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  1. Ningirsu is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/25/2010 12:14pm

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     Style: Longsword, Krav Maga

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Collection of HEMA Armored Combat videos

    After searching all around the internet, here's a selection of videos featuring armored combat using historical techniques found in Medieval/Renaissance manuals:

    Technique Demonstrations:

    YouTube- ARMA 2003 IG Armored Combat Demonstration
    YouTube- SwArta Harnischfechten
    YouTube- Harnischfechten techniques from Ringeck
    YouTube- Some techniques from Hans Czynners treatise
    YouTube- Medieval Armored Combat Demonstration

    Harnischfechten (armored combat) sparring

    YouTube- Harnischfechten sparring demonstration
    YouTube- Harnischfechten-Armoured Free Play
    http://vimeo.com/channels/omsg2009 (There are 11 videos here)

    Just thought I'd share.

    EDIT: Oh, and if I come across more I'll post them as well.
    Last edited by Ningirsu; 6/25/2010 12:32pm at .
  2. captainzorikh is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/03/2010 10:05am


     Style: grappling, swordfighting

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Very interesting. I wish I knew the rules, I saw several blows that seemed like they should have ended the fight not counted, and while in one fight a takedown won the match, in others, they got up and reset. It also seemed that the fights had time limits.

    The armor was very pretty, and the people were obviously having a good time. Kudos to them for going that extra mile to make sure they look good.

    I can't speak to the historical accuracy of the technique, but it did look like they were trying things that I have seen in a book or two.

    After having lived through the whole SCA vs. HEMA debate, I am struck by a few things: No one is targeting the hand or lower legs, and aside from the hand-to-hand grappling and striking with both ends of the weapons, not much of the technique is beyond what I have seen in the SCA. The fighters seemed to be laboring under the weight of their armor, and a few times a fighter yeilded for lack of breath. In fact, in the skill level and conditioning of the fighters, it looked like a mid-level local SCA tournament without the satisfying "bang" of a rattan on steel.

    I am also amused that the group's initials are so close to "OMG."

    That having been said, I would love to see more of this.
  3. Ningirsu is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/07/2010 12:39pm

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     Style: Longsword, Krav Maga

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    Very interesting. I wish I knew the rules, I saw several blows that seemed like they should have ended the fight not counted, and while in one fight a takedown won the match, in others, they got up and reset. It also seemed that the fights had time limits.

    The armor was very pretty, and the people were obviously having a good time. Kudos to them for going that extra mile to make sure they look good.

    I can't speak to the historical accuracy of the technique, but it did look like they were trying things that I have seen in a book or two.

    After having lived through the whole SCA vs. HEMA debate, I am struck by a few things: No one is targeting the hand or lower legs, and aside from the hand-to-hand grappling and striking with both ends of the weapons, not much of the technique is beyond what I have seen in the SCA. The fighters seemed to be laboring under the weight of their armor, and a few times a fighter yeilded for lack of breath. In fact, in the skill level and conditioning of the fighters, it looked like a mid-level local SCA tournament without the satisfying "bang" of a rattan on steel.

    I am also amused that the group's initials are so close to "OMG."

    That having been said, I would love to see more of this.
    Hey, thanks! I'll see what I can come up with.

    Lower leg strikes usually involve swinging an edge against plate armor. An edge in contact with plate armor doesn't usually do anything--that's exactly why fighters wore armor and were so effective in battle as a result.

    If there are leg strikes they'd be primarily meant for takedowns, but such moves have a VERY high chance of ripping the opponent's leg ligaments, hence the rarity of use in reconstruction groups.

    Hand strikes do happen (see the ARMA video in the forest), but only if they aren't wearing gauntlets to imitate the source manuals. Again, unless it's a super full power swing, it won't consistently do much against plate-armored hands that will be moving. Certain moves from the manuals involve doing blade locks that end up pinching the fingers...but again, that has a very high risk of injury to perform in actual sparring.

    But I see what you're getting at; it does at first glance look like there are more similarities than differences between SCA and HEMA armored combat, but I think it's the issue of safety that causes armored combat to end up looking pretty similar. Full power swings from any real weapon can really injure even through plate, so in sparring neither SCA nor HEMA would use steel weapons (even if blunt, the crossguard and pommel are just as lethal as with sharp swords!) at 100% power. Interesting observation on your part.

    This essay and its picture demos might shed a bit more light on this:
    http://www.thearma.org/essays/armoredlongsword.html

    At the heart I think the main difference, once again, is intent. HEMA techniques were meant to kill armored opponents (that in itself is, to be honest, a very, very, very scary concept if you think about it), so naturally the application of such moves are extremely dangerous to practice even with simulators!
  4. Ningirsu is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/07/2010 12:52pm

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     Style: Longsword, Krav Maga

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Oh, and I'm not sure about the rules, actually. Think it depends on the organization, and they seem to cater to safety in different ways.

