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Bhakti Sa




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 12 Sep 2006

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Contemporary Fighting Manuals         Reply with quote

Hello All,

My friends and I would like to begin study of the German Longsword this summer, and we need to decide which materials we will use in our first stages of training. We will start first by learning the techniques using wooden wasters (Purpleheart Armories most likely).

I have narrowed down our choices to two books which I feel will not only represent the German style without mixing it with some of the other English and Italian styles, but also offer the easiest instruction to follow in a practical application. We will probably start either with Zabinski's interpretation of the "Codex Wallerstein", or Tobler's "Fighting with the German Longsword".

I have no idea if these are the best to start with or not. I have very little experience with historical swordfighting (about a month of 16th century Italian fencing study), so I don't really know what to look for in these books. If anyone has any other suggestions on good starter books please let me know. Also, any tips on how to safely and effectively begin this type of study is appreciated as well.

As a side note, has anyone had any experience with the Ochs DVD? I cant seem to find any non-publisher reviews on it.

Thanks in Advance for any Help,

Bhakti Sa
Seattle, WA
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
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Posts: 8,170

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Contemporary Fighting Manuals         Reply with quote

Bhakti Sa wrote:
As a side note, has anyone had any experience with the Ochs DVD? I cant seem to find any non-publisher reviews on it.

Thanks in Advance for any Help,

Bhakti Sa
Seattle, WA


I have the Ochs DVD and it's well produced: Professional quality production and not just an improvised shoot of some training seminar. ( Although those can also be interesting there is a lot of time on those listening to someone talk while students shuffle their feet. )

The Ochs DVD really helps understanding the books after repeated viewings. I don't and haven't put any serious effort in swordsmanship but at least watching a good DVD gives some feel for the flow of movements: With only written text and some pictures it is much more difficult to visualize the transitions from move to move.

The best I would imagine is getting good personal instruction, second to that a DVD, and books can help explain things even more: But just starting from books can be a steep learning curve.

Well, others with real training experience may be able to confirm my recommendation for this DVD. ( Or not ? Laughing Out Loud But I haven't read anything negative about it here on the Forums when the DVD was last the subject of a Topic or post. )

Note: I would do a search on this site for Ocs DVD and for the books you mentioned and you should find those previous discussions useful. Big Grin )

Oh, almost forgot the Tobler book is good the other one I haven't seen.

Welcome to the site. Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Sun 14 Jan, 2007 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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W. R. Reynolds




Location: Ramona, CA
Joined: 07 Dec 2004

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would go with Tobler. Just my $.02 worth.
Bill

"No matter who wins the rat race.......they are still a rat."
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W. R. Reynolds




Location: Ramona, CA
Joined: 07 Dec 2004

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Should have put this in my last post. You might also want to look at Guy Windsor's book "The Swordsmans Companion".

While Windsor is a Fiore kind of guy, the first few chapters on basics are invaluable and common to both styles IMHO.

Bill

"No matter who wins the rat race.......they are still a rat."
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Michael Olsen





Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I heartily recommend Signmund Ringeck's Knightly Art of the Longsword by David Lindholm and Peter Svard. It's very well put together, very informative, and offers a great deal of insight. If you have the funding, by all means, get multiple books. They should all cover the same basic material with some derivations in style and some books may simply work better for some than for others.

I'm not as big a fan of Tobler's work, but it is still useful, no doubt. And as was said before: if possible, try to get together with someone (or a group) of people with some experience. Even a meeting or two covering footwork and basic guards can set things in motion much quicker than a book.

And, for what it's worth, I recommend New Stirling Arms wasters over Purple Heart Armouries. Just a personal preference on proportions, balance, and weight.

I hope that helped!
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R. D. Simpson




Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tobler's Fighting with the German Longsword is a very well organized, systematic, step-by-step approach. The Ochs DVD, while I think it's useful, isn't as well systematized. If you're going to get the DVD, I'd recommend using it as a supplement to the Tobler book, rather than as a substitute.

That said, I haven't looked at other contemporary manuals, so I can't really say how they stack up against Tobler's work. Would you mind explaining why you prefer Knightly Art of the Longsword, Michael?

Gloria Virtutem Sequitur
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Michael Olsen





Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. D. Simpson wrote:
Would you mind explaining why you prefer Knightly Art of the Longsword, Michael?


I think, as you mentioned in another context, I just prefer the systemization of it over Tobler's work. I think it really is just tone and presentation of information that makes the Lindholm book a little more appealing to me. And really...that's all it is - my opinion. They both will do the job well. And, as I think I said before, if it's affordable, get both. They should introduce the same (or very similar) material in slightly different ways, giving any student more options and more access to understanding the material.
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Olsen wrote:
R. D. Simpson wrote:
Would you mind explaining why you prefer Knightly Art of the Longsword, Michael?


I think, as you mentioned in another context, I just prefer the systemization of it over Tobler's work. I think it really is just tone and presentation of information that makes the Lindholm book a little more appealing to me. And really...that's all it is - my opinion. They both will do the job well. And, as I think I said before, if it's affordable, get both. They should introduce the same (or very similar) material in slightly different ways, giving any student more options and more access to understanding the material.


