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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan, 2010 12:43 pm    Post subject: A New Book About the German Longsword         Reply with quote

I am very pleased to announce the publication of the fourth book in the die Schlachtschule unarmored combat series entitled The Knightly Art of the Longsword by Hugh T. Knight, Jr.

Johannes Liechtenauer, the father of German martial arts, created a system of combat that was second to none in all of history. Later authors wrote books detailing his art, some for earnest combat and others for a sportive version, that have survived to the present day. This book attempts to draw together the writings of various masters of Liechtenauer’s school into a single, comprehensive source detailing the art of fighting in earnest. Not limited to a single author, nor to just the basics of the art, this book attempts to show the full range of Liechtenauer’s art without mixing in any of the more sportive sources from later authors. In addition to the techniques themselves, The Knightly Art of the Longsword includes information on strategic concepts, fundamentals, equipment, finding a school, training, and even how to teach the art. It also includes several carefully documented essays on medieval swordsmanship and how to practice it, along with a complete glossary of German technical terms relating to the longsword and a full bibliography. It is available in both a perfect-bound edition and a spiral-bound edition designed to lie flat and open for use at practices.

This book will be of interest to anyone with an interest in knighthood, medieval combat, history or martial arts in general. Whether you are new to the study of medieval combat or have extensive experience in the art, this fully documented and lavishly illustrated book with more than 340 pages and 600 photographs will be a useful and fascinating addition to your library.

The Knightly Art of the Longsword has been published through Lulu.com and is only available for internet purchase at this time:

http://stores.lulu.com/hughknight

The author is the founder and head instructor of die Schlachtschule: The School of Battle, a school located in southern California and dedicated to rediscovering and practicing the knightly arts of combat from medieval Germany. He has more than 30 years of martial experience ranging from traditional Japanese sword and grappling arts to over ten years of German martial arts practice. He founded die Schlachtschule in 2003 and teaches a curriculum that includes sword, spear, pollaxe, grappling and dagger combat both in and out of armor. More information can be found on the school’s web site:

www.schlachtschule.org

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
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Spotlight topics: 5
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great news I was looking forward to this one after buying just about every book you already have available at LuLu.

Will order it soon, probably early next week ...... maybe I will ask my longsword school director if he wants me to buy a copy for him at the same time ? Oh, he has a copy of the Wrestling and dagger book since I bought two of those by accident when " clicking " on the LuLu site and decided to " donate " it to my director rather than sending it back. Wink

He has also had a quick read of the Sword and Buckler book and he praised the clarity of the writing as well as the general focus on strategy and tactics as general principles and not as just a series of " he does this/you do that " ( of course each technique is explained in this way but there is a lot of effort put in in explaining the why one does things and not just what one does. Wink Cool ). He might not agree with everything or at least would debate some things as most all instructors have their own ideas on interpretations, but bottom line he found it a very valuable resource book.

The much shorter book on the longsword may be short and incomplete as you stated but it's an invaluable quick reference that I can consult before, during or after a class or just when I want to refresh my memory about the basics: The basics may be few and simple in theory but doing something simple well is something one can always improve on.

Oh, another of our instructors went to see some Youtube clips from your site of you in action and he commented that he was impressed by the economical use of motion in execution of techniques ( I haven't seen those clips myself " YET " ).

To quote, he said" That although you seem to hardly move at all in the clips he saw, but when you did move you did it with such efficiency that it seemed like magic ...... sort of you are still .... BLAM you move and place the technique !

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




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan, 2010 11:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Great news I was looking forward to this one after buying just about every book you already have available at LuLu.

Will order it soon, probably early next week ...... maybe I will ask my longsword school director if he wants me to buy a copy for him at the same time ? Oh, he has a copy of the Wrestling and dagger book since I bought two of those by accident when " clicking " on the LuLu site and decided to " donate " it to my director rather than sending it back. Wink

He has also had a quick read of the Sword and Buckler book and he praised the clarity of the writing as well as the general focus on strategy and tactics as general principles and not as just a series of " he does this/you do that " ( of course each technique is explained in this way but there is a lot of effort put in in explaining the why one does things and not just what one does. Wink Cool ). He might not agree with everything or at least would debate some things as most all instructors have their own ideas on interpretations, but bottom line he found it a very valuable resource book.

