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  1. TheMightyMcClaw is offline
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    MADE OF STEEL!

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    Posted On:
    4/23/2008 12:58am

    supporting member
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Langschwert!

    Today, I had my first - and likely only - lesson in German Longsword. There's a club in Ann Arbor that practices this (http://www.annarborsword.com/) which I've been wanting to check out for a while, but they meet on the same night as BJJ. As last Tuesday was our last session, however, I was able to go and check it out.
    Now, I don't know about you, but I don't get into swordfights very often. I'm not really concerned with getting the most efficient, hardcore, swordfighting training. If I was, I'm pretty sure that would make me Phil Elmore.
    Rather, I just think German Longsword is really fucking cool.
    I learned the five basic cuts, all of which had German names I couldn't remember, and the four basic stances, which were likewise trapped in some kind of crazy moon language. They instead got new, temporary names like "sword high", "sword low", and "Star Wars."
    Some of the cuts were pretty wonky, like the "Kramphau," or "stepping to the side and raising the tip of the sword up into your opponent's nutsack."
    After rehearsing these basic cuts for a while, I was paired up with a kid to do some freeplay. We were using great big wasters and and not wearing any safety equipment, so the freeplay was pretty slo-motion and may or may not be considered truly "live" training. However, it did cause me to the think on my feet, and was a lot of fun, which are the two primary goals of freefighting for me.
    During this time, I asked my partner to show me some halfswording techniques, which I thought were pretty badass. He also showed me some "flipping the sword around and using it like a goddamn sledgehammer" techniques, which likewise impressed me. I was told that halfswording developed for armored longsword not only because the swordsman had gauntlets and could grab his sword without worrying about cutting his hands, but the increased point control made it easier to work the sword between chinks in armor.
    All in all, it was pretty sweet. Just from watching Langschwert videos on youtube, it seems like the coolest form of swinging a chunk of metal I've ever encountered, and I'm glad I was able to familiarize myself with it a bit.
  2. Aristobulus is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2008 2:24am


     Style: Historical Fencing,ARMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    For Alive Training/At speed training/Hard core sword training visit http://www.thearma.org

    You won't have to play the "slow motion", "no intensity" crap.

    ARMA is first and formost a Martial Arts Club. Historically valid and Martially sound. If it isn't Martially sound, you are doing something wrong.
  3. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    ...is THE PENETRATOR

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2008 1:22pm

    supporting member
     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Plus, ARMA endorsed the Riddle of Steel role playing game!
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  4. bad credit is offline

    Senior Member

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    Posted On:
    4/25/2008 7:51pm


     Style: MMA, JKD philosophy

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Which I've got, and am still trying to figure out the rules. Man, it's written in a weird style and the setting's lame.
  5. krazy kaju is offline
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    I'm not witty enough for this custom title.

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    Metro Detroit
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    Posted On:
    4/25/2008 8:16pm


     Style: In Hiatus

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't think there are any ARMA groups here in Michigan. Regardless, I'm pretty sure that one could organize a sparring session if you're a member of one of these groups, as the people interested in this stuff are usually up for sparring and whatnot.

    In any case, how heavy was the sword?
  6. kg6cig is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/27/2008 1:26pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Longsword/HEMA groups

    ARMA is by no means the only option. There are a lot of resources for WMA; you may have to do some independent research. Also, there is also the Italian school, which is actually more common. Many schools teach a comprehensive system- if German, known generally as Kunst des Fechtens, or art of fighting, based on the teachings of Johannes Lichtienauer and his students and descendants (Ringeck, von Danzig, Doebringer, Talhoffer, etc).

    The Italian school is based on the teachings of Fiore dei Liberi, who wrote a single book on his art. I don't know if there's a "name" for it, come to think of it.

    In our school, we don't do freeplay out of armor, much like in kendo. In armor, sure- but the techniques are very different, more of the halfswording techniques that you were talking about.

