Question on a harnischfechten technique

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Question on a harnischfechten technique

Postby Alex B » 06 Sep 2010 16:00

I was working on an interpretation of Talhoffer's 1467, and I was a bit stuck on this plate:
800px-De_Fechtbuch_Talhoffer_059.jpg
800px-De_Fechtbuch_Talhoffer_059.jpg (94.78 KiB) Viewed 3548 times

I was trying to work out how the combatants could get into that position with one facing away from the other, when I saw this youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ea5-nMp ... re=related
At about 54 seconds in, one of the fighters carries out a 360 spin on the spot to break a double blade grab. Then I thought that maybe the Talhoffer technique is a counter to the spin. The spin looks familiar, and I think I've seen it somewhere in a manual as specific counter, but I'm not sure.
So two questions: 1) do you guys think that this technique from Talhoffer is intended to be a counter against a spin?
2) Does anyone know which manual deals with the spin as a counter, if any?
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Re: Question on a harnischfechten technique

Postby Michael Chidester » 06 Sep 2010 19:31

The technique is present, along with its context, in Paulus Kal, Joerg Wilhalm, and I think even Liechtenauer's Kampffechten. However, in ever source I've seen it aside from Talhoffer, it's employed in armored situations. I consider it far too risky for Bloszfechten.
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Re: Question on a harnischfechten technique

Postby Martin Wallgren » 06 Sep 2010 22:10

I have an interpretation of it.

It is acctually an counter to another plate in the manual!

The first attack is from a possition where both fighters has got hold of eachothers tips of the swords. This happens sometimes in halfswording. A tries to do a swertzniemen by moving quickly dowards B:s right hand an hook the hand with the pommel of his sword. Fighter B just move his had upp and around the incomming pommel of A.s Sword. He also deftly steps slightly to the left and this get A into a possition like in the plate. Then B forcefully drag the swords toward himself and at the same time kick A in the small of the back.

At least this is the interpretation me and Joachim Nilsson found out in 2004-05 when we worked on the halfswording part of the 1467 for a extended period of time. I have a video of it somewhere and I put it up if I find it!

Good luck!
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Re: Question on a harnischfechten technique

Postby Alex B » 06 Sep 2010 22:26

Michael Chidester wrote:The technique is present, along with its context, in Paulus Kal, Joerg Wilhalm, and I think even Liechtenauer's Kampffechten. However, in ever source I've seen it aside from Talhoffer, it's employed in armored situations. I consider it far too risky for Bloszfechten.


Don't let the fact that this part of the manual shows the fighters unarmoured make you think that this is Bloszfechten. Jeffrey Hull argued that the latter half of Talhoffer's longsword section represents Harnischfechten: http://www.thearma.org/essays/Talhoffer/HT-Web.htm
I'm inclined to agree with him, as this is by no means the only technique in Talhoffer that would be too risky for Bloszfechten. I think mostly likely this section of the manuscript is the artist drawing Talhoffer's students practicising Harnischfechten, without actually bothering to get kitted up. I know that armour changes the dynamics and weights involved etc. but it takes a long time to take on and take off, so it makes sense they wouldn't always practise armoured techniques while wearing armour.
I'll check out those other sources you mentioned. I've never really studied Joerg Wilhalm, and I've been meaning to buy Tobler's translation of Kal for a while now.

And thanks Martin for your interpretation. Next time I break the swords out, I'll give that one a try.
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Re: Question on a harnischfechten technique

Postby Andreas Engström » 07 Sep 2010 08:01

I agree with Martin's interpretation and would like to add that it helps getting it right if you think of it as pushing with the left hand and pulling with the right hand, once you've started to go up with your right hand. It's mainly the push with the left and your moving your body to the left that "turns him around". And it works quite beautifully.

I know that other people have the same interpretation, for example Claus Sörensen taught it at Fightcamp three or four years ago..

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Re: Question on a harnischfechten technique

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 07 Sep 2010 12:07

Hi,
have a look at the Andres Lignitzer section about Harnischfechten in the ms. 44 A 8 aka Peter von Danzig. There is a transcription by Dierk Hagedorn from Hammabirg: http://www.hammaborg.de/en/transkriptionen/peter_von_danzig/start.php
On plate 73 r onwards you'll find the Harnsichfechten section by Lignitzer, there on 75v is the 5. "Reissen", which deals with how to break ypuropponents sword out of his hand by turning your back on him and twisting the blades over your shoulder.

The Talhoffer plate you mentioned seems to deal with the counter (76r): the "Schere" (Scissors): once your opponent turns around, raise both swords above his head push them forward, then lower them down and attack his throat with the scissors; pull the swords while kicking him in the arse, that'll make him stumble and fall backwards or dropping the swords.....Just as Martin already described.
Talhofer doesn't push the blades over the opponents head, but that's not essential, as the opponent will have a very unstable position anyway. Talhifer doesn't show the double blade grip as well, but I wouldn't care too much about that - just as well as the fact, that Talhoffer shows it without armour.
AFAIK the 1467 manuscript was exclusivly written for the count Eberhard, Talhoffers employer at that time. the while manuscript seems to be more of a memory sketchbook for Eberhard and not a structured teaching book.

I usually have another entry in that comparred to Lignutzer section about the "Reissen", i.e. binding the blades after an initial thrust to the face, now grab the tip of the opponents sword twist and turn it off the bind and downwards, then thrust to his testicles; his first reaction will be to grab or push your thrust aside with his left hand; there you go: both hold their sword woth their right hand and the tip of the oppoents sword with the left; now one turns to his left, raises the swords over his shoulder and the head and and pull, using the shoulder as leverage...
You'll find both plates in Paulus Kal as well.
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