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- Translation of Sainct Didier’s Drawing the Sword
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- The World of the Troubadours
- Table of Defenses Actions in Dall’Agocchie
- Notes on Dall’Agocchie’s Days One and Two
- Review: A Canticle for Leibowitz
- The Schwarzeneggar Bible
- Next: Giovanni Dall’Agocchie
- Translation of Henri de Sainct Didier’s General Essay
- Learning Sidesword Fundamentals
- The Dusack’s Agricultural Origins
- My French Exam – DELF B1
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- Sword Fighting Versus Fencing
- Meyer’s Rapier and Dagger (and Cloak)
- My Historical Fencing Gear
- Eating National Animals
- Homemade Dusacks
- The Dusack’s Agricultural Origins
- Flames of War – US Rangers
- Meyer’s Rapier: In the Onset
- A New Sidesword for Me!
- Thomas the Capitalist Lackey
Historical Swordplay Archive
Posted on 4 February, 2013 | No Comments
This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier‘s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.
- Secrets of the Single Sword – Drawing the Sword
The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not noted here.
Translating Sainct Didier is […]
Posted on 10 December, 2012 | No CommentsThis is my translation of the defenses and counters outlined in Day Two of Giovanni Dall'Agocchie’s On The Art of Fencing. I’ve simplified and condensed drastically to discover the basic bio-mechanic movements behind the the vast catalogue of Italian terminology. Bolognese scholars are free to think this post sacrilege.
Posted on 3 December, 2012 | 2 Comments
I’ve finished Days One and Two of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s On the Art of Fencing and I’ve got some notes and observations to share. And I’ve got to say I’m terrified of making my little contribution to the field public given the amount and depth of study others have put into the Bolognese tradition.
I’m just a simple swordsman and I reckon that learning from the sources can give me an edge over others I bout with. This may mean I look at the tradition from a slightly different angle and it may help beginners unravel some of its intricacies.
Posted on 12 November, 2012 | No Comments
I’m about to embark on a review of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s 1572 fencing treatise “Dell’Arte Di Scrimia” (The Art of Fencing) and it terrifies me. Not because the text is difficult or unapproachable but because there’s already been so much research and practice of the Bolognese tradition that I doubt whether I can add anything to that body of work. My approach, however, may be a little different.
I’m not so much concerned with re-creating the style as it was but understanding how I can use what Dall’Agocchie can teach in my own practice. How, for instance, does he propose I […]
Posted on 5 November, 2012 | No Comments
This is a translation of the essay at the front of Henri de Sainct Didier’s The Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). I have not translated the epistolary verses or any more of the text at this stage. This is a task for someone with more time available than I currently have available to me.
- The Secrets of the Single Sword – General Essay
The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des […]
Posted on 29 October, 2012 | 1 Comment
I’ve been reviewing my notes on both the sidesword and dusack techniques shown in Joachim Meyer‘s Art of Combat and a couple of key principles stand out. Master these and you’ve got the core of the single sword style he taught. This post outlines the core principles in a format from which a lesson plan could be developed.Core Principles
Forget all the talk about the multitude of postures and cuts. The key is that you cut to attack and, for the most part, cut to defend.
Cuts are either vertical, horizontal or diagonal whether from above or below. When […]
Posted on 22 October, 2012 | No Comments
The dusack is a remarkable weapon. It’s traditionally made of wood or leather (although some metal examples are known) and was used as a training weapon the the German schools of swordsmanship and the town guard in Eastern Europe to quell hordes of drunken revelers. The dusack fighting system outlined in Joachim Meyer’s Art of Combat (1570, tr. J. Forgeng) is bone-breakingly fast.
My question has always been where on earth did such an unusally shaped weapon come from? Then I stumbled across this.
Dusacks in Pennsylvania? Gangs of militant Amish keeping the law with quaintly decorated wooden swords?
Posted on 1 October, 2012 | 1 Comment
This post marks the end of my investigations into A Tract on the Single Sword of Henri de Sainct Didier (1573), another member of Club 1570. I’m presenting here my notes on his sidesword technique (PDF) for public appraisal. Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated.
- Summary of Henri de Sainct Didier’s Sidesword Lessons (PDF)
My initial thoughts were pretty much correct. The text is a series of lesson plans rather than a coherent sword combat system. Sainct Didier is all about training young courtiers rather than warriors.
There’s little in the way of description of the stages of the fight as […]
Posted on 17 September, 2012 | 2 Comments
I’m well known for my support of bouting and tournaments within the historical fencing community. If you are unwilling to test your skill at arms in a competitive environment, you need to find another hobby or, at least, drop the pretense of studying a martial art. However, for all the fantastic effort being put into making tournaments work at the moment, there’s a number of factors which I believe have not been considered or not properly thought through.
In the German longsword schools, this is known as the zufechten. The fault can almost certainly be laid at […]
Posted on 20 August, 2012 | No Comments
There’s a lot of talk about at the moment about whether what we do is a martial art, martial sport, historical reconstruction or something else. To my mind, all of these missing the point and fail to address the most basic question – why use swords at all? There are three answers that I can see.
Modern schools of historical swordsmanship grew out of the thirty year old movement to reconstruct lost aspects of the western martial heritage and this remains the foundation of the practice. There’s still a huge amount of debate about what various masters meant by what […]