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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
Joined: 30 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 18 May, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Armored techniques         Reply with quote

Hello guys!
Take a look at this videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G_d98ewZmM&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg&feature=related

Do you think that a dismounted XVI century man-at-arms can really find this techniques useful?
Or they are more for duels?

I mean, when we talk about Renaissance most people think in the German mercs with funny throusers (And i mean mostly Dopplesoldners) But what about a man-at-arms or knight? Aren´t this guys supposed to be better trained even?
DOn´t you thinbk that some of this techniques cannot be so useful in a thight melee?

Thanks

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 18 May, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo,
These videos are demonstrations of unarmoured combat, not armoured, though some of the principles and techniques overlap. The major difference being that armoured combat with the sword was focused on attacking at the small openings, predominantly with thrusts, whereas unarmoured combat involves far more strikes with the edge, as seen in these videos.

Regarding the duel/battle issue, I think sometimes people make a larger deal of this than our historical ancestors did. Martial arts are martial arts, and while some techniques are geared more towards a certain form of fighting, the general skills and principles worked in whatever situation. Sure, some techniques are less useful in tight melee, but who says battles are only ever in tight melee?

Truthfully, longsword vs. longsword is probably not the best representation of typical battlefield combat, but it at least demonstrates the principles of fighting with the vast majority of weapons.

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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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sirs-my sScotts ancestors favorite technique was to find an Englishman with money and stick him between the shoulderblades.(being bandits and all) Big Grin
Ja68ms
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 11:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill hit the nail on the head. The other thing to think about pole arms are much more common on foot and swords were secondary weapons.
James Barker
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
Joined: 30 Nov 2006

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wep, he nailed it.
Thanks for the replies guys.

Don´t you think that a dagger can be a more effective weapon in a tight melee, fighting against not so well armored foot mercenaries? (Being an unhorsed man-ar-arms)

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo

The dagger was hightly effective and greatly feared in close-quarter fighting against both armoured and un-armoured adversaries. For a look at the use of dagger in armoured fighting check out the Gladiatoria (http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/Gladiatoria/Gladiatoria.htm) manual.


Ran Pleasant
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Adam Bodorics
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PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A dagger is just as long as it is, and that tight meele might loosen up. Halfswording shortens the weapon enough to use in a tight situation and if the area gets less packed, you can change your grip back to "normal".
This is absolutely not saying that a dagger is a bad weapon, I love them. Happy
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
Joined: 30 Nov 2006

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Pleasant wrote:
Rodolfo

The dagger was hightly effective and greatly feared in close-quarter fighting against both armoured and un-armoured adversaries. For a look at the use of dagger in armoured fighting check out the Gladiatoria (http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/Gladiatoria/Gladiatoria.htm) manual.


Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW


Excellent Fechtbuch Randall, i totally forgot that one. What armour are those guys wearing? Milanese?

Where those shields used in battlefield too?

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Doug Lester




Location: Decatur, IL
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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I admit that I'm not a student of western martial arts but every time a see a video of sword play I think back to Reinhardt and Oakeshott and their statements to parrying with broadswords, at least edge to edge, was generally avoided. It seem, though, that all these videos show it. Is it just the edge to edge parry that's avoided and the blocks are done flat to flat, flat to edge, or edge to flat. What's the story here?

As a side comment, it was interesting to see in the Youtube production that many of the grappling techniques shown are move that I can identify from when I took jujitsu. Nice illustration of parallel developement.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Doug Lester wrote:
I admit that I'm not a student of western martial arts but every time a see a video of sword play I think back to Reinhardt and Oakeshott and their statements to parrying with broadswords, at least edge to edge, was generally avoided. It seem, though, that all these videos show it. Is it just the edge to edge parry that's avoided and the blocks are done flat to flat, flat to edge, or edge to flat. What's the story here?


The story is that research has shown that the historical swordsmanship wasn't quite so black and white, and that there is a time and a place for different types of defenses based on the words of the historical masters. (Even in Japanese swordsmanship, there are sometimes edge parries.) But this is actually a topic that, for some reason, gets quite heated, so I recommend using the search function for it, as you'll find this subject gets a lot of people riled up.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Doug Lester wrote:
I admit that I'm not a student of western martial arts but every time a see a video of sword play I think back to Reinhardt and Oakeshott and their statements to parrying with broadswords, at least edge to edge, was generally avoided. It seem, though, that all these videos show it. Is it just the edge to edge parry that's avoided and the blocks are done flat to flat, flat to edge, or edge to flat. What's the story here?

As a side comment, it was interesting to see in the Youtube production that many of the grappling techniques shown are move that I can identify from when I took jujitsu. Nice illustration of parallel developement.


Ah ! The can of worms " Topic(s) " Sad If you do a search you will find a Topic or several Topics on this subject that one of which got quite heated as people " duelled " with their various theories and strongly held beliefs.

I started believing in one theory and ended up not being sure about anything. Eek!

My " personal " take on it is that parrying edge on flat is easier on one's sword edges and better for longterm durability.

In many cases these types of parries will happen naturally due to techniques being easier to perform this way or just that the geometry favours edge to flat parries. At the same time this may not be true in all cases and even if it was it depends on the swordsmen involved be trained at a high level because badly trained swordsmen or total novices will do strange and hard to predict things ! ( Sometimes things that work because they contradict good technique ).

In addition savings one's edges become a low priority when keeping your head attached to your neck is THE priority.
Also, in the chaos of a fight not every contact between swords is going to go according to plan, so even IF the technique favoured edge to flat one would expect some edge to edge contact to happen at least part of the time.