The much shorter book on the longsword may be short and incomplete as you stated but it's an invaluable quick reference that I can consult before, during or after a class or just when I want to refresh my memory about the basics: The basics may be few and simple in theory but doing something simple well is something one can always improve on.

Oh, another of our instructors went to see some Youtube clips from your site of you in action and he commented that he was impressed by the economical use of motion in execution of techniques ( I haven't seen those clips myself " YET " ).

To quote, he said" That although you seem to hardly move at all in the clips he saw, but when you did move you did it with such efficiency that it seemed like magic ...... sort of you are still .... BLAM you move and place the technique !


Hello Jean,

Wow, I don't know what to say--thank you! It really feels good to have someone actually enjoying these books.

As for the sword and buckler book, I'm glad your instructor saw that side of it--I tried very hard to make that a focus of the book (as I do with all of them). The thing I strive hardest for in my Schule is to teach a set of root concepts that apply across every form of combat (with suitable modifications for the unique characteristics of each weapon system, of course). I don't believe wrestling to be the root of all combat (as even some of the masters say), nor that it's the longsword, nor even the pollaxe (which will surprise some folks, I know) as the author of Le Jeu said. I believe that the *principles* of the art are the root of *all* forms. In our last class I was discussing the Back-lever Throw as it applies to armored combat and I emphasized how Vor and Nach, Hard and Soft, Strong and Weak, and Fühlen and Indes all applied to the technique just as if it were a bind of the longsword. People don't always think of the body having a strong and weak, for example, thinking that applies only to weapons, and when you put it into that context they light up and go "Yes, sure, that makes sense!"

As for the videos, he must have been looking at either the halfsword or the pollaxe videos. Most of the others are actually done in slow motion so that people can see how the techniques are done; they're intended purely for my students, not for "display" per se. But with the halfsword and pollaxe videos I told my partner (Matthew Tice, my senior student) to really hit me, and, unfortunately, Matthew has a deplorable belief in my ability to defend myself, so I had to do the displacements, at least, pretty quickly (although I tried to slow down the techniques afterwards) and efficiently or he'd have damaged me.

By the way, I just found out that Lulu.com is having a sale until 18 January: If you enter the word "cabin" in the coupon field of your order you will get 20% off of your entire order up to $50.00.

Again, thank you very much for your kind words, I really appreciate the fact that these books are being enjoyed so much. And as I said before, I'd be happy to try to answer any questions you may have.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh,

Thanks for posting the discount code. I decided to pick up your new book, along with two of your older ones, Pollaxe and Ambraser Codex.

I've got your sword and buckler book, you may recall that we had a brief email conversation about it. I try to avoid online "discussions" about these topics, but I thought it was worth mentioning that I like your work, I agree with you on more points than I disagree with you, and you consistently make me reassess my own thinking and present yourself well where I do disagree.

I'm sure I'll have questions and comments about my new purchases too, but mostly I just wanted to mention here that I like your work and look forward to more.

And Jean, I'm curious who your instructor is. I'm more or less just down the road from you. I need to start expanding my HEMA connections.
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
Hugh,

Thanks for posting the discount code. I decided to pick up your new book, along with two of your older ones, Pollaxe and Ambraser Codex.

I've got your sword and buckler book, you may recall that we had a brief email conversation about it. I try to avoid online "discussions" about these topics, but I thought it was worth mentioning that I like your work, I agree with you on more points than I disagree with you, and you consistently make me reassess my own thinking and present yourself well where I do disagree.

I'm sure I'll have questions and comments about my new purchases too, but mostly I just wanted to mention here that I like your work and look forward to more.

And Jean, I'm curious who your instructor is. I'm more or less just down the road from you. I need to start expanding my HEMA connections.


Hello Craig,

None of us are going to agree on all of this: It's just too complex a subject and too open to interpretation, both inherently and because of how vague and contradictory our sources are. As long as we can discuss these issues professionally, however, we can strive toward making a clearer picture.

Thank you for your compliments, and I hope you enjoy the new books. As always, I would be happy to try to answer any questions you might have.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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Spotlight topics: 5
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:


And Jean, I'm curious who your instructor is. I'm more or less just down the road from you. I need to start expanding my HEMA connections.


