The use of the sword by the Hellenic people originated during the Greek Bronze Age; which is classified to have begun around 2000 BC. Shortly after 400 BC, Xenephon (warrior, general and student of Sokrates) noted the Pyrrichoi performed with swords in the Greek city of Trapezounta for the historic record in his book “The Anavasis”. The picture on this page shows Pontian Greek boys circa 1910 , shortly before the full onset of the Greek/Armenian/Assyrian Genocide, performing Pyrrichoi to the traditional lyra with recurved swords; similar to those described by Xenephon in the exact same city.
The use of the σπάθη ( pronounced "spathee" ) type of curved sword by Hellenic warriors was introduced during the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) period and utilized through the Greek revolution and into the modern era. These particular swords are classified in the sabre category.
Today, proper saber training devices are readily available for youth and adults. This is one of the reasons that the HPA program makes use of the sabre sword in implemented classes.
After Level 2 ( Επίπεδο 2 ) rank has been achieved, students will eventually learn the use of the σπάθη in an age appropriate manner. For the youth, they will be using sabre-like foam swords that are safer than the toy foam swords commonly played with by boys in the West; as they are made for the task.
Parents in the Hellenic Diaspora should note that youth in schools teaching Eastern martial arts are learning other methods of the sword use as early as 8 years old (sometimes earlier) in thousands of schools. They typically use hard plastic swords with points, toys in essence, which are not considered safe by the HPA.
It should also be noted that Olympic sport fencing schools are found throughout the West (United States, Europe, Australia, Canada, etc) where youth start at the age of 7.