What Fightbook do you use?? and Why?

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Postby admin » 23 Nov 2007 17:58

Richard Strey wrote:Now, I'm in no way implying that the Italian stuff is inferior, less complex or anything. It just seems to me that the Germans left a lot of stuff out and only wrote down the intricate winding/binding. So there are those practitioners that learn "simple fighting" as a base to build the difficult stuff on and those that don't.


Actually I think I totally agree. I think Fiore and Vadi represent what was more normal in medieval Europe. I think Liechtenauer represents something special and different to normal - as the German sources suggest. If you look at medieval English, Spanish, Italian or French art from the 15thC you see a lot more Fiore-ish positions than Liechtenauer-ish ones.
For me the strength of Fiore is that it is such a complete and tidy system, relatively simple to learn and use. It fits with my philosophy that it is better to be really good at a simple thing than not very good at a complicated thing.
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Postby AdamR » 23 Nov 2007 18:36

admin wrote:
TheDude wrote:Hey, entering a 1 man competition doesn't count :-)


From what I can see there are three types of Liechtenauer students, ones who know what they are doing and fence well, and not unlike Fiore students, ones who just flail like children with sticks and use Liechtenauer quotes as an excuse, and those who just do whatever they feel like, and call it 'Talhoffer'. One thing is evident, as I have seen from judging competitions in Dijon and Vienna over the years - if you take 20 Liehctenauer students and put them together then they all fence very differently, with only a few common reference points. Fiore/Vadi students all seem to fence more or less similarly however. What the reasons are for this, well that's another topic.


An excellent summary Mr Easton - this has been my observation too. 'I study Talhoffer' has now long been a warning siren! - unless it is a part of their Liechty trad work...
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Postby admin » 23 Nov 2007 20:26

Yes, as soon as I hear 'I study Talhoffer' something inside me tries to crawl away into a dark corner, which is a real shame and injustice to Talhoffer. He's provided us with a couple of the most beautiful treatises to look at, and these have been tainted by idiots talking out of their bottoms.
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Postby Richard Strey » 23 Nov 2007 21:46

Heh. Same here, particularly on "renfairs" and LARPs. Mostly, it's the no-basics-guys.
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Postby Martin Wallgren » 24 Nov 2007 23:34

I agree!

One cant understand what Hans T does if one don´t understand the basics of Liechtenauers teachings. Because it is all based on that. Then he shows some tricks one can use in special situations, like the plays both Ringeck and Danzig is doing.

There is nothing special with Hans other than that he has had the training in the Liechtenauer tradition and he just take for granted the reader of the manual knows all that before he gets in to Hans plays.

This is just my interpretations though!

(After a couple of years of studying Ringeck, Talhoffer, Döbringer, Danzig and then back to Talhoffer in that order.)
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Postby AdamR » 25 Nov 2007 00:21

admin wrote:Actually I think I totally agree. I think Fiore and Vadi represent what was more normal in medieval Europe. I think Liechtenauer represents something special and different to normal - as the German sources suggest. If you look at medieval English, Spanish, Italian or French art from the 15thC you see a lot more Fiore-ish positions than Liechtenauer-ish ones.

Yes - that seems likely - given references to 'leychemeister' in 3227A particularly - taking the point off line...

admin wrote:For me the strength of Fiore is that it is such a complete and tidy system, relatively simple to learn and use. It fits with my philosophy that it is better to be really good at a simple thing than not very good at a complicated thing.


But here I'm not so sure I agree - I think Liechtenauer's system is very simple and easy to learn too. Easier or harder than Fiore's I don't know - but very simple nontheless. I could cover maybe 40% of it with just three exercises. It has to be simple after all - if it is complex it probably won't work. It's just not so easy to interpret from the texts that have survuived - hence the lively debate on certain points :lol:
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Postby Hans Heim » 25 Nov 2007 09:35

Hi out there,

I use all of the books about the Lichtenauer tradition about the longsword that I can get a hand on. With a focus at the von Danzig and Hans von Speyer.

But my main focus is Lebküchner, even to unlock the longsword.

I thinkin that in the Lichtenauer poem, even in the Glossen, a lot of knowledge about fencing is missing and that it is very hard to learn swordmanship without that missing knowlegde.

The Lichtenauer poem starts at a techniqually very high level and that you should know a lot about swordfighting befor you get in contact with that stuff.

Unfortunately a lot of us (including me) started with the poem. It is like you learn driving with a Fomula 1 car and with the context of car racing. You miss all the ruels to drive savely in the ordinary traffic.

The poem does not realy work with footwork, basic cutting, basic blocking etc., but without that you cant realy fence.

Servus,

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Postby hafoc » 25 Nov 2007 15:04

Hans Heim wrote:Hi out there,

I use all of the books about the Lichtenauer tradition about the longsword that I can get a hand on. With a focus at the von Danzig and Hans von Speyer.

But my main focus is Lebküchner, even to unlock the longsword.

I thinkin that in the Lichtenauer poem, even in the Glossen, a lot of knowledge about fencing is missing and that it is very hard to learn swordmanship without that missing knowlegde.

