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Crafty_Dog
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« on: January 18, 2007, 09:18:15 AM »

Woof All:

Europe has many interesting systems in its history.  There is a movement of some people looking to explore them and see what can be resurrected from the many treatises in existence from hundreds of years ago. 

This thread is for such things.

TAC,
CD
==============================

I've only quickly skimmed this site, but it seems to have several URLs of interest.

http://www.drizzle.com/~celyn/jherek/archive.html
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armydoc
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2007, 01:12:27 AM »

Oh yes!   This has been going on for quite awhile now and there are several groups that have gotten quite good.   A few years back I even tried my hand at translating some of the old "fechtbuchen" from the old German.   I dabbled for awhile with the German Longsword methods, sword and buckler, Kampfringen (grappling) and dolchfechten (dagger fighting).   There are many good websites available now and several excellent books that have been published.   Be sure and check out:

http://www.thearma.org

http://www.chivalrybookshelf.com

Keith
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 05:35:51 AM »

A friend of mine, Roberto Laura, is exploring and teaching a lot of italian fighting systems: http://www.robertolaura.com/ (sorry, there is no English version) great stuff. I have used it at the Bern Gathering in the "warmup" knife fight.

Regards
Christian
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2007, 07:18:36 PM »

A friend of mine, Roberto Laura, is exploring and teaching a lot of italian fighting systems: http://www.robertolaura.com/ (sorry, there is no English version) great stuff. I have used it at the Bern Gathering in the "warmup" knife fight.

Regards
Christian

Hey Christian

Wjat is your take on it from the Bern gathering?

Have you been able to use it in any other sparring?


Jeff
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Usque Ad Finem
christianvonpraun
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 12:01:10 AM »

Hi Jeff,

I´m sorry, I am not a native speaker and I didn´t really get your first question.

Regarding your second question, Yes I use it quite often in my knife sparring.

Regards
Christian


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2007, 10:30:56 AM »

"What is your take on ___?" means the same thing as "What was your impression of ___?"
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2007, 11:09:35 AM »

Hi Marc,

thank you for that translation.

It worked very good for me, but I have to admit that I fought knife at the Gathering with a student/training partner of mine so there was nothing unexpected neither for him nor for me.

But on different sparring meetings, trainings etc. I have also tried it with people that I didn´t knew before and there too, it worked.

Regards
Christian
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2007, 06:42:47 PM »

Hi Marc,

thank you for that translation.

It worked very good for me, but I have to admit that I fought knife at the Gathering with a student/training partner of mine so there was nothing unexpected neither for him nor for me.

But on different sparring meetings, trainings etc. I have also tried it with people that I didn´t knew before and there too, it worked.

Regards
Christian

Christian

Sorry about that phrasing, I have heard and seen a few people who have problem's using European knife technique's, I use them(HEMA is my main area of study) and have realy not had much problem either.

The thing i see in most knife sparring is people never make a real commited attack.

I'll have to get some knife sparring on Video.

Jeff 
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2007, 12:46:43 AM »

Hi Jeff,

No problem, that way I have learned something new.

The Italian/European knife styles that I know are relatively easy and I think most of the European stuff is like that - so it can´t be the technique.

Maybe the people you are talking about just need more sparring experience.

Regards
Christian
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armydoc
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2007, 12:04:03 AM »

I just recently purchased the Los Triques DVD and watched it yesterday.   What struck me is that when Guro Crafty demonstrates the "off side lead" and the "Salty Strike", the roof block used to cover the head on the way in is very similar to what the old western broadsword/saber systems as well as western singlestick calls a "hanging guard."  It is a roof block that has the tip of the stick aimed towards the opponent rather than to the side.   It also follows a principle from English Quarterstaff that keeps the staff directly above when "twirling" in order to protect the head.

Keith
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2007, 07:15:48 PM »

Gent's

I think alot of people get intimidated by knife sparring, and rightfuly so, I am not much of a defensive fighter I try to protect myself while attacking, It seem's like alot of people attack and are thinking about not getting hit and so lack any protection and so only half heartedly attack because they fear committing to the attack because they will get hit.

I have also seen this in Longsword(hand and a half sword), that roof gaurd/hanging gaurd is a great gaurd for sword's it realy give's a very powerful followup cut i would imagine it facilitate's a powerful stick strike also because the power from the incoming blow can be added to your own power, that mystical energy redirection that is so prevelant in most MA.

Jeff
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2007, 09:21:48 AM »

Hello,

Roberto translated some of his articles to English. He would have posted them himself but his account is not yet activated, so I post them in his behalf. If you have any questions feel free to email him.

Quote
La Roncola Piemontese
- The ancient pruning knife from Piemonte -
At december 22nd 2005 I took a trip to my first teacher for italian martial arts, Maestro Antonio Merendoni, to Cervia. The purpose of the trip were the method of fighting with the pruning knife from Piemonte (ital. roncola piemontese), a system of fighting from Piemonte (north-east Italy) and the close to the french border living Sinti

Where and when the system of the pruning knife has been developed in Piemonte is not possible to say. Similar to the stick from Genova, north italian civil systems do not have the same written or oral provements as their sister system in mid- and south Italy. We just know that is is a symbiosis of agricultural concepts from Piemonte and the influence of french Sinti.

The roncola is primarly an agricultural tool. The need ist cutting mushrooms (in Piemonte especially truffels), to strike off branches (there are some very big pruning knifes in use) or to improve woods (e.g. I manufacture all my sticks with a pruning knife). The tip of the blade of the roncola is slightly curved.

The way of fighting basically is a cut- and tear method. Obviously the pattern of a seven (7) or/ and a reversed seven serves as orientation for the cutting sequenzes. Further there is a concept of simultaneous „disarming“ (ital. disarmo) while parrying. It is interesting that while performing the parades this way, the disarm is alway part of the action. The practioner does not have to thing about it anymore. Another advanteg of this idea is, that the parade fixes the opponent and impede eventual follow up attacks with his second hand.

After the first counter action (the disarmo) they follow up with the so called mortali (engl. the deadly). Depending from the counter, the follow up sequenzes rush heavily into the opponent. It is a very sophisticated close quarter system. Other characteristicals are powerfull shoulder strikes while closing distance, pulls and drags after or before the shoulder strike together with simultaneous tears with the roncola at the groin area of the opponent, kicks in the long range and low position while direct counter cutting (the low positions derives from the Sinti and require a good athletic preparation).
Also the changes between straight line action and a very intelligent way of angling is a specialty of this traditional art.

All in all the roncola piemontese is a simple and pragmatic but at the same time demanding way of blade fighting. It is a method from northern Italy which has been – like its sister arts from Roma, Napoli, Puglia or Sicilia -.preserved until today.



Roberto Laura
Italian Martial Arts

Quote

I Cavallieri d`Onore e d`Umiltà
(The Knights of Honour and Umility)

- A duell fighting art from Puglia, Italy -

A few weeks ago I have been in Italy visiting a group training a traditional knife fighting art from Puglia, Italy. I had the honor to be introduced in this method and to get the permission to come back for learning.

