Thread: Sickle fighting

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    Sickle fighting

    The single-handed sickle is one of the more exotic Renaissance German weapons to have been revived in recent years.

    The first minute of this clip shows a wide range of sickle techniques from Paulus Hector Mair's treatise:

    YouTube - Paulus Hector Mair Exotica

    And this clip shows a wide range of potential applications based on "experimental archaeology", rather than taken verbatim from Mair's style:

    YouTube - entraƮnement aux techniques de faucille / sickle fight training

    Finally, some sparring applications:

    YouTube - Premier entraƮnement au combat (mƩdiƩval) Ơ la faucille / sickle fighting

  2. #2

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    Pshaw. Let's see a scythe fight.
    "You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    I'd give it about 6 months.

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    I think the scythe would normally not have a style of its own.

    The scythe-blade is attached to the wooden pole by a metal "nose". Under normal working conditions, that nose is in a 90 degree angle to the blades spine.

    For warfare, the nose was simply straightened. Takes only seconds and leaves you with a polearm very similar to a glaive. With identical ways of application.

    Such warscythes can be found in museums/weapon collections all over Germany and Austria. Normally the weapon would have been reconverted to a working tool after the conflict was over. But quite a lot of those "peasant" weapons ended up as trophys. Especially after the numerous "Bauernaufstände" (peasant rebellions).

    As for the sickle fighting... cruel. If you know how sharp an actual sickle is and consider this while watching the vid above... its just sick(le).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwan_dao View Post
    I think the scythe would normally not have a style of its own.

    The scythe-blade is attached to the wooden pole by a metal "nose". Under normal working conditions, that nose is in a 90 degree angle to the blades spine.

    For warfare, the nose was simply straightened. Takes only seconds and leaves you with a polearm very similar to a glaive. With identical ways of application.

    Such warscythes can be found in museums/weapon collections all over Germany and Austria. Normally the weapon would have been reconverted to a working tool after the conflict was over. But quite a lot of those "peasant" weapons ended up as trophys. Especially after the numerous "Bauernaufstände" (peasant rebellions).

    As for the sickle fighting... cruel. If you know how sharp an actual sickle is and consider this while watching the vid above... its just sick(le).
    I take it the first video was stills from the source book. If so than that suggests something else about the normal, as opposed to straightened, scythe. Here's some possible scenarios:

    • the images in the video are of an "improved" copy where the transcriber took it on themselves to correct the straightened scythe to bent scythes
    • the origionators of the techniques shown in the source material didn't consider this adjustment from bent to straight
    • the techniques are not ment for warfare but some different form of combat (impromptu fight in a field?)
    • what the source shows was not a sincere technique (Paulus was having us on, someone fooled Paulus or Paulus was exploring possibles that weren't ever explored in reality)

  6. #6
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Mair's "Arte Athletica" includes a comprehensive section of scythe-fighting techniques, making use of standard "hook" scythes. IIRC his was the only known treatise to show this type of weapon in action.

    IMO the most likely scenario is that Paulus Hector Mair, who was one of the more colorful collectors of exotic MAs back in the day - see the short biography at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulus_Hector_Mair - just liked the idea of scythe-fighting and figured out some techniques to match the weapon for academic/recreational purposes, as distinct from self defense, dueling, battlefield, etc.

    Here's a short demo of some of the techniques:

    YouTube - Demonstration Sense

    A little bird tells me that there will be a feature article on Mair's scythe system in an upcoming issue of Western Martial Arts Illustrated magazine.

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    The scythe with the unstraightened blade looks difficult to oppose- when swung it looks very difficult to block or redirect it at the shaft without already being hit by the blade. Looks like you'd have to totally outmaneuver someone armed with a scythe. Also looks like a brutal weapon for leg attacks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra View Post
    The scythe with the unstraightened blade looks difficult to oppose- when swung it looks very difficult to block or redirect it at the shaft without already being hit by the blade. Looks like you'd have to totally outmaneuver someone armed with a scythe. Also looks like a brutal weapon for leg attacks.
    Well the problem would be, that you are limited to quite wide swinging attacks. The blade of a scythe actually arches backwards (towards the wielder). To attack the opponents legs you would have to reach out quite far to get the blade behind his legs/body. If it works, you win (in a very brutal and messy way). If the opponent is reasonably fast, you are in for an unpleasant surprise.

  9. #9
    Putting the "ow" back in "flowery technique"
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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    And this clip shows a wide range of potential applications based on "experimental archaeology", rather than taken verbatim from Mair's style:

    YouTube - entraƮnement aux techniques de faucille / sickle fight training
    In this video, the sickle resembles the near-eastern Khopesh. I would be interested in seeing more videos.

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