History UsefulNotes / EuropeanSwordsmanship

23rd Jan '17 4:53:09 PM TheBigBopper
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The order in which you move the parts of your body is of life-and-death importance. Whenever you attack, which requires bringing yourself closer to your opponent, your sword hand ''must'' precede the rest of your body. Moving your body in reach of your opponent's point before first moving your sword forward to cover yourself and threaten your opponent is just asking to get yourself skewered, since in that case your opponent can attack you with little risk to himself. In the correct fashion, your sword enters the danger zone first and the rest of your body follows behind it. As long as you are presenting your point and threatening him, he will first have to deal with that threat before he can try to hurt you. With that in mind, let's consider the different measures from narrowest to widest:

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The order in which you move the parts of your body is of life-and-death importance. Whenever ''Whenever you attack, which requires bringing yourself closer to your opponent, your sword hand ''must'' '''must''' precede the rest of your body.body''. Moving your body in reach of your opponent's point before first moving your sword forward to cover yourself and threaten your opponent is just asking to get yourself skewered, since in that case your opponent can attack you with little risk to himself. In the correct fashion, your sword enters the danger zone first and the rest of your body follows behind it. As long as you are presenting your point and threatening him, he will first have to deal with that threat before he can try to hurt you. With that in mind, let's consider the different measures from narrowest to widest:



It bears repeating that the order of movement when attacking is always hand first, ''then'' shoulders, ''then'' hips, ''then'' feet. In order to protect yourself while recovering from an attack back into defensive posture, you need to reverse that order so that your feet are the ''first'' to draw back and your sword is the ''last'' to draw back. First retreat with your feet while keeping your shoulders and sword hand extended, then draw your shoulders back while keeping your sword hand extended, and lastly relax your sword hand into a guard position such as third so that you are back in defensive posture.

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It ''It bears repeating that the order of movement when attacking is always hand first, ''then'' '''first''', '''then''' shoulders, ''then'' '''then''' hips, ''then'' '''then''' feet. In order to protect yourself while recovering from an attack back into defensive posture, you need to reverse that order so that your feet are the ''first'' '''first''' to draw back and your sword is the ''last'' '''last''' to draw back.back''. First retreat with your feet while keeping your shoulders and sword hand extended, then draw your shoulders back while keeping your sword hand extended, and lastly relax your sword hand into a guard position such as third so that you are back in defensive posture.
7th Jan '17 7:09:28 AM Ambaryerno
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** This continues even today. An intense rivalry exists between HEMA and ARMA, two of the prominent historical swordsmanship guilds, to the point that membership is ''mutually exclusive'' between the two organizations. HEMA splintered off ARMA due to ideological differences, further fueling this rivalry, to the point that ARMA bans equipment sold by one online source due to perceptions of favoritism towards HEMA. It also extends to the individual national systems. Considerable debate rages over whether the German or Italian longsword traditions are superior, with some groups acting as proponents of one over the other (though others do incorporate both traditions as part of a unified system). Even particular weapons come into play, and it's not unusual to see practitioners of the longsword and rapier each looking down upon one another.
6th Jan '17 11:12:47 PM TheBigBopper
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* BlackVikings: Despite the name, these arts weren't practiced exclusively by people of white European genetics, and some people of color even won fame and social status through their mastery of Western-style fencing.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_de_Saint-Georges Chevalier de Saint-Georges]], one of the most famous fencers and renaissance men of the 18th century, was the son of a French plantation owner and an African slave.

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* BlackVikings: Despite the name, these arts weren't practiced exclusively by people of white European genetics, and some people of color even won fame and social status through their mastery of Western-style fencing. \n See [[https://outofthiscentury.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/the-greatest-african-american-and-afro-american-martial-artists-in-history/ here]] for more.
** The Joseph Bologne, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_de_Saint-Georges Chevalier de Saint-Georges]], Saint-Georges]] (1745–1799), was one of the most famous fencers and renaissance men of the 18th century, century. He was born in the Carribean; his mother was an African slave named Nanon, and his father, wealthy white planter George Bologne de Saint-George, sent him to France for his education. From his teenage years he was famous for his accuracy and quickness, and Henry Angelo (son of the famous smallsword master) praised both his skill and sportsmanship. He won many matches, including one against a Rouen fencing master who insulted his race, and another with a Captain of Hussars who boasted that he could beat Saint Georges without realizing that the man himself was in earshot. He became an abolitionist who attracted the hatred of people in the slave trade, and successfully defended himself against more than one attack by thugs armed with pistols. Saint George also commanded, as colonel, the first all-black military regiment in Europe, a unit that came to be known as St. Georges’ Légion.
** Jean-Louis Michel was born in Haiti as
the son of a French plantation owner fencing master, and an African slave. served in Napoleon's army. In 1814 he was part of a Regimental duel near Madrid between the French 32nd Regiment and Italian 1st Regiment, in which he killed or disabled 14 Italian fencing masters in successive bouts totalling 40 minutes. He retired from the army in 1849 at the age of sixty-five to start his own school in Montpellier. Later in life he denounced duelling, and he taught his daughter to fence.
** Basile Croquère, born in New Orleans around 1800 to a white father and a mixed-race mother, was considered one of the best fencing masters in Louisiana at a time when duels were fought more frequently in New Orleans than in any other city in America.



* RivalDojos: This comes up throughout the history of European martial arts, as rival masters and schools squabbled, sometimes intensely, among themselves. Of particular note was the Brotherhood of St. Mark and the Federfechter; the former held a monopoly on instruction in the Holy Roman Empire, and were incensed when the latter were invited to the council at Frankfurt in defiance of this.
** It often got mixed up with nationalism in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, particularly with figures such as George Silver, who was openly disdainful of the Italian fencing systems of his day often for no better reason than the fact they were ''Italian''.

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* RivalDojos: This comes up throughout the history of European martial arts, as rival masters and schools squabbled, sometimes intensely, among themselves. It often got mixed up with nationalism in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance.
**
Of particular note was the Brotherhood of St. Mark and the Federfechter; the former held a monopoly on instruction in the Holy Roman Empire, and were incensed when the latter were invited to the council at Frankfurt in defiance of this.
** It often got mixed up with nationalism in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, particularly with figures such as George Silver, Silver had an ax to grind against the Italians and their newfangled rapier style, especially Rocco Bonetti and Vincetio Saviolo who set up fencing schools in England. His writing contains the story of a certain Austin Bagger who drunkenly picked a fight with "Signior Rocco" by standing outside his house armed with sword and buckler and mocking his claims to expertise, including his advertising slogan that he could "hit anie Englishman with a thrust upon anie button". Rocco came out with his "two-hand sword" to teach him a lesson but Bagger delivered a CurbStompBattle, where he "cut him over the breech and trode upon him and most grievously hurt him." Since he was openly disdainful of writing about an event that supposedly happened a decade ago, and had an obvious agenda in discrediting the Italian fencing systems masters, we should take this story with a huge grain of his day often for no better reason than the fact they were ''Italian''.salt.
6th Jan '17 9:37:53 PM Ambaryerno
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* RivalDojos: This comes up throughout the history of European martial arts, as rival masters and schools squabbled, sometimes intensely, among themselves. Of particular note was the Brotherhood of St. Mark and the Federfechter; the former held a monopoly on instruction in the Holy Roman Empire, and were incensed when the latter were invited to the council at Frankfurt in defiance of this.
** It often got mixed up with nationalism in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, particularly with figures such as George Silver, who was openly disdainful of the Italian fencing systems of his day often for no better reason than the fact they were ''Italian''.
18th Dec '16 3:08:16 PM DarkBee
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[[foldercontrol]]
6th Dec '16 2:26:25 AM KeithM
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* RealityIsUnrealistic: Due to movies and the long portrayal of European swordfighting as either {{Flynning}} or two idiots just whacking away at each other without any finesse, people are often disbelieving of the very concept of European Martial Arts even though, logically, with several thousand years of sword use you'd think something more sophisticated than simply swinging wildly at each other would develop. Some people, seeing reconstructed combat techniques, accuse practitioners of just making something that looks cool instead of the primitive techniques they think were really used.
25th Oct '16 10:40:49 PM TheBigBopper
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* GroinAttack: A knee or foot to your opponent's groin can really debilitate them if they're so concentrated on the bind between the swords that they leave themselves open below. In armored fighting, a half-sword stab to the groin is effective because it's one of the few places difficult to cover with rigid plate.

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* GroinAttack: A knee or foot to your opponent's groin can really debilitate them if they're so concentrated on the bind between the swords that they leave themselves open below.below; George Silver refered to it as "striking with the foote or knee in the Coddes". In armored fighting, a half-sword stab to the groin is effective because it's one of the few places difficult to cover with rigid plate.
6th Oct '16 8:46:55 PM TheBigBopper
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* GroinAttack: A knee or foot to your opponent's groin can really debilitate them if they're so concentrated on the bind between the swords that they leave themselves open below. In armored fighting, a half-sword stab to the groin is effective because it's one of the few places difficult to cover with rigid plate.
6th Oct '16 8:28:44 PM TheBigBopper
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* {{Fingore}}: A ''krumphau'' to the hands can cut off your opponent's fingers, and there's a nasty unarmed technique in Ringeck's wrestling: if your opponent tries to reach out and grab you, intercept his hand by siezing his first two fingers in your right hand, his second two fingers in your left, and [[{{Squick}} tear them in opposite directions]].
6th Oct '16 8:22:16 PM TheBigBopper
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* BrawlerLock: In wrestling, the standing stage often starts with both fighters siezing each other's shoulders and "swimming" in attempt to get on the inside of the lock where they have the advantage. Dagger fights also often begin with both fighters attempting to stab each other, but successfully siezing each other's dagger wrists so they're at an impasse. Of course, you don't just strain against each other with brute force when this happens; you immediately feel where the pressure is going and then apply a technique the defeats strength with weakness or weakness with strength.
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