Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 06 Sep 2012 06:11

In his booklet Sztrakay has mentioned the name of Austrian fencing master Johann Hartl, who roughly 10 years before the publication of Sztrakay's book (1895) tried to introduce women's fencing (foil) to Hungarian public, but his public presentations with female pupils didn't have too much success. Hartl published an article Damenfechten in Moderne Kunst. I have tried to find it, but only managed to locate some nice colored woodcuts from around 1890.

hartl_1.jpg
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hartl_2.jpg
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More can be found on
http://www.antiqpaper.de/start.php?graphik_motive_motifs_g_jagd_hunt_sport.php

P.S. A photo of Hartl's female pupils with foils, daggers can be found in Photos of fencers topic.
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Saber in Gaugler's Classical Tradition

Postby KevinMurakoshi » 13 Sep 2012 17:48

John H wrote: The classical system I recently worked with spent all it’s time on foil, then when you moved the sabre all the drills guards etc were exactly the same, the weapons was still thrust centered and you only bothered to cut rarely.


I was at this seminar. The seminar attempted to go through the entire Science of Fencing in four days. This is obviously not possible. Following the method that the SJSU FMP used to use, we spent most of our time on foil, and limited time on saber and epee. As a result, a lot of material in those areas was not covered.

Much of the saber cut material was not covered, mainly because we could have spent days on it, and I believe that it was Maestro Sullins' goal to closely parallel the foil material's theory along saber lines. You can't do deceives with cuts*.** There was an understanding that we could do many more variations on most of the actions using cuts, but they were not explored (for time reasons). We did, however, cover all the simple attacks, and all the reposts by cuts from all the parries. The assumption, was that you could figure out how those actions fit in to a lot of the following drills.

As a provost in that system, I'd like to say that the classical Italian system that the FMP teaches is not "thrusts with a few cuts", but has a rich variety of cuts. We just didn't cover them at the seminar.

As a note, there was also plenty of saber fencing at the end of the day. Here a video of some of the fencing, I'm relatively certain that we use cuts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kirCSgNyw0Q

*We define a "deceive" as a circular disengagement opposed to circular parries. (not a disengagement by circular cut)
** Similarly, feints by disengagement in time with cuts are difficult, and easier to demonstrate with point actions.
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Re: Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

Postby John H » 13 Sep 2012 18:59

True enough Kevin, I wasn’t intending to say anything bad about the system I was only pointing out that it was a system that approached the weapon differently than the other sabre systems I’ve trained in, poor wording on my part. That approach is more of a thrust and cut than a cut and thrust. Deceives, disengages and all other point work was never addressed on the sport sabre system I trained in and is not addressed in many of the sabre manuals I work from. It is expected that you will learn smallsword first but those sabre system like ‘art of defense’ spend almost no time on point work aside from ‘this is how to thrust.’
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Re: Saber in Gaugler's Classical Tradition

Postby Chris Holzman » 19 Sep 2012 05:56

KevinMurakoshi wrote:
John H wrote: The classical system I recently worked with spent all it’s time on foil, then when you moved the sabre all the drills guards etc were exactly the same, the weapons was still thrust centered and you only bothered to cut rarely.


I was at this seminar. The seminar attempted to go through the entire Science of Fencing in four days. This is obviously not possible. Following the method that the SJSU FMP used to use, we spent most of our time on foil, and limited time on saber and epee. As a result, a lot of material in those areas was not covered.


And this is why I've yet to accept any invitation to do a Radaellian sabre seminar. I could spend four days on molinelli, or just on footwork, and not be happy with the progress made, while the attendees would be unhappy with the volume of material covered.

Trying to get through a method as complex and complete as the Roman-Neapolitan foil/spada system in 4 days doesn't leave much time for anything else. My opinion is that Maestro Parise's book upon which Maestro Gaugler clearly based his own book and teaching progression is that the syllabus was intended to be taught over about a two year period, with a couple of practices a week, in order to allow enough repetition for things to really sink in. Cramming even a review of already known material for a full syllabus of such into 4 days for pedagogical review purposes is ambitious to say the least, not to mention exhausting.

I've said for a long time that there is nothing that can be taught with a foil that cannot be taught with the sabre (though thrusts in 4th are quite limited). Given that understanding many instructors seem to think that most sabre lessons should tend focus on cutting to the near exclusion of thrusting since it is largely felt to be the same as with foil/spada. I disagree with lessons like, and prefer to take a more balanced approach in general.

