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Anders Nilsson




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 2:12 am    Post subject: Theory on the use of shields         Reply with quote

I have been studying I.33 for a while now and Iīm curios of how other types of shields where used.
I have also tried using I.33 a a base for other shields and it work quite well.

I had the pleasure of talking to Hammaborg from Germany about this and they had quite interesting theories.
With centergripped shield fighting is quite similar to I.33. The pro of using a bigger shield is that you can use binds with the shield at a greater distance than with a buckler. You can also cover your swordhand more easily with a bigger shield. This can also explain why for example vikings had so small cross on thier sword. They didnīt need them because they covered their hand with their shield.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXPujfwQJUg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGNBc7ewusQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWSTx0tZHCU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8SRaa33otU

A shield thats strapped to the arm for example a heather, limits some of the moves used with a centergripped shield.

Well, whats your experience on using different types of shields?
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Vaclav Homan




Location: Hradec, Czech
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Every shield type determine another fight system. Hammabork Deutschland videos have good ideas, but not good practised.
About Harnischfechten you mean youtube videos, there are some videos with Harnisch but use sword with Harnisch is specific wresling mit Halbschwerd.

There is only one art of fence yet many ways to reach it
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have been discussing shield types and their use on and off in other threads so I am glade you created a separate thread to concentrate just on this. As Vaclav said each shield type is a different fight. To an observer all shields may look like they are doing the same thing but their are significant difference from the point of view of the user.

You mentioned interest in fighting with a heater shield, that is what I fight with every week. The most obvious thing with a large shield is its size and weight. At a minimum it is going to weigh 8 lbs. The size means that you can cover a lot or area with out having to move it a lot. This is a critical concept because if you start punching it out you will tire your arm because of its weight.

The most common way to use a heater is to keep it in front of your body with the corner pointed up. You can look around the corner while still keep your head defended. You drop the lower corner to protect yourself up to the knee. Protecting below the knee will require a sword block or rolling the shield forward to block with the top edge. The best low-leg defense that allow the most offensive options is range and positioning. Don't position yourself so he can hit you low-leg.

The key to being offensive with a heater shield is to work your sword around it. DO NOT move the shield out of the way so you can attack. That will get you killed. Patience is key. Most of your shots will be blocked and you should block almost all the shots against you.

Against new fighters who will open their shield up to attack all you have to do is keep yourself covered and attack the opening. Against intermediate fighters, you can attack one area to draw the defense to the that area and then attack another area in a combination attack. A really good fighter is impossible to hit if he is on defense only. He will only give you an opening while he is attacking you. Everyone opens up a little when they attack. You have to time you shot so it slips in while blocking yourself in a "counter-punch".

I have a video that should be useful to you. You may view them here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFOgO_jo1A8

I also have a webpage that explains the details of attacking around your shield. You may view that here:

http://mysite.verizon.net/tsafa1/pell/index.htm

I have watched those videos from Hamburg with the round center grip shields several times. The demonstration is very well done. Having fought against against those types of shields on many occasions with my heater, I have been able to flip the shield by hitting it with my edge or even sword as shown in the video. Of course it does not look that pretty when I do it, it looks like I am being a thug. Even if I don't get a kill, it is very destabilizing to my opponent. They can not flip my shield because it is strapped to my forearm. Since round shields don't have corners, they also have to raise their shield higher to block their head, that opens up the upper leg more to me. People with round shields usually sword block more to cover openings. Round shields do have some more offensive options then a heater since they are moving it around more and also have better visibility.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
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Last edited by Bill Tsafa on Thu 13 Mar, 2008 12:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Anders Nilsson




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What I have found is a shield should be used very activ. In I.33 itīs used to bind the enemy so you can get the kill. What Hammaborg told me and I have found while trying is with a bigger shield I can bind the enemy from a greater distance than with a buckler.
This goes for centergripped shields. Even a quite big one has the dexterity to be used like that.

I havnīt figured out heathershields yet. I have so far only seen them as a hinder. Since my arm is strapped to the shield i lose one arm.
I have fought some fighters with heaters and it mostly ends the same. Since they got one arm strapped, I bind their weapon and go in and grapple and throw then and then ends it on the ground with dagger. Since they got one arm strapped they canīt defend against grappling.

