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Brad F.





Joined: 07 Jun 2012

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jun, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: Resources for 12th century fighting techniques         Reply with quote

Hey all,

I'm looking for any sort of resources (books, dvds, etc) on fighting techniques and styles from around the 12th century. So far the closest I've gotten to it is Medieval Sword and Shield, based on the I.33 manuscript, but while it's an excellent manual, it's from almost a full century afterwards. Are there any resources out there for this particular time period? I know there are no existent fighting manuals, but has anyone done reconstructive work, or textual analysis? I'm guessing most of it would revolve around sword and shield, but great sword or single sword would be fine too. Bonus points for anything on mounted combat. Thanks.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jun, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is my period of interest and I'm not aware of anything lke a fighting manual or even any commentary on martial technique for that matter.
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jun, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

DISCLAIMER: All of this is my personal opinion/conjecture. Others with more experience/interest in the period may disagree, perhaps vehemently.

I think most HEMAists (or whatever your preferred term is) are focusing on periods where there is a wealth of material. There is so much left to be uncovered about the technique of later periods where we have useful instructional material that I think it's just premature to start trying to delve into technique where we have a deafening silence. Maybe in 20-50 years when Renaissance martial arts are more established and culturally accepted it would be good to start working on this sort of thing, but I just don't see it happening right now.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jun, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The best I know of are descriptions of fighting by Saxo Grammaticus: http://www.thearma.org/essays/Saxo.htm Some of the Sagas were written down in the 12th C and might give some insight.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I my limited experience, while we have no solid information about fighting techniques from these earlier periods, the paradigms learned from the arts of later centuries can still be applied in a useful manner--particularly the idea that you shouldn't be reluctant to get into a bind with the sword (even in the presence of a shield) and to aim for the opponent rather than his/her blade (such as countering a diagonal downwards blow not by raising the shield or the sword to block it, but by either punching the opponent's sword arm with the rim of your shield or striking his wrist with an Unterhau-like stop-cut).
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Brad F.





Joined: 07 Jun 2012

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, that's useful stuff. The reason I'm asking to begin with is that my lovely girlfriend got me Purpleheart Armory's beautiful Norman Sword waster for my birthday. While I've had fairly good results using it following the I.33 manual, I want to learn more about how that sort of sword was used in its heyday.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, for that you'll need a kite shield and then a horse if possible. Wink
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hang on, what's this?

Quote:
[he] turned the other edge of his sword to the front, fearing that the thin side of his blade was too frail for his strength, and smote with a piercing stroke through the prince's body.


This seems to imply that one edge had a more acute angle and was sharper than the other. Can anyone comment on this? It was my understanding that most if not all swords were pretty much the same on both edges and anyone babbling about how they only sharpened part or whatever was all wet.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's weird. It would make sense if he was going to make a cut, but he thrusted at his enemy...
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:
Hang on, what's this?

Quote:
[he] turned the other edge of his sword to the front, fearing that the thin side of his blade was too frail for his strength, and smote with a piercing stroke through the prince's body.


This seems to imply that one edge had a more acute angle and was sharper than the other. Can anyone comment on this? It was my understanding that most if not all swords were pretty much the same on both edges and anyone babbling about how they only sharpened part or whatever was all wet.


Yes, interesting. I wonder what he is talking about here. Could be referring to sharpness but could also be refering to a few other aspects as well. It's really hard to say in my opinion.
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Mackenzie Cosens




Location: Vancouver Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To my knowledge there are no historic fight manuals for this period.
You could try an approach similar to Hurstwic's approach to Viking combat http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manu...hnique.htm, read the available descriptions and base you interpretation on that.

The second approach is to start with the closest match in late medieval early renaissance sources, look for commonality in technique and work you way backwards with simulators and armour of the period.
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might find this interesting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkhpqAGdZPc

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Brad F.





Joined: 07 Jun 2012

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Well, for that you'll need a kite shield and then a horse if possible. Wink


Actually, I do in fact own a horse, and I'm working on getting the kite shield. The hard part will be getting on the horse with the sword and shield and not having him freak...

Seriously, though, there is a very active SCA equestrian group in my area, and I'm having a lot of fun learning from them. I've already mastered the Saracen course, and I'm working on tent-pegging and the quintain.
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