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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Just joined an Italian fencing group         Reply with quote

So I finally found a WMA group here in Hawaii that focuses on Fiore de Liberi's Italian style fencing. Since 2009 I've been pouring over the German fechtbuchs and German style fencing, but tomorrow I'll be practicing Italian style longsword and dagger.

Is Fiore that different from Liechtenaur? I recall seeing a couple videos of Italian style longsword, but not enough to tell if there's big differences in the approach, stepping, attack and defense styles. Does Fiore's work include the master cuts?

Also any tips for a first timer?
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fiore does not include the master cuts. His style prefers not to cross the wrists. Some plays do involve crossing the wrists, but it is avoided whenever possible. Fiore tends to fence with lower hands than Lliechtenaur who's plays seem to come more from the shoulders, where Fiore plays more from the hips.

Fiore fencing emphisizes striking from closed lines more than Liechtenaur, and he keeps the point as a threat. Those helicopter strikes don't happen in Fiore fencing.

Fiore has 12 stances, as opposed to the 4(?) in liechtenaur, and the Long tail Isn't seen in Liechtenaur. Also Fiore doesn't wind the way you see in liechtenaur. He is more apt to release the sword with the left hand, and close to a grapple.

When learning Fiore, you are learning core concepts, like the serpentina. The plays are just showing options of what to do depending on how an option turns out.

I should add that I study Fiore, and not the Liechtenaur school, so if I have said anything inaccurate about the Liechtenaur school than I apologies.

Have fun!

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Matthew,
I don't mean to come across as contradictory, but I don't think you realize that the two systems are far more similar than different. Pretty much everything you said about the Liechtenauer tradition simply isn't based on anything (I'm not sure where you get the idea that it is more from the shoulders, for example, nor the idea about not preferring to close lines during the attack). Further, while Fiore doesn't explicitly name out master strikes, many of the actions in Fiore have similar principals and concepts. The only ones that stick out as different are the zwerchhau and the scheitelhau (and even that last one is more different stylistically than anything else). Even the guards are all present within the Liechtenauer tradition (including the tail guard, which is known as Nebenhut by Meyer), but the emphasis happens to be on four main ones.

Most of the differences have more to do with how modern people train rather than historical differences.

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


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun 02 Dec, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you both for your replies. All the differences that Matthew pointed out seemed to be true so far. There is little emphasis on crossing the wrists during striking, the guards are similar is some aspects but decidedly different from what I've learned in the first day.

I think what Mathew means by "from the shoulders", he means that Fiore doesn't emphasis high horizontal cuts like the Zwerchau, using Vom Tag, and playing high, my instructor confirmed this notion. I never studied Fiore before today so I'm taking his word on it since he's also a published author on the subject.

It was only my first day but in my opinion it's quite different from what I know of Liechtenaur fencing stylistically. They end up being similar is many ways, but the approach is rather different.

Anyways it was fun and informative and the instructor did say that after learning solid Fiore (and Durbenger sp?) principles that cross training in some German schools is an open possibility. I certainly do not at all mind learning both.
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Dec, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Morning Bill,

It would make sense that the differences have more to do with how people train, since that's the only exposure to Liechtenaur that I have, is through people that train in his system. Well that and youtube, and forums. I haven't studied his treatise myself.

I definitely don't have enough knowledge about the Liechenaur school, and I do agree that they are more similar than different. They use the same weapon, and a body can only move in certain ways.

But there do seem to be some differences, I don't believe Fiore uses the thumb on the cross grip for instance? But I was not aware of Nebenhut, thank you for the correction. I saw those videos you posted a couple weeks ago, they were also very instructive.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Dec, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
But there do seem to be some differences, I don't believe Fiore uses the thumb on the cross grip for instance?


Oh, you're definitely right, there are certainly differences. But the differences are akin to looking at the differences between schools of Japanese swordsmanship; i.e. Terminology is different (sometimes), some actions are particular to a particular school (such as the thumb grip in Liechtenauer, as you mentioned), but if you take a person who has no experience and have them watch a fencing match between people of two different styles, they probably won't notice the difference. Likewise, if you take a person who is highly experienced in both styles, that person will probably say, "Sure, they're different, but they're the same." Happy

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


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Mon 03 Dec, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
if you take a person who has no experience and have them watch a fencing match between people of two different styles, they probably won't notice the difference. Likewise, if you take a person who is highly experienced in both styles, that person will probably say, "Sure, they're different, but they're the same." Happy


Agreed.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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