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Michael Clark




Location: Welland, Ontario
Joined: 31 Mar 2007

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: Techniques for larger swords         Reply with quote

Hey folks,

I know there are plenty of schools/interpretions for fencing, such as with the German longsword, or naturally with the rapier. But I was curious: were there any historical texts which referred to any more advanced fighting systems in regards to say, the XIIa or XIIIa typology?

And furthermore, how would an armored soldier ended up employing these weapons the battlefield, if at all?

Edit: Changed for clarity


Last edited by Michael Clark on Fri 18 May, 2007 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Broadsword techniques         Reply with quote

Michael Clark wrote:
Hey folks,

I know there are plenty of schools/interpretions for fencing, such as with the German longsword, or naturally with the rapier. But I was curious: were there any historical texts which referred to any more advanced fighting systems in regards to the broadswords of say, the XIIa or XIIIa typology?

And furthermore, how would an armored soldier ended up employing these weapons the battlefield, if at all?


A bunch of people will show up in a moment to tell you that only baskethilts are 'broadswords.' Don't listen!

As to single hand swords, you have surviving styles for the baskethilted broadsword, the messer, and the sword and buckler, and the 'side sword.'

Most of these styles are reasonably compatible with other types of singlehand sword. It is the opinion of many practisioners that messer techniques work quite well with broadswords, with a few exceptions based on small but significant hilt differences. You will find a technique drawn in Talhoffer with messers, then later the same technique drawn with swords.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania


Last edited by George Hill on Thu 17 May, 2007 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tim Scott




Location: Whitesboro, TX
Joined: 11 May 2006

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2007 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Broadsword techniques         Reply with quote

Michael Clark wrote:
Hey folks,

I know there are plenty of schools/interpretions for fencing, such as with the German longsword, or naturally with the rapier. But I was curious: were there any historical texts which referred to any more advanced fighting systems in regards to the broadswords of say, the XIIa or XIIIa typology?

And furthermore, how would an armored soldier ended up employing these weapons the battlefield, if at all?


Funny you should ask. I was just looking at 4 books on this subject over at the Chivalry Bookshelf website and thinking I would have to buy them sometime soon. Then I came here and this is the first topic I see. Big Grin

Perhaps you might want to have a look at them too.

http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VI...amp;Page=1

The ones I'm refering to are ;
Highland Broadsword
Highland Swordsmanship
Medieval Sword and Shield
The Art of Medieval Swordsmanship
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Broadsword techniques         Reply with quote

Tim Scott wrote:

Highland Broadsword

No opinion, as I haven't seen it. I'm sure it's a worthwhile book though, and one I'll surely buy eventually.

I can however recommend the following....

for pure baskethilt work, you can't go wrong with English Swordsmanship, the True Fight of George Silver
http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VI...ProdID=269

Books on swordsmanship come in three types. Direct translations/transcriptions of the originals, explanations of the originals by experts, and hybrids of the first two. It's a good idea to start with the explinations, as they give you an excellent overview of how a system works.

Quote:

Highland Swordsmanship


A very interisting book. Lots of small sword information as well. It's mostly direct transcription though, so you might want something that covers the basics of a system a bit more firmly if you are looking to learn.

Quote:

Medieval Sword and Shield

Highly recommended, but you need a buddy, and you need SPADA 2, which contains the corrections. Overall though, a very good book.

Quote:

The Art of Medieval Swordsmanship


Not recommended. There is a large and rather vicious discussion of that book here:
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=77641


[EDIT TO ADD]
OH!!! You mean THIS BOOK! http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=98 That one is recommended. You are creating an autolink in the myArmoury scripts which made me think you were talking about another book. Still, if you want to learn I-33, the Hand/Wagner volume, coupled with SPADA 2 will be easier on you.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Stephen Hand




Location: Hobart, Australia
Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You've had some good advice thus far.

Probably the closest material to how a medieval arming sword was used by itself is the Italian 16th century sources on the use of the spada solo. Unfortunately this material has yet to have anything accurate published on it. You could also look at the German messer stuff, but again, nothing published yet.

