History UsefulNotes / EuropeanSwordsmanship

13th Feb '16 11:41:37 AM TheBigBopper
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!! Sword and Buckler According to Ms. I.33
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!! Sword [[folder:Sword and Buckler According to Ms. I.33 33]]

!! Medieval and Renaissance Kunst des Fechtens (lit. "Art of Fighting"), German Longsword
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\n!! [[/folder]] [[folder:Der Kunst des Fechtens: Medieval and Renaissance Kunst des Fechtens (lit. "Art of Fighting"), German Longsword Knightly Combat]]

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[[/folder]]

!! Italian Rapier
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!! Italian Rapier [[folder:Italian Rapier]]

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[[/folder]]

!! Medieval and Renaissance English Fencing
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!! Medieval [[folder:Medieval and Renaissance English Fencing Fencing]]

!!! Scottish baskethilt ''Work in progress''
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%% !!! Scottish baskethilt ''Work in progress'' [[/folder]]

!!! La Verdadera Destreza, Spanish fencing.
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!!! La [[folder:La Verdadera Destreza, Destreza: The True Art of Spanish fencing. fencing]]

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!!! La Verdadera Destreza, Spanish fencing. [[/folder]]
13th Feb '16 11:37:16 AM TheBigBopper
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Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33 (pronounced "one-thirty-three"), also known as the Walpurgis Fechtbuch, is a sword and buckler manual of anonymous authorship from Franconia, Germany and dates from ca. 1300. The manual is written in Latin with certain fencing terms in German, and consists 64 pages illustrating wards, counters, and plays with sword and buckler between a priest and his student. The last part features a woman named Walpurgis, hence the alternate title. The combatants wear simple robes with the hem tucked into their belts (so as to avoid tripping) and wield simple cross-hilted arming swords with round bucklers. There are seven wards (custodiae) or guard positions from which to launch attacks: 1. under the arm (sub brach)\\ 2. right shoulder (humero dextrali)\\ 3. left shoulder (humero sinistro)\\ 4. head (capiti)\\ 5. right side (latere dextro)\\ 6. breast (pectori)\\ 7. long-point (langort)\\ There are also a series of defensive postures (obsessiones) each of which is used to counter one of the seven wards.
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Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33 (pronounced "one-thirty-three"), also known as the Walpurgis Fechtbuch, is a sword and buckler manual of anonymous authorship from Franconia, Germany and dates from ca. 1300. The manual is written in Latin with certain fencing terms in German, and consists of 64 pages illustrating wards, counters, and plays with sword and buckler between a priest and his student. The last part features a woman named Walpurgis, Walpurgis demonstrating a certain counter, hence the alternate title.title. The instructions are for the most part clear and well organized, but there are some problems of interpretation. While the sword, buckler, and hand positions are clearly illustrated, accurate depiction of footwork and distance between the combatants is largely neglected by the artist. To some degree those details have to be conjectured from other period artwork as well as later manuals. There is nothing undeveloped or primitive about this system of fighting, and it has all the ingredients of the later systems: footwork, guards, counters, tempo, measure, techniques from the bind, a combination of cuts and thrusts, and integration of sword fighting with wrestling and unarmed combat, The combatants wear simple robes with the hem tucked into their belts (so as to avoid tripping) and wield simple cross-hilted arming swords with round bucklers. The buckler may have a spike on it to make it more dangerous as a punching weapon. They wear thin-soled leather shoes, putting most of their weight on the balls of their feet. The correct stance is to have the knees bent, with the feet about shoulder width apart. The lead foot faces toward the opponent, while the back foot is turned about forty-five degrees outward for balance. An attack is made with a passing step forward, where you bring your back foot into the lead position, and then turn your new back foot outward, all in one smooth motion. Like other forms of fighting, there are essentially three distances: close distance, where the opponents could hit each other without taking a step forward; wide distance, where you cannot reach your opponent without taking a step forward; and out of distance, which is any distance farther than that. Generally the combatants approach each other until they are in wide distance, at which point they adopt a ward or counter, and the ensuing attack or bind will bring them into close distance. There are seven wards (custodiae) or guard positions from which to launch attacks. Rather than lying in these positions for any length of time, one should adopt a ward once in distance and attack immediately, so that the opponent has less time to counter. Note that these guards assume the fencer is right-handed: * '''Under the arm (sub brach)''', in which the buckler is held in front of the body while the sword is held point back and tucked under the buckler arm. This is probably the most basic and generally useful ward, and the natural attack from it is a cut from below. * '''Right shoulder (humero dextrali)''', where the buckler is held out in front while the sword is chambered over the right shoulder. The natural attack from this ward is a descending diagonal cut from right to left. * '''Left shoulder (humero sinistro)''', where the buckler is held out in front while the sword is chambered over the left shoulder. The natural attack from this ward is a descending diagonal cut from left to right. * '''Head (capiti)''', where the buckler is held out in front and the sword high above the head with the point back. This is chambered for a vertical descending strike.