Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > New Item from A&A Inc. Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,304

Feedback score: 100%
(1 total ▮ 100% positive)
PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: New Item from A&A Inc.         Reply with quote




New Item from Arms & Armor




The #237 Messer Trainer is our newest item at A&A. This excellent sword was developed with several Western Martial Arts instructors and scholars testing and critiquing to produce a piece that is quick in the hand and durable in life.

If you are new to the messer it is an exciting weapon to learn. It is often mentioned as a core of the European tradition of personal combat and one that anyone who carried a weapon in period would have had a familiarity with. Essentially a large (in some cases giant Eek! ) knife, the messer combat of the medieval period is versatile, fast and deadly.

Several folks had a chance to use these at the WMAW in Racine last September. The general comments where very positive to out right gushing by some messerheads Happy The swords where used in several classes as well as appearing in some demonstration fights through out the weekend.

If you are looking for a steel training messer to upgrade your arsenal this maybe just what you need!

We also have the #129 English Buckler back in production and several other fun things in the works that you will see soon. We have a great deal going on so things will trickle out over the next couple of weeks or so.

We look forward to hearing from you soon Wink
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Christian Henry Tobler
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 690

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you do messer, you want these. Really.

I bought three at WMAW.

Yours,

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
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

Feedback score: 100%
(1 total ▮ 100% positive)
PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm going to flat out say it: These are the best steel messer trainers on the production market. Period.

Some of you already know that I commissioned the two original prototypes of these. I didn't need them, as I already have messer trainers; Rather, I wanted something on the market for my students. More specifically, I wanted someone to be producing a steel trainer that was at a reasonable price point, comparible to the A&A Scholar Sword trainer. I called Craig up and threw around some ideas, then put my money where my mouth was, and had him make me two that would serve to be the test runs.

When Craig sent me those, they weren't bad. I had some suggestions for improvements, but overall I felt they were worth the price point as a mid-level training sword. I gave him some feedback, but overall was satisfied... but to my surprise, Craig took that feedback and went even further with it. When A&A debuted these trainers at WMAW, they blew me away. These were far better than what I expected, and at a price point of only $380 USD. They're light like a messer should be, they're fast, and they play incredibly well at free fencing (obviously with the right training and safety gear). It's been awhile since I've been so excited about a training sword, and these are worth the excitement.

If you've read my previous posts about my prototypes, or if you've been to an event where I brought them along, the current model is significantly better. In fact, the current production versions are *perfect*, in my opinion. There's not a single thing I would change.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian,

As you have handled these and probably some others as well, I have a question. This messer is straight, long, relatively heavy and has POB very close to the hilt. It is essentially an arming sword with a single edge and a (huge) nagel. Many reproductions such as this one http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=messer or this one http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...soldat.htm are shorter, lighter, have curved blades and POB 4-6" from the crossguard. What would be the difference in handling between these weapons? And which one in your opinion would better represent an "average" messer of the 15th century?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

Feedback score: 100%
(1 total ▮ 100% positive)
PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Christian,

As you have handled these and probably some others as well, I have a question. This messer is straight, long, relatively heavy and has POB very close to the hilt. It is essentially an arming sword with a single edge and a (huge) nagel. Many reproductions such as this one http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=messer or this one http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...soldat.htm are shorter, lighter, have curved blades and POB 4-6" from the crossguard. What would be the difference in handling between these weapons? And which one in your opinion would better represent an "average" messer of the 15th century?


I'm obviously not Christian, but I've handled quite a few messers (including some antiques). These are not heavy at all, nor are they too long compared with antiques (which have a huge range) and with the period images of fencing treatises. The nagel size is pretty normal, too. Also, not all messers are curved. In fact, when I commissioned the prototypes, Craig asked me about a preference for curved over straight, and I told him that if it's cheaper to go straight, then do so, and anyone who wants a curved one can pay the extra custom cost. Do keep in mind that the goal was to put out a training sword at a reasonable price point.

I think you'll find that these really do represent an "average" messer of the 15th century. Perhaps the POB is a little closer than many messers, but not at all out of the question, and it makes for a very lively sword that still has a nice thick edge for safety.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

Feedback score: 100%
(1 total ▮ 100% positive)
PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 11:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know if this helps, but I have two images of me teaching with the messer in question that might give a better sense of the size. If you compare that to the images of the period fencing treatises (such as the Paulus Kal image I attached), I think you'll see that the length really is just fine.


 Attachment: 141.28 KB
messer-sm.jpg
Tom Leoni and I with A&A messers at NHSC 2010

 Attachment: 54.46 KB
167945_501188211131_513121131_6023866_2501058_n.jpg
Me teaching with the A&A messer at Longpoint 2010

 Attachment: 26.99 KB
kalmesser-sm.jpg
An image from the Paulus Kal fechtbuch. Note the proportions of the messer compared to fencer.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Christian Henry Tobler
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 690

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,

Bill pretty much answered as I would have. And thanks to Bill for spearheading this development!!

