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Malcolm A




Location: Scotland, UK
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 5:04 am    Post subject: Definition of a master         Reply with quote

Hello all,
I have tried to search for this in myArmoury but without success; [maybe because I am uselss at searches?]
Anyway, what I am interested to hear from forum members is how one would define a master swordsman or master swordmaker.
The word is often misussed these days I believe in all scopes of life.
We see the use of the terms Exeprt, Consultant Specialist etc etc but it is rarely stated what makes that person so good at their speciality.
At times I have heard, or it is implied, that having done something for years then one must be a master or an expert but I can't believe that is a suitable yard stick to apply the title of master.

I would suggest that Peter Johnsson of Albion is a Master Swordmaker; having read some of the information on the Albion website and read tons of reasoned / thoughtful words of praise heaped on him it would seem a suitable accolade. He may well humbly suggest that he is skilled but not a master...

As for master swordsmen I am at a loss as to how to define this; using a sword for many years and being alive may suggest mastery but only be truly indicative of immense good luck or never having taken part in a full on battle.
Names such as Silver and Lichtenauer spring to mind from my readings in myArmoury but if anyone would care to pitch in with their thoughts on what makes / defines a master swordsman I would be very grateful.
Cheers
Malcolm
"Fairly good after 40 years but definitely NOT a master golfer"

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself
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Sam N.




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A Master in the field of Swordsmanship would be someone who not only can fight well with multiple weapons, but who can explain the principles behind the fencing and can educate students. Marozzo once pointed out that the greatest performers are not always the greatest teachers. Certainly one can be very experienced but still not be a master.

To become a master, one would have to combine experience with training in both the theoretical and practical aspects of fencing so the new "master" could properly explain concepts and techniques to students.

Presently, the idea of mastership in HEMA is quite a controversial one. My personal opinion is that since these arts are still very incomplete, a "mastership" should not be possible. I would examine closely anyone who claimed such mastership and would certainly ask for how that person acquired that mastership. However, there are many disagreements as to what the term "master" means in the context of HEMA, one view is that master simply means teacher, in which case, any person teaching HEMA would be a master. Though, I like to think of the term master as applying to someone who has mastered all the skill of a particular system AND has the necessary skills (e.g. high skill in pedagogy) to pass it on.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree. One can't be considered a master of medieval/renaissance arms without having proven that skill, and nobody has proven himself in earnest combat (not sparring) with medieval/renaissance arms. I think "advanced scholar" is a much better description as far as martial arts are concerned because it's testable--does one have knowledge and skill appropriate to years of serious study? Whether or not that same person could apply that knowledge in earnest combat and also demonstrate mastery of his own fear and reluctance to maim or kill his opponent is a much higher hurdle. I'm deeply skeptical of the argument that if one can demonstrate knowledge and skill with blunts, pulled hits, safety rules, protective gear, etc., then one must perform just as well with sharps used in earnest.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good morning gentlemen,

Our expectation of what the term 'master' means is colored by our modern perception of Asian masters.

A medieval fencing master would simply be somone who professionally taught, likely accompanied by some local recognition by his fellows, and later, by a guild.

Further, masters of the sword *were* tested by bouting, not earnest combat. You didn't need to kill someone to become a master. You were instead tested and observed by other existing masters.

The larger problem attached to being master today is that the traditions we're studying are broken lineages. Even with that proviso, I'd say there's at least one master of these recreated traditions today: Master Terry Brown.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Jeff Pringle
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

American knifemakers have a specific standard to meet if they want to become ABS (American Bladesmith Society) Master Smiths, but there is no sword smith version:
http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ABS_MSTest.htm
Big Grin
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Master" may be somewhat arbitrary these days, as it is a term that is directly related to the apprentice system. Historically, someone wanting to learn a given craft (say blacksmithing) would train as an apprentice under a master smith. Here they would learn the basics and do increasingly harder jobs. An apprentice would often start by making nails and work their way up to things like knives, gates, etc. When they had served under that master long enough and learned as much as was possible, they would take their tools and travel around the area learning from other smiths and getting a broader range of experience. This was known as a journeyman. As a journeyman, the smith would spend part of his time designing a project that included all of the most impressive skills and features he could. Once this project was completed, it would be judged by a panel of masters and, if it was good enough, the smith would be granted the title of master. The piece he created for this panel would then be his masterpiece.

With something like swordsmanship, my guess is that the journeyman would have to do a seminar or assemble a fechtbuch, or something along those lines as their masterpiece.

