So why did I post this lengthy excurse above?
The point i try to argument is, that there is a rather clear continuity in ringen as a sport or amusement.
It all starts with the first proof of such sportive events on egyptian wall-paintings some two thousand years b.c. We know that the greek held regular tournaments from about 7th century b.c. onwards and we know they played by rules roughly the same as in todays "traditional" sports events.
The celts practiced similar or identical forms, as did the germanic and nordic cultures, who either copied it from the romans/celts or had already adopted it earlier on (we do not know the initial source or how old this kind of competition is).
The early middle ages leave us with a distinct lack of historic information (there is a reason why they are called "the dark ages" and it has nothing to do with ninjers taking over the world). But with the beginning of the german written tradition we start to see accounts of "ye good ole throwdown" again.
But we (the german speaking) have allways had this slight problem with naming things. Lets be honest, as much as our culture tends to prefer law and order, our naming and orthography is pure chaos. Heck, we can't even agree on the question if Jiu Jitsu should be called Jiu Jitsu or Ju Jutsu or Ju Jitsu, or... you get the picture.
During the times willaume is referring to as "his" period, the german cultural space was broken down in literally hundreds of little independent "nations" and fiefdoms. Each of these had its own dialect, the bigger ones even more then one.
To give you a picture of how vastly those dialects differed, I would like to point to todays variety in the german language. Just try and compare a swiss/austrian dialect like "Walserdeutsch" with the northern coastal "Plattdeutsch". Without the help of "Neuhochdeutsch" as a quasi "trade language", two german speakers of those groups would probably not even understand each other and might get to the conclusion that their opposite is speaking some foreign heathen lingo and not german.
This led to a plethora of different names, all for the same thing, a kind of sportive ringen following the aforementioned basic rules (of course there also had to be regional rule differences, because where would we end up if the german culture would be coherent for once).
The most commonly used names (in different spellings) for these traditions to my knowledge where "Leibringen" and "Schlossringen". As said, they probably also ran under a gazillion of other names. Like "Schwingen" for example. They where of course also refered to as "Ringen", just in the same way as "Wushu" or "Kung-Fu" is used for hung-gar or tai-chi.
It is my view that those arts where widely practiced in that era, both by the nobility and by "ordinary" people. Probably so widespread that no one ever thaught about the need to open up a school or write a manual about it (90% of the population, including the aristocracy, could not read anyhow).
The use of swords and other weapons was obviously also very widespread and not limited to aristocrats btw. Best proof for that: Johannes Liechtenauer was most likely a commoner, which is also why his exact birthplace/origin could not be established until today (at least to my knowledge). Also judicial fights where not limited to nobles. Not even to men for that, there are a lot of accounts of women partaking in such events (in cases of adultery for example).
Last edited by kwan_dao; 4/05/2009 11:57pm at .
Blast Kwan_dao ,in fact we do agree on quite a lot.
As well if we look a bit closer, like late 1800 early 1900 there was a plethora of local wrestling style.
Those were orally transmitted so we do not have any written record. We know of some like the Parisian wrestling from savate manuals. And in the UK, France, Austria switzerland to name country where I know there is attempt at revival/keeping of those type of sport.
It is quite difficult to prove or find what it looked like at a given time but it seems very likely that there was localised wrestling tradition at the time we start to have manuals.
I am not sure if I agree with you on the level of literacy in the 15th century, given the number of books and letter we have and the spread across nobility and burghers, it may have been higher than currently though, with the usual caveat on location and countries.
Regardless, that does not really bear on the discussion because I do agree that fencing books or house-books were not really best seller or Ringen for dummies type of book.
They were either dedicated to one given potentate or made for personal/group use or to get hired as coach when you had a judicial duel.
beside if like Ringeck you are a retainer of someone rich and powerfull, that someone is not going to take it too well, if you start to publisize your secrets and tricks.
Palus Kal or Tallhoffer have numerous plate on commoner judicial duel. In fact they both seem to have capitalised on being the trainer of a victorious noble in a judicial dual and sort of grab the market of judicial dual coach. 3 of the 6 Tallhoffer books have all the mark of modern gym leaflet. ie look at what you can do if you sign up with me.