Silver's system which is written up in my book English Swordsmanship is similar in some ways to the Italian material but does rely to an extent on the presence of the basket. I know people who fence Silver well with arming swords and plate gauntlets, but it's not ideal.

If you want to add in a shield you're on better ground. Sword and buckler is covered in my book Medieval Sword and shield but be sure to pick up Spada II with the additional paper looking at changes and additions (interpretation is always a work in progress). Spada I and II also contain papers looking at the surviving sources for the use of arming swords with larger shields, so there's a range of material out there. The two volumes of Spada are available from Chivalry Bookshelf, like the other books mentioned.

Highland Broadsword contains later styles of basket hilted sword play and Highland Swordsmanship contains two 18th century sources on lighter weapons - so these may not be what you're after (they're good though).

I hope this helps.

Cheers
Stephen

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Thu 17 May, 2007 11:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One more worthwile thing to note is that the people who released the Ochs Longsword DVD say they are getting ready to release their Messer DVD in English. It's not out yet, but once it is out, it's sure to be a must have.


The latest news on this was posted here.

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=65996

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Fri 18 May, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Hand wrote:

Probably the closest material to how a medieval arming sword was used by itself is the Italian 16th century sources on the use of the spada solo. Unfortunately this material has yet to have anything accurate published on it.


I just found out how neat the Bolognese single sword material is, it's a shame that there aren't any good books on it yet.

SPADA I and SPADA 2 give a hint of it and Order of the Seven Hearts has some nice info as well.

Good luck.

P.S. They aren't called broadswords (at least not historically)

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Matthew K. Shea




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Fri 18 May, 2007 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Michael. At the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts, we study Fiore dei Liberi, whose teachings includes using the sword in one hand. He wrote around 1400, so using the two sword types you mentioned could certainly have been used by the students of Liberi, and would work very well with either of the two, I suspect. If you're ever in Toronto, you should check us out.
Proud member of the Academy Of European Medieval Martial Arts.

"Those who live by the sword live a good, long time!"
~Minsc, in Baldur's Gate II
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Michael Clark




Location: Welland, Ontario
Joined: 31 Mar 2007

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri 18 May, 2007 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe we are mixed up, due to my ignorance of proper terminology.

I am referring to the useage of massive swords, such as Albion's Baron, Duke, or even the Crecy. Those not having the same "finesse" as say, the Regent or Munich.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 18 May, 2007 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's really not a whole lot of difference between bigger swords like the one's you've mentioned and regular long swords. At least, there doesn't seem to be in the Liechtenauer tradition. The main difference is that the bigger swords obviously handle differently and are better suited to certain types of actions.

However, if you really want a manual which at least depicts larger swords, check out Goliath. I must warn you however that Goliath was most likely not intended to be specifically a "great sword" manual: http://www.schielhau.org/goliath.html and http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/Goliath/Goliath.htm
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Sat 19 May, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Craig here, there doesn't seem to be a significant difference in the use of various lengths of longsword. The one possible exception is that such swords may lend themselves to half-sword techniques more readily or frequently. On the other hand Oakeshott describes these weapons, "German Great Swords", being used single-handed with a shield from horseback (in Archaeology of Weapons).
Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

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PostPosted: Sat 19 May, 2007 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thing about most weapon martial arts is that the majority are teaching full systems, which encompass many weapons. There are notable exceptions for weapons that are more specialized, though even those follow broad universal rules. So a single hander isn't completely different from a longsword, and a longsword isn't completely different from a full sized two-hander, and a full sized two hander isn't that different from a pole arm, etc. And then there's everything in between. Obviously they are all different weapons, but if you study a particular style, as opposed to a particular weapon, you will have a pretty good sense of how to use a sword whether it is a type XVa or a XIII or a XXa.
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Michael Clark




Location: Welland, Ontario
Joined: 31 Mar 2007

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sat 19 May, 2007 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, that clears things up a lot.

Thanks, everyone.
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