\\ * '''Right side (latere dextro)''', where the buckler is held out in front and the sword held off to the side with the point back. The natural attack from this ward is a horizontal cut. * '''Breast (pectori)''', where the buckler is held out in front while the sword is drawn back close to the chest with the point towards the opponent. The natural attack from this ward is the thrust. * '''Long-point (langort)''', in which the sword and buckler are held out at arms length with the point at the opponent. This is in a sense the ward that the system is built around, since any cut or thrust initiated from the other wards will end in this position. 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 combatants wear simple robes with first task for the hem tucked 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 belts (so as to avoid tripping) blade between your blade and wield simple cross-hilted arming 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 round bucklers. There your opponent's sword or buckler in isolation, but have to think of how you are seven wards (custodiae) or guard positions from going to get around them both without leaving yourself open to attack. The buckler is a multi-purpose tool for defense, attack, and binding. You have to know the advantages and disadvantages of its small size, which mean you cannot use it exactly as you would a full-sized shield. Counter-intuitively, you should not just lift up your buckler to launch attacks: 1. protect whatever part of your body your opponent attacks, because separating your sword and buckler without first immobilizing your opponent's weapons opens you up even more. Instead you have to use your buckler as a tool to intercept, knock around, bind, and control your opponent's weapons. You can perform a shield-knock against their weapons to create an opening for yourself, or bind against both your opponent's sword and buckler using your own buckler so that you can slip your sword out of the bind and attack their vulnerability. If there is an opening for it, you can use your buckler to punch your opponent in the face. In regards to grappling, one's own buckler arm can actually be passed over and under the opponent's sword and buckler arm (sub brach)\\ 2. right shoulder (humero dextrali)\\ 3. left shoulder (humero sinistro)\\ 4. head (capiti)\\ 5. right side (latere dextro)\\ 6. breast (pectori)\\ 7. long-point (langort)\\ There are also a series of defensive postures (obsessiones) each of which to trap them both at once, leaving one's own sword hand free to finish off the opponent. This is used to counter one of the seven wards. move that can actually only be performed by a small buckler, since any shield much greater than a foot in diameter will not be able to slip through. If you get to grips with your opponent you can potentially perform a wrestling throw.
12th Feb '16 3:49:36 PM thekeyofe
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* ''The Messer:'' A type of great knife or short sword that was popular in 15th and 16th century Germany with a slightly curved single-edged blade. They were typically 75 cm (30 inches long) and weighed between 900 and 1200 g (2-2.5 lb). The hilt had a simple cross-guard with a small side protrusion called the "nagel" to provide some minimal protection for the hand, while the handle consisted of two bone or wooden panels riveted to the flat tang and was capped with a small pommel. They were wielded alone or with a buckler.
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* ''The Messer:'' A type of great knife or short sword that was popular in 15th and 16th century Germany with a slightly curved single-edged blade. They were typically 75 cm (30 inches long) and weighed between 900 and 1200 g (2-2.5 lb). The hilt had a simple cross-guard with a small side protrusion called the "nagel" ''"nagel"'' (which means "nail") to provide some minimal protection for the hand, while the handle consisted of two bone or wooden panels riveted to the flat tang and was capped with a small pommel. They were wielded alone or with a buckler.

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* ''The Messer:'' A type of great knife or short sword that ** The ''messer'' is also sometimes confused with the "falchion," a similar weapon which was popular in 15th and 16th use across Europe from the 11th century Germany with a slightly curved single-edged blade. They were typically 75 cm (30 inches long) and weighed between 900 and 1200 g (2-2.5 lb). The hilt had a simple cross-guard with a small side protrusion called the "nagel" to provide some minimal protection for the hand, while the handle consisted of two bone or wooden panels riveted to the flat tang and was capped with a small pommel. They were wielded alone or with a buckler.on.
10th Dec '15 8:16:25 AM demonfiren
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** '''High:''' Held above the head with the sword angled no more than forty-five degrees backwards. From this position, descending strikes are powerful and fast. This is the same as ''jodan-no-kamae'' in {{kenjutsu}}.
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** '''High:''' Held above the head with the sword angled no more than forty-five degrees backwards. From this position, descending strikes are powerful and fast. This is the same as ''jodan-no-kamae'' in {{kenjutsu}}.UsefulNotes/{{kenjutsu}}.

