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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Hello all,

I think it is important in this particular debate to remember that their is a continuum between edge and flat. I can take a hit with edges perpendicular (as described in later manuals) or I can take it on the flat or any anlge in between.

Clearly the flat hit has the lowest chance of edge damage but how far from flat do I have to get where the likelihood of damage is "too high".

Take a basic Zornhau vs an oberhau. Done as described the parts of the sword that contact each other are the edges. Clearly. But not at right angles. The angle is quite acute instead, and both swords are traveling downwards. So while it is an 'edge' parry the likelihood of damage is low.

I think that, for Medieval swordplay, good technique, without thinking about edge vs. flat will achieve a good balance between risk to my edge and martially sound techique.

Stven

I think we are on the same page. In almost all of the actions that we (ARMA) call edge-on-flat the fist contact is actually between the edges. But what is important to note is that the majority of the energy of the impact is between one edge and one flat, not between the two edges. I'm not a Bolognese sword scholar and thus not qualified to really comment upon the edge-on-edge action Steven Reich was referring to but I'll guess that in practice the technique results in one edge cutting down along the other edge rather than directly into it. I some times get this same edge-along-edge action when I Krump into the barrier guard to parry a strike to my lower openings but I refer to the parry as edge-on-flat because it is the flat, not the edge, that stops the blow.


Steven H wrote:

P.S. Or take Krumphau. It clearly can't be done to the flat against both an oberhau and an unterhau. But there is no instruction to vary it based on the attack type to keep the blade edge from getting damaged. So clearly our krump must endanger our edge but it does so to achieve the worthy goal of surviving the swordfight.

I must disagree. But in ARMA we use a totally different interpretation of the Krumphau.



Steven Reich

Might you describe in more detail the technique you were referring to? Regardless of the subject at hand it would be a pleasure to read your interpretation of it.


Ran Pleasant
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Alex Spreier




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Hello all,

I think it is important in this particular debate to remember that their is a continuum between edge and flat. I can take a hit with edges perpendicular (as described in later manuals) or I can take it on the flat or any anlge in between.

Clearly the flat hit has the lowest chance of edge damage but how far from flat do I have to get where the likelihood of damage is "too high".

Take a basic Zornhau vs an oberhau. Done as described the parts of the sword that contact each other are the edges. Clearly. But not at right angles. The angle is quite acute instead, and both swords are traveling downwards. So while it is an 'edge' parry the likelihood of damage is low.

I think that, for Medieval swordplay, good technique, without thinking about edge vs. flat will achieve a good balance between risk to my edge and martially sound techique.

Cheers,
Steven


I agree Steven. One fact I perhaps did not make clear in my earlier posts is that when I say "edge parry" I am thinking of exactly what you described; a very acute angle and oblique contact. Silly computer not just inserting the words I mean instead of the words I type Razz

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Steven H




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex Spreier wrote:

I agree Steven. One fact I perhaps did not make clear in my earlier posts is that when I say "edge parry" I am thinking of exactly what you described; a very acute angle and oblique contact. Silly computer not just inserting the words I mean instead of the words I type Razz


Randall Pleasant wrote:

I think we are on the same page. In almost all of the actions that we (ARMA) call edge-on-flat the fist contact is actually between the edges. But what is important to note is that the majority of the energy of the impact is between one edge and one flat, not between the two edges. I'm not a Bolognese sword scholar and thus not qualified to really comment upon the edge-on-edge action Steven Reich was referring to but I'll guess that in practice the technique results in one edge cutting down along the other edge rather than directly into it. I some times get this same edge-along-edge action when I Krump into the barrier guard to parry a strike to my lower openings but I refer to the parry as edge-on-flat because it is the flat, not the edge, that stops the blow.


Hm. Now we have an interesting question of definitions. It would seem that Randall and Alex are describing the same thing but one calls it "edge-on-flat" and the other "edge parry".

I will agree with Randall that in these "inbetween-y" parries the energy ends up mostly on the flat, hence the lower damage; but the initial contact is one edge to another edge. So I'd still go with calling them edge parries if I were to call them one or the other (as opposed to calling them Zorn or Krump or Schiel etc. which I think is more useful once we're talking amongst each other).

