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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Fighting manual for sword and strapped kite/heater shield? Reply to topic
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 2:10 am    Post subject: Fighting manual for sword and strapped kite/heater shield?         Reply with quote

Hi all, I am looking for information on fighting with a sword and a strapped shield. Our WMA group has done several courses on fighting with shields and various weapons (swords, axes, spears) but so far we have always used center-gripped round shields. I imagine that fighting with a strapped shield, like a kite shield or a large heater shield is very different.

Are there any fechtbucher, codexes or other manuals that describe fighting with a shield that is strapped to your arm or that is hanging from your shoulder on a guige strap?

Thanks in advance!

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 2:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is the renaissance rotella stuff, which can have some transfer value. Marozzo has the only section on kite shields I know about, but it is quite short, and only has one illustration...
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling summed it up. The only material is 16th c Italian, and involves carrying over the rotella or using Marozzo's imbracciatura - a long kite shield - for which we have three plays. Sadly, that's it.
Greg Mele
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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are these few pages to be found online somewhere?
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 3:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's not much unfortunately. I'll see if I can dig those up. Thanks!
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Order of the Seven Hearts has lots of stuff on the Bolognese masters, including the rotella techniques;
http://www.salvatorfabris.com/SectionBolognese.shtml

Other than that, lots of sparring helps Wink

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas R. wrote:
Are these few pages to be found online somewhere?

I wouldn't recommend going straight to the sword and rotella sections, because the Bolognese teach a lot of stuff in the sword alone or sword and buckler sections. I would get a version of Marozzo or Manciolino or the Ravenna Bolognese which you can read, then spend at least a few dozen hours training the sword and buckler sections, then try the sword and rotalla or sword and imbracciatura. Tom Leoni and the Reichs have put up a lot up on the Order of Seven Hearts page, and Freelance Academic press just published a translation of Manciolino with a beginner`s guide included. Jherek Swanger also has some translations.

Going through contemporary art which show fencers with sword and strapped shield could also be helpful. Many artists had some idea what trained people fighting looked like.
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Johann M




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We've been testing whether the later rotella stuff can be applied to earlier strapped shields, and so far our experience is a qualified yes. Qualified because the swordwork works best with an unarmoured opponent.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice!
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I understand that Pietro Monte's manual has some information on sword and shield, but I'm not sure if anyone has completed a translation of it yet.

Some people argue that it's possible to extrapolate sword and shield fighting from some of the judicial duels between peasants depicted in Kal's, Talhoffer's and other like manuals.
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Reinier van Noort





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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A 1595 Dutch manuscript describes fighting with dusack and shield "in the Turkish manner", but the text and two illustrations don't really say much.
Other than that, things that work for big round shield ("viking shields" in the internet jargon) can generally be used for strapped shields as well (though inducing a strong swivel in the opponents shield is less easy). Talk to Colin Richards; he has done a lot of experimenting, gaining information on big round shields that also work with strapped shields.
Also, there's a couple of papers by Stephen Hand in Spada 1 and 2 that address fighting with big round shields (none-strapped) that could be experimented with, though some of the stuff in there doesn't/shouldn't work (ask Colin).

Or you could try contacting Noorderwind who are working on 13th century shield stuff as well.

R

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We use heater and kite shields extensively for both reenactment and full body target fighting. I have looked briefly at the bolognese stuff, and quite a bit of it seems to match our own experiences.

What seems to work best is flat strikes against the sides of the head or hands, hinging the sword on the edge of the shield. The principle is to present the sword and shield as a continuos line of defense, moving behind it as you strike.

Unilke the large round shields, the kite does not lend itself that well to leading with the edge. We use a tighter guard for full body fighting. With the edge forward, it is easier for the attacker to slip around or under your defences, as it does not give you the extra stand of distance that the offensive round shield does.

It is quite possible that the round shield was used in a different fashion. The swords of the high middle ages are also long striking types, rather than the broad cutters of the earlier period.

While it is difficult to simulate armour, it is also possible that the helmet was used actively as a part of the guard. A kettlehat on top of a kite shield gives excellent protection.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Elling,

coiuld you please be a bit more precise about this part of your posting?

"Unilke the large round shields, the kite does not lend itself that well to leading with the edge. We use a tighter guard for full body fighting. With the edge forward, it is easier for the attacker to slip around or under your defences, as it does not give you the extra stand of distance that the offensive round shield does. "

A tighter guard means, you pull the heater nearer to your body? What do you mean with "edge" forward?

I think the rotella are more like the kites than the viking round shields. Most important difference is, that the round shield can be swivelled in the hand holding it, and so it can be used in a more active fashion, I guess. (There are some Hammaborg clips, showing what I mean).

Regards,
Thomas

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing I already found out is that the point of a kite can be a very effective striking weapon, unlike a round shield where you would strike with the side edge.
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Several round shield WMA styles (for instance hammaborg and Stephen Hand... I do not know what Colin teaches these days) teatch that you should hold the shield rim pointed at your opponent, and us it to stike, cover and bind. There are several inspirations for this, notably rotella and judicial shield in late medevial manuals.

So what I was trying to say is that pointing the shield edge at the opponent with a heater shield does not appear to be very efficient.
By a tight guard I mean keeping the sword and shield together. You can see some examples in this clip. However, this is just us fooling around, not textbook stuff. (Maybe we will have to do that at some point..)


"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Reinier van Noort





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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please note, it's been a while since I was last busy with this. If you like I can check some of my notes some time later, but I think I remember the following correctly.

Colin uses the round shield in such a way that you hold it out towards the opponent, with the top inclined inwards somewhat (towards your head), and with the edge leading and pointing at the opponents shoulder (left shoulder I think; the edge needs to point inwards a bit) - all in such a way that you do not block your own vision). This way you can bind you shield against the opponents shield, so that you can keep him at safe distance. Than all the tricky stuff starts, aimed at opening up the opponents guard so that you can stick your in him. Colin based this on shield stuff from one of the Bolognese authors, but specifically stated not using the rotella stuff, but the other stuff (targa I think) as the rotella is strapped and therefore works differently.

It is my (limited) experience that a lot of things that work on big round shields also work on strapped heaters, but actions requiring swiveling of the opponents shield are more difficult.

School voor Historische Schermkunsten

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Samuel Bena




Location: Slovakia
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct, 2010 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reinier van Noort wrote:
A 1595 Dutch manuscript describes fighting with dusack and shield "in the Turkish manner", but the text and two illustrations don't really say much.


That is most Interesting...., would you happen to have some reference or link to the manual? Happy

Cheers,
Samuel
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