For modern usage, I suspect the best definition of a master would be someone who is recognized by best people in that field as being on the same level they are. So, if Peter Johnsson and Vince Evans and probably a couple other great swordsmiths agree that I am as good as they are, then I might be a master swordsmith. I'm not, and have no delusions of such grandeur; it's just an example.

-Grey

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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
For modern usage, I suspect the best definition of a master would be someone who is recognized by best people in that field as being on the same level they are. So, if Peter Johnsson and Vince Evans and probably a couple other great swordsmiths agree that I am as good as they are, then I might be a master swordsmith. I'm not, and have no delusions of such grandeur; it's just an example.


Your ideas of mastership are pretty close, but could be taken even farther. A "masterwork" today means the culmination of a life of study and practice, but in period referred to what a journeyman would do for the guild masters to judge his work. In other words, it was the equivilent of an amateur trying to make it into the professional ranks (which isn't a perfect analogy since a journeyman might make a good living without a master's title, but you get the point, I hope). In fact, a masterwork shouldn't really be expected to be anywhere near the high end of work in the art, just well done and of professional quality. So to Greyson's example, he doesn't need to be on par with the very top people's work, just decent and professional.

I'm tired of hearing people say they can't be a master because they don't have Yoda-like powers of martial prowess. Nonsense. Christian was right: A medieval master didn't have to do any serious life or death fighting to be a master, he merely had to take the same kind of proficiency tests we do today. Most professional knights, "milites strennui", fought only a few battles in their lives. Most fought only a few deeds of arms in their lives, and those deeds were almost always circumscribed by rules almost as strenuous as those we have today, and those were the professional fighting men (not that there weren't exceptions, of course, but they were remarkable because they *were* exceptions)!

A master should be someone capable of performing his art at a reasonable level of performance and of teaching others to do so. It should be considered a relatively low level of achievement; something not that extreme to achieve nor worthy of all that much note. Say, on par with a 2nd or 3rd degree black belt from a reasonable martial arts Dojo today. Master is a fairly low level title and it's time we went back to seeing it that way.

Regards,
Hugh
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have no personal investment in any WMA school or system, so I hope folks will understand my comments as those of an outsider merely interested in and respectful of WMA. I think this is a very interesting subject.

We may be talking about different things:

Historical definitions of "Master" and the technical process of earning that professional rank or title
How to tell if a modern practitioner--absent an unbroken chain of knowledge, expectation of practical application or any sparring with sharps--deserves to be considered a "master" (in terms of knowledge and skill, not in terms of a specific rank or title within a given organization--master vs. Master, in other words.

IIRC, as Terry Brown pointed out in his excellent book, even common prize fighters faced sharps in formal, regulated bouts. Those who didn't master their art paid in blood. Of course, that doesn't mean all Masters of the day did likewise, but I'm not aware that any modern Masters have done so. That's why I personally would set the bar quite high on the second point above.We're simply not willling to test competence at the highest historical level, so doubt remains where it might not in, say, the early 17th c. Also, historically, there was the chance that somebody would come forward to challenge claims of mastery. I dimly recall an incident in which an English swordsman got fed up with one "Italianated" Master's dodging of such a challenge to prove his skill, tracked him down and killed him in fine English style. That kind of check, even if rare in that period, just isn't on the table for modern folks claiming the title of Master of this or that western martial art. On the other hand, no boxing teacher is fool enough to call himself Heavyweight Champion (of Joe's Boxing Academy) because he knows every 8' hulk in the city is going to line up to pound him into dust. Boxers have to prove their skill in the ring at huge personal risk. WMA students, at any level, do not.

It comes down to personal preference, and I'd be more willing to call someone a master of, say, knife fighting, if I know he's been in knife fights (lots of modern folks have been).

I would tend to disagree that mastery should be reasonably attainable. I just don't see any reason for that outside of the specific concerns of a school, in which students want to advance up a formal ranking system. Why shouldn't it be extremely difficult? Why shouldn't it be incredibly rare to encounter somebody whose peers agree has attained the highest levels of knowledge and skill? I think there's also the danger of rank inflation in a formal system. Master, Master First Class, Chief Master, High Exalted Master, etc., --If there are lots of Masters running around, albeit Masters of differing degrees, it kind of cheapens the definition of Master, in my own view. Now, if one can beat all challengers in a given weapon, even just in blunt sparring, I think it's reasonable for that person to call himself Master, but there couldn't be more than one Master for a given weapon. The guys who couldn't beat him are something else.

Having said all that, I want to thank everybody sincerely trying to understand and teach the western martial arts. You can call yourselves speckled butter beans for all I care if you can demonstrate the martial effectiveness of your knowledge and skills. Big Grin

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Tue 24 Jul, 2007 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
I have no personal investment in any WMA school or system, so I hope folks will understand my comments as those of an outsider merely interested in and respectful of WMA. I think this is a very interesting subject.

