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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2010 9:01 am    Post subject: fighting techniques: thumb???         Reply with quote

help to interpret this picture.

1) The grip of the thumb over the guard.
Only one way to represent in drawing or something that has to do with a way of fighting.
Maybe, it's a sure grip, for mounted combat? We know that in the sixth century, some people already fought with the index finger over the trigger guard. Does anyone know of thumb? Exists in the fighting techniques of master Italian or German grip as shown in the picture?
2) The guard is strange. Has anyone seen a watch like this?
3) What are the rings on the pommel? what are they?

I hope not too many questions.



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St. Marcurius

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Maurizio
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That thumb seems abnormally large/long. Humans aren't built that way. Happy
Happy

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2010 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps the artist misunderstood the term "fingering the cross", and subtituted the thumb for the forefinger
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David Teague




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's the forefinger that adds extra controls the blade when fingering the cross... and the reason they added the protective rings to the hilt.

In the German system of sword play, the thumb is used on the flat with some guards and strikes, but it is the thumbs placement on the flat and the angle of the sword in the attack, guard, counter that makes the thumb safe.

I'm 99.99 percent sure it's a artistic mistake. If you take a sword from your collection and thumb the cross, your blade become flat aligned to the target, with the forefinger, edge aligned.

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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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is another painting depicting the saint. Impressive is the similarity of the face.
Here, the thumb is less evident.



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David Teague




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, in that picture the saint is holding the sword in a standard grip, but with the thumb sticking forward instead of curled around the handle.

In sword play I teach my students to hold their hand a bit back from the cross so the angle of a blade strike to the cross won't cause their thumbs or fingers to fall off if the blade was a sharp.

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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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the cross is to be in line with the forearm, I can't get it to work. Maybe my thumb is not long enough...

The technique does seem to work if one intends to strike with the flat, rather than the edge. I know that early 20th C. policemen liked to strike with the flat, but that's a different story, I think...

Another question: which Saint is this and what is written on the blade in the second example?
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John M. Atkinson




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both Chad Arnow and Paul Hansen are correct.

It is a feature of Orthodox iconography that deliberately unnatural proportions are always used. Eyes are larger, fingers narrower and longer. It is not an artistic mistake, but a convention of the style.

Further, the majority of icons were written by monks. Not soldiers or swordsmen.
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John M. Atkinson




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 5:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As for the icon in question:

This fresco is from Ohrid, Macedonia, and dates to ca. 1295. It depicts the Great Martyr Saint Mercurius, said to have been a Roman cavalryman from Cappodocia, and in some tellings of the life a cousin of St. George. He was stationed in North Africa and is said to have had a vision of Archangel Michael, who gave him a sword with which he defeated the Berbers who were attacking the Romans. He is know to the Arab Christians as Abu Seifein, a reference to his two swords. (lit. 'Father of Two Swords')


Last edited by John M. Atkinson on Sun 05 Dec, 2010 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
If the cross is to be in line with the forearm, I can't get it to work. Maybe my thumb is not long enough...

The technique does seem to work if one intends to strike with the flat, rather than the edge. I know that early 20th C. policemen liked to strike with the flat, but that's a different story, I think...

Another question: which Saint is this and what is written on the blade in the second example?



If this technique there must concern the riders. One important thing: this sword, just one cut.
Someone said to me: perhaps the swing using your index finger or thumb, depending on the objective and direction. In between is the horse's neck, it is possible that some cuts are unnatural to avoid the horse's neck ...
But I have no experience of fighting on horseback.


St. Mercurius the Great Martyr of Cappadocia
The Holy Great Martyr Mercurius, a Scythian by descent, served as a soldier in the Roman army.
Time emperors Decius (249-251)
At that time barbarians attacked the Roman empire, and the emperor Decius went on campaign with a large army. In one of the battles an angel of the Lord appeared to Mercurius in the guise of a nobleman and presented him a sword saying, "Fear not, Mercurius. Go forth bravely against the enemy, and when you are victorious, do not forget the Lord your God."
With this sword the holy warrior cut through the ranks of the barbarians. He also killed their king, winning victory for the Romans. The grateful Emperor Decius rewarded St Mercurius for his bravery, and made him commander of the entire army.
Was first burned, but, not died for a divine miracle, it was later beheaded, was a Christian.
On the sword, perhaps something of the angel's words?

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Maurizio
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 6:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John M. Atkinson wrote:
Both Chad Arnow and Paul Hansen are correct.

It is a feature of Orthodox iconography that deliberately unnatural proportions are always used. Eyes are larger, fingers narrower and longer. It is not an artistic mistake, but a convention of the style.


It is true... but I did not know.
I was thinking just a thumb and forefinger, often out of proportion, I have already met this style. The iconography is the Monastery of Hosios Loukas in Greece, the thumb and the index, disproportionately.
Thanks for lighting

The iconography is difficult to choose.
I take only those that have a comparison with certain weapons.
The crux of the cloak, shield, bow, are perfect compliance.

At this point the fighting technique with the thumb seems to me a stretch

below: note index



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Maurizio
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know the times and approximate areas are different, but the thumb is used a lot in historical Eastern European sabre-play... To the point that they deliberately put rings on the side of the guard to utilise the thumb in controlling the weapon better. It doesn't wrap the guard though, but for lack of a ring the guard would be the next best thing to get a similar effect.

Probably not related, but maybe similar techniques are being used here?

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Dec, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:
I know the times and approximate areas are different, but the thumb is used a lot in historical Eastern European sabre-play...


Bennison,
If you have something that documents this for me would be great. Happy

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Maurizio
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Dec, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sure thing, Maurizio.

I'm on my work computer now, so I don't have much here. But I DO have a photo or two of the thumb ring from a famous saber at the museum at Krackow for starters. I have a few photos of this one because I am having a replica made.

And then one other photo showing that this Krackow saber isn't the only one to have a ring... Wink

When I get home I will dig out some book refs for you, ok? I have something somewhere, because I remember reading about it...

Like I said, these sabers are from a different time and place than those swords you were earlier discussing, but the earlier could easily have evolved into the latter.



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"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Dec, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benninson, you are great.
I like this site because as a topic seems to come to an end, there is always some gentlmen which offers its time for us.
We think that the fighting techniques they both Eastern and Western are not born in a short time, but the result of years of evolution. The important thing for me and that there is a fighting technique, I am now more motivated to seek for the period. Thanks.

Ciao
Maurizio
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