* '''Alber:''' Held with the hilt at hip height, blade pointing down and forward at an even angle, and held in the middle of the body. A highly defensive guard, it invites attack while remaining in a strong position to defend from any strike which doesn't target the head from above. This is the same as ''gedan-no-kamae'' in {{kenjutsu}}.
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* '''Alber:''' Held with the hilt at hip height, blade pointing down and forward at an even angle, and held in the middle of the body. A highly defensive guard, it invites attack while remaining in a strong position to defend from any strike which doesn't target the head from above. This is the same as ''gedan-no-kamae'' in {{kenjutsu}}. UsefulNotes/{{kenjutsu}}.
10th Dec '15 8:15:57 AM demonfiren
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** '''Middle:''' Held at the left or right side, at the chest or shoulder, with the sword pointing directly upwards or at a small backwards angle. This is the most versatile guard from which to launch attacks, as any strike can come from this guard with near equal efficiency. This is the same as ''hasso-no-kamae'' in {{kenjutsu}}
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** '''Middle:''' Held at the left or right side, at the chest or shoulder, with the sword pointing directly upwards or at a small backwards angle. This is the most versatile guard from which to launch attacks, as any strike can come from this guard with near equal efficiency. This is the same as ''hasso-no-kamae'' in {{kenjutsu}}UsefulNotes/{{kenjutsu}}
28th Oct '15 6:33:23 PM TheBigBopper
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None of this is much use unless you can sense what your opponent is trying to do to you, and the way you do that is ''fühlen''. When you are bound with your opponent's weapon, you can feel through your own hands and blade what he is going to do with his, whether he is soft or hard in the bind and in which direction he's exerting force. A bind between two sharp swords is not easily replicated by wooden wasters or blunt steel simulators. The edges of the swords actually bite into each other on a microscopic level, creating a sticky sensation very unlike the sliding that usually occurs with simulators, and it is very easy to feel subtle changes in pressure from your opponent's weapon. This is why some HEMA instructors such as Guy Windsor urge advanced practitioners to engage in controlled practice with sharps, although for safety reasons this stance remains controversial.
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None of this is much use unless you can sense what your opponent is trying to do to you, and the way you do that is ''fühlen''. When you are bound with your opponent's weapon, you can feel through your own hands and blade what he is going to do with his, whether he is soft or hard in the bind and in which direction he's exerting force. A bind between two sharp swords is not easily replicated by wooden wasters or blunt steel simulators. The edges of the swords actually bite into each other on a microscopic level, creating a sticky sensation very unlike the sliding that usually occurs with simulators, and it is very easy to feel subtle changes in pressure from your opponent's weapon. This is why some HEMA instructors such as Guy Windsor urge advanced practitioners to engage in controlled practice with sharps, although for safety reasons this stance remains controversial. controversial. As of this writing, a company has introduced a line of serrated synthetic simulator blades which aims to reproduce the feel of binding with sharp weapons to a greater degree.
26th Oct '15 8:17:14 PM TheBigBopper
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Experts believe that Early Medieval civilizations such as the Vikings and Anglo Saxons must have had refined fighting techniques to match the finely crafted weapons which have been discovered by archaeology, but unfortunately we do not know and may not ever know for sure exactly how they fought. Tantalizing descriptions of combat appear in epic poetry and the sagas, but besides the fact that the sagas were composed long after the events they describe and may contain artistic license, they only offer glimpses without laying down a comprehensive and organized system. The fact that human biomechanics remain the same throughout history and that the form of weapons can offer clues about how to use them has encouraged many who seek to reconstruct Viking Era combat or high medieval sword and shield as an exercise in experimental archaeology. These groups and individuals have offered compelling theories about what such combat may have been like, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Instead, we will deal with the fighting systems for which we have actual instructive texts.
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Experts Medieval combat experts such as Tobias Capwell and Roland Warzecha believe that Early Medieval civilizations such as the Vikings and Anglo Saxons must have had refined fighting techniques to match the finely crafted weapons which have been discovered by archaeology, but unfortunately we do not know and may not ever know for sure exactly how they fought. Tantalizing descriptions of combat appear in epic poetry and the sagas, but besides the fact that the sagas were composed long after the events they describe and may contain artistic license, they only offer glimpses without laying down a comprehensive and organized system. The fact that human biomechanics remain the same throughout history and that the form of weapons can offer clues about how to use them has encouraged many who seek to reconstruct Viking Era combat or high medieval sword and shield as an exercise in experimental archaeology. These groups and individuals have offered compelling theories about what such combat may have been like, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Instead, we will deal with the fighting systems for which we have actual instructive texts.