And I feel just the oppisite. I find Tobler's work much easier to follow. Isn't it grand that we live in an age where we can take our pick?

Tobler's fighting, and the Ochs work great in combonation. The interpretations are a little different, so pay close attention if you study them togeather, so you can see both ideas.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 259

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan, 2007 1:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have a preference when it comes to contemporary works of this type, but I would advise you to get a copy of the original(if possible) so you can cross-check/interpret techniques if you want to. Contemporary works are interpretations, and as such you might find that some techniques need altering in order to work for you(consequently, this goes the other way around as well, don't be afraid to interpret the original manuscript in a totally off-the-common-path way as well Wink ).

The different interpretations in the books that are around are often flavoured by the authors previous experience in MA, so some gain an aikido-like approach to the techniques, while others go for a muay thai variant, and so on. If you have any previous MA experience, this will likely apply to yourself as well.

The point I am trying to make is; use the books as guides and eye-openers as to gain ideas about the way the techniques can be done. But don't be afraid to work out your own ways as well, or to go looking elsewhere for tips.

Still, most of the literature on the subject that is available today is written by people with a high degree of knowledge and skill, so dismissing their approaches completely is seldom a good idea. Happy

Johan Schubert Moen
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Marton Pap




Location: Hungary
Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan, 2007 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't recommend Codex Wallerstein for beginning. It contains only a few sword lessons, most of them are short range techniques. You should get it if you want a lot of evil wrestling and dagger techniques. I highly recommend the Ochs DVD besides the Tobler books. I also recommend to read the Ringeck translation on the ARMA site. With these and practice you can see the whole concept of Liechtenauer's Art, including the unwritten parts wich you can find out according to the teaching. Don't be confused if you don't really understand it for the first time try the drills and it will be clear in an instant. For example when we started Liechtenauer, guards and footwork was quite clumsy but when we first tried to really use them there was a huge advance in a minute just because if we didn't use them correctly we got the feedback immediately
Regards!
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David Kite




Location: Clinton, IN USA
Joined: 20 Feb 2004

Posts: 94

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan, 2007 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, there is definite value in both translation/interpretations of Ringeck. Ultimately it will be very helpful to get both Lindholm's and Tobler's. I have both, and in my opinion, it won't make a huge difference which one you begin with.

Tobler's second book, Fighting with the German Longsword, may be the best book to begin with, since it presents the basics very well.

Codex Wallerstein is definitley also worth getting. No it will not give you any basics. Yes it can be hard to undrstand. However, it was the first book I began with and it certainly will not hinder you in any way, in my opinion. It is awesome for learning to wrestle at the sword, and will give you a basic repertoire of techniques to help you visualize and expand upon the other works you study. Plus, like most manual, it will give you other weapons to study such as messer, dagger, and the aforementioned wrestling. The only caveat about Codex Wallerstein is to remember that most of what it teaches is highly situational and I don't think there's much in there that you can MAKE work during sparring, at least at the beginning.

David Kite
GFS, ARMA in IN
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Bhakti Sa




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 12 Sep 2006

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot to everyone for their input. There is a local group who studies Fiore's work, but as I said before, I am more interested in the German styles of Leichtenauer. Would it be detrimental to learn the basics with the Fiore group and then break off to learn the rest of Leichtenauer's technique on our own? I don't really know the exact differences between the styles, so I can't say if this would be bad or good.

As far as beginning materials go, I think I will begin with Tobler and Ochs, and pick up the other books when I can.
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John H





Joined: 08 May 2006

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: New Stirling Arms makes great wasters         Reply with quote

I own a waster from New Sterling arms, and have used many from other manufacturers and have to say I prefer the NSA in both feel and durability.

http://www.newstirlingarms.com/about.html

Just my two cents...
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 604

PostPosted: Wed 17 Jan, 2007 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bhakti Sa wrote:
Thanks a lot to everyone for their input. There is a local group who studies Fiore's work, but as I said before, I am more interested in the German styles of Leichtenauer. Would it be detrimental to learn the basics with the Fiore group and then break off to learn the rest of Leichtenauer's technique on our own? I don't really know the exact differences between the styles, so I can't say if this would be bad or good.

As far as beginning materials go, I think I will begin with Tobler and Ochs, and pick up the other books when I can.


For a new student interested in the Liechtenauer longsword tradition, studying Fiore will become very confusing very very quickly. Fiore's Flos Duellatorum is a whole combat system including the sword. After several years of study, I'm becoming comfortable with the idea that there is only one art of combat but many perspectives on it. The WMA community is only working with a few of them as that is what we have to work with now. (Generally but inaccurately discussed as the Italian and German traditions.) The common threads become apparent after a great deal of effort. If you are only interested in the longsword, Fiore might not be your best course of study.

I'm not sure exactly where the Knights of Veritas are relative to Seattle. (time/travel-wise) I have never met the principles of the group but Eric Slyter is a serious researcher that studies the Liechtenauer longsword tradition. It might be worth getting in touch with them. http://www.germanlongsword.com/
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