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Nathan F




Location: ireland
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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 12:26 pm    Post subject: how were knights trained         Reply with quote

hello all
i have looked into this and often get a lot of wrong information. so i wanted to know does anyone have any or know of any detailed accounts on a knights training from as early an age as possible too please. i would like to know about as many aspects as i can including training items etc. there is often information on learning the lance but not much else so can anyone help me get information on all the training?
cheers guys

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While there are some common threads between all knights, it is impossible to describe a catch-all, systematized regimen that every squire followed over the span of many centuries and an entire continent. If you have any specifics you're looking for I'm sure I and many others here could provide examples, but even then the training was frequently left to the discretion of the one training the knight rather than some international policy. However, examples can still be extremely helpful, and if you can provide a range a little more narrow than an entire social class throughout all of history, I'm sure we'll be able to help with what you're looking for.
"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Nathan F




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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sorry thank you for the post im terrible for such broad open ended posts. well im really looking for training between 1200-1500 no later really. i understand it would vary greatly but any primary accounts along with just what people know would be hugely useful.
im looking for common traits and aspects of training that were common and ones that might not have been but would be useful to include. thanks in advance.

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan F wrote:
Well im really looking for training between 1200-1500 no later really. i understand it would vary greatly but any primary accounts along with just what people know would be hugely useful.


This is not exactly on target for what I think you are looking for, but... For a little broader idea of how they were typically "sent off" for training, and what they went through, you might try some biographies such as David Crouch's on William Marshal, and any other on Bertrand du Guesclin. They represent the century just before, and after your period of interest. The actual training drills are going to be hard to find, but you can get some idea that they started early, and how they lived. Also the Last Knight, biography. Although talking about royalty, it repeatedly mentions thorough training in all forms of weapons including new types so that they would be familiar with them tactically.

I would add that up through late 13th century, melee tournament seems to have been very popular, and considered important as proof of competence.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ok that makes sense well i will broaden it for any information available to me on the subject.
yes the actual drills are what really interest me and what training consisted of at a young age that is what interests me the most.
i know that tourneys at that stage became hugely important due to the money involved and esteem with them etc.
also i have often wondered would nice have been learning from the material we see in the fight books of that period i would think so but would also be interested in what drills and training they had solely for their styles of fighting.
also any possible links would be great.

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 23 May, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Again, this is still secondary to what the actual drills were, but the archeological examination concluded that the skeleton of a knight found ; "He was a very strong and fit nobleman, with the physique of a professional rugby player, who would have been trained since boyhood to handle heavy swords and other weapons and who would have spent a great deal of time on horseback."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/t...687199.stm

As a general comment of late 11th to mid 12th century, several historical subjects discussed in popular books on the era were trained for it from childhood and "knighted", often were "knighted" at around the time of their first battle near age 16. In some cases, the first event may have been a melee tournament. The age bracket and background circumstances became much more broad by the end of the 13th century as there were mass knightings prior to battles where large recruitment occurred.

For at least some knights who were expected to be part of the retinue of nobility, their training was not just "martial" in nature. They often had to fit into court situations, double as diplomats, contribute some form of banquet entertainment other than combat skills, etc. Bertrand du Guesclin seems to have been something of an exception as he was primarily appreciated for his motivational leadership effect on the battlefield.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Sun 23 May, 2010 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tell you what though, that guy's got a face that only a mother could love.
That said, I wouldn't want to rub him the wrong way then or if one bumped into him now Laughing Out Loud
As for a 'knights' training, I always thought (as Jared said) that they were sent away at a young age (probably in part to form a strong bond of trust with another family), trained in more gentle arts at the younger age of the spectrum like music, poetry, manners, courtship, and a bit of wrestling for good measure, then as they got older, more and more martial training was applied.
I'd imagine the more intellectual things were practiced all the time most days (trying to recite a poem whilst, say, mucking out the stables) but the martial training was more regimented, as in Mondays it was horsemanship, Tuesdays weapon forms, Wednesday rest day, Thursday tactics and sports/games, Friday is weapon forms again, Saturday is horsemanship and Sunday is Church and archery. Something like that maybe.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 24 May, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ignore the usual "heavy swords" nonsense.
-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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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Jun, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
I tell you what though, that guy's got a face that only a mother could love.


I was wondering if you were commenting on the skeleton of the knight and reconstructed face, or on Bertrand du Guscelin? The same was said of Guscelin.

An interesting article that just appeared today, a possible gladiator graveyard has been found near York. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/york_and_n...254206.stm
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/06/0...ry/?hpt=C1

Contrary to the movie concept where gladiators are often depicted as quickly trained slaves, the skeletons exhibit asymetric arm (mostly right arms assumed to be typical weapon arms) development, above average size, multiple trauma scars, and large animal teeth mark type bone scars suggested as appropriate for bites from bears, and lions. The speculation in some of the related articles contemplate that the participants must have trained for it from an early age as a profession.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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