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Lucas G





Joined: 28 Feb 2016

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 28 Feb, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject: Question on pollaxes (rondel).         Reply with quote

Hello. New member here. I have registered mostly because I would like to ask a question about historical arms.

I have seen that many pollaxes and becs-de-corbin had a small rondel to protect the hand of the user. However, when I read contemporary dueling handbooks and I watch HEMA fights, most pollaxes lack the rondel, and I have the impression that a rondel would hinder many manouvers I watch them use (like when they guard with the butt of the weapon and then switch to attacking with the head, sliding the hand along the handle).

Am I wrong? Are rondels really an obstacles to those moves, or not?

And if they are, how come historical knightly pollaxes had them? Did those knights use a different style of fighting?

Thank you very much in advance.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Sun 28 Feb, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I went to battle with a pollaxe, I would definitely want a rondel for hand protection. In a duel, more handling options would be more important to me than some added hand protection.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 18 Apr, 2016 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The rondels can hinder some sliding and shifting movements, but it's possible to compensate for that by shortening those motions or simply taking the hand off the shaft and grabbing it elsewhere rather than sliding along it.
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed 20 Apr, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka makes an excellent point. In the crush of battle, strikes come from many directions, and an exposed hand is a prime target. In a duel, when I only have to worry about one person and have more freedom of movement, a rondel may make less sense, but in the hick of battle where mobility is already likely more compromised, that rondel becomes pretty valuable.
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