Both combatants are attempting to land a hit while covering the opening that is likely to be attacked by their opponent. For this reason, it is inevitable that often the swords will cross and neither combatant will immediately hit what they were aiming at. This creates a bind between the swords, and actions that proceed from this stage of the bind make up most of the plays and advanced techniques in the system. The correct way of dealing with a bind is not for both combatants to push against each other as hard as they can as you often see in the movies, hoping to stagger the other and strike when his guard is down. That reduces the fight to a mere contest of brute strength, which is not in either combatants' interest. Instead you must use strength against weakness, and weakness against strength. In order to judge what to do, you must fell his pressure through the sword. A bind between two sharp swords is not easily replicated by wooden wasters or blunt steel simulators. The edges of the swords actually bite into each other on a microscopic level, creating a sticky sensation very unlike the sliding that usually occurs with simulators, and it is very easy to feel subtle changes in pressure from your opponent's weapon. This is why many HEMA instructors such as Guy Windsor and Roland Warzecha urge advanced practitioners to engage in controlled practice with sharps, although for safety reasons this stance remains controversial.
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Both combatants are attempting to land a hit while covering the opening that is likely to be attacked by their opponent. For this reason, it is inevitable that often the swords will cross and neither combatant will immediately hit what they were aiming at. This creates a bind between the swords, and actions that proceed from this stage of the bind make up most of the plays and advanced techniques in the system. The correct way of dealing with a bind is not for both combatants to push against each other as hard as they can engage in a pushing match as you often see in the movies, hoping to stagger the other and strike when his guard is down. That reduces the fight to a mere contest of brute strength, which is not in either combatants' interest. Instead you must use strength against weakness, and weakness against strength. In order to judge This means both understanding what to do, you must fell his pressure the strong and weak parts of your blade are useful for, and sensing your opponent's intention through the sword. pressure signals that you are feeling through the bind between your swords, the concept of "feeling" (''fühlen''). Firstly, leverage. The strong (''starcke'') is the half of the sword closest to the hand, while the weak (''schwech'') is the half closest to the point. They are so named because of their relative strength in the bind. The farther away from your own hand you make contact, the less you will be able to exert leverage. If you bind against his weak with your strong and start to push his point aside, he will not be able to push you back no matter how physically strong he is. Conversely, if you bind against his strong with your weak and try with all your might, you will not be able to budge him an inch. Sometimes winning is as simple as realizing you have an advantage and pressing it. If you strike ''zornhau'' against your opponent's ''oberhau'' and feel that he's soft in the bind, you can simply thrust to his face from the bind in such a way that your strong will be against his weak. One technique for gaining leverage over an opponent who is trying to push you around is ''winden'', meaning "winding". That technique involves raising your hilt and twisting your blade without leaving the bind so that your strong has been brought to bear against his weak, leaving your point free to thrust at him. There are ways to counter winding, but we'll get to that later. At the same time, you have to know how to deal with an opponent who's trying to push you around, either by pushing hard against you in an attempt to overwhelm your defense or by resisting your attack with a hard displacement. The axiom of Judo that you should use your opponent's strength against him is no less true in a sword fight. The weak of the sword may have less leverage, but it moves much faster than the strong and can be easily disengaged from the bind either by snapping back or making a small circle under your opponent's blade. In the former case, you can let your opponent's blade slide off your weak as you step to the side, harmlessly redirecting his attack past you and charging your sword with momentum for a counter strike, which he will be vulnerable to as he recovers from his over-committed attack. If you are trying to thrust at him from the bind and he is committed to displacing strongly, you can "change through" (''durchwechseln'') with your point, slipping out of the bind and thrusting the opening on the opposite side of his blade before he has time to get his sword back in motion. Over-committing in either attack or defense is something you should avoid, and that you should exploit if your opponent does it. None of this is much use unless you can sense what your opponent is trying to do to you, and the way you do that is ''fühlen''. When you are bound with your opponent's weapon, you can feel through your own hands and blade what he is going to do with his, whether he is soft or hard in the bind and in which direction he's exerting force. A bind between two sharp swords is not easily replicated by wooden wasters or blunt steel simulators. The edges of the swords actually bite into each other on a microscopic level, creating a sticky sensation very unlike the sliding that usually occurs with simulators, and it is very easy to feel subtle changes in pressure from your opponent's weapon. This is why many some HEMA instructors such as Guy Windsor and Roland Warzecha urge advanced practitioners to engage in controlled practice with sharps, although for safety reasons this stance remains controversial.
26th Oct '15 4:55:19 PM TheBigBopper
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'''The armed and unarmed martial arts discussed in this article, particularly swordsmanship, are those that were practiced for warfare, self-defense, and dueling according to schools and manuals of fence from the German-speaking lands, Italy, the British Isles, Spain, and France. It will focus mainly on the 14th-17th centuries, but may cover later periods up to World War I. This article does not cover classical fencing, which in many cases has an unbroken living tradition, or modern Olympic fencing, which is a sport rather than a martial art.'''
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'''The armed and unarmed martial arts discussed in this article, particularly swordsmanship, are those that were practiced for warfare, self-defense, and dueling according to schools and manuals of fence from the German-speaking lands, Italy, the British Isles, Spain, the Iberian Peninsula, and France. It will focus mainly on the 14th-17th centuries, but may cover later periods up to World War I. This article does not cover classical fencing, which in many cases has an unbroken living tradition, or modern Olympic fencing, which is a sport rather than a martial art.'''

