Using Historical Fencing Manuals for Reference (Part 1)

I thought I’d start this thread looking at the use of Historical fencing/swordsmanship manuals for reference. I’ve been a practitioner of European Historical Martial Arts for 6 years, during that time I studied 1.33 (medieval single sword), rapier using the Fabris manual, Talhoffer and Liechtenauer. I’ve also in the past studied modern Olympic sport fencing as well, mainly the sabre and epee.

There are some major differences between current sport fencing and the historical manuals, the biggest one being that historical manuals were designed to teach you to defend and attack someone in a fight which could result in death.

I’m going to concentrate on two weapons single handed broadsword and medieval long sword (2 handed), as these are the most common swords for fantasy miniatures.

The best place to start is this website http://www.thearma.org/manuals.htm, the link is to list of available historical manuals in PDF format, also on the site are articles on particular aspects of the martial art.

By using these manuals and translated books will give you as a hobbyist a better understanding of the sword and how its used. Which will in turn allow you to sculpt, convert or scratch build more realistic poses, and not ones that look slightly ridiculous, which unfortunately is the case with a lot of minis.

Here is a link to a web based video documentary on the subject of historical swordsmanship.
Movie Doc

This should be enough to get most people interested, below are a few books I can recommend. Those who are interested I can bring some along to the Irregulars event, also if any one wants some of the historical manuals let me know and period and I’ll email them to you.

A knight and his weapons, a very good overview of the Knight and the weapons used by them, and at at a bargain price to boot. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knight-His-W…d=G3U446KLPCCY

Fighting with the German Longsword, this is a good informative book which is well illustrated and at a reasonable price for this particular sword system. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fighting-Ger…d=G3U446KLPCCY

Medieval Military Costume, not stricly sword fighting, but a worthy book that should be considered. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Medieval-Mil…d=G3U446KLPCCY

Medieval Swordsmanship; Illustrated methods and techniques; if you buy on book then I’d recommend this one, both a practical fight manual and a historical guide, it contains a wealth of information on fighting with the Sword-and-Shield and the Longsword. It contains over 200 illustrations.http://www.amazon.co.uk/Medieval-Swo…ref=pd_sim_b_6

This is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to books, websites and manuals. I can add more if people are interested. I’m also considering putting together a photo resource at some point in anyone is interested.

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