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HEMA/WMA Anonymous Comrade 04/17/2020 (Fri) 17:53:25 No. 8519
:Broadsword Edition: >What is HEMA or WMA? Historical European Martial Arts or sometimes Western Martial Arts are attempts at decoding, studying, and practicing the history, art, and fighting of everything from the Medieval Period to Early Modern Combatives. What traditions are you lot studying at the moment? Me? Going through George Silver's "Paradoxes of Defence" to expand my regimental broadsword/sabre repertoire.
>>8519 Just posting a few more for interest.
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>>8519 >>8520 And this one, if you can read it.
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>>8519 >>8520 >>8521 And last one. You should have enough to get practicing with these four. >attempt to upload #4
I can't believe somebody finally made a HEMA thread. Thank you, anon! So yeah, the official British military system formulated by the Angelo family/school (also other related sources like the instructional posters and books for personal purchase by one of their students such as Roworth) is relatively easy to learn, since it was designed to teach an army but also because it and other 18th-19th century fencing such as smallsword are what modern sport fencing descended from. The reduction/simplification of theory and focus on descriptions, instructions and drilling doesn't make it any less effective than medieval or renaissance fencing. Rather, the "theory" becomes apparent in its practise. It's quite /fa/ too. Nick Thomas' channel for various sparring videos and a few instructional videos since the quarantine to get a feel for the system: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_HtUzv9WIfxx31eYKDo4aA He works mostly with Roworth's Art Of Defense On Foot from 1796 which is clearly based on Angelo's method and also OP's posters. There is also the official "Infantry Sword Excerise" manual (again, Angelo-based) which was first published in 1817. I'll try to upload them in the next post. Also, Jay Mass, who focuses on basket hilt broadsword methods has also been providing lessons and drills on the military-style system since the quarantine. Check him out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn9SaOfJEd-vljZ3d_C1Dqw
>>8542 Pretty dang cool, I'll check'em out. A source I've worked with, that I think is a great into in addition to Angelo's Ten Lesson format, is Archibald Maclaren who streamlined the RN's cutlass and later it'd go on to become the infantry standard in 1875. it's just four cuts with four guards, but it's pretty dope. Another cool source for fun is from Australia (see attached). Basically Italian dueling sabre.
>>8542 Here they are. The 1824 edition of Charles Roworth's Art Of Defense On Foot along with the 1817 and 1845 editions of Infantry Sword Exercise (too large; next post). These first two are by Nick's AHF group. I'm including the second Infantry Sword Exercise because I think the layout is easier to read and later editions of these books tend to be "better". The intro also expands a bit on the Angelo line. All three pdfs start with background info on the book, the system and the Angelos. Honestly, if you're interested in regimental fencing, I think it's better to start by watching introductory or instructional videos and observing sparring with instructors. Once you get a feel for it, you can start reading Roworth. Consult the internet for more information. I don't really recommend starting with ISE because it is more of a drilling instruction with stretches and warm-up exercises at the beginning. Of course, all this is only if you have no nearby clubs to join or if your club does not practise it.
>>8544 Awesome, I'll give them a read once I'm done with Silver. Sometimes I imagine training a group of comrades in this kind of stuff for fun and "just in case", but then realise guns are a thing :\
>>8544 1845 edition of Infantry Sword Exercise. >>8546 >George Silver Been reading him too. His "Brief Instructions Upon My PoD" is an actual fencing how-to while PoD is more his "thesis" on the italians. The important parts are chapters which *might* explain his personal fencing theory and concepts though they sometimes require reading between the lines. His takes on the rapier the last thing pay attention to, imo. And I am no fan of the long Capo Ferro style rapiers. >to expand my regimental broadsword/sabre repertoire. Are you reading the PoD & BI compilation by Cyril G. R. Matthey? The context of Matthey's editing and publishing it in 1898 with the help of "early HEMA"ist Alfred Hutton is exactly that. They felt that contemporary military swordsmanship lacked certain essential things such as grappling and hopes the reader to learn them as presented by George Silver.
>>8548 I do love how with Swetnam, Wylde, what'shisname, and Silver, it completes what we pretty much know about early English (and by reeeeaaaally long stretch Scottish) baskethilt fencing and rapier. Paradoxically, Silver basically teaches you really simple "rapier" if you read it from the other perspective. Throw in some Saviolo and Di Grassi, plus that other dude, maybe Pallas Amarta, and we see that the "English" rapier was a fucking chimera of a system. I'm reading the BOB, Big Orange Book. It's actual name, "Masters of Defence" by Paul Wagner and I got if for cheap. Plus years ago at a festival I got some lessons from Stephen Hand and said Paul Wagner when they visited my country. But yes, the later the sabre, the less gritty it is, the more one has to reintroduce more stuff. early broadsword, or "clan Era" stuff has a lot of that kind of thing.
