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Sword fighting and close-quarter combat. Medieval combat - A Fifteenth- century illustrated manual by Hans Talhoffer. by: Monika Budo Stuff. Medieval Combat: A Fifteenth-Century Manual of Swordfighting and in Colour: Hans Talhoffer's Illustrated Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat.
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Facebook Twitter Googleplus Pinterest Email. Product description Used very good, shelf wear to dj with small closed tear to rear flap, pages clean and bright. Sold Out We're sorry to say this item has now sold out. There are over , more items in stock. The iron gate eisen port, porto di fern is a basic defensive guard with the long sword, protecting the legs and lower body.
The crooked cut is a downward cut made with the false or back edge of the blade, causing the swordsman's wrists to twist. This plate illustrates the brutal reality of long sword fighting: two adversaries locked closely together in a life-and-death embrace from which only one may emerge alive.
The hanging guard ocks, or 'ox' is made with the hands held high and close to the side of the head and the blade covering the body diagonally downward and directed toward the opponent. See plates 6, 13, 14, and for other examples. The half-sword was originally used against an armoured opponent. The sword is gripped on the blade with the left hand and wielded like a short spear. This technique is effective for close work, punching through chinks in armour ie at the face, groin, armpits, joints etc and attacks on the opponent's sword.
See also note The coat of arms at the side of this plate is Swabian, bearing the date The crest surmounting the arms consists of a red closed helm and a gold-streaked trumpet to which is appended a black cord interwoven with gold. From out of the mouthpiece of the horn are three ostrich feathers: blue, white and red.
The helmet drape is red and gold. The murder-stroke is a forceful blow struck by reversing the sword and gripping it by the blade with both hands in order to use the hilt as a hammer to pound through the opposing guard. Similar to the thunderclap stroke. The squinting guard is one in which the sword is held close to the head with the blade parallel to the ground and pointing at the opponent, causing the swordsman to 'squint' down the length of his blade. Another guard with a mnemonic name. In the brentschirn or the bind with the shortened sword, the blade is gripped by the left hand and carried with the point angled upward.
False in this case refers to a feint or fake attack designed to provoke a response from the opponent that can be exploited. The translator has witnessed a demonstration of a sharp blade being held with a bare hand. As long as the blade is gripped firmly and not allowed to draw through the hand, the sword may be held securely in this manner, withstanding efforts to pull it away. In this action the sword is shifted to the left hand so that the opponent's blade may be seized with the right hand.
Versetzen, to set aside, is another basic technique of medieval swordplay. Rather than meeting the oncoming blow with a solid block, it is set aside, displaced, or parried to use the modern term with an action that is both defensive and offensive at the same time. This is a judicial combat or 'trial by battel' between noblemen in full armour using swords and spears. The 'lists' are the barriers within which the combat occurs. The ceremonial display of the coffins underscores the lethal nature of trial by combat.
This is the fundamental principle of German swordplay: every attack is met with an immediate counter-attack which also serves as a defence. The pole-axe takes many forms, but usually consists of an axe blade or hammer head and several sharp spikes affixed to a long pole partially sheathed in iron. Talhoffer's weapon is a 'Lucerne hammer', having a v-shaped notch in the forward hammer-like blade.
One interpretation of this manoeuvre is that the combatant on the left binds his opponent with the shaft of his weapon, disengages and swings the blade of his pole-axe into his adversary's head. This is another form of ritual or judicial combat. Following the law of the Franks, the combatants are barefoot and stitched into tight-fitting cowled leather suits, upon the front and back of which appears the cross. They are armed with a large wooden club or mace and a special duelling shield.
The shield is an oblong approximately six-and-a-half feet tall, slightly concave see plate , with a rectangular coffered boss along the longitudinal axis allowing room for the hand to grip a central pole which is sharply spiked at both ends. The shield is made of wood, possibly covered with cloth or leather, and also bears the image of the cross. A similar combat to the one before, except that the mace has been replaced with the long sword, according to the Swabian law.
There is no Plate Possibly Schwabische Hall, a Swabian town which is the site of the largest fortified medieval church in Germany. Note that the combatant on the left has his index finger hooked over the cross guard of his sword for better control. A crosswise cut is a diagonal downward cut that moves across the body from right to left, forcing the swordsman's arms to cross.
This section illustrates techniques for fighting with the shield alone. The combatant on the left is using a throated hooking shield see note The combatants hold their shields with their arms reversed from the normal stance, allowing them to spin their shields. The concept of weak versus strong schweche undstarke is another basic principle of the German art of fighting.
A sword is strong toward the hilt and weak toward the point. A shield or pole-arm is strong between the hands and weak outside the hands. Strong and weak also may refer to the pressure exerted by the weapons in a bind. A combatant may use the strong force of his weapon to create an opening against the weak force of his opponent's weapon. A combatant may also exploit the strong force of his opponent's weapon against the weak force of his own weapon to disengage suddenly and gain an advantage over his adversary. It is a deadly game of leverage, timing and judgement.
Perhaps the most bizarre weapon in Talhoffer's arsenal, the throated hooking shield is a celloshaped affair with four protruding hooks for catching, pulling and stabbing one's opponent. Like the duelling shield, it has a long sharply spiked pole for a hand-hold and a rectangular coffered boss. The translator has seen these shields demonstrated and can assure the reader that they are formidably effective.
Talhoffer shows a 'rondel' dagger, with two flanges at either end of the grip and an extremely long triangular blade which may be held with the off-hand for blocks and locks. The shield is a block made by holding the dagger with one hand on the grip and one hand on the blade, as with the half-sword. The scissors-hold is a dagger lock in which the attacker's dagger hand is captured by the defender blocking the stab with his dagger arm, hooking his own dagger around the back of the attacker's wrist or forearm and closing the lock by grasping his own dagger blade with his unarmed hand.
More than a third of all the plates illustrating armed combat include some kind of grappling, demonstrating how important wrestling is to the German art of fighting. The German messer or 'long knife' is a single-edged, single-handed sword with a simple cross guard. It resembles the ancient saxe, falchion, Italian storta, dusak a wooden training weapon of Bohemian origin , or Polish sabre, and was carried as an everyday sidearm by commoners in medieval Germany.
The artist Albrecht Diirer devotes a large section of his Fechtbuch to the messer see bibliography. In this manoeuvre, the swordsman cuts into his opponent's attack from below with his palm up, and then quickly snaps his messer around to the other side as the initial attack passes harmlessly by.
The defender is now behind his adversary and has him at his mercy. The cut of wrath is a powerful downward diagonal cut from the right.
In preparation for the cut, the sword point is dropped behind the back. This section illustrates the use of the single-handed sword and the buckler, a small shield with a round central boss for the hand.