I will try to give a written overview. Please excuse if I cannot post pics at the moment. I will try to ask the next time I am there for training ... withou guaranty of success!

The system I Cavallieri d`Onore e d`Umiltà (engl. the Knights of Honour and Humility) derives from Manfredonia, Puglia, in the year 1417. With nearly 600 years it is one of the oldest civil knife fighting arts in Italy. As the legend says three templars, -, di Conte, Rosso and Fiorellin di Spagna, brought an archtype of the art reaching first Calabria and then Puglia to Manfredonia.

Their first pupils have been Peppino di Montalbano and a little later S. Severo Salvatore Balsamo. Those five persons until today are considered as the five founders an so there is the old phrase:

„Cinque e non meno di cinque. Cinque e non piu di cinque“ (engl. Five and not less then five. Five and not more then five)

There are constitiutions of ethics and honour and for chivalric- and martial values. The allownes to get to the fonte d`onore (engl. the source of honour) can only be reached through assignment by the chepntest (lat. coput) bzw. chepndrii (greek aner-andros). Litteraly it means capo di testa (engl. head of heads) or commandante di uomini (engl. commander of men). To the inner circle one gets through an oath of fidelty in front of the companions and the chepntest/ chepndrii.

Four handkerchiefs of different colours define the capacitiy of the student. The chord with the three knots symolizes the secret art within the art. Only as uomo d`onore* (engl. man of honour) the secrets will be revealed to oneself.

Further there still exist an old ritual of blood brotherhood with ones teacher and the other men of honour. All these is since many centuries.

The last great master of the art has been Maestro Matteo Ntrilingh. Nearly 100 years ago he emigrated looking for work to Argentinia. There he fought especially in stick fighting challenges and championships. He has been national champion of Argentinia until he left again and went back to Manfredonia. Back home he opend up a „public“ school for the art of i Cavallieri d`Onore e d`Umiltà.

Until today many schools and collateral lines derived from the school of Maestro Matteo Ntrilingh. They differ in details. The core principles and didactics are still the same as many centuries ago.

The progression of the system is divided as follow:

1) coltello e rasoio (engl. knife and razor/ cutthroat razor)
2) il bastone pugliese (engl. stick from Puglia/ sheperd stick)
3) a calci e schiaffi (engl. with kicks and slaps)
4) la roncola or a manichetta (engl. pruning knife or the little sleeve)

The curriculum for the knife is subdivided in five (5) didactic steps:

1)la libera (engl. the free)
2)la mezza chiusa e chiusa (engl. the half closed and the closed)
3)lo specchio (engl. the mirror)
4)a tagliare (engl. to cut)
5)la galleota (engl. from the convicted)


The bastone pugliese (engl. stick from Puglia or sheperd stick) has an average lenghts of about 4 feet, 2 inches (basically the stick should reach from bottom to oneselvs solar plexus) and consists of a form of 16 moves within it. The next step is a partner exercise called la catena (engl. the chain). This serves to learn how to use and combine the elements of the form in attack and defense. Attacks to the legs and frontal assaults (ital. assalti frontali) are a main part of these exercise. Finally there is free sparring (for sure this is also a big part of the knife fighting training).

The free sparring is done in two levels of intensity: a tempo di scuola (engl. at school velocity) and a chi ne sa piu (engl. who knows more).

Further they have a lot more of old institutions and rites which will only be revealed to the inner circle, to the uomini d`onore*.


Last words
The art i Cavallieri d`Onore e d`Umiltà is highly elegant, very fluid and explosiv and has a vast curriculum. It is a pure duelling system with a tradition of nearly 600 years. As soon as I wided my knowledge and get the permission I will write more in detail.


Copyright Roberto Laura
September 15th 2006


* This definition has nothing to do with the well known aspects of the criminal mafioso of the 19th century! The expression uomo d`onore in this context is much older and defines the chivalric character of the person, his tecnical finess and the affiliation to the circle of the school.

Quote
Il Bastone Genovese
- a nearly forgotten art of fighting from the city of Genova -

This year (2006) at march 18th I went to Genova, Italy, meeting with the italian cane master, Maestro Claudio Parodi. The maestro promised to give an overview of his old style fighting skills. The art consists of three stick methods (bastone a passeggio, bastone a due mani & desfa osse), knife fighting and two unarmed methods (Savate Genovese & Gambetto).

General informations
Genova is also called Zena (that is the dialect form) or simply la Superba (engl. the superb one) and la Dominante (engl. the dominant one). The Name Genova derives from genu, the knee.

The habor is a natural one and belongs to the biggest in Europe. The historic old town is said to be probably the biggest in Europe. In opposition to the old and plain buildings of the old town, Via Garibaldi is full of glorious palasts. Once the name of Via Garibaldi has been Via Aurora, the golden street.

As many other cities at the italian coast also the republic of Genova had a long martial tradition (especially as naval power). Further Genova had trade agreement with other countries. Most of all the republic of Genova worked together with Spain and Great Britain. In the past the genovesi were called gli inglesi, the english.

The ancient two handed stick from Genova/ bastone a due mani
This systems derives probably from Pera, a district in the city of Constantinopel. On account of their support while the reconquest of Constantinopel in the year 1273, the republic of Genova get the district Pera as present. It is difficult to say in which year exactly the two-handed-stick from Genova has been developed. Probably it happend between 1400 and 1450. Because it was a civil evolution there are no writen sources exept il ballo del bastone/ il ballo di malavita (engl. the dance of the stick/ the dance of the underworld) from 1442.

The habitants of Genova are extremly pragmatic persons. So they don`t even named their arts. The two-handed-stick is calles simply two-handed-stick (ital. bastone a due mani). In the art from Genova the weapon defines always the name of the art. The system also do not have any spiritual aspects. There is no salutation and no dresses or other habits to create a kind of team spirit. The only way to salute each other is shaking hands.

The avergare size of the stick is 125cm (4f, 1“) lenght and 3,5cm (2,5“) diameter. Normally the stick is held with both hands. The used wood is the cornus mas, the hardest wood in Europe.

In Genova carnival is celebrated since 1472. The procession started at Piazza Aquaverde and ended at Piazza San Giorgio in Banchi. Because of the agression of the population the processions mostly ended with struggles and duells. These incidents were the reason of a general prohibition around 1600 wearing knifes and two-handed-sticks within the city.

The walking-stick/ il bastone da passeggio
The above mentioned prohibition induced the population to stop using two-handed-sticks that much. For sure they still wore knifes even if not allowed. About 1750 the so called bastone corto da città (engl. short city stick) or bastone da passeggio (engl. walking stick) became more and more popular.

The stick has a lenght of 90cm to 100cm (2f, 95“ to 3f, 3“) and a diameter of 1,8cm to 2,2cm (0,71“ to 0,86“). The wood used in fighting is also cornus mas. Because the walking sticks at that time were part of wardrobe, everybody could carry it without violating law.