Is their any sources on shields to be found? I have only found I.33, Talhoffers plates of sword/messer and buckler and Talhoffers plates on duellingshields.
I have found nothing with heaters for example.
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Nilsson wrote:

Is their any sources on shields to be found? I have only found I.33, Talhoffers plates of sword/messer and buckler and Talhoffers plates on duellingshields.
I have found nothing with heaters for example.


Nope. Nothing on heaters. We have had to rediscover its strengths and weaknesses through trial and error.

The reason why you are having a hard time with the heater is because you are trying to use it actively as as buckler. The heavier heater can never be as fast as a lighter buckler, so you have to use it differently.

You mentioned grappling. No one should ever be able to grab anything but your heater if they attempt to grapple if the heater is in front of you. You should be able to kill them with your sword before they execute any moves. That is a matter of fencing times. The key for the heater is not to waste any. Strike immediately where you see an opening. Recall, what I said before about striking into someone's attack. In that instance you are trying to hit an opening that will be there for only a fraction of a second. People have developed the skill to do that with speed and accuracy . So in comparison, you are talking about approaching a shieldman with at least one empty hand. He has a whole range of targets he can pick-off, including the lower-leg because he knows his opponent committed to closing in and only has a sword to block with.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com


Last edited by Bill Tsafa on Thu 13 Mar, 2008 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Arledge




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another thing to add is that a heater and its ancestor the kite shield came from a lineage that included mounted battle. I wonder how often heater shields were used for anything like the direct duelling of an I.33 system.

Just a thought. Perhaps I am way off, but I imagine a heater used mounted or in a larger battle, not for one on one duals.

Mike J Arledge

The Dude Abides
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Arledge wrote:
Another thing to add is that a heater and its ancestor the kite shield came from a lineage that included mounted battle. I wonder how often heater shields were used for anything like the direct duelling of an I.33 system.

Just a thought. Perhaps I am way off, but I imagine a heater used mounted or in a larger battle, not for one on one duals.


Mike, this is something I have considered myself. My thoughts are that on foot a long kite can be cumbersome in running over things on the battlefield, like bodies, or even going up stairs. My thought is that after they started using greaves in combination with mail in 1250, footmen may have preferred the shorter heater for the increased mobility. I don't know if it was used in a duels, but I can imagine situations in battle or skirmishes that might result in a one on one situation on foot, so it would be a useful skill to have .

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fighting wars and fighting duals is very different, I don't think large shields would be used outside of the battle field.
In the SCA, I have used both large and small shields and I find that small shields tends to be more work and effort though it does offer better visibility and movement. Large shields on the other hand protects more and (if used correctly) allows you to concentrate on the fight.
Both has it's place and a small shield must be used in a specific manner to be workable. It's all in what you train with and what you like.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Sean Smith





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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Nilsson wrote:
I havnīt figured out heathershields yet. I have so far only seen them as a hinder. Since my arm is strapped to the shield i lose one arm.
I have fought some fighters with heaters and it mostly ends the same. Since they got one arm strapped, I bind their weapon and go in and grapple and throw then and then ends it on the ground with dagger. Since they got one arm strapped they canīt defend against grappling.


What ruleset are you fighting under? There are two major problems I see in your description. One is that they let their weapon get bound, instead of simply pulling away, and refusing to let you close enough to grapple (what I refer to as Rule #1: Dont get killed). The second seems to be based on your ruleset. Using a shield offensively, your opponent would be able to either throw you to the ground or punch you in the face. Either one would cause enough shock for a weapon to strike.

There is very little evidence (though it does exist) that a centergrip heater shape existed. At least there are heater-shaped shields with bosses on them, after bosses had fallen out of style.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Theory on the use of shields         Reply with quote

Anders,

This is really interesting. I read something somewhere (How do you like that for being specific?) that people were suggesting that the Viking fighter might have rotated behind his shield. I hope I'm getting this right; the fighter would be facing his opponent with his shield in his left hand and laying against his forearm with the edge of the shield facing his enemy. When a strike came in he would step back with his right foot and get behind his shield. The videos you shared with us seem more "pro-active" and more persuasive.

