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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I've heard hints and suggestions that tumbling and the like were part of Medieval physical training. And so I'm looking for information from the Medieval period on tumbling/gymnastics and other physical training. The focus is on those aspects which may have been a part of a knight's training.

I'm not too concerned with time or place to begin with, especially since I suspect there are few sources on the topic.

Ultimately, I'm working on supplementing my longsword fencing training with whole body, movement elements.

Thanks,
Steven

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You should get this:

http://www.myArmoury.com/books/item.0300083521.html

IIRC he deals specifically with movement.

Somewhere, there's a drawing or woodcut showing men training--lifting weights, vaulting, wrestling, etc.

-Sean

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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try the Search function. (Though it can be a trifle difficult to use. There was a specific topic I wanted to get but couldn't find.) Here is a random result that may be applicable to what you're interested in:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=fitness
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Ultimately, I'm working on supplementing my longsword fencing training with whole body, movement elements.

While this certainly wouldn't hurt (provided you get good instruction and don't injure yourself), I also think that 95% of all people in WMA would be better served by channeling any tendencies in this direction into more focused and intense solo drills (assuming that your goal is to make yourself a better longsword fencer). OTOH, tumbling could be something fun to do and certainly would help overall body strength and agility.

Steve

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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Steven Reich wrote:
Steven H wrote:
Ultimately, I'm working on supplementing my longsword fencing training with whole body, movement elements.

While this certainly wouldn't hurt (provided you get good instruction and don't injure yourself), I also think that 95% of all people in WMA would be better served by channeling any tendencies in this direction into more focused and intense solo drills (assuming that your goal is to make yourself a better longsword fencer). OTOH, tumbling could be something fun to do and certainly would help overall body strength and agility.

Steve

I'm already training at least once a day with a sword. I'm looking for something to add once or twice a week.

Additionally, part of my question (that I didn't include originally) is what kinds of physical skills and abilities were considered valuable in a knight? For instance I've heard, plenty of times, but can't source, that a knight was expected to be able to vault into the saddle, fully armoured, without the stirrups. I can't do that yet (or cite/source it).

One last point is that I expect such training would improve both my skill and safety with the grappling element.

Cheers,
Steven

P.S. It's also something I'd consider fun Big Grin

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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Hello all,

I've heard hints and suggestions that tumbling and the like were part of Medieval physical training. And so I'm looking for information from the Medieval period on tumbling/gymnastics and other physical training. The focus is on those aspects which may have been a part of a knight's training.

I'm not too concerned with time or place to begin with, especially since I suspect there are few sources on the topic.

Ultimately, I'm working on supplementing my longsword fencing training with whole body, movement elements.

Thanks,
Steven


Steven,

Sorry to post another forum, but you might find this thread interesting

http://pendant.forumotion.net/off-topic-f8/pa...g-t459.htm

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Steven H




Location: Boston
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Posts: 545

PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:

Steven,

Sorry to post another forum, but you might find this thread interesting

http://pendant.forumotion.net/off-topic-f8/pa...g-t459.htm


I'd actually followed that thread. It's part of what pushed me to this question.

Thanks though.

Cheers,
Steven

P.S. I cross-posted this question to the Pendant forum

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:
Sorry to post another forum, but you might find this thread interesting


Please don't feel the need to apologize for this type of thing. It's a very good thing to point members to information, regardless of the destination. Forums that are threatened by other players aren't comfortable with their own value. Happy

Good link.

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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Nathan.

According to Michael Cartier at the Meyer Freifechter Guild it was known in the German medieval/rennaisance world as "wall running (von laufen)". He says "it has roots even further back to the Classical world where functional strength was valued highly in the combat sport arena." but he doesn't give his sources. Maybe someone could independently verify this.

I've often wondered whether the modern day gymnastic sports like pommel horse, vault, rings, floor exercise and uneven bar can be traced back to the "Von Laufen" type Knightly training regimens.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Hello all,

I've heard hints and suggestions that tumbling and the like were part of Medieval physical training. And so I'm looking for information from the Medieval period on tumbling/gymnastics and other physical training. The focus is on those aspects which may have been a part of a knight's training.

I'm not too concerned with time or place to begin with, especially since I suspect there are few sources on the topic.

Ultimately, I'm working on supplementing my longsword fencing training with whole body, movement elements.

Thanks,
Steven


Leaping was important as Meyer and Ringeck both mention it in their treatises. Leaping not necessarily high but laterally. The further you can leap laterally, the better the chance you have of voiding (getting out of the way) of an attack or ending up in a place where your opponent is not so as to have a clear strike.

IMO, Two things to train for to improve your leaping ability are working the calf muscle and assoicated tendons for strength and explosiveness.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Frances Perry
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Location: West Yorkshire
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1. “Exercises”



Source: British Library Images Online:
http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?ima...earchnum=3

Title: Exercises
Description: Men performing exercises with swords and other implements. Image taken from Illustrierte Sittengeschichte vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Originally published/produced in Munich, 1909-12.

Discussion:
The partially obscured title reveals this to be a FechtBoden and Frauenhaus – i.e. a fight place or house with a bawdyhouse attached from the middle ages.

There are several fools to be seen in the picture, probably with some kind of moral implication for the pursuits, but there is also a selection of activites grouped together; gymnastics with swords, sword sparring or training, some kind of ballgame or lifting rocks for weight training.

I am also fascinated by the guys at the top. The guy on the left appears to have a handgonne, but it would seem rather foolish to fire it at the guy on the right holding a hoop / target or some kind. The guy on the right must have great trust in the skills of the guy firing/shooting! In the absence of rocket-launchers, I am at a loss to see what else it could be other than a gun or a crossbow seen from the side?...