My Director is Patrick de Marchi of " Les Duellistes " : http://lesduellistes.com/Mot_du_directeur.asp

He is also a member here but doesn't post often but you could e-mail in directly if you have any questions or if you are in the Montreal area you could visit during a class and you could even participate in a free class ? ( You would have to ask him though since the free tryout classes are generally for people who " might " sign up for a class ...... Well. the per session cost is $14, I think, but again it would be up to Patrick to decide if it would be free or if he would charge the fee ).

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




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just ordered 3 copies, one for me, one for my Director and an extra one I'm fairly sure one of my friends at " les Duellistes "
will be happy to buy.

One idea I might suggest to my director but might be a good idea for other schools would be to recommend this book to new students (old students also Wink ) or even stock a supply of them to sell at cost or a very modest profit to students ..... or at the very least have a copy or two available to consult during classes or borrow.

The idea is certainly applicable to other authors out there but the LuLu ordering systems seems particularly user friendly and efficient.

( Note, OFF TOPIC: Tinker has a book available at Lulu about the modern reproductions of period swords and sword making in general, second edition with more or revised content ...... I already have the first edition:
http://www.tinkerswords.com/Page2.html

Just a little " plug " about ordering from LuLu and for Tinker's book for those who might have hesitated ordering from LuLu not knowing how easy it is ).

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




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Just ordered 3 copies, one for me, one for my Director and an extra one I'm fairly sure one of my friends at " les Duellistes " will be happy to buy.


Thank you! I hope it serves you well.

Quote:
One idea I might suggest to my director but might be a good idea for other schools would be to recommend this book to new students (old students also Wink ) or even stock a supply of them to sell at cost or a very modest profit to students ..... or at the very least have a copy or two available to consult during classes or borrow.


Well, I'd suggest working through it first--you may not like it. I'm fairly certain some of the material will be pretty controversial.

Quote:
Just a little " plug " about ordering from LuLu and for Tinker's book for those who might have hesitated ordering from LuLu not knowing how easy it is ).


I'll second that: Lulu.com is a great service, both for the authors and for the customer. It could be made a little simpler (e.g., why do I have to create a whole new book for each version--perfect bound vs. spiral bound--rather than just one book that can be delivered in different ways), but there's no denying it works well and turns out a good product. Quite apart from my own work, I would recommend them highly. My only real concern with them is that they changed their customer help desk: They used to have a real-time instant-messenger service for help with problems, now that's gone and the help desk people are in India and don't handle English as well as I'd like.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:

Well, I'd suggest working through it first--you may not like it. I'm fairly certain some of the material will be pretty controversial.




Well if your shorter " Introduction to Liechtenaeur's Longsword " is any indication I should find it interesting.

Admittedly, it's possible that I might not agree with every interpretation, it's almost certain that other instructors out there will find something to disagree with or have other interpretations, but any well stress tested interpretation, that seems to work, teaches us something valuable about swordsmanship: Should later research modify or prove the interpretation wrong, as far as being historically correct, then the interpretation in technique can be changed.

With the uncertainties about which interpretations are " THE ONE TRUE/RIGHT INTERPRETATION " ( Who gets to decide that ??? ) ones I think it might be a good idea to learn many of these competing interpretations and use the one(s) that seem to work best or feel as if they work best. Wink Question

Sometimes one just doesn't have enough historical proof to choose between two different interpretations and even more so if both seem to work ? They might even be modern personal variants/styles that might replicate similar different interpretations in period or one interpretation better suited to a body type ????

Anyway, I do find that your books make an interesting read at the very least. Big Grin

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




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Well if your shorter " Introduction to Liechtenaeur's Longsword " is any indication I should find it interesting.


LOL! If you like that, then this is going to blow you away! <grin>

Quote:
Admittedly, it's possible that I might not agree with every interpretation, it's almost certain that other instructors out there will find something to disagree with or have other interpretations, but any well stress tested interpretation, that seems to work, teaches us something valuable about swordsmanship: Should later research modify or prove the interpretation wrong, as far as being historically correct, then the interpretation in technique can be changed.


You have an unusually open mind. And that's why some of the basics in my first longsword book have been changed in this new one: I realized I was wrong about some things and had to change them.

