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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Tue 15 Feb, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject: Unarmored weapons systems         Reply with quote

OK....It occurred to me that there are various weapons/fighting systems which employ a sword of some sort and a relatively small shield or off hand dagger. Sword and buckler and basket hilt and targ are two systems that come to my mind readily; I'm sure there are more. These systems seem to be coupled often with relatively lightly armored or unarmored warriors. Is there evidence or is there a rational argument to be made that one system is superior to another?
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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
Joined: 02 Jun 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Tue 15 Feb, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you including German Blossfechten in the scope of your query, Ken? No shield, but no armour either, just a longsword...

By the way, I'll mention that criteria for qualifying a fighting system as "unarmoured" are in my opinion less clear than they can seem. For instance in the case of the German longsword we have the Blossfechten and a set of specialized techniques for "heavy" armour, the Harnischfechten. Does that mean people only ever fought either in plain clothes or in full plate? I don't think so. I believe, instead, that this system, as most "historical" fighting systems, was meant both for war and for "civilian" use. There was no way an author could know what kind of armour one would come to wear, given the variety of available personal protection, and perhaps they thought it didn't have that much bearing on the techniques anyway. So instead of showing us plates for "no armour", and plates for "medium armour", and still other plates for "light armour", and yet others for "heavy armour", and a special set for when you've got a breastplate but no backplate etc. etc., they show us general techniques assuming the simplest garment (plain clothes), and possibly additional specialized techniques against the heaviest type of armour possible. If you happen to fight in "intermediate" armour, well then, you take from both and you adapt.

But even if a system only shows and mentions people fighting in plain clothes, that shouldn't automatically mean it's an "unarmoured" system. It can also be a "polyvalent" system... To assess that we need to look closely at the techniques... Not an easy call to make in my opinion.

Quote:
Is there evidence or is there a rational argument to be made that one system is superior to another?

I'm not sure what you mean - are you asking if there are arguments for the superiority of unarmoured fighters over armoured fighters? Or of one "unarmoured" fighting system over another?
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