The narrow allies of the old town were involved in develpoment and evolution of principles, techniques and strategies. That is why the bastone genovese considers strategies if attacked by two or more persons armed with knife, truncheons or even unarmed trying to rob you. Concepts like the cüerta (engl. the covered), the raxea (engl. the shave) and the parpagiön (engl. the butterfly) has been developed for such special situations. It is also interesting that the system includes strategies against dog-attacks. This concept is called rönsa can (engl. expel the dog)-

The steep, narrow and sometimes slippery streets also required a simple and natural footwork. The system can be definde as simple, powerfull and at the same time elegant. Traditionally training and sparring takes place without protectional gear. Strikes and parades are kept very uncomplex. Striking power and striking frequenz are very important aspects of the art. The main fighting range is the long distance. While infight the fighters use the principles of the two-handed-stick.

The name of the core techniques (besides the above mentioned strategies against multiple attackers) are:

Cüerta (engl. the covered)
Mesu riündu (engl. half round)
Riündu (engl. round)
Sciabraa (engl. saber)
Siabraa a reversa (engl. reverse saber)
Traversa (engl. crosswise)
Caante (engl. falling)
Paa (engl. parade)
Paa axeisa (engl. swithced on parade)
Parpagiön (engl. the butterfly)
Cüerta alta (engl. the high guarded)
Raxea (engl. the shave)
Röoa (engl. the wheel)


The empty handed arts from genova, la Savate and Gambetto
About 1897-1898 Savate came probably via Marseille to Genova. The Savate Genovese over the years has not been influenced by sports. So this system also includes aspects of the old style chausson. Besides of regular punches and kicks the systems disposes of knee strikes, slaps, backhand stikes, ellbow strikes and hammerfists.

Also the italian art Gambetto found its way to Genova. Until today it is nearly impossible to say where this art derives from and how old the art is. The Gambetto contains only infight techniques and is specialised in breaking the limbs of the upper body (wrist, ellbo, shoulder and neck). The only ways of striking within this art are the headbutt, the hammerfist and nd specil punch thrown with the knuckles. Another characteristic are takedowns with the intension to smash the head of the opponent to the asphalt.


The bone-fracturer / desfa osse or stocca osse
This weapon is nothing else then a short stick (about 18“ to 20“: this way it is easy to hide it underneath the coat). The tips of the stick are filled with lead to increase weight and striking power. The idea of this method is not to fight stick against stick. The intension is to defend oneself against unarmed attackers or knife fighters. There are only a few techniques within the system (about 5) and so it is pretty easy to learn.


The knife/ il coltello
This method is very interesting. It is an knife art which consists of only eight (Cool moves and a special way of cutting. As far as I know the techniques did not even have names. As Maestro Parodi told me before it does not take more then 10 to 20 minute to learn this system.

Last words
I truly hope to have enriched a little the knowledge about italian martial arts. As soon as possible the next translation will follow. Please excuse my english.

Ciao a tutti ...

Roberto

to be continued...
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2007, 09:23:00 AM »

Quote
The Civil Knife Systems of Italy



Introduction
The italian knife fighting traditions has its roots in the teaching of the maestri d`armi from 1350. The most important period of this arts was between 1850 and 1950. In this periods the goverments prohibited to wear swords within cities and so the knife became the new weapon - espaecially to the so called „società onorevoli“ like the Camorra, Mafia and `Ndragheta. The peculiarities of italian knife fighting systems are the use of fencing lines, the thrus(ital. stoccata, puntata, punta) and the fact they consist of only a few techniques* (many of the system has got less then 10-12 techniques. But there are lso exeptions).

One of the most interesting idea of some italian methods ist the so called pazziata. The word derives from pazzia (engl. madness, insanity, mania). Pazziata can be translates as `the dance of the mad´. Not every region in Italy uses this term. In Napoli it is said to be used more often. Others call it la libera or use specific names realted to their dialect.

The sinn of this dance is to distract or also to lure the opponent. Time by time the practioner put in every actions he knows. So besides the regular postures of the specific system also feints (ital. finte), deceptions (ital. inganni), kicks (ital. calci), jumps (ital. salti d`assalto) and so on will be part of the dance.Because when training for oneself spectators do not understand what the person is doing, some claim he is mad. That is where e.g. the name pazziata comes from.

*there are also systems with a vast curriculum. But this is always a relative statement. Even the most extensive systems can be learned in a pretty short time.

 
Mid- and south Italy
Most of the systems come from mid of Italy (ital. meridione) or south Italy (ital. meridione estremo). Especially from the regions: Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Calabria and Sicilia. The regional schools (ital. scuola/ scuole) are devided intpo nine (9) main lines:

1) scuola romana
2) scuola napoletana
3) scuola salernitana (speciallized in fighting with two knifes)
4) scuola foggiano-barese
5) scuola brindisino-leccese
6) scuola tarantina
7) scuola calabrese
8 ) scuola palermitana
9) scuola catanese

Further there is also the school of the in Italy living Sinti and Roma. The Sinti and Roma developed their own systems, which are based heavily on kicking and the constant changes of the knife from one hand to the other.

All those regional schools differs dependent from the city and/ or family they derive from. Nearly every italian scuola teaches the use of the knife in addition with a jacket/ coat on the free hand, how to fight in tight places or how to fight with captived hands and so on.
 

North Italy
From nothern Italy (ital. italia settentrionale) derive the criminal systems from Milano, Torino, Genova and Venezia. Northers ystems are much more dificult to find as their sister-styles in the south of the country. The regions of Liguria and Piemonte are influenced by the french and by the french Sinti. The main difference to southern stylse is that many of the nothern styles – especially those deriving from the above mentioned criminal gangs - use to fight more in the gioco stretto/ corto, the short distance. Further they like to fight with the roncola (engl. the pruning knife), a knife with a slightly curved tip and also with hatchets.

For sure there are also long distance fighting arts. More then somewhere else in northern Italy the walking stick is practised. This systems derives from classical saber fencing. Further civil variations of the walking stick are common (in my article Bastone Genovese I presented one of them).


Last words
This is for sure only a very brief description about our systems. It is impossible to know them all. Italy has probably the highest variations of knife fighting arts in the world. Some systems differs completely one to each other, even if they derive from the same location. If you should have any questions to this or to the following rticles please do not hesitate.

Best wishes ....

Roberto
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 11:31:34 AM by christianvonpraun » Logged
Karsk
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2007, 12:29:51 PM »

Hiyas,

First in introduction:  I am an olde guye (53) I have practiced martial arts for a reasonably long time and while I have spent a lot of time practicing karate, I have also had the good fortune to have wrestled and I have had a chance to study some other grappling arts and weapons. In a lot of ways I guess my MO is not much different than a lot of folks out there in the martial arts. I learned about the Dog Brothers a quite a few years ago from one of our senior karate guys (Caylor Adkins) who met some of the Dog Brothers in another context.   Anyway, I got interested and I have enjoyed learning more about you all from this website.  I like the ideas you promote here. 