We may be talking about different things:

Historical definitions of "Master" and the technical process of earning that professional rank or title
How to tell if a modern practitioner--absent an unbroken chain of knowledge, expectation of practical application or any sparring with sharps--deserves to be considered a "master" (in terms of knowledge and skill, not in terms of a specific rank or title within a given organization--master vs. Master, in other words.

IIRC, as Terry Brown pointed out in his excellent book, even common prize fighters faced sharps in formal, regulated bouts. Those who didn't master their art paid in blood. Of course, that doesn't mean all Masters of the day did likewise, but I'm not aware that any modern Masters have done so. That's why I personally would set the bar quite high on the second point above.We're simply not willling to test competence at the highest historical level, so doubt remains where it might not in, say, the early 17th c. Also, historically, there was also the chance that somebody would come forward to challenge claims of mastery. I dimly recall an incident in which an English swordsman got fed up with one "Italianated" Master's dodging of such a challenge to prove his skill, tracked him down and killed him in fine English style. That kind of check, even if rare in that period, just isn't on the table for modern folks claiming the title of Master of this or that western martial art. On the other hand, no boxing teacher is fool enough to call himself Heavyweight Champion (of Joe's Boxing Academy) because he knows every 8' hulk in the city is going to line up to pound him into dust. Boxers have to prove their skill in the ring at huge personal risk. WMA students, at any level, do not.

It comes down to personal preference, and I'd be more willing to call someone a master of, say, knife fighting, if I know he's been in knife fights (lots of modern folks have been).

I would tend to disagree that mastery should be reasonably attainable. I just don't see any reason for that outside of the specific concerns of a school, in which students want to advance up a formal ranking system. Why shouldn't it be extremely difficult? Why shouldn't it be incredibly rare to encounter somebody whose peers agree has attained the highest levels of knowledge and skill? I think there's also the danger of rank inflation in a formal system. Master, Master First Class, Chief Master, High Exalted Master, etc., --If there are lots of Masters running around, albeit Masters of differing degrees, it kind of cheapens the definition of Master, in my own view. Now, if one can beat all challengers in a given weapon, even just in blunt sparring, I think it's reasonable for that person to call himself Master, but there couldn't be more than one Master for a given weapon. The guys who couldn't beat him are something else.


That's because you're fixated on modern notions of "mastery". There were lots of "master" goldsmiths in medieval Germany, not just one. There's no need to worry about "cheapening" the title of master because it's not all that high to begin with.

Regards,
Hugh
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
[ A "masterwork" today means the culmination of a life of study and practice, but in period referred to what a journeyman would do for the guild masters to judge his work. In other words, it was the equivilent of an amateur trying to make it into the professional ranks (which isn't a perfect analogy since a journeyman might make a good living without a master's title, but you get the point, I hope). In fact, a masterwork shouldn't really be expected to be anywhere near the high end of work in the art, just well done and of professional quality.


I agree strongly. A parallel existed in craft trades. As an example; the classic colonial era slant top desks (basically just simple cabinets with drawers and nice legs under them) were the journeyman's masterpiece-master cabinet maker rank (typically required between 600 to 1600 hours work when made with hand tools from rough lumber.) This was typically done to graduate from cabinet maker to an apprentice level furniture maker. These could be magnificent with elaborate hidden compartments, or just be basic and functional. Good quality construction and finishing were really all that were required. Most of the guild craft masters really were not that diverse; i.e. Chippendale did not make furniture, he made the finishes and paints that were applied to the furniture others built per his drawings.

I like the idea that the master should be a competent teacher. Fast and intelligent perception of what opponents are doing should translate into good perception of what students are doing. That said, if an illiterate master lost his voice and was no longer optimal as a teacher, I would still think of him as a master based upon his proficiency alone. I don't recall any period fechtbuch ascribing the quality of being a teacher as being required to be a master.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
I like the idea that the master should be a competent teacher. Fast and intelligent perception of what opponents are doing should translate into good perception of what students are doing. That said, if an illiterate master lost his voice and was no longer optimal as a teacher, I would still think of him as a master based upon his proficiency alone. I don't recall any period fechtbuch ascribing the quality of being a teacher as being required to be a master.


Granted; to carry the guild comparison farther, I know of nothing that says a prospective master was expected to be able to teach, either. That was me overlaying what I thought was important onto the system, and you're right to point out that that's a mistake.