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>See >>8551 Basically this image is the earlier version of the 1875 Maclaren Ed. manual.
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>>8551 >Paradoxically, Silver basically teaches you really simple "rapier" if you read it from the other perspective. At a certain point, all bladework becomes familiar. I remember an article describing simple rapier using Liechtenauer. The four hangings as the main four positions, durchwechseln as the cavazione, etc. . I think the differences that remain are what makes each tradition/system/master their own. Their ideal dimensions of a weapon, their preferred mode of conduct or "body language" and even the way information is structured and relayed are things that give shape to a "system". >Saviolo and Di Grassi Really like these two for late sidesword/early rapier. They complement each other well despite some differences. Di Grassi in particular is fascinatingly simple but in such a fashion that his dimunitive plays are applicable in a broad amount of ways. Saviolo is also interesting in his preference for off-line or circular footwork. There are discussions on him possibly being influenced by spanish swordplay including a paper by Stephen Hand. I find "simple" systems more interesting these days. If I'm ever in the mood for bolognese sidesword, it's usually Dall' Agocchie or Anonimo Bolognese since they start with sword alone and do away with the lengthy "assaults" format for shorter plays.
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>>8578 >I find "simple" systems more interesting these days. Absolutely agree. Pouring over cryptic and convoluted "trade secret" manuals just doesn't do it for me much these days. Not to say I don't enjoy them but people like fucking Marozzo, bruh, just get to the point. Manciolino is pretty concise and clear... When he's not jerking himself of about his "Classical Literary Education". Di Grassi I think is deceptively simple, similar to my mind as Giganti in that they (the master) expect you to experiment and practice yourself. Compare this to someone like Fabris who's not as anal as Ferro, but also specifies key points and concepts without going full Destreza tier specific. Then again you get someone like MacBane and you're left feeling "Okay, what the FUCK did I just read?"
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https://youtu.be/xWKgVwVjY8E Nice to know Fabio is using Di Grassi and Saviolo in his recent appearances. Sucks that they're on the rare side of fencing but there are dedicated groups and videos around. It's interesting to see Silver use the "in a real fight" card centuries ago in PoD but also funny that he directed it against people with military experience. Both Saviolo and Di Grassi seem confident in what they do. Granted, DG's greatsword is pretty out there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqWC1VuhkPI Rob just uploaded this short presentation on time/tempo for Meyer's rappier but it's very similar to the topics in Silver's fencing theory. Silver's "Space" is the distance one needs to travel to successfully land a defense or attack. The four true times are as I see it can be simplified as four kinds of motions. Each motion suggests a particular speed/time and a particular measure/space. The time of the hand is fastest, but it's only possible when one is within striking distance (the "Place") since the foot does not move or at least does not need to. A faster true time will "defeat" a slower true time which is why tarrying in the Place is a dangerous thing since both fencers will then act on the time of hand. At that point, the first mover will likely arrive first. If you are to defend an attack there, you will likely fail since your Space will be too wide. "Wide" as in your hand does not have enough time to travel to the intended spot in due time, of which time is so short since the attacker is operating in time of the hand. Moreover, the hand is swifter than the eye. One cannot expect to parry every blow, much less at such a short distance. So leave the Place as soon as your action is finished. Maintain your distance to keep yourself safe. Parry in the closest position from your current one so they cannot deceive you in such little time. However you counter an attack that comes, couple it with a slight retreat backwards. Such are Silver's various advices on defense.
I've always wanted to get into this. Seems like a fun and semi useful way to work out. (probably not as much as something like Brazilian jiu jitsu which I also want to do but still)
>>8719 >Seems like a fun and semi useful way to work out. It is pretty sweet. Just get a bokken/shinnai, or sledgehammer, even a stick, and go through the motions. If you want to get sickening grip and forearm gains (and as a grappler I should hope you would), get a pair of Indian Clubs (or make some from plastic tubes and water bottles filled with... Whatever). Feel a pump and cramp you never thought possible. >also fixed my tennis elbow and carpal tunnel but ymmv
>>8719 What sort of period/weapon are you interested in? Longsword is the most popular thing by far. There's also messer and sword & buckler for the medieval period. Sideswords and rapiers can get quite technical. Regimental swordmanship of the late 18th-19th century (resources posted above) is much more simple to work with, and foil fencing began as the training for smallsword a bit before that. Of course, you'd want a dedicated partner/group for any serious training. In any case, you can stick to one system and work from there. How to cut effectively and safely, edge alignment, body mechanics, footwork, etc. . There's plenty of videos for beginners in the net to consult and compare with. If you're interested enough to read the sources, there's Wiktenauer. They don't have everything but they do host the major medieval (german & italian) and bolognese (sidesword) sources. Take heed though that learning to read a treatise is a whole other process.
