History UsefulNotes / EuropeanSwordsmanship

9th Jun '16 7:59:33 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


By the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th, we see the first references to the practice of fencing outside of the landed warrior aristocracy. There emerge from the historical record men of lower nobility or common birth who made a living off their skills, either by starting their own schools to teach pupils or by fighting on behalf of others as hired champions in judicial duels. Suspicious nobles and city governments viewed these individuals as unsavory troublemakers or even criminals, and repeatedly tried to crack down on schools for spreading knowledge of fencing among those who were considered liable to abuse it. These measures were an exercise in futility, as the practice of fencing grew ever more popular. The weapon combination that they were using was sword and buckler, and it is probably no coincidence that the first manual that can actually be used to reconstruct medieval fighting, Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33, deals with this subject.

to:

By the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th, we see the first references to the practice of fencing outside of the landed warrior aristocracy. There emerge from the historical record began to be men of lower nobility or common birth who made a living off their skills, either by starting their own schools to teach pupils or by fighting on behalf of others as [[CombatByChampion hired champions champions]] in judicial duels. Suspicious nobles and city governments viewed these individuals as unsavory troublemakers or even criminals, and repeatedly tried to crack down on schools for spreading knowledge of fencing among those who were considered liable to abuse it. These measures it, but the fact that these bans against unlicensed schools were an exercise in futility, as the practice of fencing grew ever more popular. repeatedly renewed implies that they were broken very often. The weapon combination that they were using teaching was sword and buckler, and it is probably no coincidence that the first manual that can actually be used to reconstruct medieval fighting, Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33, deals with this subject.
9th Jun '16 7:51:32 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* '''The Bill''': A favorite weapon of the English, and also popular in Italy as the ''Roncone'', the bill's main feature is a large hook that's sharpened on the inside. Resembling the agricultural billhook used for pruning tree limbs, the military bill also has a top spike, a back spike, and often some lugs at the base of the blade. The hook is particularly useful for hauling knights out of the saddle or hamstringing an opponent on foot. These tend to be about eight feet (2.43 meters) long.

to:

* '''The Bill''': A favorite weapon of the English, and also popular in Italy as the ''Roncone'', the bill's main feature is a large hook hook-shaped blade that's sharpened on the inside. Resembling the agricultural billhook used for pruning tree limbs, the military bill also has a top spike, a back spike, and often some lugs at the base of the blade. The hook is particularly useful for hauling knights out of the saddle or hamstringing an opponent on foot. These tend to be about eight feet (2.43 meters) long.
9th Jun '16 7:49:39 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* '''The Quarterstaff''': A SimpleStaff made of ash or some other hardwood, usually round in cross section and 6 to 8 feet (1.82-2.74 meters) long. George Silver calls this the "short staff". Joseph Swetnam, writing in 1615, distinguished between the "quarterstaff" of 7 or 8 feet (2.1 or 2.4 meters) and the "long staff" of 12 feet (3.7 meters). Despite what you usually see in Robin Hood movies, rather than being held with both hands in the middle and used to strike with either end, it was more effectively used with the lower hand on or near the butt end and the forward hand near the middle, and used for thrusting like a spear in a pool-cue motion was well as for striking. Compared to the polearms of war with their points, edges, and [[BuffySpeak nasty bludgeony bits]], a mere wooden staff isn't as lethally efficient at inflicting harm, even if a well-placed thrust can poke out someone's eye or smash a couple of teeth. There's not much that it can do against significant armor, either. What it ''is'' useful for is brawling and self-defense, since compared to the restrictions on swords and pole weapons there's practically no jurisdiction where you aren't allowed to carry a walking staff, and the reach advantage over an attacker wielding a sword somewhat compensates for the reduced damage potential. The staff was also used as the main training weapon for other polearms, as the techniques learned on the staff translated equally well to spear, halberd, polehammer, and other more complex weapons. Silver went so far as to praise it as being one of the best weapons in his estimation.

to:

* '''The Quarterstaff''': A SimpleStaff made of ash or some other hardwood, usually round in cross section and 6 to 8 feet (1.82-2.74 meters) long. George Silver calls this the "short staff". Joseph Swetnam, writing in 1615, distinguished between the "quarterstaff" of 7 or 8 feet (2.1 or 2.4 meters) and the "long staff" of 12 feet (3.7 meters). Despite what you usually see in Robin Hood movies, rather than being held with both hands in the middle and used to strike with either end, it was more effectively used with the lower hand on or near the butt end and the forward hand near the middle, and used for thrusting like a spear in a pool-cue motion was as well as for striking. Compared to the polearms of war with their points, edges, and [[BuffySpeak nasty bludgeony bits]], a mere wooden staff isn't as lethally efficient at inflicting harm, even if a well-placed thrust can poke out someone's eye or smash a couple of teeth. There's not much that it can do against significant armor, either. What it ''is'' useful for is brawling and self-defense, since compared to the restrictions on swords and pole weapons there's practically no jurisdiction where you aren't allowed to carry a walking staff, and the reach advantage over an attacker wielding a sword somewhat compensates for the reduced damage potential. The staff was also used as the main training weapon for other polearms, as the techniques learned on the staff translated equally well to spear, halberd, polehammer, and other more complex weapons. Silver went so far as to praise it as being one of the best weapons in his estimation.



* '''The Pollaxe''': One of the few staff weapons to be associated more with the knightly class than the common man, the pollaxe was mainly designed to be used by men on foot in heavy armor against other dismounted men in armor. The pollaxe is not simply a pole-axe or an axe on a pole. The etymology is disputed, and may in fact have something to do with the word "pole", but it is also said to mean "poll" as in "head" (as it still does when talking about horses), or to come from a time in the English language when "poll" meant what we call a hammer, and the word "hammer" mean what we would call the pick-end of a weapon. The head was usually modular and consisted of a small axe blade or pronged hammer head on one end, a hammer or beak on the other end, and short quadrangular spikes on the top and sides. The butt of the weapon was usually capped with a steel point so it could be used for thrusting as well. Most pollaxes were about five to six feet (1.52-1.82 meters) long overall, since reach isn't as important for men in full armor and it had to remain usable in a tight press. The shaft usually had two or four langets about a third of the way down to protect the shaft from being severed, often with a disc-shaped hand guard at that point.

to:

* '''The Pollaxe''': One of the few staff weapons to be associated more with the knightly class than the common man, the pollaxe was mainly designed to be used by men on foot in heavy armor against other dismounted men in armor. The pollaxe is not simply a pole-axe or an axe on a pole. The etymology is disputed, and may in fact have something to do with the word "pole", but it is also said to mean "poll" as in "head" (as it still does when talking about horses), or to come from a time in the English language when "poll" meant what we call a hammer, and the word "hammer" mean meant what we would call the pick-end of a weapon. The head was usually modular and consisted of a small axe blade or pronged hammer head on one end, a hammer or beak on the other end, and short quadrangular spikes on the top and sides. The butt of the weapon was usually capped with a steel point so it could be used for thrusting as well. Most pollaxes were about five to six feet (1.52-1.82 meters) long overall, since reach isn't as important for men in full armor and it had to remain usable in a tight press. The shaft usually had two or four langets about a third of the way down to protect the shaft from being severed, often with a disc-shaped hand guard at that point.
9th Jun '16 7:45:45 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* '''The Quarterstaff''': A SimpleStaff made of ash or some other hardwood, usually round in cross section and 6 to 8 feet (1.82-2.74 meters) long. George Silver calls this the "short staff". Joseph Swetnam, writing in 1615, distinguished between the "quarterstaff" of 7 or 8 feet (2.1 or 2.4 meters) and the "long staff" of 12 feet (3.7 meters). Despite what you usually see in Robin Hood movies, rather than being held with both hands in the middle and used to strike with either end, it was more effectively used with the lower hand on or near the butt end and the forward hand near the middle, and used for thrusting like a spear in a pool-cue motion. Compared to the polearms of war with their points, edges, and [[BuffySpeak nasty bludgeony bits]], a mere wooden staff isn't as lethally efficient at inflicting harm, even if a well-placed thrust can poke out someone's eye or smash a couple of teeth. There's not much that it can do against significant armor, either. What it ''is'' useful for is brawling and self-defense, since compared to the restrictions on swords and pole weapons there's practically no jurisdiction where you aren't allowed to carry a walking staff, and the reach advantage over an attacker wielding a sword somewhat compensates for the reduced damage potential. The staff was also used as the main training weapon for other polearms, as the techniques learned on the staff translated equally well to spear, halberd, polehammer, and other more complex weapons. Silver went so far as to praise it as being one of the best weapons in his estimation.