There are five special strikes within the German school referred to as the ''Meisterhau'', or "Master Strikes". These are designed to attack and defend in a single technique while displacing the most common and useful guards, the best form of defense as mentioned above. The design of these strikes are such that, even if done imperfectly, they aim to lend you advantage for further techniques. Following are the five strikes:
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There are five special strikes within the German school referred to as the ''Meisterhau'', or "Master Strikes". These are can be performed as "single time" attacks designed to attack and defend in a single technique the same movement while displacing the most common and useful guards, the best form of defense as mentioned above.above. However, some of the strikes such as krumphau can also be used in "double time" where your parry and counter attack consist of two movements. The design of these strikes are such that, even if done imperfectly, they aim to lend you advantage for further techniques. Following are the five strikes:

* '''Krumphau:''' A variable strike that attacks the hands or blade of one's adversary, forcing an opening for an additional technique.
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* '''Krumphau:''' A variable strike that attacks the hands or blade of one's adversary, forcing an opening for an additional technique.a follow-up attack.

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* '''Krumphau:''' A variable strike that attacks ''Techniques from the hands or blade of one's adversary, forcing an bind'' Both combatants are attempting to land a hit while covering the opening that is likely to be attacked by their opponent. For this reason, it is inevitable that often the swords will cross and neither combatant will immediately hit what they were aiming at. This creates a bind between the swords, and actions that proceed from this stage of the bind make up most of the plays and advanced techniques in the system. The correct way of dealing with a bind is not for an additional technique. both combatants to push against each other as hard as they can as you often see in the movies, hoping to stagger the other and strike when his guard is down. That reduces the fight to a mere contest of brute strength, which is not in either combatants' interest. Instead you must use strength against weakness, and weakness against strength. In order to judge what to do, you must fell his pressure through the sword. A bind between two sharp swords is not easily replicated by wooden wasters or blunt steel simulators. The edges of the swords actually bite into each other on a microscopic level, creating a sticky sensation very unlike the sliding that usually occurs with simulators, and it is very easy to feel subtle changes in pressure from your opponent's weapon. This is why many HEMA instructors such as Guy Windsor and Roland Warzecha urge advanced practitioners to engage in controlled practice with sharps, although for safety reasons this stance remains controversial.
16th Oct '15 7:48:01 AM Divra
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16th Oct '15 6:59:04 AM Divra
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** The historical term ''"bastard sword"'', though sometimes considered synonymous with "longsword", can also refer to a sword somewhat between the full-sized longsword and shorter arming sword in length that could easily be used in one or two hands. "Hand and a half" sword is a modern[[note]]probably late 19th century[[/note]] term that also applies, since the grip was generally not long enough to fully accommodate both hands, but rather one hand and a couple fingers of the second.
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** The historical term ''"bastard sword"'', though sometimes was considered synonymous with "longsword", can also "longsword" during the first revivals of the 19th century, but is today commonly used to refer to a sword somewhat between the full-sized longsword and shorter arming sword in length that could easily be used in one or two hands. "Hand and a half" sword is a modern[[note]]probably late 19th century[[/note]] term that also applies, since the grip was generally not long enough to fully accommodate both hands, but rather one hand and a couple fingers of the second. Medieval primary sources indicate that a bastard sword was ''not'' the same thing as a longsword in the Late Medieval period, as the two weapons frequently both show up in event lists from tournaments, but there are no sources which indicate what style of weapon was actually meant. It's also worth mentioning that the term "bastard sword" is completely non-existent outside England and France.
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