I'm presuming that you are doing things similar to what you showed us in the videos. Do they physically feel right to you?
On a gut level, do you think this is similar to what the Vikings did? This is a little different than what you said, "I have also tried using I.33 a a base for other shields and it work quite well."

You also said, "I had the pleasure of talking to Hammaborg from Germany about this and they had quite interesting theories." What are these theories? Are these the theories? "With centergripped shield fighting is quite similar to I.33. The pro of using a bigger shield is that you can use binds with the shield at a greater distance than with a buckler. You can also cover your swordhand more easily with a bigger shield. This can also explain why for example vikings had so small cross on thier sword. They didnīt need them because they covered their hand with their shield." So then does it follow that the spike hilt ( Gjaddhilt SP?) is an adaptation to fighting from horseback?

Who/what is Hammaborg? I really don't know.

I know the guys in the video are doing things in demonstration mode but I have to admit I have a hard time visualizing the Vikings being so academic about fighting. I see them more like American football linemen with swords. Sort of an aggression, testosterone, homicide cocktail, the U.S. Marines would fight like that if they had to use swords!

Thanks again,



Ken Speed
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Anders Nilsson




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Smith wrote:
Anders Nilsson wrote:
I havnīt figured out heathershields yet. I have so far only seen them as a hinder. Since my arm is strapped to the shield i lose one arm.
I have fought some fighters with heaters and it mostly ends the same. Since they got one arm strapped, I bind their weapon and go in and grapple and throw then and then ends it on the ground with dagger. Since they got one arm strapped they canīt defend against grappling.


What ruleset are you fighting under? There are two major problems I see in your description. One is that they let their weapon get bound, instead of simply pulling away, and refusing to let you close enough to grapple (what I refer to as Rule #1: Dont get killed). The second seems to be based on your ruleset. Using a shield offensively, your opponent would be able to either throw you to the ground or punch you in the face. Either one would cause enough shock for a weapon to strike.

There is very little evidence (though it does exist) that a centergrip heater shape existed. At least there are heater-shaped shields with bosses on them, after bosses had fallen out of style.


I use HEMA so i donīt use any rules. Faceprotection, waster weighted like a sword and a shield. Then itīs anything goes. Like MMA with weapons.

The reason my grappling has worked is because I use a quick rush in when the enemy is not expecting it. I leave an opening, when the opponent takes tha bait, I bind either with my sword and sheild and do a "durchlaufen" type move. Often I grab my opponents weapon arm, since itīs exposed du to the attack. (Unless heīs fighting like I.33 and has is cowered all the time, then it doesnīt work.). After I have grabbed him I often use a regula hipthrow and he end on the ground and Iīll follow with daggers. Monuvers like that can be found in several texts. "Rush in and grapple well" as Liecthenauer said.
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Anders Nilsson




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Theory on the use of shields         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
Anders,

This is really interesting. I read something somewhere (How do you like that for being specific?) that people were suggesting that the Viking fighter might have rotated behind his shield. I hope I'm getting this right; the fighter would be facing his opponent with his shield in his left hand and laying against his forearm with the edge of the shield facing his enemy. When a strike came in he would step back with his right foot and get behind his shield. The videos you shared with us seem more "pro-active" and more persuasive.

I'm presuming that you are doing things similar to what you showed us in the videos. Do they physically feel right to you?
On a gut level, do you think this is similar to what the Vikings did? This is a little different than what you said, "I have also tried using I.33 a a base for other shields and it work quite well."

You also said, "I had the pleasure of talking to Hammaborg from Germany about this and they had quite interesting theories." What are these theories? Are these the theories? "With centergripped shield fighting is quite similar to I.33. The pro of using a bigger shield is that you can use binds with the shield at a greater distance than with a buckler. You can also cover your swordhand more easily with a bigger shield. This can also explain why for example vikings had so small cross on thier sword. They didnīt need them because they covered their hand with their shield." So then does it follow that the spike hilt ( Gjaddhilt SP?) is an adaptation to fighting from horseback?

Who/what is Hammaborg? I really don't know.

I know the guys in the video are doing things in demonstration mode but I have to admit I have a hard time visualizing the Vikings being so academic about fighting. I see them more like American football linemen with swords. Sort of an aggression, testosterone, homicide cocktail, the U.S. Marines would fight like that if they had to use swords!

