The importance of solo drills

Solo drills are an important part of any martial art, because they give you something that you can practise at home or when you are not lucky enough to have a training partner nearby to help you.

Within the longsword treatises written in German, there are some "flourishes" (solo forms or sequences) that you can practise to improve your HEMA skills. Diligent practice of these flourishes can help in a variety of ways:

  • improving your coordination and sword-handling
  • improving your balance and footwork
  • improving your body structure and cutting mechanics
  • improving your fluidity of motion
  • improving your speed and strength through repetitions of techniques

Of course, solo drills are just one of the types of exercise that you need to practise. A holistic training programme would require solo drills, paired drills, test cutting, sparring, and competition. Therefore, solo drills by themselves can never (should never!) completely replace other forms of practice, but they do deserve to be part of your approach to training HEMA.

Keith Farrell

About the instructor

Keith Farrell is a well-known professional HEMA instructor, publisher, and researcher. He used to participate in competitions and has won several medals for his fencing skills; now in retirement from competition, he teaches regularly at events around the world and enjoys fencing for the sake of moving effectively and efficiently according to the historical sources that we study. These video courses are a result of popular demand!

About the course

For each flourish, Keith has provided his translation of the source material, so that you can read the original instructions.

There are voiceover instructions for each flourish, so that Keith can draw your attention to important parts of each exercise. This helps to make the clips more valuable than simply showing an interpretation of the flourishes.

Finally, the voiceovers are also provided as a transcript for each video, so that you have access to these instructions in written format.

The price is a one-time payment (including all appropriate local taxes) for perpetual access to the course.

Flourishes for German longsword

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Keith Farrell

Keith Farrell

Keith Farrell is one of the senior instructors for the Academy of Historical Arts. He teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events, and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. His main area of expertise is fencing with the two-handed longsword according to the teachings of 15th century masters in the Liechtenauer tradition. However, he also enjoys fencing with the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword, with the sabre, and with a variety of different swords!

Keith has authored several books for Fallen Rook Publishing, including Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick and the award-winning AHA German Longsword Study Guide. He maintains an active website at, and has also had several articles and interviews published in a variety of magazines and journals.