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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Nov, 2006 11:27 pm    Post subject: Fighting with two swords?         Reply with quote

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen,

I have been researching both primary and secondary sources on authentic European styles of fighting with a sword in each hand, and so far I have only been able to locate quotes and passages where both swords in questions are thrusting rapiers. Is this indeed the case, or have I missed an important source and there was an actual method using two swords other than rapiers? Any help (and discussion) would be appreciated.

Of course, I'm focusing on the European tradition, but I wouldn't mind hearing something from expereinced practitioners, of, say, the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu or Indian or Filipino martial arts.

Lafayette C. Curtis (Lay)
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think two swords would be effective against armoured opponent...
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The sword is a weapon for killing, the art of the sword is the art of killing. No matter what fancy words you use or what titles you put to
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James Holczer




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2006 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

DiGrassi, Marozzo and Agrippa all mention the use of two swords in their treatises. But one has to remember that these are 16th century masters and are really geared toward a cut and thrust style of sword usage with an emphasis on the thrust. But it seems to me that when the use of two swords is discussed the emphasis seems to be on cuts and blows. This seems especially true in the DiGrassi treatise.

But DiGrassi also mentions that before you attempt this style of fighting you must become proficient in the use of single sword in either hand and until you are proficient enough in the usage of off hand swordsmanship, using two swords will only get you in trouble and should be discouraged. That being the case I doubt that you will find any of the earlier long sword masters teaching it or even mentioning the use of two swords at the same time. It doesnít mean that it canít be done; I just think you will have trouble finding any references to it.

Jim Holczer - Student
Umbs School of Fence / Martinez Academy of Arms
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Lafayette C Curtis




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

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2006 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way, does anybody here know of an English translation or at least a digital transcription of Marozzo's Capitula 76? It seems to be the specific section dealing with the use of two swords, and I'm definitely curious about it.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting passage from Di Grassi on fighting with two swords:

http://www.musketeer.org/manuals/diGrassi/digrass2.htm#18

And an illustration of his basic "high ward" position for two swords:

http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/NewManuals/DiGrassi/03001092.jpg

I'm not sure he really meant two rapiers, since I've also seen mentions that the word "rapier" was used at the time to refer to any foreign (i.e. non-English) swords by English authors and translators. Then another from Manciolino:

http://www.hemac.org/modules.php?name=Content...amp;pid=15

The movements seem quite restricted, with the tips of the blades seemingly always pointed in the enemy's general direction--so no broad, full-armed cuts coming all the way from the shoulder. Wrist/elbow cuts are used as much as thrusts, though. And there are certainly some differences between the masters, both in terms of drills and basic guards.

Unfortunately, a discussion I've had eleswhere on the same subject has given me a good picture of the greatest limitation of the style: the two masters referenced above (and the others I've read on the subject) mention that it would be useless except if the person learning it has mastered the use of a single sword in either hand before starting on it--and that means he must be reasonably proficient in fighting with either the left or the right hand. So it's a highly advanced technique likely to be taught only to very experienced students who have also studied long and hard enough to acquire a measure of effective ambidexterity in the use of the rapier or the slender cut-and-thrust sword, depending on how we read the translation.

In any case, I heard that even the Niten Ichi-ryu only teaches the nito techniques to students who have mastered the use of the single daito/katana. So the restriction seems pretty much universal.
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