I think that may be the wrestling in thalhofer thott Could be closer to that “generic wrestling” than the other 15th century masters. (http://flaez.ch/talhoffer/teil3.html)
I think it show more similarities with actual traditional wrestling than with the “knightly” ringen of other masters. Yes you do have an arm break here, the gouging (a mortshloss in Ringeck) there but I have the feeling, using modern analogy, that its modern wrestling with a bit of Ju-jitsu added.
I am still interest on what you think Fabian wrestling is about. the little i know it seems to me that him and Wurm has a more gentle version of ringen than the century before and that it is more designed to throw your oppoenent on the ground that any thing else. a kind a common wresling for posh people, if you see what i mean.
Last edited by willaume; 4/06/2009 9:15am at .
Yeah, I think Fabian von Auerswald was simply coming more from the "Ringer" side, e.g. someone a bit like the Marquess of Queensberry in boxing. A noble, who took a liking and interest in folk arts.
Originally Posted by willaume
The foreword of his manuscript seems to indicate that his lord, the Kurfürst of Sachsen (please do not ask me for a correct english translation of the title "Kurfürst" :eusa_thin ) was also a fan, so von Auerswald went and wrote that book, probably with the main intention to present it as a gift to the Kurfürst.
I am with you on the assumption that many of the other manuals might also have served as some kind of early marketing brochures. So from the difference in motives alone, one could expect quite a huge difference between the manuscripts.
Sachsen (saxony) was, for a long time in german history, a "modern" country, allways a bit ahead of the rest of Germany when it came to kultural developments. The "Kurfürsten" of saxony where quite famous for their open-mindedness and their love for arts. In the later years they attracted many of the smartest heads of the whole german cultural space.
Such an environment of course might also have influenced Fabian von Auerswald and his work. He probably did not see so much need for hardcore self-defense and battletraining as for example Liechtenauer, von Ringeck or Talhoffer.
The part of germany they lived in might have had quite a big influence anyhow (maybe even much more then the timeframe). As I said, germany was splintered like a dropped mirror, many of the parts beeing constantly more or less open at war for hundreds of years.
The bigger ones (like saxony or prussia for example) tended to be more peaceful for the average inhabitant. The smaller ones where permanently trying to take over each other, or avoiding to be taken over by the bigger ones.
Lands- or Waffenknechte sure did not have a hard time to find work back then.
There is the old German saying "all fighting comes from wrestling". I take that to mean, not only is wrestling an integral part of the fight, but wrestling is also the first thing someone would learn.
I imagine a young boy (maybe 12) going off to be trained in arms. He would already have anywhere from 5 to 9 years experience with wrestling play & sportive wrestling. He'd be taught the longsword & at some point the master would say "Hey, you know that one throw you do when you're wrestling? Look: if you tweak it a little bit it works with a sword too." & the boy would respond "Ok, I see how that works" & then they'd move on. When it came to weapon takes & dagger defense the master would cover arm breaks & things of that nature & once his student had grasped the concept he'd point out that the same breaks can be applied in wrestling. Finally the master would explain that on the battlefield there are no refs so if you find yourself wrestling someone you should feel free to smack him a bit to create your openings.
if the senetance is
Originally Posted by kwan_dao
herrb Johansen Frederichsen herzogen zu Sachssenm und Kurfürst u meinem gnedigsten herrn
I would go for the Prince Elector,lord JF duke of Saxe
I have to say they had the sens of title at the time, ringeck boss was
des hochgebornen fürsten vnd herrennm hern Aulbrecht, pfalzgrauen by Rin vnd hertzog in Bayern
His highness lord albrecht, Count Palatine of the Rhin and Duke of Bavaria...
ps how would translate "u meinem gnedigsten herrn"
personaly I would go with "and my most envied lord" ?
Last edited by willaume; 4/06/2009 12:55pm at .
Hehe, germans and titles, especially in ye olden days, thats a theme you could fill books with. In some cases by just quoting the title. :-)
Originally Posted by willaume
I would translate "u meinem gnedigsten herrn" as "and my most merciful lord". The verb "gnedig" is an old/dialectic form of todays "gnädig" which would be translated as merciful. "Gnade walten lassen", for example, means to spare someone, like by not killing an opponent after a fight.
