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Nicholas Rettig




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jun, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Medieval/Rennaisance hand to hand fighting styles         Reply with quote

First off let me just say that I realize that this topic is only tangentially related to the purpose of this website but I don't know of a better collection of people knowledgeable about western martial arts that I can reach without standing up, so back to the question. I have always been interested into unarmed combat and have just recently discovered pankration, I was amazed at how modern and practical it looked. This got me interested in other western unarmed fighting styles, I know of quite a few such as sambo, krav maga, kfm, bartitsu (which I like to imagine is meant solely for use in bars), savate, etc., but all these are very recently developed most within the last 100 years. I was trying to find information about styles from the western world and hailing from before 1800. I was hoping that someone on this website could point me in the right direction, thank you in advance.
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Toke Krebs Niclasen




Location: Copenhagen
Joined: 31 Jan 2010

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jun, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could go check out over at ARMA.

http://www.thearma.org/essays.htm
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Andrew Maxwell




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 03 May 2009

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 1:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Toke Krebs Niclasen wrote:
You could go check out over at ARMA.

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


...Or here: http://hemaalliance.com/

Or actually any of the other HEMA / WMA forums, the community is generally pretty good and helpful.

There are quite a few groups who practise Ringen or Abrazare, mostly 15th-16th century stuff. It's harder to find manuscripts containing a complete system in the German material, so a lot of groups (such as the one I am a member of) pull material from multiple sources. Fabian von Auerswald is a good source, and there are a few (free) translations available online. On the other hand, if you choose to use the Italian material, Fiore is (of course) the way to go- Tom Leoni has recently published a translation via Lulu which has got rave reviews. Although my own focus is the German systems, I have to admit that the Fiore wrestling and dagger plays are incredibly sweet (and if you are an MMA fan, a lot of it is scarily familiar). The Ligadura plays, for example, are variations on the standing figure four.
TBH, if you are looking solely at the unarmed combat part of it, I would start with Fiore (bearing in mind that the unarmed combat section actually comprises the wrestling section and most of the dagger section).

cheers
Andy

Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man's power to live long. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
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Nicholas Rettig




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks I found two articles on the arma, both very interesting, one detailed how punching was illegal in Germany, swinging a sword in his face perfectly acceptable, but no punching. Hema looks interesting, any chance you could throw a link to those free translations my way?
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Andrew Maxwell




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 03 May 2009

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 2:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.hroarr.com/manuals/liechtenauer/Vo...lation.pdf

Hroarr is a good resource if you want copies of manuals Wink

As far as punching being illegal... let's just say I'd take that with a decent pinch of salt until I see some references. Punching is rare in ringen, but it does occur in Codex Wallerstein and Talhoffer, to name two sources just off the top of my head. Punching is often not a good tactical option in a no-rules unarmed situation compared with locks and breaks, but that doesn't mean it was illegal.

ETA: If you are talking about the article by Jeff Hull, well, his scholarship is top-notch, but I think you've misread it Happy

I think you may have got confused with the "forbidden" techniques, ie those which you would use on the battlefield but not in friendly competition- they weren't illegal though Wink

Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man's power to live long. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
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Hugh Knight




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

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 2:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Punching was perfectly acceptable in some kinds of fighting, and not in others. Roughly speaking, the Germans broke grappling down into two different kinds of fighting: Fighting in earnest, and friendly fighting. In Codex Wallerstein Master Ott has this to say:

"Although a weak fighter in a serious combat can be equal to a strong opponent, if he has previously learned agility, reach, Kampfstücke [meaning techniques for use in a serious duel such as joint breaks, etc.] and Mordstücke [meaning strikes to vital targets, specifically including punches], in a friendly combat strength always has the advantage. In spite of this, the art of fighting is praised by knights and squires above all other things." (Codex Wallerstein p. 69)

In other words, serious combat included joint locks and breaks and strikes to vital targets that were forbidden in friendly combat. In general, the striking techniques of German Ringen or grappling should be compared to the atemi-waza techniques of jujutsu: They are usually intended more to stun or discomfit an opponent long enough for you to apply or complete a grappling technique, and not as instant fight enders themselves, as they are in, for example, modern karate or boxing.

As an example of this idea, consider this play from Ringeck:
"Strike him with the right hand against the navel as hard as you can. Then, with your left hand, seize his right arm at the biceps. With your right arm, grasp him around his left side. Hold him by the jacket or hose, shift your weight before his hip, so that your right leg is in front of his right, throwing him in this way over the hip." (Tobler 2001 p. 235). In other words, you punch him in the belly to break his concentration and to prevent him from resisting, then you move in and apply a hip throw.

If you are specifically interested in medieval grappling, you may wish to look at this book:
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-las...at/6445212

Incidentally, Bartitsu was created by Edward Barton-Wright, a Victorian Englishman, who opened a school teaching his mix of Savate, pugilism, cane fighting and jujutsu in 1899. So it may have been used in bars, but that's not the derivation of the name.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Nicholas Rettig




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.thearma.org/essays/Getting-Punchy.pdf - at the top of page four is where they detail the illegality of fist-fighting, it says a man can receive a month in jail for striking six months for wounding through fist-fighting and a year for killing a man with fist fighting. Though my language was a little overly general, the law does only apply in certain situations.

At Hugh Knight, yes I know Bartitsu wasn't named after bars, but I've never been one to let the facts get in the way of the fun Laughing Out Loud .

Thank you all I have some homework to do now, all I need is someone who will let me break their arm.
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