Quote:
With the uncertainties about which interpretations are " THE ONE TRUE/RIGHT INTERPRETATION " ( Who gets to decide that ??? ) ones I think it might be a good idea to learn many of these competing interpretations and use the one(s) that seem to work best or feel as if they work best. Wink Question

Sometimes one just doesn't have enough historical proof to choose between two different interpretations and even more so if both seem to work ? They might even be modern personal variants/styles that might replicate similar different interpretations in period or one interpretation better suited to a body type ????


Well, I think there are three classes of issue here: There are the things that are honestly open to interpretation, and those that are not, and then there are the grey areas. When people start trying to turn a debate into a question of the "one true interpretation" they are usually doing so in a derisory manner, as if *nothing* we have interpreted can be regarded as set in stone, and that's just not the case. If someone were to say the Krumphau was actually a thrust, or that the zwerchhau was supposed to be done with only one hand on the hilt (with a longsword), I'd say that that person was in conflict with the One True Way (tm). If, however, someone were to say that the stabunder done when someone displaces your Winden by picking up his hands were done as an Abschneiden, then I'd say that's clearly an issue open to doubt (that's an issue I'm currently researching). Knowing which category an issue fits into is a non-trivial exercise sometimes.

But it's not about "what works best", it's about what is historically correct. There is *no* justification for going to all the trouble to study a historical system of combat only to change it, even inadvertently, to something because the practitioner feels it "works better." We can't test our material the way it was tested in period, so experimental results can never be relied upon.

Quote:
Anyway, I do find that your books make an interesting read at the very least. Big Grin


Thank you, I really am pleased they're of interest. I'm a little embarrassed of some of the early ones: I wasn't as knowledgeable about how to put them together, for one thing, and for another, they were really just intended for my students alone as reference tools, so I tended to be a bit sloppy with them. Now I'm in the process of re-doing them to bring them up to the standards of the recent one.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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Posts: 130

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
Hugh,

Thanks for posting the discount code. I decided to pick up your new book, along with two of your older ones, Pollaxe and Ambraser Codex.

I've got your sword and buckler book, you may recall that we had a brief email conversation about it. I try to avoid online "discussions" about these topics, but I thought it was worth mentioning that I like your work, I agree with you on more points than I disagree with you, and you consistently make me reassess my own thinking and present yourself well where I do disagree.

I'm sure I'll have questions and comments about my new purchases too, but mostly I just wanted to mention here that I like your work and look forward to more.

And Jean, I'm curious who your instructor is. I'm more or less just down the road from you. I need to start expanding my HEMA connections.


If you're looking to expand your connections, we practice Fiore at the Richelieu-Vanier community Center, Ottawa. That's even closer down the road. :-)

Cheers!

Les Maîtres d'Armes
Member of the
Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

... above all, you should feel in your conscience that your quarrel is good and just. - Le Jeu de la Hache
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason G. Smith wrote:

If you're looking to expand your connections, we practice Fiore at the Richelieu-Vanier community Center, Ottawa. That's even closer down the road. :-)

Cheers!

Hi Jason,

I've actually met you before; you did a presentation at my local library (rosemount) a couple of years ago. I also met one of your other guys at an OMSG class I peeked in on prior to that.

I've been meaning to contact you, actually, but I'll do so through another means so as to not further derail this thread! Wink
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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:

Hi Jason,

I've actually met you before; you did a presentation at my local library (rosemount) a couple of years ago. I also met one of your other guys at an OMSG class I peeked in on prior to that.

I've been meaning to contact you, actually, but I'll do so through another means so as to not further derail this thread! Wink


Indeed! Forgive me for not remembering the name. I'm far better with faces.

Alright - back to your regularly scheduled thread...

Best,
Jason

Les Maîtres d'Armes
Member of the
Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

... above all, you should feel in your conscience that your quarrel is good and just. - Le Jeu de la Hache
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The book arrived yesterday and I'm very pleased with it and as with all the books I purchased from Hugh the writing is clear and easy to understand.

It's also quite thick and seems very complete: I find that the best way to read it for me is to first sample the more general parts dealing with the basics and then jump around getting a feel for any specific technique I am most curious about and eventually read the whole thing at least once. After this it's really studying the text and images and visualizing how one would do each technique in the order one wants to try them out with a training partner or in class ...... the approach might be more to read in order of techniques covered for a novice or someone for whom the concepts are very new.