Thanks again,



Ken Speed


Hello

I have tried what the videos show and I think it works really well. The average viking warrior didnīt have any armour more than his helmet. He had to protect himself all the time. By using the shield like in the videos you are always protecting youself since you always attack from behind your shield. If you do it right, you donīt even expose your swordhand when you attack. (Ofcourse this type of manouvers was not possible in a shieldwall) I have also tried it with axe, and it works similar. Not so much trhusting, but it still hurts to jam an axe up someones face.

Hammaborg is a HEMA group from Germany that specialices in I.33.

The theories is the way to activly use the sheild, based on I.33.

Well, we know from sources that Vikings trained a lot. Both for individual combat and for formation combat. We also know that they used some roman tactics. They worked for the Emperor of Bysans from time to time and the norse people have been doing that since ca 400 AD.

Iīm currently trying out an old bysantik drill for fighting in rough terrain. Quite modern actually. Itīs based on skirmish groups on 3-5 men. 1 archer and the rest with light closecombat gear for movement in rough terrain.
Seems very much like a riflesquad to me.
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Steven H




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

A number of period masters seems to consider training for many kinds of shields (and other off-hand weapons) to be highly related. Silver's system was specifically described as useful with dagger or shield. Several Italian (or Bolognese) masters describe the singe handed sword as a core weapon and you could use just about anything in the off-hand if you were good with the sword; example off-hand weapons include large shields, small shields, bucklers, daggers, and capes. And for all the principals were considered the same and the training useful across weapons.

Obviously accomodation must be made for the type of off-hand weapon, but the changes shouldn't be that big.

The basic position for dueling (not formation fighting) with a large shield should be with the shield held out at about a 70 degree angle from the body, with the edge pointed at the opponent. Stephen Hand supports this well with artwork in papers for SPADA and Hammaborg and Hurstwic have both found success using this position.

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:

The most common way to use a heater is to keep it in front of your body with the corner pointed up. You can look around the corner while still keep your head defended. You drop the lower corner to protect yourself up to the knee.

Virtually all of the artwork I've seen for heater shields show them with the flat tops parallel to the ground. I suspect that this was for good visibility. We know that visibility was an important issue because we have numerous accounts of visors being lifted and great helms aside being tossed for melee so that visibility would be better.

Blocking with the corners runs into a basic physics problem: you are blocking with the part farther from your hand. It is like blocking with the foible instead of the forte. This makes it easier to blow through the block. This leads to part of why bucklers can work so well in single combat - it's faster and you only ever block with the 'forte'. Obviously different parts of the shield are farther from your hand than others so that with the common angled strapping arrangement the top right corner (the one pointed at your enemy) is still quite strong.


Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:

I have a video that should be useful to you. You may view them here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFOgO_jo1A8

The mechanics of this seems sound but I do see one potential problem. If the pole has a blade sticking out four to eight inches you have to push block that much farther out and sideways to keep from getting hit by the blade wrapping around the shield. Plus polearms have rather different mass and distribution of mass than the rattan. And if I'm canny I just hook your shield when you block like that. That being said I suspect it's the best option against a polearm; though it clearly illustrates why holding the shield edge on to your opponent works well - stuck out like that your shield is closer to the enemy so you can block effectively at a higher height and against the slower moving part of the polearm.

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:

I also have a webpage that explains the details of attacking around your shield. You may view that here:

http://mysite.verizon.net/tsafa1/pell/index.htm


The wrap shot is called sturzhau or winckerhau in the German tradition. Though it's only targeted at the head. The head is always the preferred target in that system and with the lower power of a false edge cut attacks to lower targets may just "annoy" the enemy.

I disagree though that you should automatically withdraw after the attack. You could instead attempt to bind and wind to land a thrust - this is the "noble fight" according to Lichtenauer. Though of course combos based on the concepts of zucken and abnemem, feler and duchwechsel are also good tactics. An initial bind, even momentary, helps these combos succeed because fuhlen will inform you what can work and what won't.

I also disagree that thrusts are unlikely to work. Talhoffer's plates on combat with large shields shows thrusts as the most common attack. Additionally tourneys and battles often included fighting with shield and spear. Clearly a thrust based approach is workable. In my own limited experience fighting against sword and shield I've made many thrusts work especially with good footwork and/or binding and winding.