With regard to European martial arts, I started fencing in college and as I practiced Asian martial arts I started wondering about the European Traditions.  I tried to learn about  real swordfighting was like in the past.   I learned a bit about rapier fighting and armored fighting and I tried it in some of the groups out there that do those sorts of things.  The SCA and some other groups play at it and while there are some pretty tough and gifted people in those groups there are also a bunch of people who just wanna have fun.  I guess that's OK by me.  Sometimes its just fun to play.  The rules of sparring in such groups is really distracting though.  Most are really careful about safety and liability and have adapted practice weapons that don't match the characteristics of real swords.  There are other groups out there that try to do a better job and I noticed that some of them are linked above.  Underneath it all is a real interesting study though.

There are lots or really interesting old books that you can find on the net.  Here is one:  http://www.aemma.org/onlineResources/silver/contents_body.htm

Ol George was an Englishman about the time when there where European Schools of Fence.  He was of humble origins I believe and was a proponent of cut and thrust swords. These are the heavier swords typically used by soldiers of the day as opposed to rapiers that were mostly focused on thrusts.  There are lots of stories about rival groups arguing about what was better and it tickles me how things back then were similar to today in that respect.  At any rate,  if you can wade through the old style of writing you will find a serious attempt at   martial arts instruction. 

I have also read through writing from Italian, French and Spanish schools.  I don't know how true this is but the three seemed to be characterized by flavors...the French seemed to like counter attacking and finesse, the Spanish liked a very aggressive forward pressing feeling, and the Italians seems to mix it up. 

Some of the books on the longsword from Germany show really cool combinations of throws, kicks, strikes along with sword work.  Mostly these are in drawings.  I think that practicing back then surely must have been realistic and "Dog Brother" like.

I thought I recalled that some folks were experimenting with medieval weapons in a Gathering.  I don't recall seeing or hearing of the outcome of those experiments. 

 

At the site of the Battle of Visby in Sweden ( http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-of-visby )  Archaeologists uncovered mass graves.  The armor in those graves was mostly a kind of leather armor with metal plates in it,  shin guards and forearm guards.  Many of the injuries were of the lower legs.  And they also used shields.


Adding a shield is an interesting experience to edged weapon fighting.  Shields are defensive but also offensive in nature.  A round shield has a handle in the middle of the shield and kite shields attach to the forearm.  Both were used to deflect and absorb attacks but they were also used to cover actions and also to strike an opponent. The edge of the shield was like an extension of a punch.  There were smaller shields called bucklers that were used in conjunction with rapiers or short swords. The buckler could prevent slashed and thrusts.

I think there is really something to learn here.  What do you guys think about the addition of shields and armor in gatherings  for the purposes of studying this?  I don't mean armor for the sake of protection in order to spar without the risk.  I understand the philosophy of minimal protection.  I mean the inclusion of armor as a real component of combat as it was in the past. How does that change things? 

For example,  what if people wore forearm  and shin guards in fights?  How does the addition of chest armor and a rigid gorget (neck protection) alter the outcome of a knife fight for example?   A good gorget is sufficient to prevent a fang choke I think. 

What sort of modern equivalent would make sense to wear for police officers?  Do they already have such things?  Would the addition of forearm guards and light but effective chest armor increase the capacity for defense and save lives in realistic situations.  I have experienced this a little though probably not with the same intensity that occurs at a gathering.  It did change things and it did enable me to counter things that I previously could not.

P.S.   I suppose its intriguing to think about the rest of us as well and not just police officers.  Like training with things that can deflect weapons that we find in the environment.  Does that really work?  The historical texts are filled with people using items like lanterns and coats to help against knife attacks.   Does that really work?   I think it ought to but it has to be practiced.  Is there something that you could wear or put on that would help protect you in an emergency situation if you had some lead time?   

Cheers,

Mike

« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 02:31:48 PM by Karsk » Logged
christianvonpraun
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2007, 05:33:26 AM »

Hi,

it´s me again, could someone please activate Roberto´s account?

He asked me to put this into the forum:

Quote

"I have also read through writing from Italian, French and Spanish schools. I don't know how true this is but the three seemed to be characterized by flavors...the French seemed to like counter attacking and finesse, the Spanish liked a very aggressive forward pressing feeling, and the Italians seems to mix it up."
 


Dear Mike,

you are writing of so called traditional fencing arts. The flavor for sure exist in some italian arts ... but only until a certain point and with the goal of efficiency. In some FMA they do the same. Lok at Tuhon Gaje, master Umpad or Master Villabrille. The y are very elegant AND effeicient. One does not to exclude the other.

The arts I am talking about in my rticles ars living rts. They are not to find in books and have been preserved until today. Some of them derive from agriculture, some from street gangs from Milano, Torino, Genova and Roma, some derive from the so called `honorbale societies´ (all about 1850/ 1869) and some from the midages and so from warfare (circa 1400).

Dependin of the region influences of other cultures can be seen. Most of all there are spanisch, greek and north african influences (this especially in Sicily).

Some of this systems for sure have flavor but htey re very aggressiv too. Some are bully and some are more like fencing. Sme work in very low positions, some in a stand up positions, others (i.e. the system I use) work in frontal and dynamik stances (similar to Lameco Eskrima).

Some years ago I did not even know Italy still has its fighting arts. Today I know there are still many off them and they are older then most of their asian sister-styles. As soon as you know one Maestro you get in contact with others. It is impossible to learn all systems. Therefore a person would need many lifes. But the variation is that big, tha everybody can find a system which works for himself.

By the way: there are many written proofs for the existens of these arts. As soon as I hvae time I will translate some of them in english.

Ciao

Roberto
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2007, 07:19:04 AM »

I've notified my wife Cindy/Pretty Kitty and asked her to take care of it today.
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2007, 07:56:38 AM »

I've notified my wife Cindy/Pretty Kitty and asked her to take care of it today.

Great, thank you.
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pretty_kitty
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2007, 09:45:57 AM »

Please have Reberto e-mail me so I can assist him.
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Cindy "Pretty Kitty" Denny.
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christianvonpraun
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2007, 11:30:37 AM »

OK.
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2007, 04:12:00 PM »

Hey Christian, Roberto

I think even looking at the Manual's of Germany, Italy and Spain from 1250 until 1600, they have a certain flavor, In the german Longsword they seem vary grounded, solid, hard hitting, and the Italian seem's very fluid, quick in and out, almost like a dance, then the Italian and Spanish rapier is more of a Long slender thrusting only weapon for civil self defense and German rapier is more of a cut and thrust weapon.

I study mainly the old German manual's so i could be wrong, It is all good stuff.

Jeff
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roberto
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2007, 11:30:08 AM »

@Jeff

The italian fencng system is for sure fluid and aggressiv. Also it uses use grounded positions. But as I said before this are non living arts anymore.

Our knife-systems certainly derive from this systems but they evolved in a very specific way in relation to the knife, the razor, the pruning knife, the walking stick and the sheperd stick.

Especially the knife, the razor, the pruning knife and the sheperd stick have their very own flavor (the walking stick still looks like fencing respectively loke saber fencing). Some of the knife systems look still like fencing too (especilally some systems from the region of Palermo, Sicily), others do not look like fencing at all (e. g. the systems of northern Puglia).

