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Greg Coffman




Location: Lubbock, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject: ARMA - Renaissance Martial Arts - the Web Documentary         Reply with quote

ARMA has just made public a new and exciting web video series. The official description:

Renaissance Martial Arts - the Web Documentary:
Explore the little known history and heritage of Medieval and Renaissance
Fighting and Fencing skills of European Martial Arts in this unique 10 part
documentary.


You can find the videos through this link. There are 10 videos currently.
http://mefeedia.com/tags/swordsmanship/

p.s.: video named X of 10 is actually part 6.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12


Last edited by Greg Coffman on Mon 28 Jul, 2008 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: ARMA - Renaissance Martial Arts - the Web Documentary         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:
ARMA has just made public a new and exciting web video series. The official description:

Renaissance Martial Arts - the Web Documentary:
Explore the little known history and heritage of Medieval and Renaissance
Fighting and Fencing skills of European Martial Arts in this unique 10 part
documentary.


You can find the videos through this link. There are 10 videos currently.
http://mefeedia.com/tags/swordsmanship/


I just watched through part one, and this line caught my attention:

"...swashbuckling rouges, crudely slashing their primitive rapiers..."

Okay, I get the "swashbuckling rouges" part - we have the three musketeers and a lot of pirate stories to account for that. And I suppose the Errol Flynn school of choreography explains the "crude slashing" part of the myth (though I wouldn't call flynning through a sword fight crude so much as blatantly unrealistic)...

...but since when has popular culture ever portrayed rapiers as primitive? Primitive in what way and compared to what? WTF?!

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Shane Smith




Location: Virginia Beach
Joined: 24 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm wondering if that bit of the verbiage in the clip wasn't intended as sarcasm? No-one I know considers the rapier primitive in any way although many portrayals of it's use in films arguably does seem primitive compared to the reality of the calculated manner of historiclly-accurate foyning fence. Confused
Shane Smith
ARMA~ Virginia Beach
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Dave Smith





Joined: 15 Mar 2007

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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe the entire sentence in question was "... the uninformed modern myths of untutored knights in heavy armor clumsily swinging weighty swords, and swashbuckling rogues crudely slashing their primitive rapiers, are shattered by the true history."

When looking at the entire line, I feel pretty comfortable with what they're saying.

note: edited because I DID leave out "primitive". Razz


Last edited by Dave Smith on Sun 27 Jul, 2008 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ken Berry




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have just watched through part 6 and am impressed. It seems like the folks at ARMA have put together a well done overview of the western martial tradition.

Ken
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicely informative and entertaining. Only thing is that some of the narrative seems to lumber along at times. Sometimes brevity can make a point better and be more effective than a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long statement that loses the listener.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sun 27 Jul, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane Smith wrote:
I'm wondering if that bit of the verbiage in the clip wasn't intended as sarcasm? No-one I know considers the rapier primitive in any way although many portrayals of it's use in films arguably does seem primitive compared to the reality of the calculated manner of historiclly-accurate foyning fence. Confused


Still, the wording implies that it's the weapon itself that is perceived as primitive, not the way it is wielded.

I dunno, it's almost as if they felt that sentence wasn't condescending enough and needed to toss in an extra derogatory.

Dave Smith wrote:
I believe the entire sentence in question was "... the uninformed modern myths of untutored knights in heavy armor clumsily swinging weighty swords, and swashbuckling rogues crudely slashing their rapiers, are shattered by the true history."

When looking at the entire line, I feel pretty comfortable with what they're saying.


Oh, I get what they're saying. It's just that "rapiers being primitive" (which, by the way, you neglected to include in your own quote) is an uninformed modern myth I've never encountered before, and I can't quite make sense of what that statement is actually supposed to mean.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Informative, entertaining and a pleasure to watch (althought it gets a bit repetitive towards the last three parts). The music featured was very nice as well
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Greg Mele
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Location: Chicago, IL USA
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Posts: 356

PostPosted: Tue 29 Jul, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some wonderful, rarely seen, images on the videos. Great music choice. Clearly a lot of work was put into producing this.