These trainers aren't as tip heavy as some historical messers. Then again, training longswords drop the balance hilt-ward too, and for the same reason: safety.

I love my Albion messer trainers, but they hit like bazookas. You really need to kit up a lot and/or only play with really senior (ie, controlled) guys. The A&As are more forgiving, but don't feel like featherweights in the hand either.

The feeling I get from them is not dissimilar to what I felt handling a messer in the Sankt Annen Museum in Lübeck - very light and fast.

The nagel is large on these, though there are some surviving messers with pretty large ones too. I think the larger nagel is a good thing as it allows clearance for hand protection, while still allowing a very fluid grip - a necessity in messer fighting.

As for what constitutes a 'typical' messer...they're really all over the map. Some are straight, some slightly curved, some significantly curved. Even a quick survey of fight treatises, let alone surviving pieces, will reveal considerable variation.

In closing though - believe me, these things fight well. I lent out the matched set I bought at WMAW to no less than a dozen high level fighters and all raved about them. And, you can see them in action if you hunt up the video of Jessica Finley and David Teague's demo fight at the WMAW Saturday feast.

Yours,

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
Christian Henry Tobler
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 690

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, and as a sidebar: Craig also made me a custom Paulus Kal messer, featuring the crazy "double clipped point" you see in the manuscript image above.

It's six kinds of awesome, so I'll have to post a photo soon!

Yours,

CHT

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
Greg Mele
Industry Professional



Location: Chicago, IL USA
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 356

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not even a messer guy and I kept trying to bogart Christian's. I mean really, what is the difference between a messer and a storta, besides one sounds like a pastry? Wink

Honestly, I think the Albion's are pieces of art as training swords, but they are expensive and only meant for senior people to fence with. These trainers are simply alive in the hand, but you can feel the difference of a long hilt/short blade from a traditional sword. I am a big fan of the Fechterspeil and my sidesword trainer, but I think this is Craig's best training weapon. Period.

Greg Mele
Chicago Swordplay Guild
www.chicagoswordplayguild.com

www.freelanceacademypress.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jon Wolfe




Location: Orlando, FL
Joined: 01 Aug 2007

Posts: 56

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm in that second photo with Mr. Grandy, and I also got to handle that prototype at the event along with a direct competitor, and let me say that the prototype was a far superior trainer than the other production model. So, if the production model is as much of an improvement over a prototype as has been said, than Arms and Armor's new training messer must truly be amazing! Not to mention the incredibly low price for which it is offered. When such an item is made available to practitioners, it truly inspires one to train in fields that were previously uninteresting.

I now know what I'm asking from Santa for Christmas.

However, if my posterior is going to spur sales, I demand royalties! Wink
View user's profile Send private message
Christopher VaughnStrever




Location: San Antonio, TX
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 382

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some people like the way a pair of Nike shoes feel, others will argue that Reebok has a better shoe-- It just comes down to what each persons likeness of feel and their personal goals as far as choosing between A&A and Albion for this item....

Regardless of the afore mentioned-- My interest in the 15th century art of the Messer has been piqued. I need to add a third longsword trainer to my other two long swords and after that, (hopefully early 2012) I can make a purchase of two messers and get into that art

(Not to derail the thread, and perhaps I should make another thread) But if there was a short answer --Would the Dusak training of 16th century Meyer be in connection of the messer training? The dusak and messer do look extremely similar to me (of course except the handle.

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

Feedback score: 100%
(1 total ▮ 100% positive)
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:
(Not to derail the thread, and perhaps I should make another thread) But if there was a short answer --Would the Dusak training of 16th century Meyer be in connection of the messer training? The dusak and messer do look extremely similar to me (of course except the handle.


They are definitely related, and in theory the dussack comes straight from the messer. The thing to keep in mind is that the 16th century material has some differences from the 15th century material, just as with the longsword.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 356

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 11:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

YAY, English Buckler is back! I've been watching that carefully for a long time. (I feel like a loner with that cheer in this thread...but whatever)
www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Vincent Le Chevalier




PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:

These trainers aren't as tip heavy as some historical messers. Then again, training longswords drop the balance hilt-ward too, and for the same reason: safety.

It's true that HEMA weapons tend to be rather hilt heavy than the opposite, but the PoB on these seems more extreme (relative to what people expect from messers). I know it doesn't tell the whole story but the only one-handed weapons I have measured with that kind of PoB are foils...

Knowing the center of oscillation associated to the guard would tell us more. Basically the two kind of effects we might expect are:
  • the blade is so light that it allows some unrealistically fast wrist-cuts (close CoO)
  • the blade has a reasonable weight, but does not swing as well as it should (far CoO)

I'd say the second one is more likely, though it's impossible to know for sure without measuring.

Maybe the dussack was developed precisely because it was difficult or even impossible to build a realistic and safe steel sparring weapon for the messer?