>>8729 I'm a pretty big dude, so I'm definitely leaning more towards longsword. As much as I am interested in the idea of a rapier my fine motor skills can be shit since I have a slight tremor. I live in a major city so I definitely think I should be able to find a place to train when the corona epidemic is over.
>>8736 >As much as I am interested in the idea of a rapier my fine motor skills can be shit since I have a slight tremor. I'd recommend you still try it, I can't recall which master it was but there was one who wrote a short textual treatise who had "the shakes". However all this did was a) Lull opponents into a false sense of confidence, underestimate him in other words, an b) During salle practice and acutal shit-your-pants judicial duels said shaking stopped because >"... All the sinews and senses of the body, in that moment of truth, were stilled like water on a pond..." Foil has a similar effect according to a former instructor. Something to do with the body going "Oh, we need signal to word briefly and it's done so often so we'll shortcut it momentarily".
>>8742 Interesting then. I might possibly consider it.
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https://youtu.be/gE4nCW_xgzU https://youtu.be/-V5lo8O8FIE I forgot to check what the strayans are up to. Nice to finally get a look at Paul's take on Time and within interesting situations beyond having a basket hilt alone. >>8716 Btw, >very similar to the topics in Silver's fencing theory. >Robert has been swinging swordlike objects around for the past 18 years, first, with various medieval reconstruction groups, then in 2006 started a HEMA study group looking at the backsword/broadsword method of the Elizabethan Englishman George Silver. Ah, makes sense. The anglos were there all along. Baskets hilts are pretty interesting and their sources don't need translations but damn they can get expensive. With pic related which is in the 200€ range I could emulate arming sword/messer, sidesword and probably even early rapier. A sabre would be nice too...
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>>8889 >Baskets hilts are pretty interesting and their sources don't need translations but damn they can get expensive. Well there are a few options! If you look at german dussack, or Dutch walloons, they have quite simple hilts but still count as "basket hilts". Something like your sidesword there, well put a few more side rings on it, a knuckle bow, and you've got a complex hilt! Another option is to add plates to it to turn it into a bilbo or cup hilt. The last, and period accurate piece of advice, is to wear a gauntlet on your sword hand. A cool short cut also: If you learn broadsword, backsword, sabre, or any other baskethilt system, you can quickly adapt to using a buckler by using a less protective hilt and a buckler, and pretending your buckler is the baskethilt and act accordingly. It works pretty good.
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>>8901 Oh, I was more thinking of the baskets in the British Isles. >dusack Rawlings uses blackfencer's 1796 for both sabre and dusack. I guess stirrup sabres are versatile in that way. >walloons I was wondering what the french were using as their broadsword equivalent before everyone started using sabres. That is, what sword represented the "espadon" fencing seen in certain smallsword plates as opposed to "pointe" and "contre-pointe". https://web.facebook.com/hemamisfits/posts/the-espadonneurs-plates-in-girards-smallsword-treatise-brought-up-a-lot-of-theor/1116288705207554/?_rdc=1&_rdr Also consider how the basic double shell + knucklebow setup from the walloon survived well into the 18th century with various blades types. The 1796 spadroon comes into mind.
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All this is great, but absolutely useless if we have no-one to practise with. Practicing strokes and motions don't help unless you know when to use them in a fight instinctually, and just practicing alone will not gain you this instinct. This goes for ANY martial art.