Part of my reason for calling them edge parries is I believe that few parries entirely with the flat are the most martially sound defenses.

Randall-
I know you will disagree with me on that last point. And I'd love a chance to talk this in person so we could show each other what we see as the relative merits of each approach. (Perhaps an exchange of videos when I get a camera).

Randall Pleasant wrote:

I must disagree. But in ARMA we use a totally different interpretation of the Krumphau.

I am mightily curious about this. A single action that will be edge to flat against attacks 90 degrees off from each other seems . . . hard to do. Though if we use the wider definition than the one I use for edge-flat then . . . I'm still stumped Big Grin. Can you elaborate?

Cheers,
Steven

P.S. I'm glad to see this debate be about fine distinctions and definitions rather than the usual.

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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Pleasant wrote:
Might you describe in more detail the technique you were referring to? Regardless of the subject at hand it would be a pleasure to read your interpretation of it.

The most common one is out of The Anonymous (although it also appears in Marozzo a few times), and involves parrying a Mandritto in Guardia d'Intrare. Here would be a typical example:

1. You are in Coda Lunga Stretta, Right Foot Forward.
2. Your opponent attacks with a Mandritto to your head.
3. Step with your right foot to your left and parry in Guardia d'Intrare, catching your opponent's sword on your true edge [i.e. a 'block' or 'stop' as opposed to a deflection].
4. Pass with your left foot to the opponent's right and deliver a Riverso to his head.

Note that the part, "...catching your opponent's sword on your true edge..." is pretty much direct from the original text. The key to understanding this is an understanding of the correct form of Guardia d'Intrare. While Dall'Agocchie has a form which is similar to the rapier Seconda, The Anonymous and Marozzo actually have a different form--think of it as a rapier quarta, but with the sword-hand turned beyond Quarta so that the true-edge is fairly upward. Thus, in this technique, we are catching the opponent's true edge on our true edge. However, the blades aren't at a 90 degree angle from each other.

A more general example would be parrying a Mandritto Fendente, Mandritto Sgualimbro, or Mandritto Tondo to your head with Dall'Agocchie's Guardia di Testa (this particular parry is explicitly described in Dall'Agocchie's defenses for sword-alone). When considering this, remember that Dall'Agocchie's Guardia di Testa is formed somewhat like below (note that while I'm not happy with this photo--it is from 5-6 years ago--but it is close enough to communicate the general position of the arms and sword). While it is unclear in the photograph, my point is forward as well as downward.


The Marozzo/Manciolino/Anonymous form of Guardia di Testa is made with the sword-hand in the same position as Dall'Agocchie's, except that the point is upward rather than downward. In this case, parrying a Riverso often results in a pretty solid edge-on-edge stop. Now I'm not sure if the blades need to be 90 degrees to fall under "parrying with the edge", but I do know that all of the examples I've given will most definitely cause wear and tear on the edges of sharp swords (as will, for example, using an ascending Riverso to parry a descending Riverso).


However, as I said, this isn't the only sort of parry. Deflections are at least as common (and probably more common) as hard stops and result in much less wear and tear...

Steve

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Dustin R. Reagan





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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:

I think that, for Medieval swordplay, good technique, without thinking about edge vs. flat will achieve a good balance between risk to my edge and martially sound techique.


Great quote! I agree completely.

One thing I'd like to point out is that performing defensive actions with the flat of your blade is mechanically much easier with a two handed sword than with a single handed sword. You don't have to bend the wrist to achieve many of the same positions with two hands on your weapon as you would with a single hand. I will take pictures if it isn't clear how this is so (showing this in person is much easier).

However, as an outside observer (i'm not a member of any WMA group or organization, by the way), I find that ARMA's stance on this issue is communicated in a very dogmatic manner. I personally recoil from any/all expressions of dogmatism, especially in a context of learning, so i can fully understand the frustration that many feel. "Never tell me never (to defend with my edge)!" <-- little joke there. Anyways, I definitely have a great deal of respect for ARMA, the things they have accomplished, and much of their martially-oriented philosophy.

I feel like many times the two camps (ARMA members vs. others) talk past each other...often saying pretty much the exact same thing.

