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A. Jake Storey II




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject: Knife fighting?         Reply with quote

So, Im taking a martial art that teaches unarmed combat, sword fighting, stick fighting, and knife fighting. This started me thinking, other then as an assistant to the small-sword and rapier, how much were knives used? Was knife fighting in the training or was it just put the point in the bad-guy Laughing Out Loud?
Only you can deny yourself your rights.
Too ignore the rights of others, is to forfeit you own!
Thereby, in your crime, YOU bring Justice on your own head!!!
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Knife fighting?         Reply with quote

A. Jake Storey II wrote:
So, Im taking a martial art that teaches unarmed combat, sword fighting, stick fighting, and knife fighting. This started me thinking, other then as an assistant to the small-sword and rapier, how much were knives used? Was knife fighting in the training or was it just put the point in the bad-guy Laughing Out Loud?


Knives in general or in your style? What is the style?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Knife fighting?         Reply with quote

A. Jake Storey II wrote:
So, Im taking a martial art that teaches unarmed combat, sword fighting, stick fighting, and knife fighting. This started me thinking, other then as an assistant to the small-sword and rapier, how much were knives used? Was knife fighting in the training or was it just put the point in the bad-guy Laughing Out Loud?


How much were they used? Do you mean throughout history? Well, knives and daggers are some of the oldest weapons of humanity, since the first human knapped one out of stone.

Do you mean how often were the techniques used in combat? That entirely depends on the time period, region, and particular situation, but most wholistic martial arts have some form of knife/dagger component. The dagger was a very intregal part of medieval martial arts: It was a weapon carried when other weapons were put away, it was a back up weapon when disarmed, and it was highly useful in armoured combat when you have pinned your opponent down to thrust into the openings. It was far more than "put the point in the bad-guy": Like with all martial arts, it required proper timing, distance, technique and proportion. And understanding of body mechanics, grappling and deflections were all utilized. Medieval and Renaissance dagger techniques included hip throws, arm locks, disarms, and just about anything you might see in arts from jujitsu to krav maga.

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--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Shayan G





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PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr. Storey, would this happen to be kali silat/escrima, or a similar FMA?
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: Knife fighting?         Reply with quote

A. Jake Storey II wrote:
So, Im taking a martial art that teaches unarmed combat, sword fighting, stick fighting, and knife fighting. This started me thinking, other then as an assistant to the small-sword and rapier, how much were knives used? Was knife fighting in the training or was it just put the point in the bad-guy Laughing Out Loud?


Well...every comprehensive martial system (whether Western, Eastern, or modern) I know include knife-fighting within their curriculum. And their knife (or at least unarmed vs. knife) techniques generally tend to be both sophisticated and effective at that. I suspect they really had a reason for it, because I can easily imagine how the frequency of bar brawls, streetfights, domestic violence, and armed assault in a civilian situation--all of which were more likely to employ knives than bigger or more "military" weapons--would have been much higher than that of military encounters in the field. By extension, it makes sense that even dedicated warriors would probably have seen more knife-fights than sword-fights in their lifetime.
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Joe Yurgil





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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 4:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Marine Corps Martial Arts there are a handful of knife techniques (including a few unarmed vs. armed) but interestingly knife fighting on the whole is deemphasized in favor of "find a better weapon"
Sj, ar s ek fur minn.
Sj, ar s ek mur mina ok systur mina ok brur minn.
Sj, ar s ek allan minn frndgar.
Sj, kalla eim tl min.
Bija mr at taka minn sta hj eim slum Valhallar, ar drengiligr menn munu lifa allan aldr.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 4:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Yurgil wrote:
In Marine Corps Martial Arts there are a handful of knife techniques (including a few unarmed vs. armed) but interestingly knife fighting on the whole is deemphasized in favor of "find a better weapon"


Really? When my dad was in, they seemed to have emphasized all forms of fighting they could teach you.

M.

