Federschwert

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The Federschwert (German for feather sword, plural Federschwerter), or Fechtfeder (fighting feather, plural Fechtfedern), is a type of training sword used in Renaissance Fechtschulen (fencing schools) to train safely at full speed and power. They are used extensively in the fighting manuals of the 16th century, particularly those of Paulus Hector Mair and Joachim Meyer.

Since so far nobody has been able to provide evidence for the historical use of the term Federschwert or Fechtfeder both terms must be regarded as modern.

The sword consists of a very thin, rounded blade with a large ricasso and a heavy hilt and pommel. Because of this, it has the same weight and Center of Balance as a real sword, and handles identically. This odd construction also has the effect of moving the sword’s Center of Percussion to a theoretical point beyond its tip. This, combined with the peculiar blade geometry, effectively renders a damaging blow impossible. The tip of a Federschwert is spatulated and may have been covered with a leather sleeve to make thrusting safer, though no direct historical evidence exists of such use.