Back to The Debate...Steven articulated my feeling on this matter better than i could, so i'll repeat his quote for emphasis:

Steven H wrote:

I think that, for Medieval swordplay, good technique, without thinking about edge vs. flat will achieve a good balance between risk to my edge and martially sound techique.
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Dustin R. Reagan





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PostPosted: Wed 20 May, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, I have one more thing to add.

It's debatable whether this is applicable to WMA, so you decide: From cross-training with FMA practitioners (in particular, at an Atienza Kali seminar), it was explained to me that when fighting with long bladed weapons, you often do not want to strike edge-on-edge because the blades will (obviously) deeply nick each other. The catch is, pardon the pun, that the two blades will often catch deeply on each other (the Atienza brothers demonstrated this for us with filipino blades...i believe they were mid-length barong-style, blades..the blades really did catch, and it was a surprisingly strong 'bond' between the blades). This abruptly 'stops' the action and can shift the momentary advantage of a successful defense back to the attacker. Of course, you can use this property to your advantage, and purposefully catch/wrench the opponents blade. I should emphasize that this wrenching tactic was not considered typical...it seemed like it was similar to one of talhoffer's "special" moves. To conclude: In fma, a warrior is discouraged from striking another blade edge-to-edge, except in very specific circumstances.

I understand that there are a load of variables to consider regarding how this applies to bladed weapon arts in medieval western europe, but please at least consider the facts:

-The evidence suggests that western swords were relatively soft -- perhaps purposefully so! -- compared to many modern reproductions (http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_bladehardness.html)
-Softer blades are tougher and much much less likely to catastrophically fracture when struck against a similarly soft blade than if two harder blades were struck together (it's a physical fact of the metallurgy of steel: you always trade hardness for toughness).
-Two soft blades struck together will nick each other deeply, frequently forming a tight, suprisingly strong, interlocking bond.
-The physical act of having the two blades bond like this is incredibly jarring, abrupt, and off-balancing, potentially to both combatants.

I believe that ARMA doctrine is essentially correct in that western warriors really did not prefer to strike their blades' edges' together, but not for the reason that they claim, which is to protect the weapon from damage. Based on the evidence, i believe western medieval warriors *typically* did not want to do this for direct tactical reasons. I understand the ARMA argument about sword damage being tactically relevant, because it can cause the sword to break, but this is an indirect tactical outcome, not a direct tactical outcome, as described above.

If i am misunderstanding ARMA's argument for avoiding edge-to-edge defenses, please correct me.

Even if you do not believe that FMA's take on the practicalities of edge-to-edge action applies to WMA, it is still food for thought.

Dustin
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Wed 20 May, 2009 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As I've said two years ago I think discussions of edge vs. flat parries do not take the perspective of the attacker sufficiently into account.

If a static block happens on the strong of the defender's blade, edge on edge, I think the blade of the attacker will likely take the most damage, as it is thinner at the impact point (which seems to be what Viggiani says). A wise attacker will at least try to slow his blade down in this situation, if he can. Therefore the most disturbing parry that your opponent can make is with the edge. If he parries flat you can just strike as hard as you can, his sword will probably break first anyway. A static flat parry is the kindest thing your defender can do short of not parrying at all: he is not threatening either your body or your sword.

The defender that parries with his flat is in fact doing his best to preserve both blades, but ironically mostly that of the attacker. Much as I would appreciate training partners doing that, I'm not sure it's really the wisest choice in actual combat. Assuming a static block is a good choice at all Happy

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William Carew




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PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2009 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The old edge parry debate… is this still going? Do people ever read their historical sources?

Joachim Meyer is pretty clear: parries (deflections, stops, displacements, redirections, versetzen, abschneiden, ‘call em whatever you like so long as we all understand they are defences’) are sometimes performed with the flat and sometimes with the edge, which may result in edge to flat, flat to flat or edge to edge contact. Which occurs will depend on the circumstances in the moment, and since we cannot control what our opponent will do with their sword, only what we do with ours, there are times when edge to edge contact is unavoidable.