The Lichtenauer poem starts at a techniqually very high level and that you should know a lot about swordfighting befor you get in contact with that stuff.

Unfortunately a lot of us (including me) started with the poem. It is like you learn driving with a Fomula 1 car and with the context of car racing. You miss all the ruels to drive savely in the ordinary traffic.

The poem does not realy work with footwork, basic cutting, basic blocking etc., but without that you cant realy fence.

Servus,

Hans


Nice points, Hans.

I've always felt somewhat the same sense of bewilderment when the Fiore guys start waxing ecstatic about Fiore sword work (but not about his dagger work, which is crystal clear and of which I am very fond). When I compare what they claim for him with the manuscript, often I am left unable to see how they got where they claim to be from the parchment. A lot seems to be left out and people often seem to be filling in the blanks based on I don't know what. But then, perhaps I don't have access to the secret Fiore scroll that explains all. :wink:

My own preference at present is for Meyer, at least for starters. For all its faults, for I am sure it has them, it is about as good a 1-2-3, by-the-numbers book as we have. It doesn't leave much room for doubt. You'll find a great deal of wisdom in it when you drill down into the text. (I would add that although I have been at this material for several years, I still feel like a rank beginner groping in the dark. We are all, I think, groping in the dark, which should send shock waves of humilty through our community, although it does not seem to have done so, given how emphatic and certain some people can be about approaches that stand as much chance of being wrong as anybody else's.)
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Postby admin » 25 Nov 2007 19:48

AdamR wrote:But here I'm not so sure I agree - I think Liechtenauer's system is very simple and easy to learn too. Easier or harder than Fiore's I don't know - but very simple nontheless. I could cover maybe 40% of it with just three exercises. It has to be simple after all - if it is complex it probably won't work. It's just not so easy to interpret from the texts that have survuived - hence the lively debate on certain points :lol:


Ah, my fault I wasn't clear enough - when I said system I meant concerning all weapons, not just longsword. I mean that when you learn Fiore you learn the system primarily and fit the weapons into it. So in terms of learning the system I think it is simpler, as you don't have Ott's wrestling, Liechtenauer's longsword, Lekuchner's messer, Lignitzer's sword and buckler etc. Having said that, I suppose you could argue that some of the German masters integrate a bunch of knightly weapons into one system - it's just that I see more similarity between, say, Fiore's pollaxe, Fiore's dagger and Fiore's sword than I see between, say, Talhoffer's dagger, sword and pollaxe. But that may just be because I don't know the German things as well. To me it seems there is more to say about Liechtenauer's longsword than Fiore's - the former seems more academic and fussy, at least on paper. Though I realise that in reality alot of these Germanic wordy things boil down to quite simple actions.
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Postby admin » 25 Nov 2007 19:54

hafoc wrote:I've always felt somewhat the same sense of bewilderment when the Fiore guys start waxing ecstatic about Fiore sword work (but not about his dagger work, which is crystal clear and of which I am very fond). When I compare what they claim for him with the manuscript, often I am left unable to see how they got where they claim to be from the parchment. A lot seems to be left out and people often seem to be filling in the blanks based on I don't know what. But then, perhaps I don't have access to the secret Fiore scroll that explains all. :wink:


Out of interest, could you give an example so I can understand what kind of things you are referring to? I can't immediately think of which bits are missing - we've got the footwork explicitly, the angles of the cuts, how guards counter each other and what each guard can and can't do, what to do from the two types of crossing (on both sides). The only thing I can think of which Fiore understandably missed out is what to do with left-handers! :) I'm not claiming that Fiore included every tiny detail, because none of the sources do, but I can't think of anything major that is missing.
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Postby AdamR » 25 Nov 2007 19:59

Ah - indeed. When you turf through the principles underlying the weapons I think you do end up with common principles - I don't know Fiore - but I imagine this is far more evident - it would make sense as it is just the one author. But Liegnitzer's sword and buckler adds to the understanding of Liechtenauer's longsword (or at least, my current understanding of it) as an example. Both systems claim to be assemblies of techniques (or am I mis-remembering what I did read of Fiore? Apologies if this is the case) - perhaps the German simply gives full and proper credit to the contributor's ;)
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Postby David Welch » 26 Nov 2007 01:33

What Fightbook do you use?? and Why?


<HERETICAL> I use them all, because as far as I can tell this stuff is all pretty much the same, except for some minor differences people make a big deal about so they can be doing something "special".</HERETICAL>
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Postby hafoc » 26 Nov 2007 02:40

admin wrote:
hafoc wrote:I've always felt somewhat the same sense of bewilderment when the Fiore guys start waxing ecstatic about Fiore sword work (but not about his dagger work, which is crystal clear and of which I am very fond). When I compare what they claim for him with the manuscript, often I am left unable to see how they got where they claim to be from the parchment. A lot seems to be left out and people often seem to be filling in the blanks based on I don't know what. But then, perhaps I don't have access to the secret Fiore scroll that explains all. :wink:


Out of interest, could you give an example so I can understand what kind of things you are referring to? I can't immediately think of which bits are missing - we've got the footwork explicitly, the angles of the cuts, how guards counter each other and what each guard can and can't do, what to do from the two types of crossing (on both sides). The only thing I can think of which Fiore understandably missed out is what to do with left-handers! :) I'm not claiming that Fiore included every tiny detail, because none of the sources do, but I can't think of anything major that is missing.