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Hugh
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Jeffrey Hull




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 4:26 pm    Post subject: Meisterschaft         Reply with quote

Anybody in modern times who pursues the swordsmanship of Kunst des Fechtens and claims the title of Meister or Fechtmeister is a phony, a liar, a fraud.

Such a person would most likely lose a fight to Liechtenauer, Ringeck, Talhoffer, Kal, Von Danzig.

Those true Fechtmeister of olden times did not train or teach knights and nobles merely for bouting, or to further courtesy as the hallmark of a great swordsman, or for self-discovery, or to promote academy as the highest level of fencing, or whatever -- those Fechtmeister taught men how to kill their foes in earnest fight of dueling and war.

JH

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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why is everyone so hung up on the word master?

Why do so few people ask "what is a scholar" or "what is a provost"?

People are afraid to use the word master because there will always be people who say that no one today can possibly live up to their perceptions of what the word means, and because no one today can possibly live up to skills of men who used swords to survive and kill.

Well, like it or not, we today are engaged in the pursuit of martial excellence through the study of medieval arts. Since we can't ever fight and kill each other with swords, all we can do is what we can do...read, experiment, pass it on. There are people out there today that are very, very, very good at this. We all know who they are, because we seek them out to learn from, we read their books and attend their seminars. We read their posts on forums when they are nice enough to share their thoughts with us, and we turn to them with all of our hard questions. These people are modern masters, whether we call them that or not.

Does that mean they can take Talhoffer in a duel? Probably not, maybe so, who cares? They are all we've got, and what we've got is pretty darn good. We owe what we know to their hard work and talents, and we should give them the restpect that they deserve, even if what we know today will never be as cool as what Ringeck knew.

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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Meisterschaft         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Hull wrote:
Those true Fechtmeister of olden times did not train or teach knights and nobles merely for bouting, or to further courtesy as the hallmark of a great swordsman, or for self-discovery, or to promote academy as the highest level of fencing, or whatever -- those Fechtmeister taught men how to kill their foes in earnest fight of dueling and war.


Gee, Jeff, that's hard to reconcile with the fact that so many teachers didn't practice an art that involved killing, don't you think?

Get over romantic notions of swordsmanship.

Regards,
Hugh
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh,

Jeff did say "true" fechtmeister. Perhaps he is referring to the ones who taught swordsmanship in that context. But I'm wondering precisely who you are referring to when you state that so many of the teachers didn't practice an art that involved killing. Who are you thinking of specifically? If, for instance, you're referring to Meyer, you need to have an explanation as to why this is when he is so strongly rooted in the Liechtenauer tradition. Merely stating that his manual is schulfechten isn't enough; everything that we modern practitioners do is schulfechten, but that doesn't mean that that we practice could not be used in ernst fechten. The same holds true for Meyer.

Or perhaps you're thinking of a rapier master, or someone else?
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Jeff did say "true" fechtmeister. Perhaps he is referring to the ones who taught swordsmanship in that context. But I'm wondering precisely who you are referring to when you state that so many of the teachers didn't practice an art that involved killing. Who are you thinking of specifically? If, for instance, you're referring to Meyer, you need to have an explanation as to why this is when he is so strongly rooted in the Liechtenauer tradition. Merely stating that his manual is schulfechten isn't enough; everything that we modern practitioners do is schulfechten, but that doesn't mean that that we practice could not be used in ernst fechten. The same holds true for Meyer.

Or perhaps you're thinking of a rapier master, or someone else?


I, of course, have no idea what Jeff means by a "true" fechtmeister, but the term is roughly analagous to "dancing master"; i.e., a person who teaches fencing. It has little connotation of extraordinary skill, any such notion is purely modern (and very misinformed).

And when I say that most fencing masters had little or no experience of lethal encounters, I stand by that. Modern people have such curious notions of the middle ages, with armed bravos wandering about slashing one another up indiscriminately--it's really amusing. Even in Doebringer's day we read of "school fencing" with no lethal applicability, let alone lethal encounters, and, as I pointed out in my original posts, even most knights had few if any lethal encounters in their entire lives.

As for your claims about Meyer, you're simply mistaken. Sure, schulfechten can be used for a lethal encounter just as a boxer can box his way out of a lethal streetfight, but the vast majority of them never have and there's no evidence school fencers did so in period, either.

Moreover, your claim that everyone today is studying Schulfechten indicates a serious misunderstanding of the differences between Ernstfechten and Schulfechten. The difference lies not in the intent of the practitioner but in the nature of the system itself. The absence of thrusts in Schulfechten just as in the absence of Forbidden Wrestlings in grappling are the kinds of things one looks for to see the true symbols of sportive forms. Really, Craig, I thought you'd understand that. Most people who studied Ernstfechten in period *never* had a serious fight. Never. We're no different today.