Some clear examples of flat parries from Meyer:

Quote:
Hanging [Hengen] (Meyer 1.22r.1 – Forgeng translation pg 66)

“When you stand in the Plow [Pflug] and your opponent cuts at you, then go up with your hilt so that the blade hangs somewhat toward the ground, and catch his stroke on the flat of your blade. Then work with winding to the nearest opening.”


Flat parries are typically advised in relation to the hanging techniques, and they facilitate both winding in (Winden) or running off (Ablaufen) followed by striking around (Umbschlagen) depending on the circumstances.

Quote:
Hanging Point [Hangetort] (Meyer 1.39v.2 – Forgeng translation pg 84)

“Now if he cuts at your right from above, then catch his stroke on the flat of your blade and step out toward his right; when the swords have connected together, you can remain with your blade on his and wind the short edge in at his head. Turn the sword quickly out of the wind into the Longpoint [Langort], so that you can send his counterattack away from you with the long edge


In the above example, we see both the flat of the sword, followed by the long edge used for parrying (“catch his stroke on the flat” and in the same paragraph “send his counterattack away from you with the long edge”).

Some clear examples of edge parries from Meyer:

Quote:
Slicing Off [Abschneiden] (Meyer 1.21v.2 – Forgeng translation pg 66)

“Hold the sword with your arms extended long in front of you, or sink into the guard of the Fool [Olber]; if your opponent cuts at you with long cuts, then slice them off from you with the long edge to both sides, until you see your opportunity to come to another work more suitable for you.”


Slicing the opponent’s cuts away is synonymous with the “straight parrying” described by Meyer, and he is clear that the long edge is used. Since these are clearly defences used in response to long cuts, there is a possibility of edge to edge contact (or edge to flat, or edge to arm): yet I can’t recall a single instance of Meyer ever warning against edge to edge contact in his extremely detailed book.

Quote:
“A good counter against all high cuts [Oberhauwen](Meyer 1.64v.1 - Forgeng translation pg 110)

Note when he cuts in against you from above, and step with your left foot toward his right, that is to your left, well out to the side; along with this stepping out, cut upwards with your long edge against his incoming cut, so that in cutting upwards you push your pommel through under your right arm, and thus catch his cut with crossed hands up in the air on your long edge forte...”


When performed as described above, there is no way to avoid long edge to long edge contact. The attacker is cutting at us from above, and we are cutting up to catch it with our long edge. Meyer could have said to catch it on our flat, as he does with other instances of hanging parries: instead, Meyer clearly tells us to use the long edge of the sword.

Let’s hope Meyer's own words will help end the debate-that-will-not-die.

Bill Carew
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Dustin R. Reagan





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PostPosted: Wed 27 May, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Carew wrote:

Joachim Meyer is pretty clear: parries (deflections, stops, displacements, redirections, versetzen, abschneiden, ‘call em whatever you like so long as we all understand they are defences’) are sometimes performed with the flat and sometimes with the edge, which may result in edge to flat, flat to flat or edge to edge contact. Which occurs will depend on the circumstances in the moment, and since we cannot control what our opponent will do with their sword, only what we do with ours, there are times when edge to edge contact is unavoidable.


Thank you for these quotes from Meyer, this is very illuminating, to me at least!
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Adam Rudling




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PostPosted: Wed 27 May, 2009 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill, nice quotes - but some people will just insist that they do 'earlier' period longsword fighting & that Meyer doesnt count ......

I think it was summed up nicely in a post i saw once, theirs the ARMA way of longsword .... & then theirs everyone else.

Anyways in a more constructive tone I did some test cutting against various targets with my gladius the other day & the edge got completely rolled over in a couple of places against a cow bone where I got the cut off angle slightly, the worst one was approx 1/4in deep & had split the edge - a few mins with a hammer & rock had a relatively useable edge again. Moral of the story ... slice the meat from the bones it works just lovely Big Grin
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William Carew




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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm, something funny has happened with a whole bunch of replies to this thread...

Anyway, for those interested, here is a little more of Meyer’s advice on using the edge in defence, including Absetzen, Schnitten, Sperren, Langort and the Gerade Versatzung:

From the Longsword book

Quote:
Setting Off [Absetzen]

1.18v.1 (Forgeng translation pg 63)
For instance, if you come in the Onset into the Change, and he cuts at you from above, then go up with the long edge against his stroke and step the same time with your right foot toward his left and set him off; then at the moment it clashes, turn the short edge and flick it at his head.