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:

You mentioned grappling. No one should ever be able to grab anything but your heater if they attempt to grapple if the heater is in front of you. You should be able to kill them with your sword before they execute any moves. That is a matter of fencing times.

Grappling with heaters is not difficult in you include proper footwork. If I start right foot forward and execute a slope step then I can bind his sword with my shield and grapple no problem. I can grapple his sword arm or neck etc. easily from this position. If I execute this step with an attack like the first play of I.33 then my opponent is too busy keeping me from stabbing them in the face to "kill me before I execute any moves". Again this is something from the period sources which I've made work in free fencing.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:


The wrap shot is called sturzhau or winckerhau in the German tradition. Though it's only targeted at the head. The head is always the preferred target in that system and with the lower power of a false edge cut attacks to lower targets may just "annoy" the enemy.


Hi Steven, you mentioned many interesting things that I want to comeback to an discus further but the quote above stopped me in my tracks. I was under the impression that there was no historical documented evidence for the use of wrap shots. Having been told this in the past has never shaken my faith in this shot since I have been hit hard enough with a wrap on back of the head that even with a 9 lb helmet had to sit down. Mind you I am not a small guy.

Can you please expand further on this. What is the source evidence? I have been looking for this information for a long time.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 1:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try reading this thread, where the sturzhau is discussed extensively (mostly by Christian Tobler and Hugh Knight, if I remember correctly):

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=sturzhau
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Alberto Dainese




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 1:57 am    Post subject: Re: Theory on the use of shields         Reply with quote

It's quite OT, I apologize...
Anders Nilsson wrote:

Iīm currently trying out an old bysantik drill for fighting in rough terrain. Quite modern actually. Itīs based on skirmish groups on 3-5 men. 1 archer and the rest with light closecombat gear for movement in rough terrain.
Seems very much like a riflesquad to me.

Hi Anders,
that's really interesting, could you give me some more details? PM if you feel it's too OT.
Thanks
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 2:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:


Blocking with the corners runs into a basic physics problem: you are blocking with the part farther from your hand. It is like blocking with the foible instead of the forte. This makes it easier to blow through the block. This leads to part of why bucklers can work so well in single combat - it's faster and you only ever block with the 'forte'. Obviously different parts of the shield are farther from your hand than others so that with the common angled strapping arrangement the top right corner (the one pointed at your enemy) is still quite strong.


I know a lot of people cringe when SCA rattan fighting is mentioned as an example, but I can't think or any other situation today where people are actually swinging polearms at full power. When the polearm strikes the far corner on my shield, the polearm usually deflects up. Occasionally it may blow throw my corner but I usually have the sword somewhere near my head as a backup. After it deflects it often loses a lot of its power and I can stop it with sword. Blocking a polearm with sword at full speed is very hard on the hands otherwise. In the cases where it blows through, it is usually because I was faked low and did not get my corner up high enough in time.

If I keep the top edge flat, then that means I either have to sword-block my head, which can be painful against polearms... or I have to raise the whole shield to block which will both blind me and expose my leg more. With the heater strapped to my forearm I have never experienced any weakness even against polearms that are weighted at the end like halberds. What I do experience is that as I get tired, it become harder and harder to keep the corner up and if go flat. That is when I am killed. When out of range I lower my corner to a more restful position and raise it when engaging. In the artwork you mention were the heaters are in a horizontal position, are they engaged in combat?

I'm not trying to be difficult, perhaps there is something that I am not seeing. I invite you to look at my polearm fights on youtube and help me reconcile any differences. In one of the video I am fighting a giant of a man 6'3" 270 lbs swinging a glaive.

Quote:

The mechanics of this seems sound but I do see one potential problem. If the pole has a blade sticking out four to eight inches you have to push block that much farther out and sideways to keep from getting hit by the blade wrapping around the shield. Plus polearms have rather different mass and distribution of mass than the rattan. And if I'm canny I just hook your shield when you block like that. That being said I suspect it's the best option against a polearm; though it clearly illustrates why holding the shield edge on to your opponent works well - stuck out like that your shield is closer to the enemy so you can block effectively at a higher height and against the slower moving part of the polearm.