This systems from Puglia, Catania or Campania and Lazio are difficult to describe. They have to be seen. They also do not look (some for sure does) like Filipno Martial Arts. It is a very individual way of expression. I like the systems from Puglia most because of their variation and mobility. Further they switch from a fluid defense to a bully ofense.

Ciao

Roberto

PS: I hope you guys excuse my english. I am also thankfull for corrections.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2007, 06:17:13 AM by roberto » Logged
bjung
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2007, 07:28:50 AM »

Has anybody done any SCA stuff/sparring? do they have SCA in europe?
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roberto
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2007, 07:47:51 AM »

Has anybody done any SCA stuff/sparring? do they have SCA in europe?

Would you please explain what SCA is? Thanks ...

Roberto
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2007, 11:26:00 AM »

Society for Creative Anacronisms

I think we have had a couple of threads about them.  Use the search function and see what you can find , , ,
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Karsk
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2007, 12:26:59 PM »

I have done some sparing with the SCA.  The SCA approach to sparring is largely a sport with a ruleset that really makes the experience rather unrealistic.   I did learn from it and to be sure there are higher level fighters who are extremely good at what they do.   The approach falls short in my honest opinion though.

Guys wear armor of varying degrees of authenticity.  Some of the armor is made out of plastic, some is leather, and some is made of steel or other metals.  Generally people try to make the armor according to patterns of real armor and they try to make it so the mass of the armor is similar to the original.  The weapons are made of rattan sticks that are about 1 1/4 " in diameter.  They usually have some sort of guard for the hands ( a basket hilt) or people wear metal gauntlets, or failing that, hockey gloves.  The mass of the weapons tends to be heavy compared to real swords which the items are intended to simulate.  The average medieval sword weighed in at about 2 to 3 lbs (http://www.thearma.org/essays/weights.htm).  I have a samurai sword that is similar in mass.  The mass of lots of SCA weapons is more like 4 to 5 lbs.   This changes things. 

Prior to a fight, the contestants gauge their blows.  That means that they decide ahead of time how hard they are going to clobber each other.  So with the heavy weapons, they further modify the situation by hitting lightly, according to what they have decided. If they get hit in the legs they drop to the knees to continue the fight ( really goofy).  Finally they do not hit below the knees and they avoid attacking in ways that are seriously dangerous. Like smacking a guy on the back of the head while they get up.

The winner of the contest is decided by the contestants.  The saying goes "Let the slain man say when he be slain".  That means that the guy who gets hit gets to decide if the blow was solid enough to warrant accepting it as a debilitating blow given the gauging that they set up. If he doesn't take the blow the opponent then ups the degree of impact a little until the receiver finally says OK "ya got me".  The system is kinda neat in that two things are recognized. Prowess as well as honesty.  People get applauded for both.

So its a fun thing to do in that it never gets too serious.  Its more of a game than the kind of serious combat practice that the DBMA engages in. 

How could the system be better?  Well, there are groups  (ARMA) that try to use practice weapons that are more authentic.  Instead of using round sticks they use edged practice weapons.  Either metal or some other material and sometimes the weapons are padded sometimes not.  Better practice sword weapons are the right weight and balance and they have an edge.  Using these places wearing armor into a more realistic context. 

Its interesting to see what a real edged weapon can do to armor:  http://www.thearma.org/Videos/NTCvids/testingbladesandmaterials.htm

Some of this is kinda geeky but the intent is to see what would actually happen if you struck someone with an edged or pointed weapon on armor. 

To try to understand fighting with edged weapons in a sparring context is challenging because real edged weapons seem to me to be so dangerous.  How do you simulate that?  One way is to use sticks that are the approximate weight and heft and then go at it and go at it wearing armor.  But the lack of an edge and the lack of a cut is not the same as a sword and how armor is affected by a stick is different than a hit with a sword.  To be sure, sticks can be just as nasty as you guys frequently demonstrate but it is different.  You can fight with edged metal weapons of appropriate mass and balance with and without armor.  The sum of all the different ways of simulating this adds up to give you understanding I reckon.

n some ways blunt weapons can shock a guy in armor better but in other ways its less effective.  To try to understand the nature of a sword cut you can also try real swords out out on things to see what cutting really feels like.  The ease that a cut can slice through meat and bone is a bit daunting.  The attack has to have more precision since the edge has to be oriented properly to make the cut. Off edge hits are really less effective.    As the video clip above shows, the edged authentic swords actually can cut through certain kinds of armor.  Pointed weapons, battle hammers, are pretty effective in piercing armor.

I don't know if this sort of exercise is of interest here.  I personally find it to be interesting at least academically.  I am not sure if these lessons transfer into a modern training for realistic situation though.  I suspect that some of it might.

What do yo folks think of such activities?

Mike

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2007, 12:41:43 PM »

Tricky Dog up in Vancouver was playing with some guys in some pretty serious medieval knight armor a couple of years ago.  I'll see if I can get him to post.
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Karsk
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2007, 03:14:45 PM »

Cool.  I live in BC also.  Perhaps I could make contact with Tricky?
Mike
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2007, 03:27:02 PM »

Hey Mike

I was an ARMA member for 2 year's and still practice weekly with the local group, ARMA use's 4 tool's to train wooden waster's(similar to shanai, they were used historicly) for drill's and light sparring, blunt steel also for light sparring and drill's, sharp steel for actual cutting, and padded weapon's for full speed and full contact sparring.

There are 2 way's to approach fighting with a sword armoured and unarmoured and the technique's for armoured can be used against someone unarmoured but not the other way around, when armoured it is rare to see a cut, or slice, it is mostly halfsword work where one hand is on the hilt the other hold's the blade about half way up this is to facilitate throwing your opponent and getting the point into the joint's of the armour, a cut has little or no effect on plate armour.

The SCA is very artifical in there ruleset, When we spar in ARMA it is pretty all out we throw each other and hit pretty hard we do use the "honor" system though as to if the hit was a debilatating hit or not such as this:



 this was done with a wooden waster and I am pretty sure in a real sword fight i would have lost my right hand.

this is a 3 day old bruise from a thrust to my chest

 

which bent a fiberglass rapier simulator about 2 inch's so i am pretty sure that would have been bad also, I know this because i have test cut and thrust with accurate replica weapon's on meat and bone to get a good idea of what it take's to go through flesh.

I am a big proponent of training as realisticly as possible, that is one problem we face in HEMA the fact that we can never realy be absolutely sure whether it would work, because it is impossible for us to get into a real sword fight we can test our unarmed though because we can grapple/wrestle in a pretty rela enviroment which my gorup does on a fairly regular basis.

that is one thing with HEMA there is a plethora of manual's both armed and unarmed, if people have an interest it is out there for us, that is one of the thing's that brought me to the DB was the realistic training and acceptance of so many diffrent art's.


Jeff
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 03:32:13 PM by Jeff Gentry » Logged

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roberto
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2007, 11:16:45 PM »

Has anybody done any SCA stuff/sparring? do they have SCA in europe?

Now I know. Sure there is. But it is not what I am involved in and so unfortunately I do not have informations about it.

