The Darkroom

The Art of American swordsmanship

Kenneth K. Lam
The Baltimore Sun

Dai Andrews, escape artist and four-time world record holding sword swallower is also a historical American swordsmanship instructor.

Andrews works with dozens of students on swordsmanship exercises, sparring and test cutting where they are able to use an original Civil War era officer’s sword. Students use an authentic 1860 pattern infantry officer’s saber to slice through water bottles to test the sword’s sharpness.

He started Baltimore Academy of Defence to restore and promote the historical sword arts of the United States from the Colonial Period to World War I. He based much of his techniques on sword exercise taught at West Point for Army officers. He is self- taught and uses the techniques from an antique copy of Henry Wayne’s manual, Sword Exercise Arranged for Military Instruction published in 1850 to hone his craft.

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