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Old 11-05-2007, 13:22   #1
deMontacute
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Historic European Martial Arts

Anyone else on this forum a practicioner or student of Historic European Martial Arts/Western Martial Arts (HEMA/WMA), such as Lichtenhauer's German Longsword tradition, Fiore de Liberi, or I.33? I study German Longsword, and I would really like to get into some I.33, but have no one around here to study with...
These are European martial systems as laid out by European masters in 'Fechtbuchs' (Fightbooks) during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They are every bit as effective and refined as any Asian martial art. Although primarily concerned with the use of the sword both unarmoured and in armour (harnesfechten), they also include techniques for wrestling/hand-to-hand (Ringen) and other weapons. These systems ARE NOT the same thing as the SCA.
Here is a video (from some of the premier European Groups) for those of you who are interested in seeing what some of the techniques in German Longsword look like in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC5FIyfI8TA
more
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg
and some Ringen (wrestling)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT1ODIjPXh0
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Last edited by deMontacute; 11-05-2007 at 21:28..
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:29   #2
TacticalBling
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I've looked into Fiore, and been through one of Bob Charron's seminars (VERY interesting material!)...probably the most actual training in Western MA that I've had, outside of a bit of self study in Lichtenauer and Clement's techniques.

So, I'm a certified dabbler!

I'd certainly be interested in training more seriously, but I don't know of many folks to whom I could turn in central Indiana.

Amazing how the more you train in any martial art, the more universal concepts appear anywhere you look...
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:07   #3
Critias
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How practical is it to practice most of their weapon-oriented arts? Grappling is grappling, and empty hand stuff is always nice to know -- but how well does the longsword stuff translate to a stick or club (or cane, or anything that's more socially acceptable and likely to be on you day-to-day)?

With Kali, I know that most of what I learn with sticks is just a way to practice what I'd do with a knife. I know I can carry a knife on my most places I go, so I understand there's a practical side to everything we do. How much is that really the case with two-handed swords, though?

I'm not trying to bash it or knock it -- I'm just wondering what someone could do to make studying this sort of art more practical from a self defense standpoint. What sort of weapons can you carry around with you, day in and day out, to make this sort of martial art useful?
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:42   #4
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There is alot that CAN BE translated into practical self-defense with a pipe, stick or knife. Besides the grappling (which is a critical element, closely tied to disarms and fighting "at the bind", or with swords crossed) you can take from the sword techniques: timing, footwork, distance, feints, disarms (especially Disarms!), directing your opponent energy, aggression, and just generally learning how to stay calm when someone is swinging steel at you with intent.
However, it really isn't the kind of thing you get into if all you look at a martial art for is self defense. If all you see in martial arts is the reductionist "how well does it work in a street fight", well this won't be for you. Thats not why you do this sorta thing. You do it to be a part of your heritage. Because you are fascinated by swords, or knighthood and chivalry. Maybe to keep alive a European Martial Tradition that has been allowed to wither. Or to study and understand that the martial traditions of our ancestors was every bit a complex and effective as the Asian traditions.

Johannes Liechtenauer, master of the German Longsword School once said
"Practice knighthood, and learn the Art that dignifies you."
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:52   #5
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Oh, I forgot... When the zombies come, eventually the ammo WILL run out. And even before it does, the more you can dispatch with your longsword, the more you can save your ammo for when you really need it. Plus longswords don't make big booms audible to zombies for miles around... Yup... I study sword fighting for zombie deterrant...
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"Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk." - Tom Waits
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacticalBling View Post
I've looked into Fiore, and been through one of Bob Charron's seminars (VERY interesting material!)...probably the most actual training in Western MA that I've had, outside of a bit of self study in Lichtenauer and Clement's techniques.

So, I'm a certified dabbler!

I'd certainly be interested in training more seriously, but I don't know of many folks to whom I could turn in central Indiana.

Amazing how the more you train in any martial art, the more universal concepts appear anywhere you look...
Well I suppose I'm lucky, we got two German Longsword groups within driving distance. One is in New Orleans, and the other is quite small, but here in BR. No one that does I.33 though, which is what I really want to get into. I'm really more interested in earlier period stuff, which is why I.33 interests me, but I doubt they'll ever find anything from my primary period of interest, the Norman Conquest and the 11th C...
As for universality... Well there is only so many ways that one can use a three foot piece of steel, and move the human body efficiently.
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"...but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C. S. Lewis
"Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk." - Tom Waits
Kalashnikov Klub #723 Black Rifle Club #723
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