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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Which is the better book on George Silver         Reply with quote

I am considering buying one of these two books:

Master Of Defense: The Works Of George Silver
Paul Wagner

English Swordsmanship: The True Fight of George Silver
Stephen Hand


Bothe about $33

Does anyone have an opinion which is the better book?

Thanks

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Which is the better book on George Silver         Reply with quote

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:
I am considering buying one of these two books:

Master Of Defense: The Works Of George Silver
Paul Wagner

English Swordsmanship: The True Fight of George Silver
Stephen Hand


Bothe about $33

Does anyone have an opinion which is the better book?

Thanks


Hello,

Better for what? Wagner's book is more of a study of Silver and his ideas with very few techniques; Hand's book is more of a training tool and is composed mostly of techniques and their demonstration. You can't learn all about Silver from Hand's book, but you can learn to do one form of combat (the shortsword) from it. You can't study Silver's system very well from Wagner's book (well, except that all of Silver's text is included), but you learn much more about the man, the styles of combat in his day, and you also get exposed to all the other forms Silver wrote about (e.g., sword & buckler, dagger, quarterstaff, Welsh hook, etc.).

I think of the two books as complimentary--together they will give you a good start to learning Silver's method (especially when Hand's new book comes out with all the other forms he's going to show). I'm not a student of Silver myself (although I plan to do some studying as a sideline), but I am fascinated by this system and enjoyed both books enormously. If you *just* want to practice some shortsword techniques, however, I would say to get Hand's book.

Regards,
Hugh Knight
www.schlachtschule.org
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the moment I am mostly interested in the techinques so it seems that Hands book is the better choice . Thanks.
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Stephen Hand




Location: Hobart, Australia
Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Vassilis,

They are quite different books. Master of Defence includes the works of George Silver and some essays on aspects of Silver's system and weaponry. It does not contain any interpretation or instruction, for a number of reasons, not least because Paul was my student for many years before I made him a full instructor in our school. I taught him Silver and when he told me he was doing Master of Defence I asked him not to include any interpretation or instruction in it.

English Swordsmanship is a description of Silver's system of swordsmanship and instruction in how to actually do it. Volume I covers sword alone and Volume II, which I am just doing final edits to, contains sword and dagger, sword and buckler and sword vs rapier. I have also just written and photographed a new introductory chapter adressing areas where my interpretation has changed or progressed, answering some questions that have come up since publication of Volume I and just adding some stuff that for whatever reason I omitted. I expect Volume II to be out around the middle of the year.

I didn't include much background to Silver in ES because I had already written an essay on the subject for MoD. So, for a background to Silver and his actual texts I direct you to MoD, while for a practical, "how to fight in the style of George Silver" I would direct you to English Swordsmanship.

I hope that helps.

Cheers
Stephen

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Sat 30 Dec, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you kindly Mr. Hand. I will be ordering your book this week and I look forward to your second Volume. The section on sword vs. rapier in the second volume will be particulary interesting to me. I fight sword and shield in the SCA, I also fight Rapier in combination with dagger or case, however I have never fought sword vs. rapier or vice versa. It would also be interesting to see where the transitional cut and thrust would stand up to either rapier or sword.

Vassilis

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Stephen Hand




Location: Hobart, Australia
Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Sat 30 Dec, 2006 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Vassilis,

The section on sword vs rapier is interesting as it is pretty much identical to what later masters taught to do against the bayonet. It also mirrors nicely Marcelli's cautions about what the trained swordsman will attempt if you're armed with a rapier. I was taught a variant of one of Silver's techniques in a kendo kata over 20 years ago and when I inquired was told that it was thought to originate from a kata for closing with a spear user. There doesn't seem to be much argument about what to do when faced with a long pointy thing.

Do you have Spada and Spada II with my papers on the historical evidence for the use of large shields?

Cheers
Stephen

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sun 31 Dec, 2006 5:19 am    Post subject: large Shield         Reply with quote

Stephen Hand wrote:
Dear Vassilis,

The section on sword vs rapier is interesting as it is pretty much identical to what later masters taught to do against the bayonet. It also mirrors nicely Marcelli's cautions about what the trained swordsman will attempt if you're armed with a rapier. I was taught a variant of one of Silver's techniques in a kendo kata over 20 years ago and when I inquired was told that it was thought to originate from a kata for closing with a spear user. There doesn't seem to be much argument about what to do when faced with a long pointy thing.

