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  #1  
Old Mar 20, '12, 11:42 am
Gambarola Gambarola is offline
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Default The Martial Arts of Christian Europe

When people think of the middle ages, the are conditioned by years of bad history to think of ironclad buffoons stumbling around in their overly heavy armour bashing one another with crude 15 pound “broadswords”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fighting men of the era developed deadly weapons and efficient elegant martial arts entirely unconnected and unrelated to the east.

These martial arts are now in process of 'reconstruction' from period fighting manuals known as fechtbuchs. They include anything and everything grappling to stickfighting to fighting with sickles. As a Christian, the most interesting part is the fact that these books and arts are steeped in Christianity and its imagery. The writers invoke the protection and forgiveness of God, the intercession of the saints and the purity of the immaculate heart. One particular manual, the tower manuscript I.33 shows a monk teaching the readers the techniques of sword and buckler.

Because of this, some of the spiritual quandaries of eastern martial arts do not apply. There is no chi, no tao, no subtle inferences of buddhism and buddhist enlightenment. In time, and with more research and development they may become a viable path for Christians who wish to learn martial arts but have no desire for the aspects of eastern mysticism that are so often embedded in the eastern martial arts.

Here is a collection of some vids showing some of the historical western martial arts that are in a process of reconstruction

Grappling: Medieval combat grappling falls under names such as Kampfringen or Abrazare. There were as many styles as there were teachers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm6P1boVkY0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ge6l...eature=related

Dagger: The daggers used are the Rondel, a spikelike weapon intended to punch into the seams of armour and through the links of mail. Its used in an icepick grip to maximise the strike force.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkpR0...inYXDkMDG-w6D5

Swords:

The one handed straight bladed sword is generally called an 'arming sword' (this is the sword that, for some reason, RPGs call a 'longsword')

Cutting with an arming sword

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e6x5...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsf0e...eature=related


The proper longsword is a two handed weapon that was about 48 inches long and weighed about 3 pounds.

Cutting with a longsword
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4ucq...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNEBp...eature=related

As you can see, these weapons are neither blunt, nor heavy, nor cumbersome. They cut very well when used properly.

unarmoured sword: These are techniques used against foes who are unarmoured or lightly armoured.The myth of the western sword is that it was a blunt, crude 15 pound behemoth designed to smash through armour. They were light and agile, and they were never used to bash armour. They were in fact lighter on an inch per inch basis than the famed Japanese swords and made with better steel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjT4J...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln94E...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng...eature=related
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  #2  
Old Mar 20, '12, 12:46 pm
Sky Pilot Sky Pilot is offline
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Talking Re: The Martial Arts of Christian Europe

My friend, to quote the late Paul Harvey, you have my undivided, and I am listening with both eyes!
I re-enact in the European Middle Ages; my fellows are active in "heavy" (sword-and-shield with armor) and "light" (fencing) styles; I fear at my august age, this activity is best left to those younger and with fewer "Old War Wounds."
I will very definitely pass these links on to our fighters, and I thank you most kindly for this information!
Insert broad and toothy grin here!
... oh ... there IS a smiley for that ...
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  #3  
Old Mar 20, '12, 9:31 pm
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chevalier chevalier is offline
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Default Re: The Martial Arts of Christian Europe

That's so much cooler than litigation.
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  #4  
Old Mar 20, '12, 10:38 pm
Lost Wanderer's Avatar
Lost Wanderer Lost Wanderer is offline
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Default Re: The Martial Arts of Christian Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambarola View Post
unarmoured sword: These are techniques used against foes who are unarmoured or lightly armoured.The myth of the western sword is that it was a blunt, crude 15 pound behemoth designed to smash through armour. They were light and agile, and they were never used to bash armour. They were in fact lighter on an inch per inch basis than the famed Japanese swords and made with better steel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjT4J...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln94E...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng...eature=related
Sadly I can't watch youtube right now. However, there is still a question as to which was engineered to have more cutting power.

According to this article I found on google:

Quote:
Cutting Ability - This is the blade's capacity to deliver powerful shearing and cleaving edge blows. Despite it being the fundamental purpose of most swords, this category is still challenging to determine. The katana, with its living tradition of practice, is well known for demonstrating its cutting power. Its single, hardened, wedge-like edge has long been shown to be capable of extraordinary sharpness. The longsword, which has not been practiced or studied for centuries, has not acquired a similar reputation. Indeed, its utility and cutting ability has suffered from considerable disregard by fencing historians and arms curators (despite historical accounts documenting its formidable edge blows having been corroborated by modern experiment). It is certain that both weapons successfully faced opponents wearing soft and hard armors without great difficulty. Nonetheless, a curved blade is mechanically superior to a straight one at delivering edge blows to produce injury. And due to its hardness, the single curving edge of the katana is very good at penetrating even hard materials with straight-on strikes. Verdict: Katana.
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  #5  
Old Mar 23, '12, 8:16 pm
Gambarola Gambarola is offline
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Join Date: March 20, 2012
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Default Re: The Martial Arts of Christian Europe

Well, I don't want to get into debate on cutting power..but lets just say European blades are vastly underrated and cut just fine

Anyways, some more vids for those who care

More Kampfringen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0fV1...eature=related

Armoured fighting: Armoured fighting is very different from unarmoured fighting. You cannot cut armour with a sword. Any sword. So you use the sword like a small spear, gripping it halfway down the blade. They you try and expose a seam to thrust the point into. You use the sword as a levering tool to break joints, You use the crosspiece as a knuckle duster or reverse your grip and use it like a mace.

Contrary to popular belief, plate armour is not particularly heavy or encumbering. Plate is highly articulated with a fine weight distribution that does not impede gross motor at all. one can do gymnastics, cartwheels, sprint, grapple and even jump on a horse in full plate. A good suit of plate would weight about 55 pounds. Images of knights having to be winched onto thier horse by crane are hollywood fantasies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4k-vjdeZO4


Messers: Curved swords were actually very common in Europe. The Messer (German for 'knife') could look like anything from a chopping machete to a scimitar. Two handed Messers were known as Kreigsmessers and looked like a Katana or a Chinese Miao Dao with a western crossguard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38sVdx7nzhQ

A variety of weapons:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Tzdt...eature=channel

And finally, one more longsword vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7aXtzf7-Lk
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