Ok, so im Scandinavian and therefore i should have t3h r33l Viking spirit and automatically know everything about these matters. But i dont, and i have some questions regarding Loose-grip (Lausatök) Glima.
From what ive read about it it sounds like it was some sort of "Combat Glima" or at least much rougher than the other variants. But ive also read that it was out of practice for over a hundred years and what we have today is a recreation.
So the question is how truthful is this modern recreation? Ordinary Glima i guess was always a part big part of Icelands culture and its survival was therefore natural (keep in mind, im just guessing because Glima surived here in Sweden for awhile among the peasants who where know for clinging on to much of the old Viking age traditions.) But if Lausatökk was extinct how do we know if it really was so?
Also is there any truth in the story that Wrestlers sometimes did battle on top of a rock, and the winner was he who fatally threw his adversary onto it?
You can sit and ponder if it is as it should be, what it should have been or if is really true to the spirit of the art.
But really I think you have a good grip on what it is vs. the mystic of “ye deadly of oldeth”. Is it how it was, who knows?
So just go and do it, that is what most of us have done anyway. As long as you are honest with your self and understand the context of the martial arts you are doing. No-one can ask more.
You will never know. No one knows or will ever know (provided we do not invent time-machines in the near future).
Originally Posted by SonofSpiridonov
This problem is inherent with all recreated arts. Maybe they look like they did in ye olden times, maybe the old masters would die from laughing if they could see it.
Eventually the quality of any art, but especially that of the recreated ones, can only be judged by modern day standards. First you have to define what you want to get out of them (fighting ability? fun at larping? success at competitions?) then you can see if those goals are met.
Forget about all the deadly stories mumbo-jumbo. They add nothing of worth to an art. So what if they had fights to the death back then? Fighting till death does not automatically produce experts. It just means the weaker opponent dies. Even if both of them sucked balls on epic levels, the outcome is still the same, one lives one dies. The winner could still be an unskilled idiot. Just minorly luckier or better then the other untrained idiot he faught against.
The rule of thumb is that there more detailed the sources, the more accurate (and verifiable) the reconstruction; the less so, the more speculative the reconstruction is going to be.
Some WMA recreationists are lucky in that they have highly detailed original sources; text explaining the theory as well as the practice, plentiful illustrations and diagrams, etc. Others only have a few key clues (for example, the distinctive grip position used in traditional Irish stick fighting).
In the case of something like loose-grip glima, where (AFAIK) most of the actual records are written descriptions from the Icelandic sagas, etc., it's going to be very speculative, which isn't a bad thing as long as it isn't misrepresented. Under those circumstances, presumably, what they will have come up with is a modern unarmed combat method *inspired by* the original style, albeit perhaps informed by glima as folk wrestling.
Which, if done correctly is not a bad thing at all. Could be quite interesting to study.
Originally Posted by DdlR
Personally I do not think that there is any recreated art with enough sources to claim verifiable accuracy.
It is common consent on Bullshido (and most of the rest of the world), that you can not learn Judo (as an example) from books and videos. Even if you trained in other martial arts before.
Why should this be different with Kampfringen for example? Where you do not even have videos as a source of information? Just books with some shrouded (written in an obsolete language/dialect and often forced into rhyme) theory and paintings/drawings? Try to tell anyone you learned Judo (or any other given art) from such sources and see what happens...
I do not think this makes attempts at reconstruction a bad thing per se. Reconstructionists should just be open and honest about it. IMHO the accuracy of all recreated arts is unverifieable by actual scientific standards.
I do agree with you KD however Ddlr has point.
For example in Ringen we do have 6-10 sources from the Lichtanauer School.
So we several people working on it, we have several interpretations and eventually we will see convergence in techniques.
As well because we have so many sources, we have a better probability of doing it like one of the old master albeit not necessarily the one we are claiming to study.
I think as well that the medieval manuscripts are very well constructed pedagogically and tactically, which is not the case with lots of modern books.
What I am trying to say, and I think this is Ddlr point as well, is that we are in a much better position if we study lichtanauer strain Medieval MA than studying “combat Glima” or “roman battle field combat”
You are right it deos not necessarily make what we do more accurate or close to what the author was doing. Which is the same as if we were working from more fragmentary sources but the volume gives us an advantage in two points.
We have text to support our interpretation and we have a greater audience to nick ideas from.