Is this an image to show the vices and follies of these types of places, or could it be taken as a more literal representation of the types of things seen and done in this kind of establishment? Can anyone make out the German written in the ‘scrolls’ on the picture?

“In these modern times, many men are wounded for not having weapons or knowledge of their use.”
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Frances Perry
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:
Thanks Nathan.

According to Michael Cartier at the Meyer Freifechter Guild it was known in the German medieval/rennaisance world as "wall running (von laufen)". He says "it has roots even further back to the Classical world where functional strength was valued highly in the combat sport arena." but he doesn't give his sources. Maybe someone could independently verify this.

I've often wondered whether the modern day gymnastic sports like pommel horse, vault, rings, floor exercise and uneven bar can be traced back to the "Von Laufen" type Knightly training regimens.


Chances are, this may have come from Giovanni Mercuriali, an Italian Doctor, who studied classical Roman and Greek medical texts. He studied their attitudes toward diet, exercise and hygiene and the use of natural methods to cure disease, and published "De Arte Gymnastica" (Venice, 1569). It explained the principles of physical therapy, and it is considered by some as the first book on sports medicine. A full version of the Treatise can be found here:

http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra/docmetadata?i...ation&

“In these modern times, many men are wounded for not having weapons or knowledge of their use.”
- Achille Marozzo, 1536
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Frances Perry
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And just found this very interesting article from ARMA - The Role of Fitness in Historical Fencing:

http://www.thearma.org/essays/fit/RennFit.htm

Hope these help?

“In these modern times, many men are wounded for not having weapons or knowledge of their use.”
- Achille Marozzo, 1536
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
For instance I've heard, plenty of times, but can't source, that a knight was expected to be able to vault into the saddle, fully armoured, without the stirrups. I can't do that yet (or cite/source it).


I think that's a trick of different period horse riders and cultures but I've never heard it connected with a full harness knight.

If you look at period war saddles used by the knightly class leaping over them is a bit impossible.

Here is a lovey Medieval, circa 1460 reproduction by master armourer Jeffrey Hedgecock.


Now there is a fun vid that just came out to promote WMA / HEMA from a group in Eastern Europe that practices the later period kunst des fechtens. It think it's a hoot to watch as you get to see how they incorporate Tumbling/Gymnastics into their core training. Be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-82cajZi70s

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2010 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

David Teague wrote:
Steven H wrote:
For instance I've heard, plenty of times, but can't source, that a knight was expected to be able to vault into the saddle, fully armoured, without the stirrups. I can't do that yet (or cite/source it).


I think that's a trick of different period horse riders and cultures but I've never heard it connected with a full harness knight.

If you look at period war saddles used by the knightly class leaping over them is a bit impossible.

Leap over, no, I'd agree. But the tale I've heard repeatedly is of getting into the saddle without the stirrups. Which would be easier. But I still can't cite/source it.

David Teague wrote:
Now there is a fun vid that just came out to promote WMA / HEMA from a group in Eastern Europe that practices the later period kunst des fechtens. It think it's a hoot to watch as you get to see how they incorporate Tumbling/Gymnastics into their core training. Be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-82cajZi70s

Cheers,

David


I've seen that video before. And I like it. I'd really like to incorporate a portion of that stuff into my class. But I'll have to do so slowly so that I don't break any students.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2010 6:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Frances Perry wrote:
1. “Exercises”



Source: British Library Images Online:
http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?ima...earchnum=3



Thanks for the picture. It's pretty great. I've seen parts of this image before but not the whole thing.

And I'm quite amused by the connection between a fencing school and a "bawdyhouse".

Cheers,
Steven

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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:
Thanks Nathan.

According to Michael Cartier at the Meyer Freifechter Guild it was known in the German medieval/rennaisance world as "wall running (von laufen)". He says "it has roots even further back to the Classical world where functional strength was valued highly in the combat sport arena." but he doesn't give his sources. Maybe someone could independently verify this.

I've often wondered whether the modern day gymnastic sports like pommel horse, vault, rings, floor exercise and uneven bar can be traced back to the "Von Laufen" type Knightly training regimens.


Any ideas on where to find more info on von laufen? I'm intrigued now.

Cheers,
Steven

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2010 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
And I'm quite amused by the connection between a fencing school and a "bawdyhouse".


That's the cardio area of the gym.

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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2010 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Steven H wrote:
And I'm quite amused by the connection between a fencing school and a "bawdyhouse".


That's the cardio area of the gym.


My school is in one of the rougher areas of Anchorage, which includes a red light district. Not quite as convenient as the illustration but I'm glad to see we are keeping with a historic tradition. Wink

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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David Teague




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2010 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: Tumbling/Gymnastics and Medieval Physical Training         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
David Teague wrote:
Steven H wrote:
For instance I've heard, plenty of times, but can't source, that a knight was expected to be able to vault into the saddle, fully armoured, without the stirrups. I can't do that yet (or cite/source it).


I think that's a trick of different period horse riders and cultures but I've never heard it connected with a full harness knight.

If you look at period war saddles used by the knightly class leaping over them is a bit impossible.

Leap over, no, I'd agree. But the tale I've heard repeatedly is of getting into the saddle without the stirrups. Which would be easier. But I still can't cite/source it.


I'm a bit skeptical on this as I've gotten to assist with the Tournament of the Phoenix joust (the only jousting in the US sanctioned by the Royal Armouries of England) and the international jousters I've met are in top shape, have beautiful spring steel harnesses (thus lighter than period armour), are superb horse riders and they all needed the stirrups to mount (along with a step stool when out of the jousting arena).




This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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