from Middle Cove, NL, Canada
If you want to get into learning longsword fighting, whether it's German or Italian, you need some sort of relatively cheap training weapon, something that can be bashed against a pell or a tree trunk or another waster over and over again and last for years of punishing abuse. This is your weapon. These swords are made from hickory, and are so dense they will sink in water. I can't say enough about their durability. Mine have absorbed continuous abuse of all kinds for eight months now and are completely unblemished.
They are slightly blade-heavy, in order to build up strength over time while swinging, but are more than well balanced enough for a beginner to learn principles. Their rigidity is ideal for learning how to feel your opponent's intentions through the pressure of blade contact. While they're too hard to be used safely without protection in free-play (you want a federschwert for that) for controlled training you can't get anything better.