Slicing Off [Abschneiden]

1.21v.2 (Forgeng translation pg 66)
Hold the sword with your arms extended long in front of you, or sink into the guard of the Fool; if your opponent cuts at you with long cuts, then slice them off from you with the long edge to both sides, until you see your opportunity to come to another work more suitable for you.

Chasing and the slice are also hidden within this slicing off. Therefore Liechtenauer also writes of this in a maxim where he says:

Slice off the hard ones
From both dangers.


That is, slice off the hard strokes from you from both sides...

Barring [Sperren]

1.22v.1 (Forgeng translation pg 67)
Note when an opponent stands before you in the Change or guard of the Fool, and fall forcefully with your long edge on his blade, and as soon as it clashes or touches, then cross your hands and bar him so that he cannot come out.

Longpoint [Langort]

1.42r.2 (Forgeng translation pg 86)
Item, when you see that your opponent will bind or cut at you, then send your sword in against him, as if you intended to bind, and just when the blades are about to connect, push your pommel up quickly, and turn your blade up from below through the Rose, catching his stroke on your long edge…”


From the Dusack book

Quote:
Chapter 11: The Straight Parrying [Gerade Versatzung] or Slice [Schnitt]

2.33R (Forgeng translation pg 148 – 151)
In this parrying, position yourself thus: stand with your right foot forward and hold your dusack in front of you with your arm extended, so that your long edge stands toward the opponent and the tip of your weapon is forward…

2.33v.1
Now when you come before your opponent in the Straight Parrying, then note when he will cut forth at your face: turn your long edge against his cut, and catch it in the air toward his right;

2.33v.2
Next, if he cuts in front at your face, then turn your long edge against his cut as before. As soon as the dusacks knock together, then pull your dusack back away again, around before your face, and cut outside at his right arm.

2.33v.3
Item, parry his High Cut with your long edge as before, and when the dusacks knock together, then jerk your hilt up toward your left so that you come into the left Steer.

2.34r.1
Item, parry his stroke with your long edge as before, and when it connects, pull your dusack back again toward your right and around your head; step and thrust outside over his right arm at his face.

2.34r.2
Item, if you stand in this parrying, and your opponent cuts outside at your right, then parry his cut with your long edge, and at once deliver a Low or Middle Cut from your right at his left through his face;

2.34r.3
Item, if you stand before your opponent in Straight Parrying, and he cuts outside at your right, then as he cuts in, quickly step out from his stroke toward his right with your left foot, and meanwhile turn your long edge against his cut;

2.35r.1
If an opponent cuts at your right or left, then parry him with your long edge, and as soon as it clashes, then pull back up, and cut straight from above back to the nearest opening, with stepping out.

2.36R
And lastly when you stand in this Straight Parrying then note as I have also said before, if your opponent cuts at your right or left, then turn your long edge against his cut, and along with this parrying, thrust your point forth at his face.”


From the Rappir book

Quote:
How you shall fight and defend yourself from the Straight Parrying [Gerade Versatzung]

2.74r.1 (Forgeng translation pg 195 - 196)
In the Onset, position yourself in the Straight Parrying… approach him thus with extended and firm parrying. If he cuts or thrusts from his right diagonally toward your left, then turn your long edge and hilt up against his incoming cut or thrust… catch his blade upon your forte near your hilt.

2.75r.1
Now if he cuts or thrusts from the other side (that is from his left) at your right side, also diagonally from above, then again turn your long edge and hilt with extended arm against his incoming blade to parry or catch it; then at the same time step out sideways from his blade with your left foot toward his right.

2.76r.1
If he thrusts or cuts at you from below or across, whether from the right or left, from whichever side he thrusts or cuts, then step out from his incoming thrust or cut with your rear foot (that is with your left) toward the other side, and send it down away from your out sideways with extended long edge.”


This is not an exhaustive list of examples, but they are hopefully sufficient to show the historical validity of parrying with the long/true edge of the sword in Renaissance swordwork after Meyer.