Yes, I agree with your assessment that a polearm with an axe-like head will require me to push the shield out more. I do often encounter weapons with axeheads made of solid rubber. Although, they are not aiming for my low-leg, they do use their depth to reach over my shield to my head. It forces me to raise the shield higher when blocking. They use hooks followed by a thrust to the face. The hooks are usually more effective in a melee where I am under orders to stay in formation. In singles combat the hook on the polearm not of much use if I am intent on closing in. The heavier polearms with the halberd like heads do hit harder and can be a bit destabilizing, but they are noticeably slower. For this reason most people in the SCA who fight with polearm as their primary weapon use a faster, lighter glaive.

Quote:

I disagree though that you should automatically withdraw after the attack. You could instead attempt to bind and wind to land a thrust - this is the "noble fight" according to Lichtenauer. Though of course combos based on the concepts of zucken and abnemem, feler and duchwechsel are also good tactics. An initial bind, even momentary, helps these combos succeed because fuhlen will inform you what can work and what won't.


Did I say automatically? I apologize if I implied that. I did not mean to imply that anyone should get into a patten. What I have observed in myself and other people, is that after the first shot, each successive shot will be a little sloppier and open a person up their defense a little more. With a large heater and sword, it takes little effort to be 100% defensive. A lot more effort is used to throw a series of combinations. A fight with shields can go on for quite a while before anyone is hit, one has to be mindful of how they use their energy.

Quote:

I also disagree that thrusts are unlikely to work. Talhoffer's plates on combat with large shields shows thrusts as the most common attack. Additionally tourneys and battles often included fighting with shield and spear. Clearly a thrust based approach is workable. In my own limited experience fighting against sword and shield I've made many thrusts work especially with good footwork and/or binding and winding.


Thrusts are great, they are easy, that is why I removed the thrusting tips on my swords for practice and only use them in tournament. Cutting from different angles is a lot harder skill to develop. I know you (Steven) already know the following, because I read it in your book. For the benefit of others, thrusts move slower then cuts. The thrust can only move as fast as the hand can move forward. The cut is moving three to four times faster because of the arch the sword is making. I still find thrusts extremely useful because you can make a cut and thrust in a single time action. If I thrust with my elbow high, the thrust serves as a windup for the cut that will follow... or in reverse if you cut you are in position to draw and cut.

Quote:

Grappling with heaters is not difficult in you include proper footwork. If I start right foot forward and execute a slope step then I can bind his sword with my shield and grapple no problem. I can grapple his sword arm or neck etc. easily from this position. If I execute this step with an attack like the first play of I.33 then my opponent is too busy keeping me from stabbing them in the face to "kill me before I execute any moves". Again this is something from the period sources which I've made work in free fencing.


I am assuming we are both right handed. You are leading with your sword-side leg which will be exposed unless you shift your shield right or are out of range. You slope left to my sword-side, and now your leg is covered by your shield. What do you mean by "I can bind his sword with my shield and grapple". My reaction should be to pivot back on my left leg so we are facing off the same, just closer. If I don't pivot back, you don't need to grapple. If you get to my side like that you have a number of better options with your sword that may kill me or disable me without further risk to yourself.

Please do not misinterpret my responses as being a smart ass. It is my hope that through discussion with you I can find ways to fight better.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
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Last edited by Bill Tsafa on Fri 14 Mar, 2008 9:57 am; edited 2 times in total
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Anders Nilsson




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Hello,

A number of period masters seems to consider training for many kinds of shields (and other off-hand weapons) to be highly related. Silver's system was specifically described as useful with dagger or shield. Several Italian (or Bolognese) masters describe the singe handed sword as a core weapon and you could use just about anything in the off-hand if you were good with the sword; example off-hand weapons include large shields, small shields, bucklers, daggers, and capes. And for all the principals were considered the same and the training useful across weapons.


Sounds very interesting. Do you got any links or tips on where to find those texts?
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Theory on the use of shields         Reply with quote

Hi Anders,

Thanks for the information.


You wrote, " Well, we know from sources that Vikings trained a lot. Both for individual combat and for formation combat. We also know that they used some roman tactics." We do? Maybe you do, I don't! Can you tell me what sources? Listen, I'm not challenging the truth of what you're telling me/us, I just want to know more!