to:

* '''The Quarterstaff''': A SimpleStaff made of ash or some other hardwood, usually round in cross section and 6 to 8 feet (1.82-2.74 meters) long. George Silver calls this the "short staff". Joseph Swetnam, writing in 1615, distinguished between the "quarterstaff" of 7 or 8 feet (2.1 or 2.4 meters) and the "long staff" of 12 feet (3.7 meters). Despite what you usually see in Robin Hood movies, rather than being held with both hands in the middle and used to strike with either end, it was more effectively used with the lower hand on or near the butt end and the forward hand near the middle, and used for thrusting like a spear in a pool-cue motion.motion was well as for striking. Compared to the polearms of war with their points, edges, and [[BuffySpeak nasty bludgeony bits]], a mere wooden staff isn't as lethally efficient at inflicting harm, even if a well-placed thrust can poke out someone's eye or smash a couple of teeth. There's not much that it can do against significant armor, either. What it ''is'' useful for is brawling and self-defense, since compared to the restrictions on swords and pole weapons there's practically no jurisdiction where you aren't allowed to carry a walking staff, and the reach advantage over an attacker wielding a sword somewhat compensates for the reduced damage potential. The staff was also used as the main training weapon for other polearms, as the techniques learned on the staff translated equally well to spear, halberd, polehammer, and other more complex weapons. Silver went so far as to praise it as being one of the best weapons in his estimation.
9th Jun '16 7:43:42 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


There are also a series of defensive postures (obsessiones) each of which is used to counter one of the seven wards by defending against the most obvious attack from that ward, and usually allowing an advantageous attack . Half-shield, in which the sword and buckler are held out together with the point 45 degrees up, is the position from which to counter Under-arm. However, it is so versatile that it can be used against most of the seven wards.

The first task for the buckler is to protect the sword hand, which when you attack is the most forward and vulnerable target. The buckler should follow the sword hand into the initial attack so that you have a unified defense, not allowing the opponent to slip their blade between your blade and buckler. If neither of the initial attacks connect, then the opponents will generally be in a bind: their swords and/or bucklers are bound together, and they are trying to get around or through the opponent's defense while preventing their opponent from doing the same. You want to make your opponent over-commit to the defense of one opening so that you can attack the one that they necessarily leave vulnerable, and the only way to know what your opponent is going to do is to pay close attention to the pressure you're feeling through the bind. Which direction are they pushing in, and how hard? Are they preparing to disengage and attack the opening you've left vulnerable, or are they doubling down on their defense? You cannot just deal with your opponent's sword or buckler in isolation, but have to think of how you are going to get around them both without leaving yourself open to attack.

to:

There are also a series of defensive postures (obsessiones) each of which is used to counter one of the seven wards by defending against the most obvious attack from that ward, and usually allowing an advantageous attack . The first example is Half-shield, in which the sword and buckler are held out together with the point 45 degrees up, up. It is the position from which to counter Under-arm. However, Under-arm, but it is so versatile that it can also be used against most of the seven wards.

wards. Some of the other counters are more specific.