    As far as grabbing a blade goes- it's fine to even grab a blade with a bare hand. The knives I cook with are way sharp- much sharper than a weapon blade needs to be- and I wrap my fingers around my paring knife all the time. As long as the blade doesn't slide across your skin, you'll be fine.

    For those who are interested- the four guards of the German system are:
    Vom Tag (from the roof)
    Pflug (plow)
    Ochs (Ox)
    Alber (Fool)

    The five Meisterhau (Master cuts) are:
    Zornhau- the stroke of wrath
    Zwerchau- cross stroke
    Krumphau- crooked stroke
    Schielhau- squinting stroke
    Scheitelhau- Scalp stroke


    If anyone cares. For that matter, even if no-one cares.

    Regards,

    Joseph
  7. Aristobulus is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/27/2008 7:54pm


     Style: Historical Fencing,ARMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    ARMA studies Fechtbucher(fight manuals) in German, Italian, Dutch, French, English, and Spainish(maybe more, those are the ones I remember right off). We don't study just one group of manuals. As long as they are European and between the years 1295 to roughly 1650 they are in our period and place of study. ARMA has the largest collection of manuals.

    If there are not any study groups in Michigan start one.

    Later
  8. kg6cig is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/27/2008 9:26pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aristobulus
    ARMA studies Fechtbucher(fight manuals) in German, Italian, Dutch, French, English, and Spainish(maybe more, those are the ones I remember right off). We don't study just one group of manuals. As long as they are European and between the years 1295 to roughly 1650 they are in our period and place of study. ARMA has the largest collection of manuals.
    Later
    That was, in fact, my point- ARMA, although in theory the Association of Renaissance Martial Arts, collects from many sources outside the Renaissance. In addition, there are many manuals from many different systems. And having the "largest collection of manuals" doesn't mean that their scholarship is good.

    The Italian school in the high middle ages is fundamentally different from KdF. While there's certainly some similarities, just as there are between kenjutsu/kendo and KdF, there are also substantial differences. When you add in the Renaissance styles, you have an incredibly broad range of techniques. While Meyer was certainly teaching some KdF stuff in the late 1500s, it was something of an anachronism, perhaps not unlike the Single Action Shooting Society of today(admittedly, I may be reaching a bit there).

    Indeed, Meyer clearly misunderstands some of the fundamental precepts of Liechtienauer when he discusses the guard Alber, or the Fool, saying one is a fool to use it. However, Ringeck and Doebringer clearly state that the one who is a fool is the one who believes its user to be vulnerable, and that it is a guard of provocation- the sword equivalent of going "nah nah nah nah nah, you can't catch me."

    I would also recommend www.aemma.org for their library- I think it's at least as comprehensive as ARMAs. If you really want to give it a go, however, check out "Fighting with the German Longsword", by Christian Henry Tobler. One of the best instruction books I've ever seen in terms of its ability to convey what the author intends you to do. My Fechtmeister has some difference of opinion about some of the techniques, but hey, we wouldn't be MA if we didn't disagree.

    Seeing as how the original post was on German longsword, and only German longsword, I thought posting relevant information about studying the German system would be helpful rather than simply placing an ad for ARMA.

    I did not choose ARMA for several reasons, and I don't recommend it for the person who specifically wants to study KdF or even German longsword alone, as opposed to a combination of whatever techniques we like.

    Enough. Let the flaming commence. <grin>

    Regards,

    Joseph
  9. Aristobulus is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/28/2008 2:35am


     Style: Historical Fencing,ARMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Let the flaming commence. <grin>"

    Did you intend on this to be a flaming session?

    "That was, in fact, my point- ARMA, although in theory the Association of Renaissance Martial Arts, collects from many sources outside the Renaissance. In addition, there are many manuals from many different systems. And having the "largest collection of manuals" doesn't mean that their scholarship is good."

    Renaissance is rebirth. Rebirth of European Martial Arts. It is not just the period that we study. You seem to imply that having alot of manuals from different periods and places is bad. I don't think so. There are many more simularities in the different "styles" than there are differences. That is true of all European Martial Arts before 1650. AEMMA has a hand full of manuals from the medieval and Renaissance period and others from after 1650. ARMA has over 50 from the medieval and Renaissance periods alone.