For a more experienced student it is more of a " GO TO BOOK " before, during or after practice session to fill in the gaps in one's individual knowledge or experience.

I think the book is written in such a clear style that even a beginner should be able to use it but it's really a great resource for the more advanced student who has practical real life experience as this helps a lot in understanding what would naturally follow next when looking at the pictures.

Note: I am amazed at how much information one gets from the well posed pictures supported by the clear explanations in the text. One would think that it would be better with more pics for each technique shown, but even with 3 pics one can understand the " in-betweens " and the logical ending of each technique. ( Oh, some techniques are illustrated by more than just 3 pics, so don't take the above literally as only 3 pics per technique: I just mean that the pics really communicate efficiently so one doesn't need a ton of them to get an idea of what is really going on ).

Longwinded way of saying that I like the book and it's a good read both a casual first read followed by a more " serious " studying the techniques read. Big Grin Cool

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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
The book arrived yesterday and I'm very pleased with it and as with all the books I purchased from Hugh the writing is clear and easy to understand.

It's also quite thick and seems very complete: I find that the best way to read it for me is to first sample the more general parts dealing with the basics and then jump around getting a feel for any specific technique I am most curious about and eventually read the whole thing at least once. After this it's really studying the text and images and visualizing how one would do each technique in the order one wants to try them out with a training partner or in class ...... the approach might be more to read in order of techniques covered for a novice or someone for whom the concepts are very new.

For a more experienced student it is more of a " GO TO BOOK " before, during or after practice session to fill in the gaps in one's individual knowledge or experience.

I think the book is written in such a clear style that even a beginner should be able to use it but it's really a great resource for the more advanced student who has practical real life experience as this helps a lot in understanding what would naturally follow next when looking at the pictures.

Note: I am amazed at how much information one gets from the well posed pictures supported by the clear explanations in the text. One would think that it would be better with more pics for each technique shown, but even with 3 pics one can understand the " in-betweens " and the logical ending of each technique. ( Oh, some techniques are illustrated by more than just 3 pics, so don't take the above literally as only 3 pics per technique: I just mean that the pics really communicate efficiently so one doesn't need a ton of them to get an idea of what is really going on ).

Longwinded way of saying that I like the book and it's a good read both a casual first read followed by a more " serious " studying the techniques read. Big Grin Cool


Hello Jean,

Thank you for such a positive, well-thought-out review: I really appreciate it, not just because it makes me feel good, but because I tried incredibly hard to make this book accessible and easy to understand and I'm happy that seems to have worked.

Take a look at the structure of the book: It's quite different from the way other books are organized, with an attempt to show all the "basic stuff" (most of which isn't simple, by any means) before going on to the plays of the Meisterhau. This is an attempt to teach all the things you need to know *first*. I'm really eager to find out if that organizational scheme actually makes sense to someone using the book.

Which version did you buy, the spiral or perfect bound? If the former, how does it "feel"? The reason I ask is that I got the perfect-bound copy for myself, and I'm wondering if this book is just too thick to be stable (physically, I mean) in the spiral-bound version. I noticed my pollaxe book, which is more than 100 pages shorter than this one, was a bit floppy in the spiral-bound version, which is why I ask.

Again, thank you for buying the book, and thank you for your positive review. I really appreciate it. I look forward to trying to answer any questions you might have.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:

Hello Jean,

Thank you for such a positive, well-thought-out review: I really appreciate it, not just because it makes me feel good, but because I tried incredibly hard to make this book accessible and easy to understand and I'm happy that seems to have worked.

Take a look at the structure of the book: It's quite different from the way other books are organized, with an attempt to show all the "basic stuff" (most of which isn't simple, by any means) before going on to the plays of the Meisterhau. This is an attempt to teach all the things you need to know *first*. I'm really eager to find out if that organizational scheme actually makes sense to someone using the book.

Which version did you buy, the spiral or perfect bound? If the former, how does it "feel"? The reason I ask is that I got the perfect-bound copy for myself, and I'm wondering if this book is just too thick to be stable (physically, I mean) in the spiral-bound version. I noticed my pollaxe book, which is more than 100 pages shorter than this one, was a bit floppy in the spiral-bound version, which is why I ask.

Again, thank you for buying the book, and thank you for your positive review. I really appreciate it. I look forward to trying to answer any questions you might have.


