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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 3:53 pm    Post subject: Fight style of Henry VIII         Reply with quote

After looking around, I couldn't find anything on this. Out of curiousty, what fight system, (if any) would Henry VIII been trained in. We know he jousted for sure. Looking at period paintings of him, he seems to be wearing an arming sword of sorts. Thoughts? Opinions? Anything would be helpful, it's for a colleague of mine who's writing another screenplay. Thanks.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Carlo Arellano





Joined: 21 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is his tontlet armor with his favored foote combat weapon, his two handed sword.

"The chronicler Hall, in his account of Henry's reign, wrote under the year 1511: "In the feast of Pentecoste holden at Grenewyche, hys Grace with two other with hym, chalendged all commers to fighte with theim xxi strokes with twohanded swordes; where the Kyng behaved hymselfe so wel, and delivered himselfe so valiauntly by his hardy prowes and greate strength, that the prayse and laude was geven to his Grace and his aydes."

from the journal of western martial arts, article by Neil H. T. Melville



I'm sorry I could not answer your question but this may be a starting point for you research.
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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's about inconceivable that a of monarch of the time would not be trained extensively in a fighting tradition with a number of weapons, both with a view towards the battlefield and the tournament. I would expect that he would be trained in the complete style that we see presented or assumed by some manuals, ie a basis of wrestling and then a large number of weapons.

I can remember only one English fighting manual from the middle ages/early renaisance that survives in largeish chunks, and it is written in verse that has not been deciphered by the WMA community. So the answer is, we don't know much, since most of our knowledge is of German and Italian systems.

Perhaps the English were using German or Italian fighting systems, I'm not an expert on WMA, but I -am- suspicious of assuming that they were using a system just because it's the one that we have the most evidence for (see also, the default assumption that all armour in the latter half of the fifteenth century was either Milanese or German gothic just because those pieces survived).
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Matt Easton




Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK.
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 2:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In short, we don't know.
There are three English late-15th/early-16thC sets of notes for use of the two handed sword:
Cotton Titus A XXV fol. 5 - Anon, Additional Ms 39564 - poss. J Ledall and Harleian Ms 3542 - Anon:
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=19

There are then the slightly later English sources, such as George Silver (from Henry's daughter's time):
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=11979

Henry VIII granted the Royal Charter to the London Company of Masters of Defence, and Silver gives some impression of what they may have been teaching in the mid-16thC.

There were no 'Italian' and 'German' styles. There is variety amongst what the Italian and German teachers were teaching (see the differences between rivals Manciolino and Marozzo for example, or how they contrast massively with Agrippa), and there were fighting teachers all over Europe who did not make books. Emperor Maximillian, a contemporary and ally of Henry VIII had an English wrestling teacher and English wrestling is mentioned in quite a few sources of the time.

What we do know is that Henry was trained to wrestle and fight in armour on horseback and on foot with a variety of weapons.

Regards,
Matt

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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henry was proud of his fighting skills. Probably he knew how to use all knightly military, dueling, and hunting weapons but I have no idea who trained him in what. I know he prided himself as an archer (Hardy and Strickland, The Great Warbow p. 391) .
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