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Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: How Was A Cinquedea Used?         Reply with quote

Do any of you who practice Western Martial Arts know if any of the Late Medieval or Renaissance Masters at Arms wrote anything on the use of the cinquedea? Now that I have one and have noticed that its balance seems very different from other large knives in my experience, I am wondering how they were actually used. Did Fiore or any of them write about them in their books?
Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my experience practicing defensive scenarios, a big knife is a big knife. It doesn't really matter if its a tanto or a dagger, as long as its got a sharp point and a good edge, and whether it balances a little bit forward or a little bit behind the guard barely affects the function. The general idea is to rush the enemy, grab him, throw him to the ground if you want, and drive the blade into him. All at once. The balance shouldn't matter that much. It might be better for parrying a larger weapon than a bowie knife or something because more weight is closer to your hand, meaning its a little faster, and a bit less likely to get knocked out of your hand... but again, only a small difference. Like most large knives, the cinquedea is probably at a disadvantage defending against a longer weapon (getting close enough to strike is tricky), and very lethal against an unarmed attacker (assuming one has a hand free to draw it, and can avoid getting taken down or grappled long enough to get it out). Of course, this is just my opinion, and I've never been a student of any medieval or renaissance WMA.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 7:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Someone actually asked a question about this elsewhere in the forums. Trying searching the forums with "cinquedea".
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Officially there are no known details about the cinquedea specifically. That said, there are a lot of techniques that can be extrapolated from related systems. As Dan said, a big knife is a big knife. Happy

Scott Wilson developed a plausible system of the cinquedea's use based on contemporary Italian arts. He's very honest and upfront about the fact that it isn't a truly pure system, in that he's doing a lot of guess work, but all of the guess work comes from legitimate historical techniques that are applied to the characteristics of the cinquedea. He's taught some workshops on it, and it's pretty solid stuff from a martial standpoint.

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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Christian Henry Tobler
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Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And of course, Cinquedea covers quite a bit of ground regarding size and use. My old Del Tin Cinquedea, one of the earliest serious replicas I purchased, feels more like a very short sword than an oversized dagger. My natural inclination, from my own experiences, is to wield it in the manner of a German messer.

All the best,

CHT

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marozzo has sections on Dagger (Pugnale - Chapters 52-57) and Dagger and Cape (Pugnale e Cappa - Chapters 58-63) which seem to detail a weapon somewhat heavier than the standard dagger (as the techniques include many cuts and even parries with the blade).

Steve
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Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 256

PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
In my experience practicing defensive scenarios, a big knife is a big knife. It doesn't really matter if its a tanto or a dagger, as long as its got a sharp point and a good edge, and whether it balances a little bit forward or a little bit behind the guard barely affects the function. The general idea is to rush the enemy, grab him, throw him to the ground if you want, and drive the blade into him. All at once. The balance shouldn't matter that much. It might be better for parrying a larger weapon than a bowie knife or something because more weight is closer to your hand, meaning its a little faster, and a bit less likely to get knocked out of your hand... but again, only a small difference. Like most large knives, the cinquedea is probably at a disadvantage defending against a longer weapon (getting close enough to strike is tricky), and very lethal against an unarmed attacker (assuming one has a hand free to draw it, and can avoid getting taken down or grappled long enough to get it out). Of course, this is just my opinion, and I've never been a student of any medieval or renaissance WMA.

Some years back and before I got so damned arthritic, I used to practice with a Bowie Knife and the general concept of a knife fight with such weapons is more of a duel than you describe. You actually do thrusts, ripostes, parries, etc. It was such practice that taught me about the effectiveness of the back cut, a particularly lethal trick that can be done with a knife with a very sharp point.

Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
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