The first task for the buckler is to protect the sword hand, which when you attack is the most forward and vulnerable target.target when you attack. The buckler should follow the sword hand into the initial attack so that you have a unified defense, not allowing the opponent to slip their blade between your blade and buckler. If neither of the initial attacks connect, then the opponents will generally be in a bind: their swords and/or bucklers are bound together, and they are trying to get around or through the opponent's defense while preventing their opponent from doing the same. You want to make your opponent over-commit to the defense of one opening so that you can attack the one that they necessarily leave vulnerable, and the only way to know what your opponent is going to do is to pay close attention to the pressure you're feeling through the bind. Which direction are they pushing in, and how hard? Are they preparing to disengage and attack the opening you've left vulnerable, or are they doubling down on their defense? You cannot just deal with your opponent's sword or buckler in isolation, but have to think of how you are going to get around them both without leaving yourself open to attack.
9th Jun '16 7:40:36 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


[[folder:Swords]]

to:

[[folder:Swords]]
[[folder:List of Sword Types]]



[[folder:Staff Weapons]]

to:

[[folder:Staff Weapons]][[folder:List of Staff Weapon Types]]
9th Jun '16 7:39:36 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''The Basket-Hilted Broad Sword and Back Sword:'' The backsword was single-handed sword with a broad, straight or slightly curved single-edged blade and fitted with a basket hilt that fully protected the hand. These and their double-edged basket-hilted cousins were sometimes called broadswords to distinguish them from rapiers; the use of "broadsword" to refer to the arming sword is an anachronism. These were especially favored in the British Isles from the 17th century onward and found enduring popularity with the highland Scots. Other countries had their own basket-hilts, such as the Italian Schiavona.

to:

* ''The Basket-Hilted Broad Sword and Back Sword:'' The backsword was a single-handed sword with a broad, straight or (or slightly curved curved) single-edged blade and blade, fitted with a basket hilt that fully protected the hand. These and their double-edged basket-hilted cousins were sometimes called broadswords to distinguish them from rapiers; the use of "broadsword" to refer to the arming sword is an anachronism. These were especially favored in the British Isles from the 17th century onward and found enduring popularity with the highland Scots. Other countries had their own basket-hilts, such as the Italian Schiavona.
27th May '16 11:23:38 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The dagger was commonly worn both on street and on battlefield by men of all social classes. It was the most common weapon of brawling and self-defense, since not everybody could wear a sword, and was a necessary backup weapon for all soldiers including knights. In the Middle Ages it was primarily used in an "ice pick" grip with the point down, which was optimal for close quarters and armored combat, and people would wear it on the right side of their belt so they could draw and stab at very close range. Basically, if you're too close to each other to even swing a sword, it's time for that dagger to come out. They can be used in wrestling either standing or on the ground, and are especially good at finding and penetrating the gaps in armor. In the Renaissance we begin to see more point-up techniques and use of the dagger as a parrying companion to the sword, as well as wearing of the dagger strapped across the back.

to:

The dagger was commonly worn both on street and on battlefield by men of all social classes. It was the most common weapon of brawling and self-defense, since not everybody could wear a sword, and was a necessary backup weapon for all soldiers including knights. In the Middle Ages it was primarily used in an "ice pick" grip with the point down, which was optimal for close quarters and armored combat, and people would wear it on the right side of their belt so they could draw and stab at very close range. Basically, if you're too close to each other to even swing a sword, it's time for that dagger to come out. They can be used in wrestling either standing or on the ground, and are especially good at finding and penetrating the gaps in armor. In the Renaissance we begin to see more point-up techniques and use of the dagger as a parrying companion to the sword, as well as wearing of the dagger strapped across the lower back.
27th May '16 11:20:02 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