Cheers,

Bill Carew
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Carew wrote:
Hmm, something funny has happened with a whole bunch of replies to this thread...



Nothing funny at all, actually. The site was down last night and a number of posts made on the forum yesterday (including some in this thread) are now gone. I'm not sure the chance of recovering them at this point.

Happy

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Randall Pleasant




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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although it drives my wife crazy when she is around my family, we always say that good conversation is worth sharing twice. WTF?!
Plus our second replies should be better thought out. Big Grin

Ran Pleasant


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Randall Pleasant




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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scholars

Thanks for a very good discussion!

Steven H wrote:
It would seem that Randall and Alex are describing the same thing but one calls it "edge-on-flat" and the other "edge parry".

Yes, I do agree that Alex and I were for the most part talking about the same thing.

Steven H wrote:
I will agree with Randall that in these "inbetween-y" parries the energy ends up mostly on the flat, hence the lower damage; but the initial contact is one edge to another edge. So I'd still go with calling them edge parries if I were to call them one or the other (as opposed to calling them Zorn or Krump or Schiel etc. which I think is more useful once we're talking amongst each other).

I don't have an issue with what a parry is called because it's clear that we all use both the edge and the flat to parry. The issue is high speed direct 90 degree edge-on-edge impacts between the thin sharp edges.

Steven H wrote:
I think that, for Medieval swordplay, good technique, without thinking about edge vs. flat will achieve a good balance between risk to my edge and martially sound techique.

I too like this. As I have say many times, edge-on-edge impacts is not something we have to think about, it's something that just does not happen.


Dustin R. Reagan wrote:
I believe that ARMA doctrine is essentially correct in that western warriors really did not prefer to strike their blades' edges' together, but not for the reason that they claim, which is to protect the weapon from damage. Based on the evidence, i believe western medieval warriors *typically* did not want to do this for direct tactical reasons. I understand the ARMA argument about sword damage being tactically relevant, because it can cause the sword to break, but this is an indirect tactical outcome, not a direct tactical outcome, as described above.

If i am misunderstanding ARMA's argument for avoiding edge-to-edge defenses, please correct me.

You are indeed misunderstanding ARMA's position on the issue, but I might also have not made it completely clear. Edge damage is the secondary reason for not engaging in edge-on-edge actions. The primary reason is that it is martially unsound. An edge-on-edge action ties up your edge requiring you to twist out of the bind in order to counter attack whereas an edge-on-flat action does not tie up you edge, allowing you to quickly counter attack. For example, if I perform a hanging parry with a longsword by turning my hand back (palm up) I can start cutting to the adversary with my true edge as soon as his sword impacts my flat.


William Carew wrote:
The old edge parry debate… is this still going? Do people ever read their historical sources?
William

I do not understand why you assume that some of the people in this discussion are not reading the historical sources. I feel very assured that everyone that has been taking part in the disucssion up to this point has reading the historical sources.

Please remember that we are talking about interpretations, not actual facts. None of us are 100 percent completely sure what the historical masters were trying to communicate in their writtings. Disagreements about interpretations are welcome and healthy, smart remarks are probably less welcome. Please also note that the issue is not about if one should use the edge or the flat, we all use both, rather the issue is high speed direct 90 degree edge-on-edge impacts.


Adam Rudling wrote:
I think it was summed up nicely in a post i saw once, theirs the ARMA way of longsword .... & then theirs everyone else.

Doing something because everybody else is doing it seems a poor reason for doing it. In regard to the recreation of these lost arts that quickly leads to nowhere. The goal is not to do it ARMA's way or the way of everybody else. The goal is to figure out how the historical masters did it and then do it their way.

Again, thanks for the discussion,

Ran Pleasant
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Randall Pleasant wrote:

I must disagree. But in ARMA we use a totally different interpretation of the Krumphau.

I am mightily curious about this. A single action that will be edge to flat against attacks 90 degrees off from each other seems . . . hard to do. Though if we use the wider definition than the one I use for edge-flat then . . . I'm still stumped Big Grin. Can you elaborate?


