On "Ringen", "Kampfringen", "Schlossringen" and other historical traditions
I am starting this thread because some of us had a quite interesting discussion starting here: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...t=80985&page=3
As I would like to keep the above mentioned discussion going, but strongly feel that the OP does not deserve his thread to be derailed, I cordially invite all and everyone to post their further comments here.
Got to get off for lunch, but I will make sure to post some additional info on what I know about the different historical "Ringen" styles later on.
With best regards
Quoted willaumes post here for reference.
Originally Posted by willaume
15 cent genrman wrestling
Here is may take on that ringen.
There earliest test I know of are the abraze in the 4 fiore dei libery books.
I do not work on that tradition so I can not really comment.
It dates from 1400-1410. and “wrestling” seems to be the foundation fro the rest.
Abraze covers strike, lock and take down. As far as I know there is no ground fighting.
In the 15th century, there is several Germam manuscript from possibly 3 traditions. The lichtanauer tradition which we have a fair amount of writings
On tradition based on the codex Wallenstein and a tradition based on the GLadiatoria manuscript (which concerns wrestling in armour and IMHO has similitude with the lichtanauer tradition).
The manual I am working with is called the ringeck and is from between 1430-1450. fencing with the long sword is the strategically and tactical foundation.
You need to establish a strong position via a strong initial attack and capitalise on that. The concept is to use standard type of entry.
Usually ringen is seen as integral part often weapons, so you have wrestling at the sword, with the sword and buckler or horse and in armour. That clip should get you a rough idea of what I am talking about. It is from a seminar I gave and they filmed the explanation bit to use later. So it is terribly slow, very basic and not ultra realistic. (but there was no mat and the French fencing federation gave us the room so we had to keep them happy) YouTube - Stage Escrime mÃ©diÃ©vale Lille 2009 - 2Ã¨me Session - partie 4. Those technique are to use when he want break the distance and force wrestling on us.
As far as I can tell only the verkerer (it should be in the winden video) enable us to force wrestling on our opponent safely.
However most of lichtanauer traditions have a section on pure wrestling.
Pure wrestling is seen as a way to gain and advantage by passing weapons. Ie getting into wrestling to prevent you to draw his weapon.
We are told that all the technique can be used in earnest of for play. So I understand that you can be used for war/self defense or to faf around with your mates.
The only makes the difference between fighting blos fechnten (fencing naked) and kampffechten (fencing with armour)
You have 2 type of wrestling techniques
The zu lauffen ringen= running wrestling. This is for when you opponent rushes or dashes at you.
This is not necessarily someone with poor form (that type of opponent is usually called a peasant as in someone that is not educated in the arts).
Basically you are using their motion against them, Like pre-war aikido or JJ.
In a way it is the same as wrestling at the sword the idea is to force the engagement from outside the “normal ringen distance”.
Wrestling from a solid position (ie be it a guard or a clinch)
It is something between judo and JJ. There is always exception but the idea is to obtain a lock (head, arm leg) to get a throw/takedown where you can put the hips in. keep hold of something and pin him.
You do have a series of defence from standard SD attack that takes both distance in consideration: bear hug from the front or back , how to shoot DLT and to counter it , rear collar grab and so on.
What you want to achieve in wrestling is to pin your opponent on the ground in a temporary pin. So you can finish him or submit him.
You do have techniques that are called bone breakers that you can apply on the arm or the leg so you can use that to gain submission.
I have to say that the Ringeck is the only German medieval manual that I know of where you have strike. You are supposed to use that strike to get into wrestling.
Ground fighting as in both player on the ground and chokes are absent.
The only ground fighting I have seen is a sort of BJJ in armour and it the context seems to be judicial duel. (humpfred in the Von dantzig manual)
From other medieval texts, I believe that there must have been some sort of free wrestling , Greco-roman roman wrestling or something like it
We know that when they grew up people of the nobility were taught wrestling from 11 onwards and in some manuscript you have throw when both fighter goes to the ground and they are usually call the young knight throw.
So I would not be surprised if the wrestling we see in the 15th century manual is kind of a add on/replacement of some sort of generic wrestling.
Last edited by willaume; 4/05/2009 9:29am at .
16th century German wrestling
As far as I can tell there is only 3 manuals, 2 of which are truly 16th century and not 15th century recycled material.
There is other fencing manuscript from the second half of the century but ringen seems to have disappeared.
the good thing is that you can actually read the text and the pictures are usually good.
Fabian von ausserwald (the manual kwan_dao refers to)
Hans Wurm very similar set up to Fabien wrestling wise but there is not text with the picture. (I do not have the daten or reference)
The third one is a copy of the Von dantzig with 1500-1520 illustration. So it deoes really work like a 15th century manual.
For the the Wurm and the VA manuals, you do not have that strikes, nothing like the 15th century pins, no SD defence, no zu lauffen ringen.
From what I understood the idea seems to be to lock/immobilise the opponent.
Either standing or on the ground or possibly to throw him, But kwan_dao will know more that me on that topic.
Last edited by willaume; 4/05/2009 9:31am at .
As to strikes, the Codex does include grappling defenses against strikes, as well as push kicks & groin strikes as counters, but it doesn't seem to advocate striking as a primary attack. Instead, striking seems to be implied in phrases like "go around with him" in which MMA style dirty-boxing seems to be advised not as an end unto itself but as a method of off-balancing an opponent & creating openings for joint-destruction & throws.
One thing that's interesting to me is that the Codex seems to advocate a stance similar to that of a modern boxer when dealing with strikes. It recommends placing the lead arm on the belly & the rear arm above it, using the rear arm to cuff punches aimed at the head, while the lead arm defends the body. But, while the stance looks quite modern, the strikes are very different from moden boxing. I've seen straight punches, palm strikes, haymakers, hammer fists & edge hands; all from the back hand (as oppossed to the lead), sometimes stepping through as one does with a sword/dagger strike so that the stance shifts. In the Codex, I haven't found any lead hand strikes...which may be because the fighters were primarily grapplers & wanted the lead hand free to block a shot or grab for an underhook & used the heavy right hand only to open things up for grappling.
Some things I would wish to note:
Sigmund Ringeck and Peter von Danzig were both part of the "Liechtenauer Group". Their manuscripts are part of the three manuscripts which where used to "interpolate" the lost works of Johannes Liechtenauer.
It is a pity that written manuals on martial arts of that time are so seldom found. On the other hand, it is no wonder, seeing as even amongst nobility iliteracy was a common thing during the 14th and 15th century. Most "Fechtmeister" would not have known how to write a book, even if they had wanted to do so.
I think we therefore have to take all that can be drawn from this one source (Johannes Liechtenauer and his pupils) with a grain of salt. They just stand too solitary. We can not simply assume that what Liechtenauer taught was by any means representative for german fighting or even "good fighting".
Please note that I am just stressing a possibility, not actually accusing anyone of anything, but he might as well have been a typical "bullshidoka" of his time. I am not saying he was, just that we do not know.
What we do know for a fact, is that many later "Fechtmeister" referred to him and that belonging to his school was used as some kind of proof of quality.
A bit of scepticism should imho also be applied to what is apparently missing in those manuals (e.g. striking for example, or groundfighting). To say that there was no striking in that period, just because its not part of a manual, is faulty logic. Same goes for everything else apparently missing.
A few personal remarks to willaume:
Please stop making wild assumptions about other people. It is really hard for me not to get raving mad because of that habit of yours.
I cited one of my sources and what follows is that you constantly try to make me look like I had only read that one book and nothing else. That is simply rude (besides beeing absolutely false).
Why do you feel the need to bolster your arguments with little tricks and derogatory remarks?
Well poppet, if it were personnel why did you not pm me then?
Originally Posted by kwan_dao
It may come as a shock to you but I do not have any personal agenda about making you look like a twat, you seem to be able to do that without external help.
Before going any further in character assassination and for what it is worth, my comment about you knowing fabian manual is genuine. It is not my period (as I mentioned in the original post) and It is more than enough work to try to understand and make a single manual work.
Since you brought the subject up, and you seem desperate for me to have a go at you. I will do my best to be agreeable.
why do i think you only have a limited knoledge on the topic at hand. Simple because each time you post you re-inforce me in that certitude.