Note: This edge to edge contact need not be HARD full force contact but may involve sliding, parrying, winding where the chock of impact is at an angle and at moderate to low pressure causing less edge damage or at least easier to repair
( hone out ) when resharpening.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not sure there is that much edge to edge contact. Reinhardt made a big deal out of the issue when his swords kept breaking on people Wink also he exaggerated the blocking with the side in his video. I think most of the sword parries you see in these videos are the blade striking more on the sides than the edge but at slight angles versus the 90 degree angle in Reinhardt's old videos.
James Barker
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I never wielded a sword, so excuse my ignorance if this question is a bit silly. DO you know if edge-flat parrying is safe? Aren´t swords flexible? If so, Don´t you have more control of the foe´s sword if blocking with the edge or the hilt?

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Katzbalger and similar infantry swords/messers, etc. are short for good reason. You'll generally see those worn by men carrying polearms--they're the one's who will be in the middle of the tight-packed chaos. Longswords seem to have been favored by individuals of higher status, as far as I can tell from contemporary artwork. I wonder if carrying them may have indicated status, formal education in their use and possibly even the owner's likely position on the battlefield (commanding rather than wading into the meat grinder).
-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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Mark Millman





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PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Rodolfo,

On Wednesday 21 May 2008, you wrote:
Hello,
I never wielded a sword, so excuse my ignorance if this question is a bit silly. DO you know if edge-flat parrying is safe? Aren´t swords flexible? If so, Don´t you have more control of the foe´s sword if blocking with the edge or the hilt?

The question isn't silly at all. Swords are flexible, and in addition the position of the wrist is mechanically stronger when parrying with the edge than with the flat, as the wrist can rotate if the sword is struck on the flat. You do have more control of the adversary's sword when parrying with the edge or with the hilt than with the flat.

On the other hand, parrying with the flat may be strong enough to make you safe, even if it doesn't provide maximum strength in the parry; and again, it may give you enough control of the adversary's sword despite not offering maximum control.

But it was pointed out in a previous discussion of this issue that the question is a bit of a straw man. All the masters agree that it's better not to parry attacks reactively, but to counter-attack (in whatever way is recommended by the system) against them. True, reactive parries happen; but the idea is to avoid them in favor of more effective techniques. Even the most passionate participants in the edge-vs.-flat-parries debate agree on this point.

I hope that this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
Joined: 30 Nov 2006

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Thu 22 May, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Mark.
Should the flat, instead of being used to block, be used to deflect? I mean, used to make the foe´s edge slide away while you prepare yourself for a counter-attack?

Sean
I agree with you about longswords, but i would think that a man-at-arms would prefer to command instead of fighting if he carries a rapier into the battlefield. I don´t think that longswords are 100% symbolical even being a last resource weapon, if i´m not wrong most infantry soldiers don´t have their hands and arms (Or face) totally covered and i guess that a skilled longsword fencer would not find very difficult to stab or cut those spots.
About Katzbalgers, i don´t think they are very well suitted to face a well armored foe, since they look like better cutters than stabbers.

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 22 May, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo Martínez wrote:
Thank you Mark.
Should the flat, instead of being used to block, be used to deflect? I mean, used to make the foe´s edge slide away while you prepare yourself for a counter-attack?



There could be exceptions but one does not parry with the flat, one parries with the edge on the flat of the other guy's sword.
or at least that is the idea. It can often happen that the other guy will try the same and the edges will hit each other instead.

Again, complex and far from unanimously accepted as the right or only technique: Again do a search for those other topic threads on this and you will get the conflicting interpretations.

Oh, and many parries are or should be deflections rather than HARD BLOCKS since the good use of a parry is to turn it into an attack in single time rather than just block. ( Note: Others here are much more qualified to explain this in detail as I'm mostly going from memory of reading their comments in other topics ).

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Jean, even if you're only going from memory, there's much to agree with in your post. Deflection (as opposed to static interposition blocks) did seem to have been the rule in medieval techniques, and even static blocks seem to be mostly used when the energy received in the block can be somehow used to propel the counterattack into motion and/or drive the attacker out of balance. Fiore's manuscript has many delightful examples of these "aiki" techniques, and the German manuscripts aren't short of them either; the example of Schwertnehmen springs immediately to mind.
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Mark Millman





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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Rodolfo,

On Thursday 22 May 2008, you wrote:
Thank you Mark.
Should the flat, instead of being used to block, be used to deflect? I mean, used to make the foe´s edge slide away while you prepare yourself for a counter-attack?

Personally--and every fencer will have his own opinion about this--I try never to let my opponent get his edge on my flat, as I dislike suffering the mechanical disadvantages inherent in such a situation; and at the same time, I try always, when I want to make blade-to-blade contact, to get my edge on his flat in order to secure those mechanical advantages to myself. Naturally I don't always succeed, but that's my intent.

I'd note, however, that Meyer, in his treatise, advises fencers sometimes to block with the flat. In the example with which I'm more familiar, on page 34 (http://www.schielhau.org/Meyer.p34.html) in the second paragraph of the Wrath Guard, Meyer instructs the fencer to catch a cut delivered at his left side on the flat of his hanging blade before winding to the adversary's head. Another instance occurs on page 22 (http://www.schielhau.org/Meyer.p22.html) in the section headed Hanging. In these cases it is explicit that Meyer's fencer is to catch the incoming strike on his flat; but I'd argue that this is an unusually safe position in which to do so and may be the exception that proves the rule. Also keep in mind that Meyer's is a very late system and may not be representative of other masters' teachings within the Liechtenauer school, much less those outside it. I, for one, would not want to try a similar action with a one-handed weapon.

Thank you, Jean and Lafayette, for your comments, with which I largely agree.

Best,

Mark Millman
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