History UsefulNotes / EuropeanSwordsmanship

24th Aug '16 7:12:00 PM TheBigBopper
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The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B. Cuts continued to play a secondary role, and unlike an estoc blade which was usually little more than a long quadrangular spike, most rapiers did have sharp edges, at least along the weak or ''"debole"'' since the strong or ''"forte"'' was sometimes left more dull for parrying. Cuts included forehand, reverse, and a cut from the wrist called the ''stramazone'' that used the tip of the sword for slashing.

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The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B. The blade had a thick spine so that it wouldn't flex easily and was often of a hard temper so that it could be both narrow and stiff. Cuts continued to play a secondary role, and unlike an estoc blade which was usually little more than a long quadrangular spike, most rapiers did have sharp edges, at least along the weak or ''"debole"'' since the strong or ''"forte"'' was sometimes left more dull for parrying. Cuts included forehand, reverse, and a cut from the wrist called the ''stramazone'' that used the tip of the sword for slashing.
24th Aug '16 7:09:33 PM TheBigBopper
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The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B. Cuts continued to play a secondary role, and unlike an estoc blade which was usually little more than a long quadrangular spike, most rapiers did have sharp edges, at least along the weak or ''"debole"'' since the strong or ''"forte"'' was sometimes left more dull for parrying. Cuts included forehand, reverse, and a slashing cut with the tip called the ''stramazone'' that could be used for blinding your opponent or slashing his windpipe open.

to:

The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B. Cuts continued to play a secondary role, and unlike an estoc blade which was usually little more than a long quadrangular spike, most rapiers did have sharp edges, at least along the weak or ''"debole"'' since the strong or ''"forte"'' was sometimes left more dull for parrying. Cuts included forehand, reverse, and a slashing cut with from the tip wrist called the ''stramazone'' that could be used the tip of the sword for blinding your opponent or slashing his windpipe open.
slashing.
24th Aug '16 7:07:28 PM TheBigBopper
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The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B.

Rapiers typically have blades at least 40 inches long, because length has certain tactical advantages. One is that it gives you more reach than your opponent, which gives you the advantage in measure: he needs to get closer to you than you need to get to him, and you have more opportunities to attack him at a range where he can't hit you while he attempts to close the distance. Another is that it lends itself to single-time attack and defense. The blade is long enough that you can set aside your opponent's attack with your strong ''("forte")'', while still being able to skewer him with your weak ''("debole")''.

to:

The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B.

B. Cuts continued to play a secondary role, and unlike an estoc blade which was usually little more than a long quadrangular spike, most rapiers did have sharp edges, at least along the weak or ''"debole"'' since the strong or ''"forte"'' was sometimes left more dull for parrying. Cuts included forehand, reverse, and a slashing cut with the tip called the ''stramazone'' that could be used for blinding your opponent or slashing his windpipe open.

Rapiers typically have blades at least 40 inches long, because length has certain tactical advantages. One is that it gives you more reach than your opponent, which gives you the advantage in measure: he needs to get closer to you than you need to get to him, and you have more opportunities to attack him at a range where he can't hit you while he attempts to close the distance. Another is that it lends itself to single-time attack and defense. The blade is long enough that you can set aside your opponent's attack with your strong ''("forte")'', forte while still being able to skewer him with your weak ''("debole")''.debole.
24th Aug '16 7:00:55 PM TheBigBopper
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If you are right-handed, then your right side and your right foot are always going to lead. The opposite is true if you are left-handed. The side of you that is presented is said to be on your outside line, and the side of you that is drawn back is on your inside line. Start with your heels together, and your feet forming a right angle, with your lead foot pointing forward and your back foot pointing to the side. Step back with your hind foot, placing it about two foot lengths behind the lead foot and making sure that if you imagined a straight line under your lead foot, your hind heel would not intersect it. As you step back, bend your knees and settle into a stable stance as if you're sitting in a chair, with your butt positioned over the line created by your heels. You need to keep your butt at the same level as you step so that your body won't bob up and down, the only exception being when you sink into the lunge.

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If you are right-handed, then your right side and your right foot are always going to lead. The opposite is true if you are left-handed. The side of you that is presented is said to be on your outside line, and the side of you that is drawn back is on your inside line. Start with your heels together, and your feet forming a right angle, with your lead foot pointing forward and your back foot pointing to the side. Step back with your hind foot, placing it about two foot lengths behind the lead foot and making sure that if you imagined a straight line under your lead foot, your hind heel would not intersect it. As you step back, bend your knees and settle into a stable stance as if you're sitting in a chair, with your butt bottom positioned over the line created by your heels. You need to keep your butt bottom at the same level as you step so that your body won't bob up and down, the only exception being when you sink into the lunge.



The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or

to:

The kind of long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals we're concerned with was designed primarily to be used in a civilian setting where the combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the point could slip through ribs or
or the skull and mortally wound by penetrating an organ such as the brain, heart, or lungs only a few inches; and lastly, in the contest for tempo and measure it was considered to usually be the quickest path from point A to B.

Rapiers typically have blades at least 40 inches long, because length has certain tactical advantages. One is that it gives you more reach than your opponent, which gives you the advantage in measure: he needs to get closer to you than you need to get to him, and you have more opportunities to attack him at a range where he can't hit you while he attempts to close the distance. Another is that it lends itself to single-time attack and defense. The blade is long enough that you can set aside your opponent's attack with your strong ''("forte")'', while still being able to skewer him with your weak ''("debole")''.
24th Aug '16 6:34:29 PM TheBigBopper
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* OffWithHisHead: Like chopping limbs, decapitating a person in the heat of a swordfight was very difficult and usually not as efficient as--for example--a descending cut into the skull; nevertheless, allowing for some artistic license in the illustrations, Talhoffer shows a decapitation in one of his plays, and experiments with replicas on animal carcasses suggest it to be plausible. In places such as Central Europe where execution by beheading was customary, a specially designed executioner's sword was used.

to:

* OffWithHisHead: Like chopping limbs, decapitating a person in the heat of a swordfight was very difficult and usually not as efficient as--for example--a descending cut into the skull; nevertheless, allowing for some artistic license in the illustrations, Talhoffer shows a decapitation in one of his plays, and experiments with replicas on animal carcasses suggest it to be plausible.possible. In places such as Central Europe where execution by beheading was customary, a specially designed executioner's sword was used.
24th Aug '16 6:33:32 PM TheBigBopper
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* OffWithHisHead: Like chopping limbs, decapitating a person in the heat of combat was very difficult and usually not as efficient as--for example--a descending cut into the skull; nevertheless, allowing for some artistic license in the illustrations, Talhoffer shows a decapitation in one of his plays, and experiments with replicas on animal carcasses suggest it to be plausible. In places such as Central Europe where execution by beheading was customary, a specially designed executioner's sword was used.

to:

* OffWithHisHead: Like chopping limbs, decapitating a person in the heat of combat a swordfight was very difficult and usually not as efficient as--for example--a descending cut into the skull; nevertheless, allowing for some artistic license in the illustrations, Talhoffer shows a decapitation in one of his plays, and experiments with replicas on animal carcasses suggest it to be plausible. In places such as Central Europe where execution by beheading was customary, a specially designed executioner's sword was used.
24th Aug '16 6:32:28 PM TheBigBopper
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%%!!Blade Work

%%The type of sword depicted in the rapier manuals is a weapon primarily designed for the defense of life and honor while wearing civilian %%clothing. Unlike the knightly sword of old which was girded on for battle and carried by travelers, but generally not worn about one's daily %%business, the rapier was a fashion statement and advertisement of masculinity meant to be worn at all times.

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%%!!Blade !!Blade Work

%%The type The kind of sword long, narrow rapier depicted in most of the rapier manuals is a weapon we're concerned with was designed primarily designed for the defense of life and honor while wearing to be used in a civilian %%clothing. Unlike setting where the knightly sword combatants would be wearing street clothes without significant defensive armor. The thrust is emphasized for several reasons: the point is further ahead than the center of old percussion, which is further back on acutely pointed blades than ones with a broader tip, meaning that it has more reach; it was girded on for battle and carried by travelers, but generally not worn about one's daily %%business, considered more lethal, since cut injuries were often more superficial than they looked, while the rapier was a fashion statement and advertisement of masculinity meant to be worn at all times.
point could slip through ribs or


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* AnArmAndALeg: Although severing limbs was not a primary tactic, it was certainly known to happen. One play in Talhoffer shows a fencer chopping another fencer's weapon hand clean off with his messer.


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* EyeScream: Getting one's eye poked out was a common hazard during practice before the era of fencing masks, and there were a lot of one-eyed swordsmen roaming about. Fencers tried to prevent this by wrapping the points of their foils in tennisball-sized pads that were bigger than a person's eye socket, but this didn't always work.


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* OffWithHisHead: Like chopping limbs, decapitating a person in the heat of combat was very difficult and usually not as efficient as--for example--a descending cut into the skull; nevertheless, allowing for some artistic license in the illustrations, Talhoffer shows a decapitation in one of his plays, and experiments with replicas on animal carcasses suggest it to be plausible. In places such as Central Europe where execution by beheading was customary, a specially designed executioner's sword was used.
24th Aug '16 6:01:34 PM TheBigBopper
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* AnElegantWeaponFromAMoreCivilizedAge: Beginning in the 16th century, some fencing masters such as Agrippa would lament how the "diabolical invention of artillery" and the arquebus made it possible for some amateur with a couple weeks of training to blow away a MasterSwordsman at a hundred paces, and how the sword represented the ancient values of chivalry that they believed to be decaying in their time.

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* AnElegantWeaponFromAMoreCivilizedAge: ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge: Beginning in the 16th century, some fencing masters such as Agrippa would lament how the "diabolical invention of artillery" and the arquebus made it possible for some amateur with a couple weeks of training to blow away a MasterSwordsman at a hundred paces, and how the sword represented the ancient values of chivalry that they believed to be decaying in their time.
24th Aug '16 6:00:47 PM TheBigBopper
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Added DiffLines:

* AnElegantWeaponFromAMoreCivilizedAge: Beginning in the 16th century, some fencing masters such as Agrippa would lament how the "diabolical invention of artillery" and the arquebus made it possible for some amateur with a couple weeks of training to blow away a MasterSwordsman at a hundred paces, and how the sword represented the ancient values of chivalry that they believed to be decaying in their time.
22nd Aug '16 11:11:32 PM TheBigBopper
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* BulletProofVest: While there wasn't bulletproof plate cuirasses compact enough that you could wear them like a concealed bulletproof vest, there were garments of mail and brigandine construction that could be worn inside or underneath a regular doublet. These could be very finely made so that they would stop sword and dagger points while being very flexible and discreet, which is one reason that many rapier duels required both combatants to strip down to their shirts to show that they weren't concealing any armor.

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* BulletProofVest: While there wasn't weren't bulletproof plate cuirasses compact enough that you could wear them like a concealed bulletproof vest, there were garments of mail and brigandine construction that could be worn inside or underneath a regular doublet. These could be very finely made so that they would stop sword and dagger points while being very flexible and discreet, which is one reason that many rapier duels required both combatants to strip down to their shirts to show that they weren't concealing any armor.
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