Read the manuals in this link http://www.freifechter.org/ those are German transcription.
here is a medieval German dictionary, http://germazope.uni-trier.de/Projects/MWV/wbb
Now that you can rightly be offended . Let’s proceed with the rest of your otherwise interesting post
Sure there was name dropping, even Fiore de Liberi mention Johannes the swabian (lichtanauer was called johannes and was swabian) in one of his 4 manuals.
Claiming lineage to the name was probably a money earner as by 1450 paulus Kal listed the fencing master that could claim that lineage. If any thing it tend to indicate that it had a good reputation
Regardless Ringeck was fencing master for a prince, talloffer was hired as a trainer for several judicial duals and so was paulus kal.
This again seems to indicate that whatever they did must have worked.
Beside even in late 1500 we do have author like Meyer and Mair clearly making reference to the Lichtanauer School. Surely it must not have been all shiet to last over 200 years.
Last edited by willaume; 4/05/2009 5:59pm at .
Oh good, our first flame war ... which is all fine (this is Bullshido.net after all), but I'd regret it if misunderstandings, exaggerations or egos got in the way of useful discussion.
Kwan_dao, for what it's worth, I did not read Phil's reference to you as likely knowing more than he did about the Wurm/von Auerswald material as being any kind of a put-down or a wild assumption, but rather as an invitation for you to contribute something.
I do not know if it helps but in Ringeck, all the one handed strikes are done in the following sequence.
Originally Posted by SBG-ape
Grab with the left hand something above the belt.
Then strike with the right hand
So I think we have the same pattern.
It is worth mentioning that a fair amount of strikes uses both hands
Funnily enough the knee in the bollocks or the knee can be done with the lead or back leg (and the kick in the knee as well)
The 3 wrestling however (basically 3 ways to get into ringen) can be initiated by the lead or the back hand.
Hey, flaming is totally ok. If you openly call me a twat, I at least know where I am at.
You hiding your real intent between the lines was what actually gave me the creeps. Call me names as much as you like. I can live with that. I just can't stand the unhonest approach of well hidden little needles here and there between the lines.
Why I should find it insulting, if you point me to the website of the "Gesellschaft für Historische Fechtkunst e.V." or a few online dictionaries on "Mittelhochdeutsch" (is that acutally what you where referring to earlier as "medieval german"?) is beyond me though.
Back on topic:
I think willaume hits the nail on the head, when he (at some point in his postings at the other thread I think) roughly concluded that the people of the 14th and 15th century probably learned a form of ringen for sports or amusement and that the actual battletechniques where some kind of an addon to that.
If we try to broaden our focus and take other, additional sources, like accounts of travelers, book-illustrations, judicial acts of the time, wall-paintings and such into account, I think the following can be safely assumed (which is also backed up by the arguments and facts posted in this thread: Celtic/Backhold Wrestling - No BS Martial Arts where our discussion actually started):
There seems to be a consistent basic "ruleset" for ringen as a sport or amusement in europe, which basically survived from the celtic age onwards and is still alive as of today.
1. The opponents establish a grab on each other before the fight actually begins (or immediatly at the start). The rules differ widely as to where and how this grab is established (from arms around the body, over belt-holds, to grabbing the arms and shoulders), but the hold is allways there, one way or the other.
2. The fights are held in a standing position and won by bringing the opponent (parts or his full body) down to the ground.
A good example for a living tradition of that kind in the german-speaking world would imho be the swiss "Schwingen", which is still quite widely practiced.
There have of course been some rulechanges during the yearthousands. But astonishingly enough, if we compare the hellenistic olympic sport of "Pale" with todays "Schwingen" the basic concept is the same. And I dare bet, that practitioners of both would find it quite easy to adopt to the rulechanges and could easily partake in the other arts events.
As there tend to be only so and so many ways to throw someone to the ground (basically the same way as there are only a limited number of ways to wield a sword without cutting your own head off), the techniques used will either be similar or right away identical.
This can also be recognized by Jiu Jitsu practitioners when looking at the old manuals of Liechtenauer, Talhoffer and others, where they will find a lot of very familiar looking applications. None of them traveled to Japan, its just that there are only so many working ways to break an ellbow.
---- breaking this post in two because of fear that it might be too long for one installement -----
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