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>>9038 Yes. >>9042 Exactly, which is why people gather and do these things together. Fencing is more fun with friends. Drills and solo practise are still useful for conditioning, building muscle and working on good form. What better to do under a lockdown? Besides, there is an actual academic side to HEMA. Discussing theory, historical & sociopolitical context and experimentation are pretty important for HEMA as a whole. These surviving documents and source materials form the basis of all HEMA. Whether or not you're alone, you'd refer to them all the same. There are things you just can't practise alone, like this: https://youtu.be/GjkRhHYTeyw And heres a bunch of people having fun: https://youtu.be/bFzlrSmS-yM
Don't mind me. Just skipping past the entirety of longsword plays to get to the interesting stuff. The painted illustrations hosted at wiktenauer are nice too. https://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Joachim_Meyer
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https://www.reddit.com/r/wma/comments/gowqfp/in_italian_sidesword_is_there_a_term_for_an/ Interesting post by cleverseneca: >Coming from a German longsword and I.33 background, one thing that struck me in reading bolognese, is that they don't talk about binding or winds with the sword. Now obviously this isn't to say that this system doesn't or can't bind, just that they do not use language or special terms describe it directly like the Germans. The Germans are remarkably intentional about describing binds. The concept of "fuhlen" or feeling the bind is clearly very important in Liechtenauer's approach to fencing theory. From this need comes the very useful description of the 28 windings. How one should proceed in a bind depends on if they or their opponent is "weak" or "strong", "hard" or "soft". All in all, it's a universally applicable way of understanding and describing blade actions. I think however, this focus within the text could also bring about the misconception that one must always seek the bind. Clearly not true since there are various offensive actions that rather avoid it. Even against a simple countercut or parry, if your opponent is so weak or soft that their blade gets beaten away, the best thing to do is simply to extend your point. Likewise, there is no need to resort to "advanced winding techniques" in a bind when simpler, more direct actions are possible. >All this to say, you probably won't get a name for your movement as a binding movement. Its going to likely best be described either as a mezza volta (partial turn of the sword) [its transitioning from d'alicorno to guardia di entrance if I am imagining it correctly] , a strammazzone (a wrist cutting motion) or as disengage called a sfalazzare or cavare (which later become cavazione). Another related observation I'd like to add is that whether in a bind or not, the various motions you'd do moves the sword in more or less the same ways to the same postitions. I believe Viggiani also states that whether you're attacking or defending, you'd move the sword in similar ways along the same lines. From Fiore to the Bolognese masters, Di Grassi to Saviolo, the lack of specific terms and general vagueness in the topic of binding or winding seems largely consistent. They usually write only of strong and weak in terms of the blade's divisions and their use in leverage, attacking and defending. Vagueness could work in another way. Inverting this observation, it also means that one particular motion can be used in various contexts. Using dall'Agocchie as example: After parrying with guardia testa (inside hanging) you can return with a double tramazzone instead of a single mandritto. He doesn't really give any reason why but we can imagine that the first cut can serve either as a feint or a back edge parry/beat or perhaps we can cut the arm first before going for the head. Going even further, it can be understood that a particular set of blade motions can be used with different footwork and likewise a particular footwork pattern can be used with different bladework. You get the idea.
>>9929 Interesting write up anon. Thanks, I'll have to give it some thought.
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>>10009 Little late but glad you found my rambling useful! I'm not experienced by any means. Still can count times I've sparred with my hand. As I understand it, the be-all and end-all of Liechty's system is simply to sieze the vor and work to the nearest opening with the smallest possible motion. The various techniques and devices laid out are ways to achieve that. Most of the plays actually deal with you being nach and having to retake the vor, usually using the relevant techniques indes. A bit more to add to the second part. By understanding that the same motion, more or less, can be utilised in multiple ways (offensive or defensive, in a bind or out, etc.) one can break down (by indentifying instances of the same action, how they're used each time) or build up (by trying to apply one action in other ways) a system, whether they're "complex" or "simple". Also, another example of vagueness in text: Di Grassi clicked for me when I was watching some dall'Agocchie plays and realised how a couple or more of them would fit into just one of DG's plays which had the virtue of being vague, or rather, open-ended on the position of the sword hand. One play effectively becomes several. Of course, we should always experiment responsibly by still adhering to a system's particulars. They are after all what shapes one master's method into their own and differently for others. The instances of bending or even breaking them without consequence does not invalidate an entire philosophy of fencing. Sometimes, simplicity is the point. Aight, that's enough for today.
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>>10470 Shit, I completely forgot to address the original point of the second part of my post. So, did the "Italians" in general saw no need to be as descriptive of the bind (not just the state of it, but sometimes whether you're even in one) due to an implicit understanding of this observation? That you, more or less, will do the same action whether with or without blade contact? Couple that with how they usually clarify that the foible is for attacking, the forte is for defending and maybe a bit on leverage, a reader probably has enough tools to understand what to do when blades do meet. We'll likely never know for sure. It's a useful way of looking at things whatever the case. Moreover, I think my question being "did the Italians" is a bit misleading. The other fencing material I've read are not that different regarding binds. It is the "Germans" (Liechtenauer tradition and those related to it) that are the exception, not the rule in this case.
>>10529 Yeah, the German traditions loved binding and talking about it constantly. Seems most other countries just kinda got on with it.