Matt, the versions of Fiore that I have do not describe footwork, nor do they say how to counter one cut with another. They start from the cross and work from there. What translations are you working from?
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Postby Fab » 26 Nov 2007 02:48

hafoc wrote:Matt, the versions of Fiore that I have do not describe footwork, nor do they say how to counter one cut with another. They start from the cross and work from there. What translations are you working from?


The longsword section in the Getty doesn't start with the crossed swords :) ; footwork, cuts and the like are described before the plays. Lots of important information contained therein, although written in short words. More important than the techniques themselves, in a way.

Check Matt's (Schola) site for a transcription (by Marco Rubboli & Sala d'Arme Achille Marozzo) and translation of the Getty and Morgan.
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Postby AdamR » 26 Nov 2007 10:31

David Welch wrote:
What Fightbook do you use?? and Why?


<HERETICAL> I use them all, because as far as I can tell this stuff is all pretty much the same, except for some minor differences people make a big deal about so they can be doing something "special".</HERETICAL>


You have a point, but:

Be careful of mixing early and late sources - the art had changed from life and death weapon in violent times to rough 'sport' weapon.

Different commentators seem to have had different interpretations of some of Liechtenauer's work. This is inevitable of a martial tradition - and shouldn't be the barrier some make it (or for me it is that way). I won't try to make my fencing 'Ringeck Style' or 'Von Danzig Style' or whatever, the masters aren't here to teach me - the best thing I can hope for is to get close to something like Liechtenauer's art - so I have an ecclectic approach - 3227A for tactical overview - Von Danzig and Ringeck for the technical movement which allows access to the principals beneath - etc etc.

But there is a desire to 'own' an interpretation within the community. It is this that can damage our ability communicate, on the internet especially. I had the most wonderful and humbling time with Thomas Stoeppler over a year ago and his few far reaching principles changed everything I knew - but most importantly, in a way, I now have no ownership of the interpretation of what I do, only my own ability - even though I am often working only from the fechtbucher.
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Postby Anders Linnard » 26 Nov 2007 12:03

Well, that is a good way of unifying the German tradition into one. But I don't think it is "one" tradition, there were obviously differences. Reading a manuscript with another mansucript as backup is not always wrong, but it is only an indication.

Oh, and I mainly study RIngeck.
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Postby AdamR » 26 Nov 2007 13:33

Anders Linnard wrote:Well, that is a good way of unifying the German tradition into one. But I don't think it is "one" tradition, there were obviously differences. Reading a manuscript with another mansucript as backup is not always wrong, but it is only an indication.

Oh, and I mainly study RIngeck.
/Anders


Well - fair enough - but I don't agree. Entirely. It is one tradition (medieval masters) united by the merkeverse - separated by apparent differences in glossa. These probably hint at different emphasis placed by different masters on their 'version' of Liechtenauer's art. But it is hard enough to get a good idea of what they were doing as it is - so I am happy to be less focused on the techniques (in which the differences appear) and instead focus on the principals that they were all trying to illustrate.
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Postby Anders Linnard » 26 Nov 2007 14:02

AdamR wrote:
Anders Linnard wrote:Well, that is a good way of unifying the German tradition into one. But I don't think it is "one" tradition, there were obviously differences. Reading a manuscript with another mansucript as backup is not always wrong, but it is only an indication.

Oh, and I mainly study RIngeck.
/Anders


Well - fair enough - but I don't agree. Entirely. It is one tradition (medieval masters) united by the merkeverse - separated by apparent differences in glossa. These probably hint at different emphasis placed by different masters on their 'version' of Liechtenauer's art. But it is hard enough to get a good idea of what they were doing as it is - so I am happy to be less focused on the techniques (in which the differences appear) and instead focus on the principals that they were all trying to illustrate.


Which is good. But the problem remains. Can we accept that we cannot know? Or do we fill in the gaps and claim we know? As long as we understand that we are doing a martial art based on historical principals and not reconstructing historical martial arts, then that approach is reasonable and most likely a good way to go. If we want a deeper understanding of the variety of martial arts of the time, then we cannot take that approach.

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 26 Nov 2007 14:34

Dear Anders!

Reading a manuscript with another mansucript as backup is not always wrong,


It is "not always" wrong, it is what you should do! :wink: It is what some people do with the information that could be wrong. :)

But to ignore other "similar" manuscripts would from a professional point of view be as wrong as it could get!

Best wishes

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 26 Nov 2007 14:52

Arghhh F***(can I even use that word here?)

I just realized that I study Talhoffer!!!!!! :wink: And I also normally feel the same way as Matt, when someone say they study Talhoffer! :?

Totally confused, I am going to bed! :oops:

Btw. Adam I totally agree that it is a "system"/ tradition.

I normally use. Hs.3227a - Ringéck - VD - Hans von Speyer - Goliat - Meyer.

Best wishes

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