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 3:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:

I'm obviously not Christian, but I've handled quite a few messers (including some antiques). These are not heavy at all, nor are they too long compared with antiques (which have a huge range) and with the period images of fencing treatises. The nagel size is pretty normal, too. Also, not all messers are curved. In fact, when I commissioned the prototypes, Craig asked me about a preference for curved over straight, and I told him that if it's cheaper to go straight, then do so, and anyone who wants a curved one can pay the extra custom cost. Do keep in mind that the goal was to put out a training sword at a reasonable price point.

I think you'll find that these really do represent an "average" messer of the 15th century. Perhaps the POB is a little closer than many messers, but not at all out of the question, and it makes for a very lively sword that still has a nice thick edge for safety.


I was only wondering how common were messers with size and other characteristics of A&A trainer.

There certainly were many different messers and they probably were made for different purposes. Proportions in historical fighting manuals can't be taken as good reference since they are often wrong, so I would trust only surviving originals and maybe some especially realistic painings. Weapons for everyday carry were probably shorter and lighter. Messers that could be used as tools (if there were such messers at all) would probably be more tip-heavy. Some messers had long hilts while others had short ones. And of course messers that were made exclusively for fighting (thus ignoring ease of carry, etc) would probably be as long as an average one-handed sword of the time.

It seems to me that A&A trainer exhibits better handling characteristics than most historical originals. Not a bad thing at all, but may cause problems if after training with it for a long time one has to use a more tip-heavy weapon.

I have a reenactment messer that has blade 65 cm long, weighs 1150 grams and has POB around 6" from the handle. Well, I know that it is too heavy.The key point is that this messer is more difficult to wield than Hanwei practical single-handed sword which weighs 1250 grams and has blade 4" longer so taking a real cutter after training with A&A trainer could have a great impact on execution of many moves even if this cutter weighs full 100 grams less. It's like foil and historical rapier: realism is traded for better handling and safety.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,304

Feedback score: 100%
(1 total ▮ 100% positive)
PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: More info and comments         Reply with quote

Mornin everyone (my side of the ball at least)

Just wanted to add a bit as we have one left handed version on the muster page if there is anyone so orientated who is interested in these!




Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Bill Grandy wrote:

I'm obviously not Christian, but I've handled quite a few messers (including some antiques). These are not heavy at all, nor are they too long compared with antiques (which have a huge range) and with the period images of fencing treatises. The nagel size is pretty normal, too. Also, not all messers are curved. In fact, when I commissioned the prototypes, Craig asked me about a preference for curved over straight, and I told him that if it's cheaper to go straight, then do so, and anyone who wants a curved one can pay the extra custom cost. Do keep in mind that the goal was to put out a training sword at a reasonable price point.

I think you'll find that these really do represent an "average" messer of the 15th century. Perhaps the POB is a little closer than many messers, but not at all out of the question, and it makes for a very lively sword that still has a nice thick edge for safety.


I was only wondering how common were messers with size and other characteristics of A&A trainer.

There certainly were many different messers and they probably were made for different purposes. Proportions in historical fighting manuals can't be taken as good reference since they are often wrong, so I would trust only surviving originals and maybe some especially realistic painings. Weapons for everyday carry were probably shorter and lighter. Messers that could be used as tools (if there were such messers at all) would probably be more tip-heavy. Some messers had long hilts while others had short ones. And of course messers that were made exclusively for fighting (thus ignoring ease of carry, etc) would probably be as long as an average one-handed sword of the time.

It seems to me that A&A trainer exhibits better handling characteristics than most historical originals. Not a bad thing at all, but may cause problems if after training with it for a long time one has to use a more tip-heavy weapon.

I have a reenactment messer that has blade 65 cm long, weighs 1150 grams and has POB around 6" from the handle. Well, I know that it is too heavy.The key point is that this messer is more difficult to wield than Hanwei practical single-handed sword which weighs 1250 grams and has blade 4" longer so taking a real cutter after training with A&A trainer could have a great impact on execution of many moves even if this cutter weighs full 100 grams less. It's like foil and historical rapier: realism is traded for better handling and safety.


Aleksei these are all good points. I think the most important thing to realize is our trainer is designed to be in the envelope of the period specs for messers but that this is a huge envelope. We did not choose a specific sword to replicate as in a way that would lead to this piece being set in a specific place. Our concerns where more for accurate handling with great durability at the best price point possible (very important for the wider WMA community) and enough flex that it allowed some thrusting actions.

I have handled originals that would classify as messers that where much heavier and lighter, more and less tip heavy compared to our spec and there are of course many that are longer and shorter. As Christopher so astutely stated one item will never meet everyones taste or needs. I, as a sword maker will often hear "if you made .... this type, for that price, with this detail... everyone would get one" this is not true Happy What I tell folks is I make swords, I do not make swords for everybody. A well made sword is always a compromise to answer a specific need or focus. The best swords may answer a more general question than others but all should focus on answering that question.

I would say this piece is in the envelope of period blades but one can and should be able to find specific originals that they may prefer or like.

I hope that helps clarify what this sword is about and how it fits in the total that one could define as the Messer.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > New Item from A&A Inc.
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum