What Fightbook do you use?? and Why?

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Postby Anders Linnard » 26 Nov 2007 16:57

Quite. What I meant was to migrate a technique into another manuscript. Of course it is a good thing to read other manuscripts, learn about related stuff in society etc.

Reg Tradition.
It is of course a tradition. It is however not a unified tradition.

My concern is that we have a system that has gaps. To fill those gaps we use other masters, who lived 50 years later and in a different part of the country at best, rarely even mentioning the manuscripts writer. United solely by verses that are hard to interpret, written down by someone else than the guy that first wrote them down, even further back in time. A tradition that spans over several hundred years. Of course other masters may give you an indication, but there is no way that we can test the conclusions against anything solid.

I train martial arts inspired by historical martial arts. I look to these sources to find out more about how they fought. But I am in absolutely no position to claim that I know how they fought and I see very little point in filling out gaps to claim a fact that isn't there. At best I can say, well according to this other master, this is how it is done. And that actually goes down to the princples level. A big part of studying HEMA is accepting that we will never know for sure, it is just how things are.

Claus Sørensen wrote: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!

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Postby admin » 26 Nov 2007 17:03

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?


My own, on this website, from the Getty version (the most useful one) ;) -
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/getty/

You can also get an alternate translation on the Exiles site:
http://www.the-exiles.org/FioreProject/Project.htm

All the footwork is contained therein, and the cuts and thrusts and guards and breaking guards etc.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 26 Nov 2007 20:43

Hello again Anders!

To fill those gaps we use other masters, who lived 50 years later and in a different part of the country at best, rarely even mentioning the manuscripts writer.


I do agree somewhat with this statement. I agree that you would have to be carefull comparing e.g. Meyer and Hs.3227a without some serious source criticism, but would also like to add that Ringéck, VD, Codex Wallerstein, Jud Lew and Hans Talhoffer(and on a good day throw Kal in there also :) ) is probably 1450 +- 10 years. Not something to consider an important gap.

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Postby Anders Linnard » 26 Nov 2007 21:46

+-10 years is highly uncertain. That is based on the narrowest time frame at best. But that is beside the point of course. Even if they had been written in the same year and at the same spot I would have been careful. Possibly more so since the fact that they wrote it at the same time would indicate they had differing opinions.

Now, I am not saying that you can't learn anything from looking at other manuscripts. I just think that you must accept that it does not constitute any kind of evidence. It is simply a way to fill in gaps.

The other side is the gap between them and Liechtenauer. If you were to have an opinion regarding a painter living 70 years back, being a painter yourself and writing a book about it. To what extent would you agree with one of your colleagues that wrote a book, say 20 years before? I think that clearly illustrates the cautiousness needed.

It does not really matter what our position is on this subject. No matter how we look at it we are left with uncertainties. That is part of the game. Thankfully we know as much as we do, but it still leaves us lacking in quite a few areas.

/Anders

Claus Sørensen wrote:Hello again Anders!

To fill those gaps we use other masters, who lived 50 years later and in a different part of the country at best, rarely even mentioning the manuscripts writer.


I do agree somewhat with this statement. I agree that you would have to be carefull comparing e.g. Meyer and Hs.3227a without some serious source criticism, but would also like to add that Ringéck, VD, Codex Wallerstein, Jud Lew and Hans Talhoffer(and on a good day throw Kal in there also :) ) is probably 1450 +- 10 years. Not something to consider an important gap.

Best wishes

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Postby AdamR » 26 Nov 2007 22:44

Hi Anders,

It seems from your post that:

a) you accept that there are missing elements/uncertainties in each authors work - in which we are in agreement

b) it is preferable to leave a blank rather than trying to fill it with the work from another author from the same tradition?

If this is so then here we differ - I would rather 'fill the gaps' from other manuscripts - or better - I would try and triangulate as much of what I can get at of Liechtenauer's original thoughts through the words of his many glossaters - because that is what they are all for.

To err on the side of danger with a religious analogy - you might only want to focus on the writings of Luke - affording less particular priority to Matthew, Mark and John. I just want to know what Jesus was getting at...

Dangerous analogy I know - but you see what I mean? Perhaps I missed your point though.
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Postby Lu Tzy » 26 Nov 2007 23:13

admin wrote:My own, on this website, from the Getty version (the most useful one) ;) -
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/getty/

BTW, should one expect visible illustrations there? :(
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Postby Anders Linnard » 26 Nov 2007 23:16

Actually you got what I was getting at and said it better than me. I am also a proponent for triangulation. What I disagree with is interpreting techniques based solely on other manuscripts. "This must be what A means, because it is what B says." Disregarding all other differences that are obviously there. On the whole I can live with not knowing for sure and make educated guesses. I prefer that to creating a single martial conformity of all of the Liechtenauer tradition.

AdamR wrote:Hi Anders,

It seems from your post that:

a) you accept that there are missing elements/uncertainties in each authors work - in which we are in agreement

b) it is preferable to leave a blank rather than trying to fill it with the work from another author from the same tradition?

If this is so then here we differ - I would rather 'fill the gaps' from other manuscripts - or better - I would try and triangulate as much of what I can get at of Liechtenauer's original thoughts through the words of his many glossaters - because that is what they are all for.

To err on the side of danger with a religious analogy - you might only want to focus on the writings of Luke - affording less particular priority to Matthew, Mark and John. I just want to know what Jesus was getting at...

Dangerous analogy I know - but you see what I mean? Perhaps I missed your point though.
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 27 Nov 2007 00:03

Hello Anders! :)

your first argument was that 50 years was too big gap. Now even a year isn't good enough? :)

But if you believe, that one cannot compare texts with eachother and with serious use of source criticism use these to validate data, and broaden one's knowledge of certain subjects, then I can perfectly understand your view!

And here it is indeed a fine thing that you clearly state that you mainly study Ringéck, because this is exactly what you are studying. You are not studying german medieval fencing in general, you are not studying 15 th century fencing in general and you are not even studying general german fencing about 1440. You are studying medieval fencing from Ringéck's point of view.

Othervise you would need to compare and analyze the texts and from there work your way forwards. Sum up the differences, which parts can be compared and which can't, differences and changes in contexts needs to be analyzed. and the list goes on.............

At best I can say, well according to this other master, this is how it is done.


And there is nothing wrong with this if you are looking at the whole picture! Not just one master, but trying to broaden your knowlegde of german fencing in general!

I prefer that to creating a single martial conformity of all of the Liechtenauer tradition.

But there is a difference between saying that there is a "one true way" that stays the same through the middle ages and saying that we are talking about a system with room for variation and personal preference.

And this is the closest way to get close to what I would call "the whole picture". But then again this comes down to preferences and what you would like to call your reseach!

And it is with a few tools and a lot of source criticism possible to do this. It is the way historians normally work, nothing new there.

But as you also say there are many things that you just can't do with the sources and still say that you've used just a little bit of source criticism. And one of them is to totally mix speciffic and different data from the manuals with eachother. I couldn't agree more!

I just think that you must accept that it does not constitute any kind of evidence. It is simply a way to fill in gaps.

I do not think that I am looking for evidence, you could just say comparable knowledge in general.

And this can be a great help in understanding what goes on in the different manuals as long as it doesn't mess with decent source criticism!

Best wishes

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Postby AdamR » 27 Nov 2007 08:53

Anders Linnard wrote:Actually you got what I was getting at and said it better than me.


Why thank you :D

Anders Linnard wrote:"This must be what A means, because it is what B says."


Here I agree with you - that is a conclusion too far!
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Postby Anders Linnard » 27 Nov 2007 09:56

Claus,
My first argument, was not an argument at all actually. It was an example.

Adam and Claus,
I study Ringeck and other German materials as well. I started off by reading everything I could get my hands on. I interpreted the gaps in RIngeck by stealing from other manuscripts. I can't say that was a bad thing at the time, it gave me a good overall view of the manuscript and some hints on how to understand RIngeck.

But it also posed a problem, since there are a lot of differences in the manuscript. Now it is just fine print if you want to call it smaller differences or not, they are there none the less. My main greavance is simply with the filling of gaps with material from another source and to some extent to construct a unified theory regarding specifics within the German tradition.

How often have you heard the argument that a certain technique is done one way, because it is done that way in another treatise? Possibly with another kind of weapon? With a complete disregard of the problems in transferring the material? Often in disregard of the material in the manuscript at hand? Well, it was with that in mind I reacted. That is probably the lack of source critisism you refer to.

/Anders
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 27 Nov 2007 12:02

Deleted it. douple posted my message!
Last edited by Claus Sørensen on 27 Nov 2007 12:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 27 Nov 2007 12:03

Hello Anders!

With a complete disregard of the problems in transferring the material? Often in disregard of the material in the manuscript at hand? Well, it was with that in mind I reacted. That is probably the lack of source critisism you refer to.

Yes we often see too little source criticism! And I can perfectly understand your frustration with this. It often annoys me too! :)

But I also get a bit frustrated by the other way around! If people "almost" discourage using more than one manual, since according to me it only comes down to what questions you would ask of the sources.

If you want to study the system, you need to ask the right questions. But according to me one needs to realize that were are talking about a system with core principles here. A system that "all" the meisters praise and say they follow. But also realize that within this system there is room for variations and personal preferences.

And one should realize that these "small" variations exist and use them! Use the strenght that the german system has, since there are so many sources available. But remember that source criticism! :)

Meaning that it is quite all right if e.g. Ringéck does something slightly different than seen elsewhere. It only broadens one's knowlegde of fencing in general.

But if information is lacking in a manual, looking at similar manuals is the only way to answer this. Yes you cannot 100% know for certain that the new information is exactly how e.g. Ringéck would have done it, but it is a close as you can get. And you can narrow it down by asking the right questions of the sources.

But it is often a problem that people do their reseach differently. Here are some examples:

One studies just one master and only one master. If a question is unsolved they leave it be and accept it.

one studies one master and tries to fill the gaps with information from other manuals.

One studies a system where there is not much room for variation and personal preference. They want to find the one common way.

One studies a system, but leave room for variation and personal preference that doesn't change the overall of the system.

And there are probably many more examples! Hehe, guess where I consider myself to fit in? :)

Therefore the discussions often become pointless since we do not know eachothers goals and research methods before we rush into heated debates of what we can og can't do with the sources. But here just a little common understanding of source criticism would certainly help a lot! And I promice that I will "try" not to use that word as often anymore! :)

But you are completely right that one shouldn't label the knowlegde as Ringécks but say something along these lines: "Ringéck doesn't comment deeply on this part of the verses therefore I've compared with similar sources and this gives an idea on how it "could" have been!

And this is the only sound way to do it, if you want those questions answered or if you are studying a system i general.

Best wishes

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Postby Anders Linnard » 27 Nov 2007 12:14

Good points, but you are flogging a dead horse.

It is not a discussion wheather there are general principles that connect the masters. It is a question of what the end result of _mixing_ manuscripts results in. In my initial post, I might have misunderstood the intention of previous posters, but I pointed to the risk of creating "one" tradition, where there is "one" german way. My opposition towards that is solely, as I have tried to explain, that you end up filling gaps because you want to create a single martial art. And that is just fine, as long as you are aware that you are doing that.

/Anders
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Postby Lord_Nelle » 27 Nov 2007 12:22

The question at heart is why one want to train german fencing.

One could do it from a scholars view, and try to come so close to the original as possible.

One could also do it from the fighters point of view, to learn to fight as good as possible with a longsword.

I for one prefer to fight. If it works, I´ll use it, even if Ringeck or someone else didn´t mention it. I even use some poleaxe technics in halfsword because it works and is quite similar.

If one follows the priciples, one is quite free to experiement and learn. And I´m 100% sure that it was done so in the 1400´s as well. If not the fencning would not have evolved.