>>9049 >Fencing is more fun with friends. Drills and solo practise are still useful for conditioning, building muscle and working on good form. What better to do under a lockdown? G A Y D I C K F R O T T A G E
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Pigs had some pretty nice swords tbh. >>8552 >maclaren Wasn't it by William Tuohy? I checked a bit and an Archibald Maclaren was apparently influential for his physical education system and did write a book on (foil) fencing but not an official one. https://www.antique-swords.co.uk/revised-infantry-sword-exercise-by-william-tuohy
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Reposting a series of effort posts on rapiers, spears, longswords and distance Saw this cool video of a rapier vs a longsword. It looks like the rapier was a better weapon. So much more range and speed. https://youtu.be/6r7VWIQCHvM Range is a huge advantage in a fight. Fighting a spear is tough if you only have a sword. You will be in the danger zone before they do. They will be able to make feints and thrusts before your sword is even able to hurt them. Covering yourself and getting past their point is key to survival. It is important though to realize that the spearman can still shorten the spear or use the back end. Therefore to disable/hamper the usage of the spear after getting past the point is equally important, whether by binding and angling the spear away with your blade, gripping the shaft or even simply rushing in to whack/grapple 'em before they could retreat or pull back their point. Likely you'd do more than one those at the same time. >better weapon I wouldn't go that far. The user's proficiency is more relevant. In any case, "better weapon" requires context. Range? Against armour? Single combat or multiple opponents? Battlefield or everyday carry? The last one especially is important to consider when discussing weapons. It's why people carried bucklers rather than shields, swords rather than spears, staves or walking sticks rather than edged polearms. Both rapiers and longswords were certainly carried in battlefields though. >speed A rapier would typically be nimbler than a longsword, thanks to its point of balance being at the guard/handle. I think "speed" is too vague a word. A sword is only as fast as the hand that moves it. A longsword is held with both. Its movements can be more powerful and just as fast with good body mechanics. Moreover, the longsword would have more leverage in a crossing/bind thanks to its greater mass, mass distribution and being held in two hands. However, you can see how rapidly the rapier changes lines and angles to both parry and strike. Nick's group mostly does late 18th-19th century british military swordsmanship (sabre, basket-hilt sword, cutlass, spadroon, etc.). These are also interesting: https://youtu.be/0bEcg5gV_NY https://youtu.be/t8rIwLFXba8 <Inb4 'Rapiers are almost useless against fully armoured opponents' Most opponents do not have full plate armor with chainmail underarmor anything less will still have vulnerable zones easy for a lighter rapier user to exploit. Even then, a rapier has the precision to strike through something like a visor hole.
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Repost 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr1vsU-6vuU https://youtu.be/ERmM5l2ceoY Rob Roy and The Duellists have 2 of the best swordfights put onscreen in Western ekranization --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- https://youtu.be/v9tM_YHvhuA >HEMA instructor >17 minutes I gotta agree on that first one. Only thing I've seen of the witcher but Geralt moves really well despite the reverse grip. https://youtu.be/C3HMz25LvnY Really like this one too. Like Dave said, "spinning" becomes an actual thing against multiple opponents. That said, most of the twirling came from the guards when they're closing in or retreating. There's grappling, punching, kicking, enhanced spatial awareness (loljedi) along with solid blows and parries. The highlight is definitely on Ben dealing with multiple guards. Gripping and using one's weapon to defend himself while parrying and striking at the other two. There's just something about his saber and how he handles it that I find appealing. The way he keeps his point on line @ 1:27 is sexy. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't get it when people say "real sword fighting wouldn't look good". I don't think anyone's advocating for 100% realism. I'm sure boxing in movies and IRL look different too. Perhaps it's different for the uninformed, but historical swordplay looks better every way. Hell, some exchanges in sparring can be as theatrical as cinema all while being technically sound. Since exaggerating or slowing bladework even with good technique for safety and the viewers' benefit is already a given, the next best aim would be to give "masters" or "experts" good and distinct forms when moving and fighting. Body language is part of acting, no? Have a gander at Robert and his opponents: https://youtu.be/ju0t2z0p-c4 https://youtu.be/T2LkXMhhKSY https://youtu.be/eDpANnct46U And if you want fancy shit, the masters have it too: https://youtu.be/0dnGNJvoNeQ Or you can be fancy in a sensible way: https://youtu.be/oQ88cuzsyqE https://youtu.be/WDoYXHdNbTU Hollywood is actually not interested in History, but only a semblance of Historical accurary hence why there are so many inaccuracies in films. They just don't care. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJFFLvwNLlM
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Some contributions
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>>10910 There's a fourth book on shields. >>10908 >>10909 Thanks anon.

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