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C. Reeves





Joined: 16 Dec 2005

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Question about shield techniques         Reply with quote

I'm a voracious seeker of knowledge on all things military during the medeival and rennaissance periods. I quickly realized if I was gonna get anywhere in my quest for knowledge I had to pick a time frame to focus on, so I chose the early crusades era (mostly looking at the 13th century).

My first goal was to learn about the gear of a typical knight and man-at-arms during this period and how they fought with them, which brought me to sword and shield fighting. This past Christmas I received a manual on the I.33 sword n' buckler fighting from Chivalric Bookshelf from my mother-in-law and nice flat-topped kite shield from my lovely wife (lucky man, I know!). It seems they paid more attention to my historical arms babble than I thought!

So, after reading a bit in the I33 sword n' buckler book, it seems to me that the techniques aren't really as compatible with a shield of this size and type (it's large enough to cover a man's torso but not even remotely close to the size of a norman tear drop kite shield). I've seen in many sources, including Osprey books, that the gauge strap (like the one on my kite shield type) was looped over the head/neck and the left arm threaded through the other straps. It seems to me that while the gauge over the neck helps support the shield and prevent it from being torn away from you, that at the same time it limits it's movement severely....so much so that I find I33 incompatible.

My question is, is there another source on use of these earlier shields? How did the crusaders make use of their shields? What kinds of techniques were used? How were the darn things held!?!?

Thanks in advance to any generous scholars to shed light on my predicament.

-Chris
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Question about shield techniques         Reply with quote

C. Reeves wrote:
I

My question is, is there another source on use of these earlier shields? How did the crusaders make use of their shields? What kinds of techniques were used? How were the darn things held!?!?


You want a copy of Spada 1 and 2, avalible from the same place, which contain articles on this very subject, and by Stephen Hand, who you will note is one of the authors of your MSI33 guide, unless you have the original transcription. Spada 2 also contains updated techniques on MSI33.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, Stephen Hand is the man to speak to about this. A couple of years ago Stephen showed my the basics of sword & shield work and I was very impressed. It quickly becomes obvious why it was such a long lasted coimbat method.
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C. Reeves





Joined: 16 Dec 2005

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 9:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Much thanks gentlemen.
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Joe Loder




Location: Milwaukee, WI
Joined: 10 Mar 2006

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll echo these suggestions. I have Stephen's I33 book (I can't remember the exact title off the top of my head) and a copy of SPADA 2 and I found them to be just about perfect to give a good baseline of terminology and skills for the use of a sword and shield. After that it's practice and research Happy. LOTS of practice and research. You may also want to take a look at the sword and target work of DiGrassi (I think) and other Bolognese masters as I believe their forms to be part of a natural evolution of older techniques.
He who laughs last, thinks fastest.
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Stephen Hand




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

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jan, 2007 7:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the support gents. I'm also here from time to time if you want to talk to me about shield use. There's currently a good thread on shield use on the historical European Swordsmanship board at Swordforum.

Cheers
Stephen

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

Stoccata School of Defence
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