In most entertainment media, and even in many supposedly educational media such as textbooks and documentaries, swordsmanship as practiced by Europeans before the advent of the rapier in the 16th century is depicted as slow, clumsy, and based upon brute strength rather than skill. Thanks to decades of study and and reconstruction work based on both archaeology and primary sources, which has accelerated since the birth of the internet, we now know that this old misconception based on ignorance is false. As happens in so many other fields, media and popular belief lag behind the latest advances in expert knowledge. In stark contrast, Eastern swordsmanship -- especially Japanese -- is given deific significance and abilities, with many people unironically believing that a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana is capable of stopping a bullet or penetrating tank armour]]. While there is no doubt that such swords and their martial arts were and are formidable, their Western counterparts certainly match them in both potential and practice. Observant students of European and Japanese swordsmanship will also note a stunning amount of similarity in the techniques utilized in both styles. To learn about the virtues of Japanese swordsmanship, see {{UsefulNotes/Kenjutsu}}.

to:

In most entertainment media, and even in many supposedly educational media such as textbooks and documentaries, swordsmanship as practiced by Europeans before the advent of the rapier in the 16th century is depicted as slow, clumsy, and based upon brute strength rather than skill. Thanks to decades of study and and reconstruction work based on both archaeology and primary sources, which has accelerated since the birth of the internet, we now know that this old ignorance-based misconception based on ignorance is false. As happens in so many other fields, media and popular belief lag behind the latest advances in expert knowledge. In stark contrast, Eastern swordsmanship -- especially Japanese -- is given deific significance and abilities, with many people unironically believing that a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana is capable of stopping a bullet or penetrating tank armour]]. While there is no doubt that such swords and their martial arts were and are formidable, their Western counterparts certainly match them in both potential and practice. Observant students of European and Japanese swordsmanship will also note a stunning amount of similarity in the techniques utilized in both styles. To learn about the virtues of Japanese swordsmanship, see {{UsefulNotes/Kenjutsu}}.
27th May '16 11:18:51 PM TheBigBopper
Is there an issue? Send a Message


In most media, swordsmanship as practised by Europeans before the Early Modern period is considered to be slow, pondering and lacking in finesse. This is not historical fact, although such depictions may be forgiven on the basis that what we ''do'' know has surfaced relatively recently. It can be thought that such depictions are based on "absence of evidence is evidence of absence", which is fallacious but not the point of this article. In stark contrast, Eastern swordsmanship -- especially Japanese -- is given deific significance and abilities, with many people unironically believing that a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana is capable of stopping a bullet or penetrating tank armour]]. While there is no doubt that such swords and their martial arts were and are formidable, their Western counterparts certainly match them in both potential and practice. Observant students of European and Japanese swordsmanship will also note a stunning amount of similarity in the techniques utilized in both styles. To learn about the virtues of Japanese swordsmanship, see {{UsefulNotes/Kenjutsu}}.

to:

In most entertainment media, and even in many supposedly educational media such as textbooks and documentaries, swordsmanship as practised practiced by Europeans before the Early Modern period advent of the rapier in the 16th century is considered to be depicted as slow, pondering clumsy, and lacking in finesse. This is not historical fact, although such depictions may be forgiven on the basis that what we ''do'' know has surfaced relatively recently. It can be thought that such depictions are based upon brute strength rather than skill. Thanks to decades of study and and reconstruction work based on "absence of evidence is evidence of absence", both archaeology and primary sources, which is fallacious but not has accelerated since the point birth of the internet, we now know that this article.old misconception based on ignorance is false. As happens in so many other fields, media and popular belief lag behind the latest advances in expert knowledge. In stark contrast, Eastern swordsmanship -- especially Japanese -- is given deific significance and abilities, with many people unironically believing that a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana is capable of stopping a bullet or penetrating tank armour]]. While there is no doubt that such swords and their martial arts were and are formidable, their Western counterparts certainly match them in both potential and practice. Observant students of European and Japanese swordsmanship will also note a stunning amount of similarity in the techniques utilized in both styles. To learn about the virtues of Japanese swordsmanship, see {{UsefulNotes/Kenjutsu}}.
This list shows the last 10 events of 209. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.EuropeanSwordsmanship