I'll pay more attention now to the order of presentation to see what you mean and it's probably best then to go in order but ,except for novels that one should start at the beginning, I tend to sample a book in a more random way and at times start with the end and work my way back: Sort of interesting this way as often what one reads later in an earlier chapter answers questions one had reading what normally comes after ! I think that this can sensitize one to what one doesn't get and one notices it more when one finds the answer(s). This doesn't mean that when applying the content to actually learn the techniques ones shouldn't start from the beginning.

I bought the spiral version and it is thick and a bit floppy but not disturbingly so as I treat any book with respect and just down toss them around. Wink Since one may need to turn the book to a specific chapter/technique and use it as a quick reference in class a spiral bound version seems superior to a book that will try to keep closing by itself as well as long time durability of the book.

One thing to be careful though is that one should put the book down on a clean surface to not smudge or damage pages when putting it down i.e. avoid laying down on a dirty floor or if used outdoors on wet grass or " snow " ( Just joking about the snow as it's much too cold to train outside in Quebec in Winter not to mention icy and slippery. Wink Razz Cool ).

Oh, and I gave a copy to my Director and a copy to a regular training partner/fellow student of our group.

A bonus with a reader friendly writing style is that I want to consult the book more often or just read and re-read parts of it since it isn't a heavy slog to read one ( me ) will refer to it much more often and as with actual practice frequent consultation helps one to absorb the information. A good reference book is like a good friend one looks forward to seeing often. Wink

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jan, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I've been reading the book more intently and I find a lot of subtle but important nuances in interpretation that could make a great deal of difference in the efficiency of one's swordsmanship.

I haven't tried to test out very many things yet but we did consult the book about doing a Schnappen from a right Oberhau pages 99 -100: we where training variants of Schnappen for the last few weeks and last Saturday during a free training day ( Unstructured training day where we can ask questions, try out things or do some freeplay with the Director/instructor as opposed to the regular classes during the week ).

In any case, we referred to the book and tried this out and although like anything else it needs more practice to do it well, we found it very useful to have the book as a ready reference and it was a good training experience. Big Grin Cool

The book has a lot of interesting and for me different takes or nuances that change the way one would use the techniques tactically with more efficiency, a few examples without getting into too much detail:

1) Active Fühlen Page 15 changes the way one approaches the issues of sensing when someone is hard or soft in the bind in that one doesn't bind and pause and then decide how to act. To me it's more like acting as if the opponent is soft in the bind as the default plan " A " and if they are soft the technique succeeds. If the technique doesn't succeed then it's because the opponent is hard in the bind and one instantly applies the appropriate action.

2) The Zornhau being not like the other master cuts in that it's not a one time technique ....... I won't get into the details of why but the explanation seems to make sense and worth trying out Page 62 - 64

3) The Krumphau: Again just subtle differences in angles, quote " Hugh makes an explosive leap to his front at about a 45 degree angle. At the end. however, he's still facing to his front not at an angle. "

Anyway, just a sample of the little things that seem to me make a big difference in execution of the moves and very valuable to consider even if all might not agree with some of the interpretations. ( They seem to make sense to me but I'm not qualified to critique with any authority and I hope I'm not giving a false summary of of the material ).

I think that very small differences in the geometry of moves or subtleties of initiative and Fühlen can make disproportionate differences in the results or efficiency in swordsmanship, possibly a " lame " comparison/simile: Lets say we describe on paper the actions/moves of a very good bowler and a description of the moves of a mediocre bowler, on paper the descriptions might be identical or very close to identical in spite of one bowler being very good and the other very bad.

With Historical Fechtbuch we have, at times, ambiguous or incomplete description of actions where the fine points may be missing or hard to understand, fine points that make the difference between being excellent or mediocre: I think we understand the original material well enough that there is general agreement about the broad lines of what the actions where but the fine detail making one great are discovered by testing different and evolving interpretations to see what seems to work best.

Just conjecture on my part or just thoughts of the top of my head, so don't take the above as anything more than " a gut feeling " that Hugh's interpretations are giving me some of those fine details that make a great deal of difference finding what works or doesn't work.