Do you have Spada and Spada II with my papers on the historical evidence for the use of large shields?

Cheers
Stephen


Stephen, I've got Spada II and I've had great fun with some of local Vikings.....really wound them up! Have you ever seen any of the wood cuts from the Low Countries from 1560 plus...? There are some images showing rondaches in use with cut & thrust swords, all in High ward/True fight positions. I'm also hunting a Dutch drill manual from the early 1600's, Adam Breen's little piece. There is one version with 30 plates of rondache swordsman, which may be interesting!
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Stephen Hand




Location: Hobart, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 31 Dec, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear David,

I don't believe I've seen those woodcuts. I'd appreciate seeing them if it's not too much trouble. I have a Dutch fencing manuscript from 1595 that describes "shield and Dusack in the Turkish style" and shows the same wards and techniques as I discuss in the Spada papers. Pretty much every piece of evidence I get of single combat reinforces my thesis that the shield sections in the 15th and 16th century manuals represent the standard way shields had always been used, not some new or unusual method of use.

It is fun to use the historical system against people who haven't seen it - they really don't have an answer, do they? It seems so obvious to move the shield to meet the attack that people can have real trouble getting their heads around the idea that this just wasn't what they did historically, at least with larger shields.

Cheers
Stephen

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2007 3:32 am    Post subject: Wood cuts         Reply with quote

The images in question are little chunks of larger images held in the National army Museum. They're in the Osprey Publishing book "The Armada Campaign 1588" and are from the Battle of Graves and the siege of ...I've forgotten where!

There are about 6 figures all told, usually in the first wave and leading the main body. All have large shields that seem to cover the mass of the body. 1 figure in each image is shown at medium ward with sword in true fight. 2 images are shown very clearly in high ward with sword in true fight or with the sword in a high guard, pointing towards the enemy. The rest of the images are shown with the shield clearly face out towards the viewer of the woodcut. A further 2 figures have sword and dagger, always in high guard positions!

If I ever manage to get the rondache stuff I will send you a copy!
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Hand wrote:
Dear Vassilis,

Do you have Spada and Spada II with my papers on the historical evidence for the use of large shields?



I just found Spada I and II available. Definetly something I must get. I have studied sword and buckler and have found it does not relate well to the use of a kite shield. There has to be something better. I have found SCA sword and shield fighting works well and is effeciant but I want to see other styles if there are any.

Between Spada I and II, which gets more into the techniques of fighting with large shields, or do they both.

Thank You Kindly
Bill

BTW, I ordered English swordmanship, it is on its way to me.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Stephen Hand




Location: Hobart, Australia
Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Vassilis,

Spada I and II are collections of papers on swordsmanship subjects. Both contain papers by me on the historical use of large shields. The paper in Spada II relies heavily on the material in Spada I, so it's adviseable to get the earlier work first. Of all the historical systems, sword and shield is the most radically different to what I see people doing and is therefore the most effective when used against modern made up systems. The concept that you move around the shield, not vice versa is very much counter-intuitive to most people, but is hellishly effective.

Dear David,

Thanks for that reference, I will find those images.

Cheers
Stephen

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 9:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The concept that you move around the shield, not vice versa is very much counter-intuitive to most people, but is hellishly effective.


Yes, I definetly agree with that. The area that I have some trouble with is how the buckler seems to be used mostly to cover the swordhand in many of the manuals. Many people have stated that a larger shield can be used in a similar fashion, I'm not so sure how that would work out.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Stephen Hand




Location: Hobart, Australia
Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Covering the exposed sword arm/hand in attack is inherent in all shield work. It's actually very easy if you use the historical guard positions to cover the arm in attack. One of the main themes in the Spada II article is how deeply curved shields make it harder to cover the arm in attack, and there is quite a bit of evidence of people who started using deeply curved shields adopting forearm armour reasonably soon afterwards. Flat or gently curved shields are very good for covering the attacking arm.

Cheers
Stephen

Stephen Hand
Editor, Spada, Spada II
Author of English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Stoccata School of Defence
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
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Reading list: 112 books

Posts: 1,019

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Stephen, Happy New Year! It's always a very rewarding experience to gain knowledge in reading your posts Exclamation

I have both Spada I and Spada II, these are excellent and no serious swordsman's private library should be without them in my opinion Exclamation

In fact Stephen you have a couple of other publications that I need to acquire.

I personally would like to thank you for all that you contribute in helping all of us, you are most appreciated Sir!

Thank You Stephen!

Bob
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