Roberto
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roberto
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« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2007, 11:18:08 PM »

Has anybody done any SCA stuff/sparring? do they have SCA in europe?

Now I know. Sure there is. But it is not what I am involved in and so unfortunately I do not have informations about it.

We just use wooden knife replicas (some use short nail files. I don`t.) and sticks.

Roberto
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trickydog
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« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2007, 11:42:25 PM »

Hi all - Crafty was successful rousing me....

As he said, I spent about 18 months with the local SCA folks in the Vancouver area, playing what is gently referred to as "heavy death" fighting.  Mike's description of that is pretty accurate to my experience.  So I'll spare you the redundancy.  But I can say a few more things that struck me (besides their blunted weapons).

First, coming from the DB set, I figured that I had a goodly amount of challenge for them.  After all, put on some armour and you're way more protected.  Throw in some rules and a shield and I might as well be shooting fish in a barrel.

Ouch!  Not so fast.  I did have more than the usual amount of endurance and strength for a newbie.  And  I developed skills somewhat faster.  But these guys were really good at their game.  Granted you can say all kinds of things relative to sharpened blade realism.  But the blows really landed, and they really hurt, and the typical shield (otherwise referred to as a "heater") was a whole new game.  I don't underplay the value of this way of fighting - unless you only care what happens to you in a back alley with a tire iron.  Me personally, I'm looking for a variety of interesting fight experiences and this has that much going for it.

Some of you have likely played with shields before - it's a fascinating addition to the stick and should make a more regular appearance at the Gathering.  But that said, it takes some re-training.  The oversized, chevron shaped heaters (classic knight's shield) is much harder to deal with than I expected.  For one, there is an optimal position to hold it in.  It shouldn't be moved very far out of that position (sort of like a fencer's guard).  A subtle movement of a few inches in any direction can pick up almost every attack.  Over movement results in blindness as you lose sight of your opponent, or exposure of a critical target.  It reminded me of flying remote controlled airplanes - the inexperienced pilot will start oversteering in moments of panic and then Wham!  Noise first.

Although I worked hard at the heater and broadsword (about 36-40" long), I started fighting "Florentine" style - two broadswords with no shield.  Obvious for anyone in FMA - it's basically slow sinawali with big sticks and you can hit 3-to-2 and use either sword as a shield.  Then I didn't lose sight of my opponent and my FMA reflexes could kick in and pick up the slower incoming shots fairly easily.  I was just starting to get some respect when I stopped....

I have to say that I quite respect the SCA while realizing that they are working within rules - they proudly claim that the insurance rating of their fighting events is on par with lawn bowling.   Not that no one gets hurt - just that they've convinced the insurance people that they are sane.  ARMA or some of the other groups are doing very interesting things as well - and I might be more tempted to play with them in the future.  But.....

Why did I stop?  Well I believe I posted on that somewhere around here a while ago.   Ah, here it is:
  http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?PHPSESSID=5134fa71e8a3ebd46f9ac36cee04a237&topic=64.msg1428
But basically, while fighting heater and broadsword in bearpit (sort of king-of-the-castle based on "honor kills" as Mike describes it), I ranged back away from a newbie fighter, right foot back, expecting to come back in on the open sword arm and Snap!..... I knew what it was when I hit the ground despite having never snapped an Achilles tendon before. 

So I stopped fighting SCA.  It took six months in a ski boot and then another 6 months of rehab to get me back to 110% (yeah!  of course I'm better than before!).  I figured the extra 40 lbs of armour, shield, helm, and sword might have had something to do with it.  Maybe not what my fast moving feet are best accustomed to.  In fact,  I was starting to teach some of the SCA fighters some FMA footwork because it wasn't their usual game.

There were other weapons to try but I never got around to them.  Round boss shields or small round hand shields with daggers out either end, 6' long two-handers, staffs, maces, even bow and arrow (with bird blunts).  And you could make up stuff if you wanted to - just had to follow the conventions for marking your weapons for how they could be used.  For example, if the tip was not properly covered and marked, you couldn't thrust.  But you could make almost anything work.  Unfortunately, one of the hard rules was that you couldn't use the shield itself offensively - that's a key aspect to good shield fighting and probably why we aren't using them in the Gathering.  They can be brutal.

The other fighting the SCA have at tourney is "rapier fighting" - that might be more interesting to me if I were to go back.  None of the sheer impact of the heavy death.  But definitely cool garb - I love an excuse to dress up.... not that armour isn't dressed up but let's face it.  The cloak and leather gloves with a plumed hat is hard to beat.

The SCA folks are some hard-drinking, hard-partying, hard-fighting folks.  No knocks 'til you've tried it.  Worth it too if you have a friend who can loan you some decent armour (instead of using crappy hockey cast-offs).

Post-scriptum:  A few days after a particularly lively bout of SCA training, I went to see a massage therapist.  Nothing serious just looking to stetch out some tense muslces.  After the session, she takes me aside and says: "You know, if you were a woman, I'd feel obligated to urge you to seek help from the appropriate authorities.  But, as a man, I'll just settle for asking you about all those weals on your inner thighs."  I was very confused.  Weals?  Bruises?  On my inner thighs?  Then I recalled that the cuisses (armor covering my upper legs) had been pinching me rather badly during the fighting and, as I saw on later inspection, had left some rather nasty and suggestive looking marks.  Of course, telling her that it was due to "fighting in shield and armour" was as much a surprise to her as anything she suspected....... ha ha ha thud!

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bjung
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« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2007, 10:22:27 AM »

wow. good reading. i've been a bit interested in SCA, it has always looked like fun.

Another question for Euro practitioners is how many of you study stage combat/combat for the theatre/sword choreography and how does that fit in to how or what you study? I remember looking into fencing awhile back and it seemed that there was some cross interest between the sport as well as applying technique for the stage/screen. for those of us who know little about euro arts, most of what i see comes from movies, how realistic is stage choreography compared to the texts you've studied?

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Karsk
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« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2007, 12:43:19 PM »

Heh!  Good Reading.  I can honestly say that I lots of fun doing armored fighting.  Tricky is right.  While the ruleset of the SCA is odd, the experience still gives you lots to think about and learn from.   Like him I spent a bit of time with the folks in the SCA participating in the combat.   

I tried both rapier fighting and "heavy" fighting.  Think  swashbuckling et cetera when you think of rapiers.  In rapier fighting the movement is circular  and you often use something in your off hand to help parry or block.  They were not into coupling strikes or throws with the swords  nor did they grapple.  In all the old books though, grappling and striking are mentioned or depicted.  The attack is mostly by thrust or drawing ( slicing) the opponent.   Rapiers really were not suited for cuts.   Field swords as I mentioned above were shorter and stouter and used for both cut and thrust.  I coerced several people into experimenting with me using cut and thrust weapons against rapiers.   It was not an accurate comparison because they constrained themselves to a rather stylized way of fighting.