Thats something thats a part of every martial art. I have trained both Thai boxing and Taekwondo for some years and in different clubs. They all say different things, because they have their own view of how to use the system. In this case Thaiboxing and Taekwondo.

With that in mind we are free to interpret the material that is to be found and use it for what´s it was meant to, winning the fight.
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Postby Paul B » 27 Nov 2007 12:31

A small point, but one I see coming up again and again. People use the word "realise" when they should be using the word "assume". If you read Claus' post above and re-shuffle the words accordingly, it becomes a lot more open and understandable in terms of his approach. It statements would not be as definitive or imperitive. Better for discussion as opposed to arguement.

No real critisism Claus old boy, just a rhetorical device I see has become common currency in HEMA.
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Postby Claus Sørensen » 27 Nov 2007 12:51

Hehe Hello Paul!

A good point! and one I wil "try" to remember! :)

Yes perhaps one should change the "realize" word in "a couple of places", but let us leave a few in there still! :wink:

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Postby Martin Wallgren » 27 Nov 2007 13:17

Paul B wrote:A small point, but one I see coming up again and again. People use the word "realise" when they should be using the word "assume". If you read Claus' post above and re-shuffle the words accordingly, it becomes a lot more open and understandable in terms of his approach. It statements would not be as definitive or imperitive. Better for discussion as opposed to arguement.

No real critisism Claus old boy, just a rhetorical device I see has become common currency in HEMA.


Ah yes!

Could also be that we are a few Scands here and sometimes our english is somewhat lacking in vocabulary, and ometimes we aren´t aware of the nuances in the language. At least that is true in my case! If you other nordic bastards around disagree just tell me and I will ignore you :twisted: :wink:
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Postby Anders Linnard » 27 Nov 2007 16:03

Ah yes, very true. But I separate the two, bringing yet another level to the inconsistancies and paradoxes of training a long lost martial art. When fighting I do as you, when interpreting I try to come close to the meaning of the manuscript.

/Anders

Lord_Nelle wrote:The question at heart is why one want to train german fencing.

One could do it from a scholars view, and try to come so close to the original as possible.

One could also do it from the fighters point of view, to learn to fight as good as possible with a longsword.

I for one prefer to fight. If it works, I´ll use it, even if Ringeck or someone else didn´t mention it. I even use some poleaxe technics in halfsword because it works and is quite similar.

If one follows the priciples, one is quite free to experiement and learn. And I´m 100% sure that it was done so in the 1400´s as well. If not the fencning would not have evolved.

Thats something thats a part of every martial art. I have trained both Thai boxing and Taekwondo for some years and in different clubs. They all say different things, because they have their own view of how to use the system. In this case Thaiboxing and Taekwondo.

With that in mind we are free to interpret the material that is to be found and use it for what´s it was meant to, winning the fight.
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Postby Paul B » 27 Nov 2007 16:43

Martin Wallgren wrote:
Paul B wrote:A small point, but one I see coming up again and again. People use the word "realise" when they should be using the word "assume". If you read Claus' post above and re-shuffle the words accordingly, it becomes a lot more open and understandable in terms of his approach. It statements would not be as definitive or imperitive. Better for discussion as opposed to arguement.

No real critisism Claus old boy, just a rhetorical device I see has become common currency in HEMA.


Ah yes!

Could also be that we are a few Scands here and sometimes our english is somewhat lacking in vocabulary, and ometimes we aren´t aware of the nuances in the language. At least that is true in my case! If you other nordic bastards around disagree just tell me and I will ignore you :twisted: :wink:


Oh, the native english speakers do it as well. They are all on the List.

As are you. Sorry, thats just how it goes
.... or I could be completely wrong.

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Postby Lord_Nelle » 27 Nov 2007 21:29

[quote="Anders Linnard"]Ah yes, very true. But I separate the two, bringing yet another level to the inconsistancies and paradoxes of training a long lost martial art. When fighting I do as you, when interpreting I try to come close to the meaning of the manuscript.
[quote]

Ok, sound like a good way to go.
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