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A. Jake Storey II




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Oct, 2006 6:53 pm    Post subject: Training.         Reply with quote

I was wondering about training. I've seen and been involved in some fencing but I don't know if that is really how training was done. I know how the Japanese trained. A set list of moves known as Katas which were for a list of techniques, tactics and strategy; and also a way to get the body to move in the desired manor by repetition. It was also used for training the "warriors mind set" to alow reflexes to take over. What I'm wanting to know is how it was done in Europe. I know this may lead into different places like deferences between the vikings and the Germans and the british. I'm just curious about how it was done.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Oct, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have moved this topic to the Off-topic Talk forum.

Please note the description for this forum:

"Discussions of general history and other miscellaneous topics relating to arms and armour that do not specifically fit our other forums"

Thank you.

Happy

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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Oct, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Training.         Reply with quote

Jake,

What we have is what they wrote down. One of the Italian schools is suppose to have used some quite extencive Katas. I beleive it's the Bolongese school, (And my apoligies to it if I'm mispelling it,) and it has several long katas recorded. (Though I'm sure they called them something else.)

Of course, I don't study the Italian schools, so I can't say much more then that. The Germans are (so far as I know) not known to have used katas, though they may have.

The German school mostly recorded techniques and stradigems, as did the English school(s). No opinion on the Spainish.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Sean Belair
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Oct, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

this is a good question for www.thearma.com
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Keith Nelson




Location: Kalamazoo, MI, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 13 Oct, 2006 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Briefly, kata in traditional koryu (pre-1868) & many gendai (post-1868) Japanese martial arts vary widely from long pre-arranged paired forms incorporating numerous techniques and strategies to very short single technique/movement paired forms. Rarely, the kata are solo forms (seen in kyudo(bow), shuriken-jutsu (thrown weapons), hojutsu (gun), many iaido/battodo (sword, including drawing & cutting), bajutsu (horse-riding) styles), but usually they are paired. Repetitive movement practice is called suburi and is usually done as a solo movement. Look here for more discussion of this - http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35328. They are markedly different from what those of us exposed primarily to karate (a very recent evolution of a martial art - going back only a hundred years or so in its Japanese incarnation) think of as kata.

In the western martial traditions, this same concept of solo repetition of single movements or chains of movements for training is common (witness fencing training...it's not all just bouting nor is it all just working with a partner, there's a lot of solo work to be done in thrusts, movement, compound movements, etc. Also, look at working a pell - which has it's counterpart in at least one Japanese art I can think of right off - Jigen-ryu kenjutsu). Also, as George pointed out, the short single-technique or concept paired training is quite common and even, I feel, shown specifically in various manuals (from the Bolognese, Fiore-esque, Italianate rapier, Liechtenauer, and English traditions, at least...not as sure about any others). Finally, there are certainly solo forms (progressions) in the Bolognese school of Italian swordsmanship (dall'Agocchie shows one, I think there may be one in Marozzo as well - http://salvatorfabris.com/dallAgocchieForm.shtml). Training in the western styles is not, in my opinion, that much different than training in Japanese styles from a contemporary time period. I can't speak for other Asian martial cultures, as I'm woefully ignorant of those methods...

Keith
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Oct, 2006 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, the website is actually www.thearma.org, though I did just try .com and that worked too.

Jake, (as I'm guessing you prefer to be called?) if you're interested in the most direct source, I'd start with this page: http://www.thearma.org/manuals.htm. It has links to a number of the fighting manuals written by various masters in the Middle Ages/Renaissance. These are our primary source, as of course the martial tradition of the sword in Europe died out some time ago. It would help to get a little more specifics on what you're looking for, as well. Are you looking to see what the manuevers are like, or are you just curious about the training methods used?
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A. Jake Storey II




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PostPosted: Fri 13 Oct, 2006 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Iím looking primarily for the methods of learning and training that were used to get solders and/or knights of medieval Europe physically and mentally capable of combat. However, I would also like to know things like, the over-all strategic approach to combat (though that might need to be a separate thread?).
Only you can deny yourself your rights.
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Keith Nelson




Location: Kalamazoo, MI, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Oct, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A. Jake Storey II wrote:
Well, Iím looking primarily for the methods of learning and training that were used to get solders and/or knights of medieval Europe physically and mentally capable of combat. However, I would also like to know things like, the over-all strategic approach to combat (though that might need to be a separate thread?).