When I fought with armor I used what is called a center boss round shield.  It is the kind of shield that has a hand grip in the middle and no attachment to the arm.  It has a bit more mobility and is very cool to use as a weapon ( though as Tricky said, you can't hit with shields in the SCA...at home we padded some and tried it a bit.  It has an advantage over heaters in that it can be held at various distances from the body more easily.  If you push it away from you the opponent sees less. You can move behind it and change your attack and they don't know it.  As a result, the range of the fight increases a bit, particularly if you allow hits below the knees.  The shield can be used thrust and to clip an opponent or to reach out and hold the other guys shield down.

In terms of attacking, there were two unique types of hits that I learned about.  One was called a "WRAP"  where you shoot the weapon past the opponent's head as you enter close and strike them behind the head in a whippy back to your own center motion.   The other was kind of like a rotating roof block. If I held a roof block in my left hand and rotated my hand and elbow counterclockwise the business end of the weapon rotates backwards behind your back and the back edge strikes the opponent in the face or head.

Armor is interesting.  The main thing about armor that is trying to simulate medieval armor is the heat.  When you wear the armor you are are carrying about 35 to 45 lbs depending on the set up.  That's a medium backpack filled with gear.  You wear a padded shirt (about the thickness of 2 sweatshirts quilted together), and then the armor itself over top.  Solid armor doesn't breath much.  Some people wear chain mail which is a little better but it is less effective at handling blunt weapons than leather or plate steel so its not as common in this group  as it really was. It's also time consuming to make.  The standard wear is a helm, shoulder protection, elbow and forearm guards, and upper leg/knee protection.  Lots of people in the SCA do not wear anything on their shins because they don't hit down there but I chose to wear it because historically everyone wore that as a minimum for the legs.  some really big guys wear absolute minimal protection.  Other guys are fully set up.

On a hot summer day, the amount of water you loose and the heat you generate is phenomenal.   You need people around to siphon water to you about every 10 minutes.  The mass you carry plus the heat and water loss alone is something to get used to. But the cool thing is you can pretty easily as long as you stay hydrated.  I am really not sure how they actually dealt with this issue way back when.

 As you practice though, at some point the armor feels less foreign and more natural.  You get used to the cadence and speed of the attacks which are altered with the weight and the weight and heft of the weapons.   You are harder to hurt and your movements are somewhat more measured.

As to battles,  I got chances to fight in shield walls, in buildings and enclosed spaces, and against arrows.  There I was out in the field of battle anticipating combat with those guys over there.  I looked up in the sky and saw a little dot rapidly growing larger.  As the thought "What IS that?" passed through my consciousness I was struck with a resounding PLINK  right in the mesh of my helmet.  Game over for me!

Try running across a field to attack an enemy.  It's embarrassing for modern guys to do this. 

Based on my experiences I gained a lot of respect for the medieval knights. There was an account of one fellow who became unhorsed among foot soldiers (around the 1500s) wearing some sophisticated German armor.  He was pulled down and pummeled for quite a long time with the regulars trying to hurt him with whatever implements that they had.  They failed to kill him though he was bleeding out of all of his joints.  He recovered and went on to fight throughout the day blood and all. 


Cheers,

Mike
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Karsk
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« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2007, 01:21:22 PM »

Oh and as to stage fighting,  here is my understanding:

Some is better than others though it all is modified to make it look interesting on screen.   I had a chance to practice with a re-creation group in Scotland.  Their intent was to replicate battles and fights between individuals. They wanted things to look exciting and realistic but without actually doing it.  It's choreography and while some people may also be accomplished fighters and bring their knowledge to bear in the choreography, the choreography just "looks" like a fight.  It's not a fight.  The timing is wrong distance is wrong targets are wrong... right for the appearance but not for a real situation.


If you are asking for opinions about cool movies and the fight scenes in them I thought that the movie Cyrano de Bergerac played by Gérard Depardieu was interesting but that was a long time ago. Shrugs.

Mike
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2007, 05:35:37 PM »

Bjung

As far as stage fighting most of the big fight director's are taught sport/Olympic fencing which is a far cry from what was done historicly, There are actualy refrence's to traveling show's in manual's written in the 15th century the German's commonly refered to them as kloppfechter's roughly translated it mean's clown fighter, I wish more fight director's choreographer's would use real historic technique's.

In kingdom of heaven alot of Euro practioner's were surprised by the Posta di Falcona gaurd because it is a real gaurd in the system of Fillipo Vadi, it went down hill after that though.


Maybe i should join you folk's in a gathering and do a little stick and buckler work, I doubt a "sword"(wooden waster) would be a good idea seeing how much more mass it has if someone where hit too hard with it that would not be good.

I have thought about coming to a gathering before just didn't know of an acceptable weapon, maybe stick and buckler wood be the way to go.


Jeff
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bjung
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« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2007, 07:07:42 PM »

any weapons are acceptable if the fighters agree to it (see the threads on tasers and cattle prods). although fighting against a 3 pound piece of wood seems quite intimidating...
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2007, 04:52:00 AM »

any weapons are acceptable if the fighters agree to it (see the threads on tasers and cattle prods). although fighting against a 3 pound piece of wood seems quite intimidating...


Yea that is much heavier than your eskrima stick's, I know i would not want to be on the receiving end of a full speed strike from one of our waster's, I could do the same thing with a stick though.

Jeff
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2007, 10:47:37 AM »

DBMA Association member Marlon wrote this:

http://www.stockkampf.ch/archiv/article01.html
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Karsk
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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2007, 06:38:45 PM »

Here is another angle on European martial arts.  It has to do with values training and the development of character.  It seems to me that some of the concepts of the Dog Brothers philosophy is around preparing for real possibilities of self defense.  Implicit in that is an appreciation of character.  Some people out there are holding very strongly to the idea of there being a bit of a knighthood of people who try to have certain martial values.  Sometimes these folks are not strongly attached to realistic martial arts. Sometimes they are.  What are your thoughts on this area?

http://www.chivalrytoday.com/index.html

A site that is along the lines of what I am talking about.



 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2007, 01:44:49 AM »

Woof Karsk:

It sounds like there is a very interesting question lurking in your post, but the meaning of the actual question is not clear to me.  Would you mind taking another stab at it?

TIA,
CD
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Karsk
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« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2007, 01:42:41 PM »

Yeah,  that does sound a bit nebulous doesn't it?  Let's see...what am I getting at?

I am a father of sons.  I have two good men for sons and I have raised up and taught a lot of young fellows (and women too but I see some things with us guys that needs attention these days).  I used martial arts training as a means to teach them some things about being men and about being good people.   To me, martial arts has been about learning to fight but also about learning when to fight and why.  Embedded in the history of martial arts in many places world wide there are traditions of  developing character through the martial practice.  One of the reasons that I became interested in European Martial Arts was because I wanted to search out traditions from my own culture about the development of character and nobility. I wanted to find something that resonated deeply in my own psyche in this.

Stories of nobility are always colored by the mores and political nature of the times that they exist in.  The actual behavior that people present as being noble may vary as a result.  And people are always growing and so do not always act according to their ideals. We struggle.   But I have been amazed at the nearly universal recognition of noble virtues through the martial traditions and among individuals that I have met.