On the downside, it's too long, and repeats itself. Part 10 is less about revival, than it is about "why 19th c fencing isn't 16th c fencing." And that's fine, but we heard that already. I'm about as big a WMA geek as you'll find, and I thought it was a least two parts too long. I realize that the narrator is not a WMA person, and she is pronouncing words in foreign languages, so I can deal with the turning of Fabris into a Frenchman, and the mangling of the various German names. (Although hearing the word "rapier", repeatedly mispronounced the way the late Ewart Oakshott suggested it *might* have been pronounced in period started to grate. But that's me.) But fact-checking is another matter. Fiore dei Liberi is not "da Malipiero" - Massimo Malipiero is the name of a modern researcher who produced some videos and an Italian edition of the Getty Ms! Nor is Monte the first text focused on wrestling, nor did Carranza come after Fabris. Those are errors that a survey of secondary literature should have corrected.

Memes like the "rapier as a street-fighting weapon" that rose to gentleman's weapon is not substantiated by scholars. Nor is it substantiated by the masters. Quite the contrary in fact, with the lower classes carrying swords and bucklers and long knives in an era when fencing schools were already focusing on the rapier. While the entire "street brawling" angle is over-done to death, most accounts of sudden violence from this period - as we can see in coroner's reports - come from knives/daggers, and improvised weapons. Swords appear, but they are the minority weapon.

The "all-out" fighting comment and the idea that the masters knew there was no place for mercy or chivalric conduct, is also an exaggeration, that ignores the fact that medieval battlefields were not modern ones, nor were everyone practicing these arts professional fighting men. It is quite clear that many burghers joined the fencing guilds for the same reasons people join a tae kwon dojo today - exercise, a little self-defense and fun. It is also incorrect that the judicial duel had no rules or regulations. While they were grim affairs, and often lethal, they were heavily legislated in different times and places, up to and including who must strike first. And of course, the importance of capture and ransom in medieval combat makes the idea of "all-in fighting" a stretch. Indeed, even in the 16th century, Italian writers like Machiavelli were complaining that the condottieri were entirely too chivalric in their conduct - playing elaborate games of capture and ransom - and that this was causing warfare between the city-states to go on with no conclusion.

So, enjoyable and a generally nice ovreview. But I'd rather not trade one set of myths for another.

Greg Mele
Chicago Swordplay Guild
www.chicagoswordplayguild.com

www.freelanceacademypress.com
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Greg Coffman




Location: Lubbock, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 254

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
While the entire "street brawling" angle is over-done to death, most accounts of sudden violence from this period - as we can see in coroner's reports - come from knives/daggers, and improvised weapons. Swords appear, but they are the minority weapon.

I thought the intention in the videos was to indeed stress the sudden violence in this period. Whether that be with swords or not wasn't the point. Swords may have been marginally less common on some occasions, but the emphasis was on the inherent violence prevalent in normal life in general whether that be with sword, dagger, or anything else.

Greg Mele wrote:
But I'd rather not trade one set of myths for another.

The intended audience of the videos is the public at large, not just the WMA community. While we would hope that the rest of the WMA community agrees with the presentation, a large purpose of the video is to introduce the subject to those outside of or new to the WMA community. While some of the statements may come across as broad generalities, we all know that the reality is more complex. Some of the opinions suggested are meant more to rectify common myths held in the larger public than found within the WMA community while other opinions are directed specifically against beliefs held by other WMA practitioners. So the videos serve a twofold purpose of basic education and of differentiation between what we believe and what others believe. Instead of calling out other groups and individuals for why we think they are wrong, the videos are more [i]confessional[i/]; this is what we believe and why. So if you don't agree with everything stated in the video, that's fine. But this is a more civil way for us to put forth and take a stand on our interpretations, rather than the petty fighting that can occur from time to time (like on forums Happy), and without compromising or making concession.