For Medieval info on training, look to Pietro Monte, who actually talks about training, breathing, and other important things (info from Tom Leoni, via SFI post), but hasn't been translated from Latin yet.

Look to Vegetius for the book that was being read by medieval men as the medieval Art of War. Interesting stuff on training. You could throw in some Machiavelli (The Prince & On War, the latter of which is significantly influenced by Vegetius). Others here have a much better and longer list to share in terms of strategic information, probably. Each master had a separate approach to combative tactics & strategy for one-on-one combat, so you need to read those separately (or talk to someone who actually knows the work of that specific master well...).

Galen is not exactly medieval, but was used in medieval times for medical information. This is someone else's find, but I don't know who, so I'm terribly sorry if I'm stepping on anyone's toes with sharing it (but it's great stuff, so I'm not that sorry). All of these exercises are ones that would probably have been used in medieval times as well (running, running in armor, leaping & vaulting, carrying & throwing stones, wrestling, etc. are ones I can think of that are specifically mentioned in medieval literature).

-----------------------------
A List of Ancient Exercises from Galen's De Sanitate Tuenda

Galen (130 - 200 A.D.) hailed from Pergamon, an ancient center of civilization, containing, among other cultural institutions, a library second in importance only to Alexandria itself. [snip] Galen's first professional appointment was as surgeon to the gladiators in Pergamon. In his tenure as surgeon he undoubtedly gained much experience and practical knowledge in anatomy from the combat wounds he was compelled to treat. After four years he immigrated to Rome where he attained a brilliant reputation as a practitioner and a public demonstrator of anatomy. Among his patients were the emperors Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, Commodus and Septimius Severus.

Galen divides his exercises into three categories, which we may term "strong", "rapid and "violent", which is a combination of the preceding two. Galen's listing of the exercises gives us a fascinating glimpse into the everyday activities of the Paleastrae, Gymnasia and other more leisurely-areas of the ancient world. The affinities they have with the various sporting events can be made out: kicking of the legs for Pankration, rope-climbing for wrestling, holding the arms up for boxing.

STRONG
1) Digging
2) Picking up something heavy
3) Picking up something heavy and walking with it
4) Walking uphill
5) Climbing a rope using the hands and feet: commonly done to train boys in the wrestling schools
6) Hanging onto a rope or beam for as long as possible
7) Holding the arms straight out in front with fists closed
8) Holding the arms straight out in front with fists closed
9) Holding out the arms while a partner pulls them down
10) The preceding three exercises but while holding something heavy such as jumping-weights
11) Breaking loose from a wrestling waist-lock
12) Holding onto a person trying to escape from a waist-lock
13) Picking up a man who is bending over at the hips and lifting him up and swinging him around
14)Doing the same but bending oneself at the hips also when picking him up
15) Pushing chest to chest trying to force the opponent backwards
16) Hanging from another's neck, attempting to drag him down
Exercises requiring a wrestling pit:
a) Entwine your partner with both your legs around one of his and try to apply a choke or force his head backwards
b) The same but using only one leg to entwine the opponents leg closest to yours
c) The same but using both legs to entwine both of the opponents legs.

RAPID
1) Running
2) Shadow-boxing
3) Boxing
4) Hitting punching bags
5) Throwing and catching a small ball while running
6) Running back and forth, reducing the length each time until finished
7) Stand on the balls of the feet, put the arms up in the air and rapidly and alternatly bringing them forweard and back; stand near a wall if afraid of losing ones's balance
8) Rolling on the wrestling-ground rapidly by oneself or with others
9) Rapidly changing places with people next to one in a tightly packed group
10) Jumping up and kicking both legs together backwards
11) Kicking the legs forward alternatly
12) Move the arms up and down rapidly with open or closed fist, increasing in speed

VIOLENT
1) Digging rapidly
2) Casting the discus
3) Jumping repeatedly with no rest
4) Throwing heavy spears and moving fast while wearing heavy armour
4) Any of the 'strong' exercises executed rapidly: presumably running uphill, swinging jumping weights forward and back, and lifting them up and down, chin-ups and so on.

Other exercises
1) Walking
2) bending up and down repeatedly at the hips
3) Lifting a weight up from the ground
4) Holding up and object for a long time
4) Full and loud breathing
5) Placing two weights on the ground approximately six feet from each other, picking up the one on the left with the right hand and then the one on the right with the left hand, then in turn placing them back where they came from on the ground and doing this many times with the feet stationary
--------------------------
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