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Joe Yurgil





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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well the reason it is deemphasized is because in most knife fights both people will get cut and stabbed, especially since most people dont have the sense of distance and timing that sparring gives you. (imagine giving two beginners weapons after their first lesson and then letting them go at it). That coupled with the amount of time needed to train any given person to become adept at distance and timing vs. how often they expect anyone to be in a knife fight means that they need to teach some basics, but not go too in depth. So rather than emphasizing one thing they dont expect you to have to use much, they emphasize all out aggression coupled with some choice techniques and headwork on finding a better weapon than knife.

im not saying its perfect, but i think that is their line of reasoning.

Sj, ar s ek fur minn.
Sj, ar s ek mur mina ok systur mina ok brur minn.
Sj, ar s ek allan minn frndgar.
Sj, kalla eim tl min.
Bija mr at taka minn sta hj eim slum Valhallar, ar drengiligr menn munu lifa allan aldr.
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting side to 'knife-fighting' is the way of the spanish plebs.

The knife used traditionally was and is a fairly large to oversized folding knife. The bandoleros of the 19th century rode with preferrable two trabucos and a large folding knife. In knifefights including against a sword they would use their cloak or jacket to parry.

peter
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Bill already touched on knife fighting in the middle ages involved grappling. Grappling was the first part of most combat books of the era because it was the foundation for all the other forms.
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Stirling Matheson





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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Donald MacBain's autobiography that was published with his manual and Hope's New Method in "Highland Swordsmanship: Techniques of the Scottish Sword Masters" (Ed. Mark Rector) I believe he mentioned the Dutch settling their quarrels with knives instead of swords, and alluded to there being an interesting martial art associated with this...

Does anybody know what MacBain is talking about there?
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is medieval grappling similar to modern (real) wrestling? What few videos I have seen on I.33 and Longsword fencing never really got to the grappling, instead finishing with swords.

M.

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, there is LOTS of knife/dagger play in the fencing manuals.
Liberi, Talhoffer, and most of the others have very extensive dagger sections.

Since knives would be carried at almost all times, it is natural that they where used for fighting. In most self defence/Kill the guy that looked at the wench i was looking at-situations the knife would be the only thing at hand. Or you probably wouldn't be in the fight in the first place.
In additon to this, daggers where used extensively in armoured close combat.

So, yes, dagger/knife was trained extensively, with quite advanced techniques.

Of course, like today, most "real" fights where pure grab and stab...

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
Is medieval grappling similar to modern (real) wrestling? What few videos I have seen on I.33 and Longsword fencing never really got to the grappling, instead finishing with swords.

M.


In many ways, yes... only with a whole lot more arm breaks and dropping people on their head. Wink It's kind of like comparing Judo and Jujitsu: They are both related arts, but one is a sport with rules for keeping your partner [relatively] safe.

Here's a teaser video from Ringschule Wroclaw. They did a German unarmed combat DVD that I hear is fantastic (though I haven't seen it myself yet). It's only a teaser video, so obviously it is incomplete, but it gives you somewhat of an idea of how some techniques are done (you'll note there's a lot of taking your opponent to the ground.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfuMYqfmACM

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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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 12:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
M. Eversberg II wrote:
Is medieval grappling similar to modern (real) wrestling? What few videos I have seen on I.33 and Longsword fencing never really got to the grappling, instead finishing with swords.

M.


In many ways, yes... only with a whole lot more arm breaks and dropping people on their head. Wink It's kind of like comparing Judo and Jujitsu: They are both related arts, but one is a sport with rules for keeping your partner [relatively] safe.

Here's a teaser video from Ringschule Wroclaw. They did a German unarmed combat DVD that I hear is fantastic (though I haven't seen it myself yet). It's only a teaser video, so obviously it is incomplete, but it gives you somewhat of an idea of how some techniques are done (you'll note there's a lot of taking your opponent to the ground.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfuMYqfmACM


Interesting. I had always assumed that Europe had a defined "unarmed" combat style, despite the droves of "karate kids" saying otherwise. What you described above is similar to what I figured it would be. I did very little martial arts training when I was younger, but the limb breaking was always the biggest appeal to me, especially considering I am not a tall person by any means (and thus desire to remove their advantage of movement, arms, etc).

M.

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