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I was reading today Sigmund Ringeck’s Fechtbuch on the longsword (both the Lindholm and the Tobler translations) and found that his definitions of vor (the before) and nach (the after) are quite different to what I’ve been taught. These terms refer to much more than just plain owning the initiative of the fight. They’re about breaking the opponent’s guard and single-time defences.
“Before means pre-empting your opponent with a strike or thrust to an opening. Then he must defend or parry. Be flexible in your defence and aim your sword against one opening after another so that he cannot get
Swordplay is a three day gathering of schools of historical swordsmanship held each September in Brisbane, Australia and run by the Australian College of Arms (ACA). The idea behind the event is to bring together fencers from all corners of this wide brown land to meet, exchange ideas and cross blades is a friendly atmosphere. This year, we kidnapped Puck Curtis and refused to release him until he presented a workshop on one of his passions, La Verdadera Destreza, the Spanish rapier technique of the sixteenth and seventeen centuries.
The format seems to have roughly fallen out as a day […]
One recent development has been playing on my mind of late: the height of pedestal on which we place the masters of the various historical fencing techniques we study. In our collective hero-worship no one seems to have considered that the masters’ techniques either just plain don’t work or work only in a limited set of circumstances. This type of hagiography does not to advance our understanding of historical swordplay nor does it provide a useful basis for the future of the sport.
The context in which a particular master wrote is the key piece of information missing from the […]