEDx speaker, and podcaster, Danièle has been making the Middle Ages fun, entertaining, and accessible for over a decade. She is the author of Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction, and The Five-Minute Medievalist, which debuted at the top of Amazon’s Canadian charts, as well as the forthcoming How to Live Like a Monk: Medieval Wisdom for Modern Life. Through her featured articles at, as well as those she’s written for several international magazines, Danièle’s work has reached over a million readers worldwide. Danièle is also the creator and host of The Medieval Podcast, a weekly show on which she interviews experts on the Middle Ages about a wide variety of topics. In this episode, we share some of the questions we get asked, like, “Were swords sharp?” or, “Did medieval people love their children?” Danièle is passionate about dispelling some of the myths many of us grew up with about this time period, as well as helping people to realise that Middle Ages folk were human beings, with exactly the same loves, fears, and feelings as you or I. We also discuss Danièle’s online course, The Medieval Masterclass for Creators, which is designed to provide novelists, game developers, and other fiction creators with information about various aspects of medieval life, such as what a drinking cup looked like, what the texture is of a piece of medieval linen, or what medieval life sounded like. You can follow her on Twitter @5MinMedievalist or visit her website,   For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  

 Swords and Historical Handcrafts, with Bill Grandy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:22:11

Episode 45 Bill Grandy is a long time professional historical martial arts instructor at the Virginia Academy of Fencing (VAF) in the United States, and also a historical handcrafter making beautiful scabbards and shields and things. Check out his website at In this episode we talk about lots of different aspects of being a sword person, including teaching professionally and as an amateur; getting to play with antique swords and the work of the Oakeshott Institute; and owning Michael Chidester’s wonderful facsimiles of medieval manuscripts. We also talk about getting books written and published (or not), and how a sport fencing background influences your teaching of historical martial arts. There’s even more too - this episode really does cover a lot! Useful links: Bill’s websites: for his leather and woodwork, and for the full details and pictures of the Schiavona and Dussack we talk about in the episode: Bill’s Styrian Dussack For more on the Oakeshott Institute and antique swords, here’s my conversation with Craig Johnson: For more about Wiktenauer and Michael Chidester, my conversation with Michael is here: and Michael’s Patreon: The Virginia Academy of Fencing: And finally, for woodworkers, this is the YouTube channel by Rex Krueger we talk about: Rex Krueger: Making Woodwork Fun. Here’s a photo of my dovetail joint, as promised: For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  

 Fire and Cauldrons, with Ruth Goodman | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:13

The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 44 Ruth Goodman is a social and domestic historian working with museums, theatre, television and educational establishments. She has presented and consulted on several highly successful television series for the BBC. She has also written several excellent books we'll be talking about today, including The Domestic Revolution, How to be a Tudor and How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England. In this episode, Ruth and I talk about some of the lesser known, but nonetheless fascinating aspects of life in the Middle Ages, without what we think of “essential” cleaning products, or temperature controlled ovens. Yet people did get their clothes properly clean, and they were able to bake excellent cakes, pastries and bread. Ruth explains how they did this, and the type of learning that has been largely lost nowadays. In our wide-ranging conversation, we also cover the importance of sheds, leaving kids in forests, giving knives to toddlers, and understanding fire. Ruth has a special passion for medieval cauldrons. Here’s a picture: We also talk about how people would have dressed and moved at this time, all of which is very relevant if you are interested in martial arts from this, or any other period of history. We discuss how to research when there aren’t many sources available – as it turns out, there are many ways to skin a rabbit. For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at  

 What is a Sword? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:55

Episode 43 What is a sword? When does a dagger become a sword? When does a sword become a spear? Can a boomerang even be a sword? In a follow-up to my conversation with Australian martial artist and philosopher, Damon Young, this special episode picks up where episode 31 finishes, with a discussion where we try to come to an agreement on what a definition of a sword might be. If you have ever wondered about this very question, or already have your own definition in mind, have a listen and see if you agree with us! Damon is the author of books like Philosophy in the Garden, and On Getting Off: Sex and Philosophy. He has also edited a couple of books on philosophy and martial arts: Engagement, Philosophy and the Martial Arts, and Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness. If you missed the first part of my conversation with Damon, you can find it here. It’s about the importance of the study of philosophy when practising martial arts. How we know the difference between bravery and foolhardiness, how can someone engage in violence and still be a good person. And perhaps, most importantly, however we define them, why are swords so damn cool? You can also support the show at Patrons get access to the episode transcriptions as they are produced, the opportunity to suggest questions for upcoming guests, and even some outtakes from the interviews. Join us!

 Teaching Us to Sit Still with Tim Parks | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:06

The Sword Guy Podcast, episode 42 Tim Parks is a prolific novelist, non-fiction writer and translator and perhaps most importantly from my perspective, he wrote a fantastic memoir on getting into meditation, called Teach us to Sit Still. Those of you that train with me know that meditation is one of the core parts of my practise and in this episode Tim explains the circumstances that led to him going to his first meditation retreat, how it changes people, and how he does it. Tim has lived in Italy for many years, and we also talk about translating texts and about horribly illegible Renaissance handwriting. Discussing his book, Medici Money, leads us into a fascinating digression about the meaning and morality of money. To find out more about Tim Parks and his work, visit For more information about the host Guy Windsor check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at

 Writing and Walking, with Joanna Penn | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:15

Episode 41 Joanna Penn is a writer (both fiction and non-fiction), podcaster and ultramarathon walker. She doesn’t do swords, or even a lot of history, but she has been a huge influence on my work and this podcast. We don’t talk about martial arts in this episode, but we do discuss physical training, accomplishing goals, and Joanna’s medieval-style pilgrimage from London’s Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. That’s 182 km or 113 miles on foot. This took place in 2020, which was the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, and we discuss cadaver tombs, memento mori, and what taking such a very long walk teaches you. To read more about Joanna’s pilgrimage, see: And a list of questions to consider when taking a pilgrimage: For all Joanna Penn’s books, links to her podcast, blog, and support for writers, where you will find resources to help you write, publish and market your book, as well as make a living with your writing: For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work check out his website at And to support the show, come join the Patrons at


Login or signup comment.