Of course the videos are also great eye candy. I hope we all can agree about that.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:
Of course the videos are also great eye candy. I hope we all can agree about that.


There is one small thing that bothered me a little in this respect, but maybe I'm alone in that... Over the length of the documentary, I found it a little tiresome that each and every picture is moving or zooming, in a different way. I suppose it has been done this way to show details that would not appear in a still view...

I think I would have prefered maybe fewer pictures, but presented in a calmer fashion, or shown for a longer time each.

But again that's just my taste...

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Greg Mele
Industry Professional



Location: Chicago, IL USA
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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2008 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:
Greg Mele wrote:
While the entire "street brawling" angle is over-done to death, most accounts of sudden violence from this period - as we can see in coroner's reports - come from knives/daggers, and improvised weapons. Swords appear, but they are the minority weapon.

I thought the intention in the videos was to indeed stress the sudden violence in this period. Whether that be with swords or not wasn't the point. Swords may have been marginally less common on some occasions, but the emphasis was on the inherent violence prevalent in normal life in general whether that be with sword, dagger, or anything else.


See the other thread. I think the entire argument is over-stated, but the video suggests that sword fights were a part of daily life. By and large, for most people, they weren't.

Quote:

The intended audience of the videos is the public at large, not just the WMA community. While we would hope that the rest of the WMA community agrees with the presentation, a large purpose of the video is to introduce the subject to those outside of or new to the WMA community.


Which is why I don' t want to trade one myth for another.

Again, having said that, I thought it was as nice presentation, and John clearly spent some time on it. And yes, it is lovely eye-candy.

Quote:
But this is a more civil way for us to put forth and take a stand on our interpretations, rather than the petty fighting that can occur from time to time (like on forums Happy), and without compromising or making concession.
.


And *that* is appreciated!

Take care,

Greg

Greg Mele
Chicago Swordplay Guild
www.chicagoswordplayguild.com

www.freelanceacademypress.com
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Christopher H





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,
Would anyone be able to point out where the following image was sourced from?

Thanks!



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Brian Hook





Joined: 12 Jan 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher H wrote:
Hi all,
Would anyone be able to point out where the following image was sourced from?

Thanks!

It's from Anonymous Manuscript KK 5013 from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.


Last edited by Brian Hook on Fri 01 Aug, 2008 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Christopher H





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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks very much Brian!
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Jessica Finley
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Location: Topeka, Kansas
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tend to have just a touch of motion sickness, so unfortunately, I was unable to watch this video more than a couple of minutes before I began to get sick to my stomach. I agree with the previous poster who suggested fewer shots and slower panning. (I can't watch Battlestar Galactica for the same reason, shakey camera makes me ill.)

Jess

Selohaar Fechtschule, Free Scholar
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
...but the video suggests that sword fights were a part of daily life.


I agree that actual swordfighting was not a part of daily life. However, the possibility of a deadly encounter was a part of daily life for many people during that time. Training for that possibility was something that many of them did on a daily or at least a weekly bases with swords, knifes, spears, etc. Court fashion was not the reason these weapons develop.


Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW
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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I concur that some arguments were a bit long, we kind of get the idea that HEMA were effective after 2 or 3 videos. And also the fact that living stick traditions were brushed off as being "folks arts" in a phrase or two, when we know they have a much richer history than this and have plenty in common with tthe treaties.

Anyway I'm impatient to see reclaiming the blade Big Grin.

Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
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Ed Toton




Location: Northern VA
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Aug, 2008 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica Finley wrote:
I tend to have just a touch of motion sickness, so unfortunately, I was unable to watch this video more than a couple of minutes before I began to get sick to my stomach. I agree with the previous poster who suggested fewer shots and slower panning. (I can't watch Battlestar Galactica for the same reason, shakey camera makes me ill.)


I don't have motion sickness problems, but I'll agree that the photos move around too quickly, and transition too rapidly as well. From an editing standpoint, I think the motion should be subtle, rather than distracting.

-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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