Steve

I'm trying to answer you question but I readlly do not what to lead this discussion off topic. Plus, I am limited in the degree in which I can discuss John Clements new interpertation of the Krump.

For almost ten years a foundation of the ARMA method of study is that there are three pirmary processes in the recreation of these lost arts: Translation, Interpretation, and Application. An interpretation must work in sparring (ie. Application). If an interpretation clearly does not work in sparring then it is rejected and the Interpretation process starts again (A very similar process was proposed by Brian Price of Schola Saint George at a recent martial arts conference in Portugal http://www.scholasaintgeorge.org/joomla_new/i...;Itemid=29). Through this process John Clements determined several years ago that the Windshield wipper interpretation of Krump, which is used by everybody else, clearly just does not work in sparring. This is easily tested against someone in the Ochs guard who is willing to give you hard fast thrusts as you try to break his guard with the Windshield wipper interpretation of Krump.

The following video shows John Clements using his new interpretation of the Krump to break Ochs. Most people are so ingrained to the Windshield wipper interpretation that they have a hard time understanding how John's new interpretation matches the historical sources (this is one of the problems in doing what everybody else does!). But John's new interpretation of the Krump does indeed match the historical sources and as you can see in the video, it actually does break Ochs. Once you see the Krump in the video you can then see how one can krump into the barrier guard to protect his lower opening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsGU5KI1qJA

Beyond this point if you want to know more you'll have to visit John Clements. Wink

Ran Pleasant
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Adam Rudling




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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall, interesting video - would have been better in tighter framing & higher quality , had very much trouble seeing that as a Krump or breaking Ox (think Ox was actually the start point of one action only in there ?) as the action is a bit fast -but it certainly means I'm going to go & re-read & reevaluate things.

Dont want to derail this thread anymore into a video discussion though !

Stay safe in your fencing,

Adam
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall,

I've heard for a while that John Clements has come up with a brand new interpretation of the krumphau, but until now I've been told it was a secret. Is John's interpretation of the krump at 0:30 of the video? I don't mean to be contradictory, but quite a number of people have been doing that for years. Mike Edelson was doing that for awhile a couple years ago, for instance.

While I think its a perfectly viable technique (its nothing more than a classical foil transport), I don't think its how the texts describe the action at all. I mean this in a constructive manner, but it seems to be taking what is an otherwise straightforward passage and overcomplicates it.

Again, I don't think the action shown is invalid. I just don't think you can say its what our historical forefathers meant when they described breaking the guard of ochs.

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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I've heard for a while that John Clements has come up with a brand new interpretation of the krumphau, but until now I've been told it was a secret. Is John's interpretation of the krump at 0:30 of the video? I don't mean to be contradictory, but quite a number of people have been doing that for years. Mike Edelson was doing that for awhile a couple years ago, for instance.

While I think its a perfectly viable technique (its nothing more than a classical foil transport), I don't think its how the texts describe the action at all. I mean this in a constructive manner, but it seems to be taking what is an otherwise straightforward passage and overcomplicates it.

Again, I don't think the action shown is invalid. I just don't think you can say its what our historical forefathers meant when they described breaking the guard of ochs.

Bill

If others have been performing Krump like JC then that is the real secret since no-one has made any mention of it on any forums and I saw nothing of it at the 2006 WMAW event. Wink Many people how done a similar action but the John's Krump interpretation is so much more than just a single action.

I'm not at all surprise that you don't see how John's interpretation matches the historical text. That's what I meant when I said the older Windshield wipper interpretation is so ingrained in people's minds. Many of us in ARMA hollered and screamed when John first presented his new interpretation to the membership but as he explained how it match the different historical texts, how it fit in with the other master cuts, and demonstrated its effectiveness we could see how it made so much more sense. John's Krump interpretation is not just a modification to an existing interpretation, he started with a completely blank page. Somethings you have to completely drop something and clear you mind from it before you can move ahead. John's Krump interpretation does indeed match the historical text and he ties it in on a theoretical level to the princles that underlie the other master cuts. Unlike the older Windshield wipper Krump, John's version actually does break the Ochs regardless of whether you are standing in the guard or thrusting out of it. Nor does it require special conditions to work, such as working only when one is moving into the guard, etc., it just breaks the guard. In the end it comes down to staying with an old interpretation that clearly does not work or considering a new interpretation that clearly does work. Within ARMA this is actually not consider new anymore, it's standard now, John is making us holler and scream with other stuff.