As for how much various schools foil and sabre are similar I think it'll largely depend on the instructor's own backgrounds, preferences, and so on - not to mention the specifics of the era of and school of instruction that they prefer - and the audience to which they're presenting.

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Re: Saber in Gaugler's Classical Tradition

Postby Barca » 19 Sep 2012 17:44

Chris Holzman wrote:
And this is why I've yet to accept any invitation to do a Radaellian sabre seminar. I could spend four days on molinelli, or just on footwork, and not be happy with the progress made, while the attendees would be unhappy with the volume of material covered.


Hi Chris

First, I commend you on your excellent 'Art of the Duelling Sabre.' It has locked in my interest in Radaelli's sabre method and is my current favorite fencing book!

Does your view on the difficulty of imparting information in a seminar format mean you won't consider invitations to hold Radaellian sabre seminars in future? Because I was actually considering floating that very idea with you, as a way of boosting and launching a local military/dueling sabre program and starting off on the right foot so to speak.

From my own perspective, I don't expect miracles from weekend/several day workshops and seminars. But I think they can be useful as ways to energize local interest, give participants a taste of a system, start a local program off with some much needed guidance and, if repeated from time to time, assess and update practices and correct errors that may be creeping in.

What are your thoughts?

Cheers

Bill
P.S. a weekend or 4 days of footwork and mollinelli practice sounds OK to me, since that would seem to be a great base to build ongoing Radaellian practice upon.
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Re: Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

Postby Chris Holzman » 20 Sep 2012 03:58

Hi Bill,

I certainly wouldn't rule anything out, and I'd be glad to chat about it. If you're on facebook, feel free to add me and send me a message, or send me a pm on here.

My real problem with seminars is in relation to the various 'intro to xyz in 2 hours' though even a day or two isn't sufficient to cover a lot of material to any level of competency, and from reading various reviews of seminars and classes and such, it seems like people prefer a skim of a subject to an in depth at a small portion of a subject when they're putting out a good deal of expense to attend something like that. I understand the inclination, but I'm not sure it's really productive.

Its something that I suppose could be worth considering - currently I'm not in any real shape financially or time commitment-wise to do any traveling beyond day trips.

With a few exceptions (as I point out in the new part of the book) Radaelli/Del Frate largely tells the truth about all the parries and other actions being contained in the molinelli, though there's a little marketing hyperbole to that. A really good understanding of the molinelli informs the understanding of the chambered cuts, the parries, and so on. While none of it is rocket science, there is some art involved. The 'fun and amusing' part of the system are definitely the sforzi di cambiamento and the 'counter parries', though its easy to see why they all but vanish from the system very quickly after Radaelli's death, despite being very cool. They're tricky and fiddly actions.

I'm glad you like the book - if you have any specific questions/comments feel free to ask them here or in a separate thread, or on the Facebook page for the book. I'm a firm believer in being able to explain arguments, and accept criticism. Also - if you happen to find any errata, post them on the Facebook page - I have started a list of known errors as one of the earliest wall posts.

Chris
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 07 Nov 2012 09:01

1_ab.jpg
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2_ab.jpg
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How to hold the Hungarian fencing sabre (1) and the Italian one (2) in Gusztáv von Arlow book (1902).
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 07 Nov 2012 09:04

Very soon I will upload all (53) images from Arlow's book to a blog.
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Re: Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

Postby admin » 07 Nov 2012 11:40

Excellent! 8)
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 08 Nov 2012 20:52

A very interesting "guard" from a Hungarian sabre fencing group. I haven't seen such a parry position earlier. Does it occur in some older sabre/backsword treatises?

Image

Btw the guy in black has a very nice training sabre, probably from the beginning of 20th century.
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Re: Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

Postby Tyler Brandon » 08 Nov 2012 22:10

I don't recall ever seeing a guard like that. It's extremely interesting.

Oh, and BTW Ulrich,

Richard Marsden from the HEMA Alliance sends his love regarding all things saber. :lol:
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 09 Nov 2012 06:38

Tyler Brandon wrote:I don't recall ever seeing a guard like that. It's extremely interesting.

I'm not sure that it is a proper guard, or just a parry, or just a good-looking-something for a photo. This is a fairly new sabre fencing group, established in 2012. It is said that they teach Hungarian military sabre fencing, but the whole set-up is a bit unclear, so I'm just trying to learn more about them, their sources, teaching methods etc.