You continued, " They worked for the Emperor of Bysans from time to time and the norse people have been doing that since ca 400 AD." Does Bysans=the Byzantine Empire? Are you talking about the Varangian Guard? 400 AD? That early?

You said, " Iīm currently trying out an old bysantik drill for fighting in rough terrain. Quite modern actually. Itīs based on skirmish groups on 3-5 men. 1 archer and the rest with light closecombat gear for movement in rough terrain.
Seems very much like a riflesquad to me." Again does bysantik =Byzantine? Please understand I'm NOT criticizing your English, trust me your English beats the Hell out of my few remaining words of Swedish. I just want to be sure I understand what you're telling me. Please tell us about it, I think its amazing! Where did you find this information? Who are you using it against? If you're worried that its off topic, start another one!


Ken Speed
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Anders Nilsson




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Theory on the use of shields         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
Hi Anders,

Thanks for the information.


You wrote, " Well, we know from sources that Vikings trained a lot. Both for individual combat and for formation combat. We also know that they used some roman tactics." We do? Maybe you do, I don't! Can you tell me what sources? Listen, I'm not challenging the truth of what you're telling me/us, I just want to know more!

You continued, " They worked for the Emperor of Bysans from time to time and the norse people have been doing that since ca 400 AD." Does Bysans=the Byzantine Empire? Are you talking about the Varangian Guard? 400 AD? That early?

You said, " Iīm currently trying out an old bysantik drill for fighting in rough terrain. Quite modern actually. Itīs based on skirmish groups on 3-5 men. 1 archer and the rest with light closecombat gear for movement in rough terrain.
Seems very much like a riflesquad to me." Again does bysantik =Byzantine? Please understand I'm NOT criticizing your English, trust me your English beats the Hell out of my few remaining words of Swedish. I just want to be sure I understand what you're telling me. Please tell us about it, I think its amazing! Where did you find this information? Who are you using it against? If you're worried that its off topic, start another one!


Ken Speed


Itīs ok. I speak better then I spell.

I have a book called "Vikingarns stridskonst" by Lars Magnar Enoksen.
He has compiled sources on the vikings way of war and their training. A friend has it right now so I canīt quote it now.
I can tell you what I remember.
For example, vikinings had to own and train regulary with weapons. It was a law. At least once a year the "ledung" was assembled. Did a warrior show up with weapons lacking, he had to pay a fine.
Wepons in the law was:
Sword or axe
Spear
Shield

or bow an 3 * 12 arrows.

That was for the regular warrior who was parttime soldier an was only summoned for exersice or war.
The Huscarls, ie proffesionals for a chieftan had to own all of this plus armour. Huscarls also had to train twice a day with weapons.

About the use of roman tactic is shown in the names and uses of the tactics.
Vegetius writing in the 390’s gives us information on how to deploy the cohorts, as well as other formations such as the “pigs head".
The norse word for a formations like the roman "pigs head" is Svinfylking. It means pigsformation. Both formations look alike and work alike and got the same name, I donīt think itīs a coincidence. According to the Vikings the formations was given to them from Odin. Iīm sure that they copied it from the romans.
The viking use of light troops with spearthtrowers, archers and slingers supporting the shieldwall or svinfylking is also very similar.
Itīs perhaps little known but according to Lars Magnar Enoksen a large part of a viking force was made up of lighter support troops.
Slingers and archers to support the shieldwall.
Light skirmishers with javelins and closecombat weapons to support and cower the flanks of the shield wall.
Very similar to the romans use of axillary troops in support of the legions.

The word varangian guard is first heard about 900 AD if Iīm not mistaken. The word Väring, meaning oathsworn is a lot older and suggest that the viking ancestors was working abroad as mercenaries at least as early as 500-600 AD.
Varangian comes from the word väring.
Itīs also known that the Westroman emperor had a guard of Germanic warriors. A guard of oathsworn warriors from the north. It canīt be just coincidence that Vikings ancesters was mercenries abroad and the romans at the same time used mercenaries from the north.
Who else but the romans would they work for?

Well, thatīs most of it. It shows that the vikings wasnīt the crazed sluggers many think, they where actually quite organized. They took the experince of working as mercenaries and adopted it into their own.
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