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Christian Henry Tobler
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Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Living History Podcast         Reply with quote

Hello all,

For those interested, Stephen Pasker's "Living History Podcast" has an interview with me in its latest installment:

http://livinghistorypodcast.com/?p=244

Thanks to Stephen for both the invite and for being such an excellent interviewer!

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting Podcast and also an interesting site I didn't know about and I have bookmarked it and will go and read their other content and maybe lurk on their Forum(s).

As to their being one art of the sword, as discussed a bit in the Podcast, it does seem to make sense to me that there would be at the very least some interaction between even distinct styles if they can truly be caller distinct?

Basic principles are just that, and universal for any or all sword arts but approaches and specific applications, style, tricks and techniques using some of these basic principles with different emphasis, or more weight given to some principles than other principles. ( Just a general and obvious " entrée en matière " ).

If two different styles coexist in time and place practitioners of each have to deal with each other in many ways: They will in all probability have to fight each other at times. The masters of one style have to known at least the basics of the other style to factor it into their own style since ignoring the other style completely may mean having no ready solution or counter.

Lets say for argument sake, masters of two very different styles each teach their own style but denigrate or disagree with the other style. ( Hate each other's guts a bit like Silver versus Italian masters for example ).

Each teaches his own style and wants to keep his style pure without what he considers all the silliness of the rival style.
Would such a master include the use of the other style in his teaching specifically to show how to defeat the other style ?

A more open minded master might instead borrow or steal any techniques that worked and incorporate it in his style, even if modified a bit ?

Fighters/warriors would be more interested in a pragmatic way to learn all and every trick they could learn so would care a lot less than a master promoting his system ( And livelihood ) about keeping techniques pure.

In period there may have been " one sword art " divided into a few major styles plus a multitude of interpretations and minor variation, and not a static system, but a living art, continuing efforts to improve the systems was a life and death issue.

Today, keeping a system pure is much more important since we are learning or trying to re-learn the styles and not trying to improve the period systems. ( At least this should be the priority among current researchers or teachers. Individual trainers may be more motivated with improving their skills and in some cases more motivated with winning than in pure knowledge and transmitting the period techniques as faithful to the period styles as possible ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Christian Henry Tobler
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

I'm glad you found this of interest.

Just to be clear: while I support the idea of 'one art of the sword', I teach, and train, specifically within the Liechtenauer branch of that tree. I'm not an adherent of mixing, for instance, Fiore and Liechtenauer liberally, without first understanding each on its own.

However, what has changed in the last few years is that we now understand enough to use cross-referencing between traditions in a meaningful way. Part of the work done between my school and our allies at CSG is with the aim of understanding each traditions tactical choices better by contrasting them with their trans Alpine cousin's.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,163

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Hi Jean,

I'm glad you found this of interest.

Just to be clear: while I support the idea of 'one art of the sword', I teach, and train, specifically within the Liechtenauer branch of that tree. I'm not an adherent of mixing, for instance, Fiore and Liechtenauer liberally, without first understanding each on its own.

However, what has changed in the last few years is that we now understand enough to use cross-referencing between traditions in a meaningful way. Part of the work done between my school and our allies at CSG is with the aim of understanding each traditions tactical choices better by contrasting them with their trans Alpine cousin's.

All the best,

Christian


Basically and hopefully more succinctly it's not so much mixing the styles as we try to reproduce them as assuming that in period there would be interaction between the styles where each would have some influence on the other and each could not afford to ignore knowledge of the other: This meaning that each art would have solutions to counter the other's techniques even if not using the counters internal to each other.

So in other words someone schooled in the Liechtenauer tradition would be able to efficiently fight against someone of the Fiory tradition while staying true to his style. ( This does not exclude some in period knowing each style well enough to switch styles or steal in an intelligent way some techniques from the other ).

NOTE: All the above is more a question than a statement and mostly just a theory or speculation.

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