Regards,
Hugh
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 10:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Most people who studied Ernstfechten in period *never* had a serious fight. Never. We're no different today.


A modern analogy are courses of combat pistol craft for civilians and police and military: Most of the best known teachers have never had to shoot at anyone in real life. Some may have police or military experience and did see real combat but many of the most skilled haven't.

If someone can use the skills in a real fight is something they can't be sure of until they do it.

When one sees longsword bouting by very skilful practitioners we see one or the other winning individual bouts that in a real duel would be fatal.

Surviving to an advanced age and having fought dozens of real duels means being good enough and/or lucky enough to not have made all those mistakes that lose bouts in friendly practice ! A real fight with real swords must focus the mind were one would not take chances casually or have the " sang froid " ( nerves of steel ) to be bold, fast and wise when deciding when and how to attack: A casual approach would mean rapidly becoming a casualty. Eek!

A master Warrior would be one whose technique doesn't fall apart when it's for real. A master teacher can be as good or better in theory but untested by real combat and is a master of a sport or game, but still a legitimate master.

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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think this may be one of those subjects where people have to agree to disagree. Do supposed masters today have actually combat experience? No. Did the supposed masters of the medieval period? Opinions seem to be divided, and I wasn't their, so I can't say.

Especially since the original post addressed both swordsmen and swordmakers, I would like to suggest that master-hood (if that is a word) can be tested. That seems to be a point on which most people are in agreement, but they do not agree on the nature of the testing. We may never. For a sword smith that may be easier to define. Does your sword retain it's edge after cutting rope, a metal bucket, etc.? Does your sword flex to a given point and return to true? With swordsmanship, however, that can be harder to test. Bouting may be sufficient, actual combat may be better or worse (I still recall my NCO telling me, "anyone can win a fight, it's all a question of who trips at the wrong moment").

I strongly suspect, and this is only a theory based on the assumption that the basic nature of people has not changed significantly over the years, that some people wanted to learn from a man who had, "seen the elephant," and some people thought that a master judged by bouting was good enough. I sincerely doubt that there was an International Association for the granting of Masterdom, and requirements most likely varied from region to region.

I would also like to suggest that no one will ever know everything there is to know about a given subject. For example, a medieval master smith could probably make anything you wanted, but I doubt he could quantify the heat of his fire by saying, "the material is at a working heat when it is around 1600 degrees." Perhaps a better example is that of screws. Most evidence points to screws being produced starting in the late 14th century. Does that mean a master blacksmith in the 12th century was not actually a master simply because he did not think to make screws? Maybe; maybe not. What I am trying to get at is the fact that master-hood is 1) a description of the abilities of a given individual when compared to others in that same craft during the same time frame and 2) conferred by consensus of individuals knowledgable in the craft (not the peanut gallery, which I maintain (despite the fact that it will offend some people), most of us are).

-Grey

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Ray McCullough





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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2007 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When the masters of old were tested they were tested by other masters, whether they were a mason or a swordsman. The masters doing the test ing were not "relatively low level performers "or they would not have been sought out by patrons. I don't see how master was ever viewed as a low level title, then or now. Since we don't have masters to judge if someone has reached master level than we cannot have masters in renaissance martial arts.

If we decide to make masters of relatively low level performers, that does nothing to promote are craft as legitimate. We will end up with people who can't perform simple techniques with proficiency being called masters.

" The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusteth in Him and I am helped.." Psalms 28:7
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: Meisterschaft         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Hull wrote:
Anybody in modern times who pursues the swordsmanship of Kunst des Fechtens and claims the title of Meister or Fechtmeister is a phony, a liar, a fraud.


Jeffrey

Very well stated! The truth does have some rough edges. Laughing Out Loud Given the youth of the modern reconstruction of these arts as true combat martial arts (years and years of stage fighting, role playing, re-enactment, and D&D does not count) it is just plain silly for anyone to claim the title "Master".


Hugh Knight wrote:
Gee, Jeff...
Get over romantic notions of swordsmanship.

Hugh

I am very sure that Jeffrey, like all other ARMA members, does not have any romantic notions of swordsmanship. I don't think you will see Jeffrey dressed up in bright colored elves cloths claiming some Lordship title and talking about chivalry, dragons, and dancing with his sword. For ARMA scholars the focus is always on recreating these lost arts as true combat martial arts. As John Clements has often said, "We don't take ourselves very serious but we do take these arts very serious."


Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW
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