    "When you add in the Renaissance styles, you have an incredibly broad range of techniques."

    This is bad Why? I study medieval and Renaissance techniques. The concepts and principles didn't change.

    "Fighting with the German Longsword" by Tobler is a horrible book. What is good Scholarship if the interpretations are not Martially Sound? I don't want an interpretation on how to fight by someone who cannot fight.

    "My Fechtmeister has some difference of opinion about some of the techniques"

    Mine too. Ringeck, Lichtenauer, Fiore, Meyer, to name a few. Which one of the Fechtmeister were you talking about?

    "Seeing as how the original post was on German longsword, and only German longsword, I thought posting relevant information about studying the German system would be helpful rather than simply placing an ad for ARMA."

    You mentioned the Italian school for our information and added some misinformation about ARMA which I merely corrected. I mentioned ARMA in my first post because if you want to learn how to fight like the medieval or Renaissance Europeans, whether they are German or not, ARMA is a good place to learn. It would be very helpful to mention ARMA.

    Why the greif with ARMA?
    Last edited by Aristobulus; 4/28/2008 2:54am at .
  10. kg6cig is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/28/2008 10:34pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Did you intend on this to be a flaming session?

    Nope. But I suspected that it might end that way.

    This is bad Why? I study medieval and Renaissance techniques. The concepts and principles didn't change.

    I disagree, and have specifically posted reasons why- Meyer's interpretation of Alber, for example, is representative of the descendence of the preeminence of the longsword in favor of the rapier; changes in hand position as ringen became more wrestling oriented, etc.

    "Fighting with the German Longsword" by Tobler is a horrible book. What is good Scholarship if the interpretations are not Martially Sound? I don't want an interpretation on how to fight by someone who cannot fight.

    I disagree with you. I think it's an excellent book for beginners. That being said, there's no substitute for a competent trainer.

    Mine too. Ringeck, Lichtenauer, Fiore, Meyer, to name a few. Which one of the Fechtmeister were you talking about?

    Um... those aren't _my_ Fechtmeister. Or yours. Seeing as how they're dead and all. My Fechtmeister is my instructor. I know you don't use the term in ARMA; we do. No, I'm not one.

    You mentioned the Italian school for our information and added some misinformation about ARMA which I merely corrected. I mentioned ARMA in my first post because if you want to learn how to fight like the medieval or Renaissance Europeans, whether they are German or not, ARMA is a good place to learn. It would be very helpful to mention ARMA.

    Again I disagree. If one wishes to learn the katana purely in the traditional manner, then there are relatively few places in any area in the US you can do that (I think there's only two kendo schools in our area). Similarly, if you wish to learn the German way of fighting, either with longsword or as a whole system, there are few places that teach it exclusively. ARMA isn't one of them, as you yourself pointed out.

    If you really want to study judo- and only judo- then the local MMA gym isn't the place to go. You'll learn good stuff from an MMA teacher- but probably not traditional judo. Same thing with any "purist" style, whether it be kendo, karate, wing chun, whatever.

    Why the greif with ARMA?

    It's not about ARMA in particular. If you were from AEMMA I'd say the same thing- it is not the best place to learn the German method. I also wouldn't say that AEMMA is the best place to learn Italian Rapier- it's not what they teach. There are schools out there that teach more-or-less exclusively in the German method (Ochs, Zornhau, Die Schlachschule, Veritas, and MEMAG, for example). ARMA teaches many things not found in the Liechtenauer tradition- rapier, for example, which hadn't been invented during his lifetime.

    In the final analysis, I can agree to disagree. You are loyal to your school, which is laudable. I think perhaps we have gone well beyond that which the original poster intended, though. I will keep training in my school, and you in yours. Perhaps we can meet in Valhalla and settle it someday. <grin>

    Regards,

    Joseph
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