Edit: another addition:
This might probably be interesting for you (if you do not know already, but as its a speciality of early german culture I thought I would mention it):
"Pfalzgraf" (what Ringeck writes as "pfalzgrauen") is a title with a very special meaning. In the early days, the kings, bishops and even the kaiser of germany could not reign from a central court. They where astonishingly "powerless" (meaning they had to search for political compromise, not that they did not have the right to just say "off with thine head!") and had to allways keep a very close personal contact to their followers.
They therefore had traveling courts, going from one district of their reign to another. To accomodate those travelling courts, "Pfalzen" (suitable palaces with all the necessary buerocratic installations) where build. Depending on the rank, there where (for example) "Königs-" und "Kaiserpfalzen".
Now a "Pfalzgraf" would typically be the aristocrat in charge (governor?) of a "Kaiserpfalz", one of the residencies of the german "Kaiser". Whenever the "Kaiser" was away, the "Pfalzgraf" would rule in his name.
Last edited by kwan_dao; 4/07/2009 1:17am at .
Originally Posted by kwan_dao
Thanks, yes gnadig is better.
Since gnedig was not in BZH I went for neidig/ge-nidig but really gnadid makes far more sense.I was really wondering but I did not though of gnadid (ge-nâden in BZH). That refers to what we were saying before I did came across that phrase before but the orthography of sound e for â is not that common in the text I am used to.
In France we are told that the title come from the Merovingian franks Comes palatinus. And it has relatively the same function as well as war leader. in the Merovingian they were the real leader of the “country”. With the Carolingian the role becomes more an enforcer of the emperor.
If I am not mistaken in the 12-13th century platzgraf were created to check powerful feudal lords.
I think this is one of the most obscure off-topic discussions I've ever seen on these boards.
That is really a tough one.
Originally Posted by SBG-ape
I am relatively confident that before you would do you “knight training” you would be doing some “generic wrestling”
I think in the case of the codex W, and late talhoffer at least the knightly wrestling builds up on that generic wrestling.
With the lichtanauer tradition it seems that idea is to “fight in a different manner”
I think the fencing is the foundation of the rest. The way I understand ringeck’s system is that it is designed to make the decision making simple and quick when you fight.
So it is based on technique that may not be optimum but that are good enough in a vast number of situation.
Now to be fair there is a lot of common technique in ringeck and the codex.
Yes there is a some difference
In the codex you do not have the zullaufen ringen (but the CW dagger and wrestling at the sword can be used instead) and when he is coming from the front to wrestle or bear hug you as well were to strike seems to be more complete in ringeck.
The Ringeck does not seem to have nearly as many type of clinch and does not have a lot of counter and counter to counter (compared to other lichtanaurist he seems to have dropped technique that are not too safe for the user) and there is no dagger (but the ringen and long sword gives you a dagger method)
But really I would say that it more how the gags are set up than fundamental difference.
I think that is not a contradiction. It is astonishing, how complex politics were at that time. As opposed to the sometimes painted picuture of an allmighty King or Kaiser.
Originally Posted by willaume
First of all, the military chain of command back then was practically identical with the political organisation. So the Pfalzgrafen, officially standing directly under the Kaiser, would have been the highest military leaders of the country. And probably the ones doing all the dirty work, as well-seasoned warlords.
I guess the travelling of the Kaiser was not entirely a voluntary decision (travelling with a whole court must have been a real pain back in those days, no one would have done that without need or a little pressure).
The Pfalzgrafen where extremely powerful. And they obviously had the power (and right?) to control the actions of their "superior". "Officially" (as in "this is what we tell the common people") the roman catholic church acknowledged the Kaiser as the highest non-theological instance on earth, thus sanctioning his status by church law (the Kaiser was allways crowned in Rome, by the Pope himself). Yet, the fact that he had to travel around the country constantly, was a clear sign to the world that there where powers whose call even the Kaiser could not ignore.
It is indeed the accepted consensus (even though I am personally a bit sceptic about that, the "lautverschiebung" somehow feels strange imho) that the word "Pfalz" was derived from the roman "palatinum" (palace).
"Palast", the german word for palace, is obvious though. The strange thing is, that we also know the "Paladin" (lat. palatinus) as a distinct title for knights, and the paladins where not necessary identical with the "Pfalzgrafen".
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