Ran Pleasant
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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Pleasant wrote:
If others have been performing Krump like JC then that is the real secret since no-one has made any mention of it on any forums and I saw nothing of it at the 2006 WMAW event. Wink


I think its because its just not easy to type. As for WMAW 2006, well, that's a pretty small sampling of the rest of the WMA world. Especially that particular year.

As I said, its a classical foil transport, so many people have come up with doing the action. And, also as I said, I don't think its necessarily wrong to do. But to say its the way the historical masters broke ochs? I'd like to see some actual evidence for that. I've seen multiple people do this... most have presented as an option, though, not as the interpretation of the texts on how to break ochs.

Quote:
I'm not at all surprise that you don't see how John's interpretation matches the historical text. That's what I meant when I said the older Windshield wipper interpretation is so ingrained in people's minds.


You keep saying "windshield wiper" version. If I'm attacking from right to left, I do an attack with the long edge that decends onto the person's hands or blade. If its from left to right, I do it with the short edge. Is this what you're referring to when you say "windshield wiper"?

From von Danzig:

Quote:
Note, the Crooked Stroke is one of the four oppositions against the four guards, for with it one counters the guard called the Ox, and also the Stroke from Above and Stroke from Below. Do it like this:

When you come to him in the Zufechten and he stands against you holding his sword before his head in the guard of the Ox on his left side, then set your left foot forward and hold your sword on your right shoulder in the guard, and spring with your right foot well to your right side against him, and strike with the long edge with crossed arms over his hands.


Not only does John set this up from the wrong side, but insted of hitting the hands he transports the blade to a completely different line, which isn't described at all.

Quote:
John's Krump interpretation is not just a modification to an existing interpretation, he started with a completely blank page.


But I'm not building off an existing interpretation. I'm just reading what the text says to do, and not adding anything else. I understand that many techniques are debatable, but this is one that is pretty straight forward. If I tell you to hit me over my hands, and you end up stabbing me in the stomach, I don't see how you can tell me that this is what I told you to do.

Quote:
John's Krump interpretation does indeed match the historical text


Where?

Quote:
and he ties it in on a theoretical level to the princles that underlie the other master cuts.


I'll accept that, which is why I'm not disputing whether or not someone can do such a maneuver. But again, I don't buy that its what's being described in the texts. There are a number of Japanese techniques that also are very effective, and fit into the principles of the master strikes, but that doesn't make them part of Liechtenauer's five strikes.

Quote:
John's version actually does break the Ochs regardless of whether you are standing in the guard or thrusting out of it. Nor does it require special conditions to work, such as working only when one is moving into the guard, etc., it just breaks the guard.


Well, I would argue that anyone claiming that you need those special variables to break Ochs needs to practice a whole lot more. I've never had any trouble whatsoever with breaking ochs, whether the person was static, thrusting, making an unterhau into it, or whatever else.

Quote:
In the end it comes down to staying with an old interpretation that clearly does not work


That makes me wonder if we're talking about two different things, then.

To be clear to everyone reading, I'm not bashing ARMA (and I think Randall knows this, because we've debated in this forum before). I just don't see where John is coming from in saying that this is the way to do the technique based on the text.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Steven H




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PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall-

Just at Bill says the technique being shown does work. No dispute there. However, I don't see how it could work in the other ways in which krumphau is described. If we assume, as I do, that the same action is used in each of the different variants of Krump that appears in the texts then I do not see how this action matches all of the texts.

It does not cut over the hands. I don't see how it can attack the hands at all .

I do not see how it can "move the tip of your sword over his sword to a schrankhut" (Ringeck, trans Lindholm & Svard, pg. 60)(emphasis mine).

I do not see how it would work against an oberhau from his right.

The krump is described as pushing the opposing sword to the ground (Ibid, pg. 66) which the unter version shown cannot do.

Let me repeat - the technique does work. But it's not krump unless it can do all of the things that krump can do.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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