The Dog Brothers is about as real as I think practice in the martial arts can get and that is admittedly based on an uninformed position of watching a few videos and reading things here on the forums.  So you have captured something essential in your practice that I think a lot of people are missing.  How do you approach the idea of character development?  Is there responsibility in teaching to build character purposefully?  Does it happen to each of us incidentally as we endeavor in martial practice?  How do we distinguish from merely being tough guys of varying degrees and flavors of morality and something more?  In short, are their Knights?


Karsk
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2007, 02:33:31 PM »

Woof Karsk:

Outstanding!

This deserves its own thread.  Would you please repost what you have posted here as a new thread?

TAC,
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uwabami
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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2007, 02:57:00 PM »

Hi there!
I'm from Latvia, so my English not so good, but I'll try to tell about one European MA.
In small group of enthusiasts we practice Spanish knife techniques and a kind of 'dirty' boxing.
Out site is www.navaja.lv, but all content in Russian, so you can only to see some videos... Ghm.. I think, better to put them on youtube

This 'Spanish knife' comes from Czech, where our instructor was living for few years. It's hard to say how much these techniques are really Spanish, but they differs from Filipino techniques as much as I have seen.
Main techniques are 7 stubs and 7 cuts. There is a lot of counter-techniques which comes from rapier fencing, and now looking very strange, but some of them can be adopt to modern weapon like lightweight folding knives. Also we do a lot of boxing exercises, especially for footwork.

There is two counter techniques
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FKXg3b3LT

And there me and my colleague doing base exercise called 'windmill'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmgS5y9x8Yk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZJDrq2fMnc

Also we do sparrings with rubber or wood knives, and sometimes with Spyderco steel training knives. For protection we use ice-hockey visors like this one http://www.hockeydogs.com/images%5Cproducts%5Cbauerfm10cle.jpg

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Karsk
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« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2007, 06:25:31 PM »

Hi all,

Just came across this paper on a website dedicated to European martial arts.

http://www.thearma.org/essays/Getting-Punchy.pdf


Its about the lack of boxing as opposed to grappling in medieval manuals of fighting.   The author is saying that boxing as an endeavour separated from wrestling was not common and then goes on to try to explain why that might be.  One thing he notices is that this is similar to japan in that striking was in the context of grappling.  (Karate was an Okinawan import to Japan.  His comparison is to the homegrown Japanese martial arts.

This is not a refereed paper or anything but it does have a bunch of references.  I do not know if he is right or not and it reads a little redundantly but I am sharing it because of the cool images.

EDIT:  After re-reading this fellows paper, I had a bit more to add.  His main thesis is that german knights did not practice pugilistic martial arts like boxing, wing chun, or karate.   He is basing this on a preconceived notion of what those things are or how they developed.    If you look through the images, you can see a series that depicts what he calls boys  performing wrestling yet most of the moves involve striking or some defense against striking.  They look like pugilistic martial arts to me.   His point is that there was no formal type of fighting where people limited themselves to just striking while minimizing grappling at that time. 

Perhaps the important thing to draw from this is about martial arts that emphasize striking only.   If you survey martial arts histories, how often, when and under what circumstances did "specialized" martial arts develop.   The thread about the evolution of boxing relative to the filipino martial arts is discussion a different time of boxing's history. 

Wikipedia does a pretty good job on the history of  boxing : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing

and the following is from an additional online source.

QUOTE
Early Boxing (to 1838)

Fighting with fists was a sport about 6,000 years ago in what is now known as Ethiopia, from where it spread to ancient Egypt and eventually throughout the Mediterranean area. Ancient Crete also had a boxing-like sport, which probably developed independently, about 1,500 B.C.

Although the sport wasn't added to the ancient Olympic program until 688 B.C., some sort of boxing had become pretty well established among the Greeks before that time. In one form of Greek boxing, the two combatants simply sat on stones facing and pounded away at one another until one of them was knocked out.

Boxing in the Olympics wasn't quite that brutal, but there were no breaks in the action. Fighters wore leather thongs, originally to protect their hands and wrists. As time went on, harder leather was used, turning the thongs into weapons.

The Romans added iron or brass studs, creating the cestus, which could be a deadly weapon. Then they went even farther, developing a cruel, spur-like instrument of bronze, called the myrmex ("limb piercer"). Boxing in the Roman Empire was not so much a sport as a bloody amusement for spectators, like the gladiatorial contests, with slaves pitted against one another in a fight to the death.

The myrmex was finally abolished and boxing itself was banned by Rome about 30 B.C. The Romans had made one small contribution to the sport: They invented the ring, originally a simple marked circle.

With the spread of Christianity, pugilism in any form evidently disappeared from Europe completely. It resurfaced in England in the late 17th century. A London newspaper referred to a bout in 1681, and the Royal Theatre in London was the site of regularly scheduled matches in 1698.

The sport at that time was actually a mixture of wrestling and boxing. Although hitting with fists was emphasized, a boxer could grab and throw his opponent, then jump on him and hit him while he was down.

James Figg, who opened a boxing academy in London in 1719, introduced a measure of skill to the sport. Figg was an expert fencer as well as a boxer, and his academy was patterned after the fencing academies of the period. He taught parrying and counter-punching, just as fencing masters taught parries and ripostes to their students.

Figg won great publicity for his academy by challenging all comers to bouts of boxing or cudgeling, He never lost, and was generally considered champion of Great Britain until he retired in 1730.

His success inspired the establishment of several other boxing academies in London, and the fact that he was a fencer also gave the sport some prestige. A number of "gentlemen amateurs" took up boxing as a pastime. They also became enthusiastic fans at prize fights.

One of Figg's pupils, Jack Broughton, became known as the "father of English boxing." Broughton, generally acknowledged as champion from 1729 to 1750, taught boxing and operated an arena in London. In 1743, he drew up the first formal rules for the sport.

Under Broughton's rules, there was a 3-foot square in the center of the ring. When a fighter was knocked down, his handlers had 30 seconds to get him into position on one side of the square, facing his opponent. In effect, this marked the first division of a bout into rounds, since each knockdown ended fighting for at least 30 seconds. Although wrestling holds were permitted, a boxer was not allowed to grab his opponent below the waist.

Broughton also invented the first boxing gloves, known as "mufflers," to protect not only the hands but also the face from blows. However, they were used only in practice, not in actual fights.

The rules devised by Broughton were used throughout England with only minor modifications until 1838, when the Pugilistic Society (founded in 1814) developed the London Prize Ring Rules. The new code called for a ring 24 feet square, enclosed by two ropes. A knockdown marked the end of a round. After a 30-second break, the fighters were given eight seconds to "come to scratch," unaided, in the center of the ring.

END QUOTE

Link: http://www.hickoksports.com/history/boxing01.shtml

In karate, there are throws and grappling but that these were de-emphasized when karate was introduced to Japan from Okinawa because the Japanese martial arts already placed a strong emphasis on grappling.  I think that the lack of grappling or for that matter weaponry in many martial arts has to do more with the creation of contests than anything.

At any rate, I hope this is off interest anyway.





Karsk
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