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Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:45 pm
by guthrie
Yes, not the nicest of experiments.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:19 am
by Trading-Dragon
Aye, my missus would have to say something about that. My pretty face is the second best part of me. :D

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:22 pm
by Colin Middleton
I can think of one or two pictures in Talhoffer where a sword is entering the thigh. Infact I think that the groin is one of the key targets (IIRC). It's not impractical from a high guard to deflect the blow to the head with the forte of the blade such that the tip is pointed down. A thrust from there to the groin or thigh is then easy and potentially crippeling and your face remains garded.

I also did a longsword class last year at SWASH that taught striking with the flat of the blade. However this was 16th C German and used swords specially designed for such actions.

In general in WMAs, when you deflect a blade (with the edge or the flat), you're turning the energy of the blow away, rather than absorbing it in your sword like you are in the FAST combat systems. This puts a very differnent level/type of stress on the sword so isn't going to cause the same damage.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:39 pm
by Zachos
Remember, that battlefield and sword fighting is very different. When fighting in a formation with lots of friends its a lot easier to hit someone in the leg, particularly if you're using a bill. As an example, my re-enacting injuries have come in two flavours: hand injuries from 1 on 1 fights, or knee injuries from battlefield bill blocks.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:04 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Is there a body mechanics element to that as well? I wonder if a spear is more likely to be parried away and down either into the lower body or into the lower body of the poor SOB next to you?

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:06 pm
by wulfenganck
Colin Middleton wrote:I can think of one or two pictures in Talhoffer where a sword is entering the thigh. Infact I think that the groin is one of the key targets (IIRC). It's not impractical from a high guard to deflect the blow to the head with the forte of the blade such that the tip is pointed down. A thrust from there to the groin or thigh is then easy and potentially crippeling and your face remains garded.

I also did a longsword class last year at SWASH that taught striking with the flat of the blade. However this was 16th C German and used swords specially designed for such actions.

In general in WMAs, when you deflect a blade (with the edge or the flat), you're turning the energy of the blow away, rather than absorbing it in your sword like you are in the FAST combat systems. This puts a very differnent level/type of stress on the sword so isn't going to cause the same damage.
The lower part of the body is regarded as being a minor target in the longsword teachings in Lichtenauer tradition, due to simple body-geometrics: if one fighter reaches for his opponents legs, he will be outreached by his opponents simultanious attack towards the head/chest.

Talhoffer (who clearly comes from the Lichtenauer background, but has some alterations of his iwn in his later treatises) uses the leg target with a sort of surprise attack, he's more snapping at the leg, leaving inly the left hand at the sword (i.e. at the pommel) to have bigger reach.
The legs are vital targets with the sword and buckler plays by the masters Andres Lignitzer and Sigmund RIngeck; both strongly representing the Lichtenauer tradition.
But there we have a different geometry.

The stroke with the flat belongs to Joachim Meyer, 1570 - and is more of a sportive bouting action and not the clearly more lethally intended actions provided by treatises of the 15th century.
Apart from that the whole flat vs edge discussion is pretty fruitless.
Mainly because a "parry" in HEMA (or WMA) isn't a static block against an attack. It'S more about stepping offline and counter or use a deflecting strike against the incoming attack. As Colin stated the energy flow and stress on the blade with the historical fencing is quite different from that hollywoodesque strike-and-block-and-strike-and-block-and-yell-and-curse-and-strike-and-block thingy...

But of course all the treatises deal with one-on-one combat/knightly duel. I don't know about a source for battlefield combat.
Although I believe that certain elements from the HEMA manuscripts are valid for ANY sort of fight (balance, bidy mechanics, posture), we can only guess what it was like on the battlefield with pikes, poleaxes, halberds in mass-formation.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:07 pm
by Colin Middleton
That's the one Wulfenganck. I didn't want to chance the name as I keep confusing him with a number of other Germans writing about the same time.

As to the use on the battle-field, I don't see why most of the WMA stuff shouldn't be applicable (obviously ignoring the later 'sports' stuff). Sure you've not got as much time to plan or execute perfectly placed attacks as you have in a duel and you're facing someone more unpredictable, but you're still trying to put the sharp bit in the other guy while stopping him doing it to you. I'd have thought that the bigest difference is that you can't risk getting your weapon stuck in the other guy's body!

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:17 pm
by Phil the Grips
wulfenganck wrote:Mainly because a "parry" in HEMA (or WMA) isn't a static block against an attack. It'S more about stepping offline and counter or use a deflecting strike against the incoming attack.
Maybe in the C15th- but it is a strong feature of historical fencing from the C16th onwards to the modern day.

Though it may not be the ideal or pinnacle of a system, and various authors either aim to go towards or away from it depending upon their own aims, contexts and opinions, it's still a very expressed matter to do such- the True Cross is a very distinct feature of English, and some Scots, swordply for example, lots of smallsword is based on this principle, "Baroque" rapier has it as a solid way to start off newer fencers or for contexts where simple is best (like street defnce and duels by th einexperienced) and so on.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:22 pm
by wulfenganck
Phil the Grips wrote:
wulfenganck wrote:Mainly because a "parry" in HEMA (or WMA) isn't a static block against an attack. It'S more about stepping offline and counter or use a deflecting strike against the incoming attack.
Maybe in the C15th- but it is a strong feature of historical fencing from the C16th onwards to the modern day.