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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
1) Active Fühlen Page 15 changes the way one approaches the issues of sensing when someone is hard or soft in the bind in that one doesn't bind and pause and then decide how to act. To me it's more like acting as if the opponent is soft in the bind as the default plan " A " and if they are soft the technique succeeds. If the technique doesn't succeed then it's because the opponent is hard in the bind and one instantly applies the appropriate action.


I'm glad the intent of that idea came across so clearly. This was my way of sloving the difficulty of the the instruction to feel the bind (Fühlen), which takes at least a mico-moment of time, but also to act immediately (indes)--an apparent contradiction.

Quote:
2) The Zornhau being not like the other master cuts in that it's not a one time technique ....... I won't get into the details of why but the explanation seems to make sense and worth trying out Page 62 - 64


If you're interested, I've written an even more detailed research paper on this subject. You can read it here:
http://www.schlachtschule.org/instruction/OntheZornhau.pdf

Quote:
Anyway, just a sample of the little things that seem to me make a big difference in execution of the moves and very valuable to consider even if all might not agree with some of the interpretations. ( They seem to make sense to me but I'm not qualified to critique with any authority and I hope I'm not giving a false summary of of the material ).

I think that very small differences in the geometry of moves or subtleties of initiative and Fühlen can make disproportionate differences in the results or efficiency in swordsmanship, possibly a " lame " comparison/simile: Lets say we describe on paper the actions/moves of a very good bowler and a description of the moves of a mediocre bowler, on paper the descriptions might be identical or very close to identical in spite of one bowler being very good and the other very bad.

With Historical Fechtbuch we have, at times, ambiguous or incomplete description of actions where the fine points may be missing or hard to understand, fine points that make the difference between being excellent or mediocre: I think we understand the original material well enough that there is general agreement about the broad lines of what the actions where but the fine detail making one great are discovered by testing different and evolving interpretations to see what seems to work best.

Just conjecture on my part or just thoughts of the top of my head, so don't take the above as anything more than " a gut feeling " that Hugh's interpretations are giving me some of those fine details that make a great deal of difference finding what works or doesn't work.


I'm really happy it's making sense. One of the big problems in writing this book was the scope of the material: Most books that have been written so far are introductions to the art, this one is supposed to be more than that. That's great, but it can cause things to get so big that details get lost in transmission, and that's something I've been very worried about.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Sat 31 Jul, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:


I'm really happy it's making sense. One of the big problems in writing this book was the scope of the material: Most books that have been written so far are introductions to the art, this one is supposed to be more than that. That's great, but it can cause things to get so big that details get lost in transmission, and that's something I've been very worried about.


Just bumping this one back up because I use it often whenever we are changing to studying another technique: We regularly rotate our study to each of the main master strokes and concentrate on it for a few weeks before moving on to the next. This is done because one never finishes studying anything in a definitive fashion and the material must be reviewed regularly, also with each batch of new students one does have to go back to basics.

So this book, as well that other books available from Hugh, are great references for all the major techniques and a great deal of the other subtleties and less obvious techniques: I use it very often and bring up " interpretations " with my longsword instructor that we try out even if some of the interpretations we use to are occasionally different.

Anyway, always very useful to re-read the interpretations in the book before, during or after training practice: Bottom line great reference book(s).

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




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Sat 31 Jul, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Hugh Knight wrote:


I'm really happy it's making sense. One of the big problems in writing this book was the scope of the material: Most books that have been written so far are introductions to the art, this one is supposed to be more than that. That's great, but it can cause things to get so big that details get lost in transmission, and that's something I've been very worried about.


Just bumping this one back up because I use it often whenever we are changing to studying another technique: We regularly rotate our study to each of the main master strokes and concentrate on it for a few weeks before moving on to the next. This is done because one never finishes studying anything in a definitive fashion and the material must be reviewed regularly, also with each batch of new students one does have to go back to basics.

So this book, as well that other books available from Hugh, are great references for all the major techniques and a great deal of the other subtleties and less obvious techniques: I use it very often and bring up " interpretations " with my longsword instructor that we try out even if some of the interpretations we use to are occasionally different.

Anyway, always very useful to re-read the interpretations in the book before, during or after training practice: Bottom line great reference book(s).


Thanks, Jean, I'm glad to hear from you about how the book is working for you. I'm really pleased to learn it's still holding up to careful study. As always, if there are any questions I'd be happy to try to answer them.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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