This is what medieval sword fighting probably looked like- two fighters being defensive and testing each other with sharp blades. This video comes from the wonderful swordsfolk at DIMICATOR , based in Germany.
This martial arts school reconstructs the practice of historical European swordsmanship. They focus on unarmoured fighting with sword and buckler, as described in late medieval German manuscripts.
Here’s renowned self-defense instructor Kelly McCann talking about rage and it’s place in a fight. He also talks a little bit about legality and why jumping in fists swinging just isn’t a good idea.
When working with this in a writing context, it’s important to remember when you’re building characters to moderate their aggression. Combat is about control, controlling your opponent and keeping control of yourself. It’s important not to confuse guided rage with berserker, and also important not to confuse those things with “professional combatant”. No matter who they are, your characters are going to be working within the boundaries of some sort of legal system.
So, try not to go hog wild.
These two are from the Academy of Historical Fencing and they are sparring with a spear versus a sword and buckler. The sword is a light blade, but here’s a good example of European spear combat. Notice, they hold the end of the weapon to extend it’s reach and maximize the momentum with quick bursts.