Though it may not be the ideal or pinnacle of a system, and various authors either aim to go towards or away from it depending upon their own aims, contexts and opinions, it's still a very expressed matter to do such- the True Cross is a very distinct feature of English, and some Scots, swordply for example, lots of smallsword is based on this principle, "Baroque" rapier has it as a solid way to start off newer fencers or for contexts where simple is best (like street defnce and duels by th einexperienced) and so on.
Yes, I 'm mainly talking about the late medieval treatises from 14th and 15th century, I only use parts of the later 16th century stuff from Meyer, Mair (@Colin: that's probably the one you're confusing with Joachim Meyer?), Wilhalm, Czynner - and that mostly to evaluate my interpretation and/or for some special stuff, like amoured combat, sword and buckler etc.
I tried to read Silver and a bit of William Hope once, but frankly, why bother reading my way through a foreign language treatise, whereas I have lots of manuscripts in my mother tongue that also fit exactly in my timeframe (I have to confess, that Baroque is of practocally no interst at all for me) ....lazy me....

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:21 pm
by zauberdachs
wulfenganck wrote:The stroke with the flat belongs to Joachim Meyer, 1570 - and is more of a sportive bouting action and not the clearly more lethally intended actions provided by treatises of the 15th century.
I would slightly disagree with this. I would suggest that Meyer often uses strikes with the flat for tactical reasons, as striking with the flat leaves you more free to strike with the true or false edge on your next stroke. If you are not expecting to land the first stroke in whichever technique you are hoping to perform then striking with the flat gives you more tactical options.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:49 pm
by Phil the Grips
Striking with the flat was a feature of the Belgian longsword Guild rules for competitions for safety and also a common defence in French law along the lines of "I only hit him with the flat of my sword, yer 'onour, I never meant to kill him"

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:53 pm
by zauberdachs
Phil the Grips wrote:Striking with the flat was a feature of the Belgian longsword Guild rules for competitions for safety and also a common defence in French law along the lines of "I only hit him with the flat of my sword, yer 'onour, I never meant to kill him"
Indeed. But in Meyer it is clearly used for tactical reasons not for harm reduction.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:47 pm
by wulfenganck
zauberdachs wrote:
wulfenganck wrote:The stroke with the flat belongs to Joachim Meyer, 1570 - and is more of a sportive bouting action and not the clearly more lethally intended actions provided by treatises of the 15th century.
I would slightly disagree with this. I would suggest that Meyer often uses strikes with the flat for tactical reasons, as striking with the flat leaves you more free to strike with the true or false edge on your next stroke. If you are not expecting to land the first stroke in whichever technique you are hoping to perform then striking with the flat gives you more tactical options.
Hmm, I've been trying to figure out, but I'm afraid I don't get it....why does it leave one more free to strike with true or flat as a following action?
How do you perform the a strike with the flat then in the first place? Even if you're striking with the flat it'S still a strike, either travelling downwards, upwards or a middle strike. Why - or how - should there be more options cpmpared to the initial strike performed with true or false edge?
I'm leaving out the hidden strikes - or master strikes as Meyer calls them - like Zwerchhau or Schielhau etc. because I see absolutely no tactical advantage in striking a Zwerch with the flat. Either you hit, good, but better when hitting with the edge; or you don't hit him, then it doesn't make any difference for the following technique.
In fact, given the flow of a strike with hand position on the grip, I find it way mor easier to strike with the edge, striking with the flat involves some slight turn in the wrists to actually turn the blade and hit with the flat.

The discussion if Meyer provides a more "sportive"bouting than lethal duel/combat system on comparison to the earlier manuscripts is quite old. Now, please don't get me wrong, I appreciate Meyer's work (as well as the treatise of other 16th masters) as a hugely informative compendium, but reading through the whole longsword sections I find it rather clear that he was writing for the different purpose of a FRIENDLY bout AS WELL as for valid self defence.
Meyer was already writing for a wider audience of citizens, practising fencing in guilts like the "Markusbr├╝der", "Federfechter" and the like; the belgian fencing guild rules have been mentioned already; we have similar accounts of turneys where the duels were held until the "first blood" was drawn; where the head was the only valuable target; Meyer explains techniques with conclusions like "then you have a nice bout". After all I think it's a mixture: his writings contains most of the earlier Lichtenauer teachings, but it is altered and expanded.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:38 am
by zauberdachs
wulfenganck wrote:Hmm, I've been trying to figure out, but I'm afraid I don't get it....why does it leave one more free to strike with true or flat as a following action?
The reason is I think that the quickest and strongest cuts are often true followed by false and vice versa. True followed by true is slightly slower and seems to loose something in terms of power as you lever it off on and back on again. However when you use the false you are equally placed to follow with true or false. Try it.

Checking over Meyer the main reason he seems to suggest from his techniques is that when you hit with the flat you get bounce back or rebound. You strike and then the blade immediately bounces back meaning your next action is faster yet.

The grip should not be an issue and the grip shift is the same as, for example, doing a Zwerch horizontally i.e. requires the same thumb on the blade grip.

However, I'm not selling it to you. It is a part of Meyers system and it is used for tactical not preventing of injury purposes. For example he often describes sequences with three blows to the head and two will be with the edge and one with the flat. The flat blow is usually intended to allow the final striking blow to happen just that bit faster.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:55 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
And for that reason I prefer the noble art of shotgun jitsu.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:07 pm
by zauberdachs
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:And for that reason I prefer the noble art of shotgun jitsu.
A style of Gun Fu by any chance? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_fu

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:30 pm
by James The Archer
zauberdachs wrote:
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:And for that reason I prefer the noble art of shotgun jitsu.
A style of Gun Fu by any chance? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_fu
:D
I like it

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:59 am
by wulfenganck
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:And for that reason I prefer the noble art of shotgun jitsu.
Ahh, I remember: italian portrayal right? That explains a lot.....

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
SPAS 16 being the prefered choice of Fiore.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:11 pm
by gregory23b
I had heard it was a striker set with stopping power, but it was a friend of a friend.

Re: Advice on buying a helmet

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:13 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
:D