Richard Marsden from the HEMA Alliance sends his love regarding all things saber.

Thank you :wink:
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Re:

Postby Tyler Brandon » 09 Nov 2012 06:54

Ulrich von L...n wrote:
Tyler Brandon wrote:I don't recall ever seeing a guard like that. It's extremely interesting.

I'm not sure that it is a proper guard, or just a parry, or just a good-looking-something for a photo. This is a fairly new sabre fencing group, established in 2012. It is said that they teach Hungarian military sabre fencing, but the whole set-up is a bit unclear, so I'm just trying to learn more about them, their sources, teaching methods etc.

Richard Marsden from the HEMA Alliance sends his love regarding all things saber.

Thank you :wink:



It look's like a parry Richard Marsden's roup is working with for Polish saber but on the inside. Richards advised me he thought this was quite remenisent of Meyer's Ox for rappier though, an interesting thought for sure.
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 09 Nov 2012 07:05

Tyler,

Could you ask Richard to give a link to an image showing his parry - outside - version, and Meyer's Ox for rapier?
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Re: Re:

Postby T. Arndt » 09 Nov 2012 16:03

Tyler Brandon wrote:It look's like a parry Richard Marsden's roup is working with for Polish saber but on the inside. Richards advised me he thought this was quite remenisent of Meyer's Ox for rappier though, an interesting thought for sure.

I thought it reminded me a messer in Ochs, but I know nothing about saber-
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Re: Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

Postby John H » 09 Nov 2012 17:23

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=18464

Specificaly chris's notes on the italian sixth.

Or do you view this differently from what was in that thread. The point is still off line so I'd consider the one you posted as a 'thumb on the spine' version of sixth.
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 09 Nov 2012 21:23

John H wrote:Or do you view this differently from what was in that thread.

It seems to me that this "new" guard / parry is definitely not the normal (Italian, Italo-Hungarian) sixth (Fig. 85):
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=18464#p299473

Because in the sixth parry your point is well off line, basically a mirror image of 5th parry (more or less). This new thing is an interesting mixture of 6th parry and, probably, high 2nd, because the point is toward your opponent, threatening him. This position is interesting, but a bit awkward and has not been depicted in any known manual. That is why I have wanted to learn more about it.
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Re: Early history of the modern fencing: sabre, ...

Postby John H » 10 Nov 2012 00:40

Chris’s comments - viewtopic.php?p=299562#p299562

So maybe it’s the angle of the picture but I don’t consider that on line. But let’s assume it is on-line:

Marozzo side sword – “unicorn guard”
Rev Woods (Angelo Rip off) calls it ‘Second Point’ and uses it as a beginning position to ‘give point’ in - http://www.careyroots.com/broadsword.html - scroll down to the give point section.

But yes it’s not at all ‘common’ and it seems very situational to me. We can probably break off a thread on what people’s usage of that guard is.
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 10 Nov 2012 08:05

Unfortunately the angle of the picture is really bad (for us), but it is a very dynamic and inspirational picture.

Behind the instructor (in black) there is a line of beginners. It seems to me that one of them - to the left from the instructor (the older guy) - performs this Hungarian Unicorn parry more or less correctly: his elbow is at the same height as the instructor's elbow, the point is toward an imaginary opponent. The younger beginner - to the right from the instructor - isn't so good (posture, elbow, point).

Definitely very similar to Wood's Second Point, but as far as I could see it isn't Marozzo guardia d'alicorno (or becca cesa).

http://www.marozzo.org/images/m12.jpg

I have contacted a guy who attends training sessions at this sabre fencing group. Hopefully I could find out more about this Unicorn parry and then we could start a separate topic.

John H wrote:But yes it’s not at all ‘common’ and it seems very situational to me.

Most definitely.
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Re:

Postby Tyler Brandon » 11 Nov 2012 03:10

Ulrich von L...n wrote:Tyler,

Could you ask Richard to give a link to an image showing his parry - outside - version, and Meyer's Ox for rapier?


Here's a link toi Richard discussing guards. Our projects has shifted the hight retracted to parry use rather than a guard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiX0whE2uX8

Link to thread at HEMA Alliance
http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... &start=110

I'll ask Richard for an image of at least the location in Meyer to the rappier ox he is refering to exactly.
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