    I think the ARMA rules, as always, are:
    "If the opponent hit you with a real weapon and with realistic, combat-warranted power that would leave you dead/incapcitated, you made a mistake. Learn and try again, but don't intentionally permanently injure your training partners."

    ARMA doesn't really do tournaments since it arguably detracts from learning the art and encourages "hitting just for points."
  5. captainzorikh is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/07/2010 9:52pm


     Style: grappling, swordfighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Wow, the ironies here are coming thick and fast!

    First, thanks for the link. I have been aware of the ARMA site for some years now. In fact, when I saw they had only one review of a SCA video (a particularly negative review of an apparently poor video) I sent them a copy of "The Pennsic War: A Video Documentary" (which I produced. John Clements said he would review it. I'm still waiting, but I am sure he is a busy man).

    On to the ironies: In the top of the very second paragraph, it says "The edge of the sword, for example, is relatively useless against plate armour." Right next to it is a picture of a battle that shows two helmets being chopped by swords, and separated limbs all over the field with the only weapons in sight but swords. To be fair, they are two handed great swords, bigger than the hand-and-a half swords used in the rest of the article, but swords nonetheless.

    Next, after all the bitchin' and moanin' about how the SCA is so unrealistic because it doesn't allow strikes to the lower leg or the hands, it seems that no one is bothering to to do so anyway for one reason or another.

    And if plate armor is so proof against sword blades that they would have done no damage, then why not swing away full strength with your blades? Well, I get your point about how they are trying to learn the techniques that would have worked against armor, so they are trying to find safe ways of doing deadly things.

    As far as intent goes, SCA fighters are also trying to do things that would have killed people in armor, and there are constant debates and changes of the rules to try to make more period techniques legal and safe. To me, part of the big difference is that they didn't have the books and research and knowledge we have now, and the sport and its techniques developed through trial and error of figuring out what worked with the tools at hand, rather than starting with trying to learn the techniques and then figuring out how to build a combat sport out of them.

    But I better shut up now or someone will accuse me of trolling the lists to stir up HEMA/SCA debate...Damn! Too late!
  6. GenericUnique is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/08/2010 2:39am


     Style: WMA Lichtenauer Longsword

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    Next, after all the bitchin' and moanin' about how the SCA is so unrealistic because it doesn't allow strikes to the lower leg or the hands, it seems that no one is bothering to to do so anyway for one reason or another.
    The SCA stick-game ("heavy fighting", I think) pretends you're wearing chainmail and an open-faced helm. That's rather different protection from plate. With the SCA's assumed standard, leg and hand hits are a lot more viable ways to injure someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    And if plate armor is so proof against sword blades that they would have done no damage, then why not swing away full strength with your blades? Well, I get your point about how they are trying to learn the techniques that would have worked against armor, so they are trying to find safe ways of doing deadly things.
    Because if you hit somewhere ineffective, you'll be exposed to an effective blow in return because you're so committed. Whereas if you hit somewhere effective (i.e. a gap in the armour) full power, you've just injured your training partner.

    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    As far as intent goes, SCA fighters are also trying to do things that would have killed people in armor, and there are constant debates and changes of the rules to try to make more period techniques legal and safe.
    As above - the SCA isn't trying to simulate the same level of armour at all. Were it trying to encourage period anti-armour techniques, you'd be seeing a lot more grappling. Since grappling isn't allowed, the SCA clearly isn't trying very hard to encourage period techniques.
  7. rocketsurgeon is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/08/2010 4:18pm


     Style: hard work work

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Had I been present at the founding of this group I would have advocated changing Sword to Fighting making the acronym OMFG.

    I liked the vids. While I understand the desire for a hard and fast ruleset to have in mind while watching them, the nature of the verbal exchanges points to an atmosphere of conversation, of attempts to reach a mutual agreement of what just happened. I think this is pretty common once the level of equipment goes up and the safety measures distort things.

    Sometimes it's ok to just go until you both have a clear idea of whose ass is being kicked.
  8. Ningirsu is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/11/2010 8:31am

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     Style: Longsword, Krav Maga

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    From what I've seen, John Clements has no real desire to deal with SCA anymore as it is until more cases of HEMA displays show up. My guess is that he doesn't consider it anything related to what ARMA is actually trying to do.
    But yes, John Clements is extremely busy making publications and essays on other topics within his own community before he can address what he considers to be a dead-horse topic.

    (this is my impression, not what he's told me or anything--I dont really know him.)

    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    On to the ironies: In the top of the very second paragraph, it says "The edge of the sword, for example, is relatively useless against plate armour." Right next to it is a picture of a battle that shows two helmets being chopped by swords, and separated limbs all over the field
    Art =/= photograph, but I agree it's ironic that ARMA would put that picture up there. Battle is battle; freak things happen, but that doesn't mean it was common. In fact, it's very possible that it's precisely because those were freak incidents that they were depicted.

    There was a documentary called "weapons that made Britain" that discusses that exact picture and tests on armor.

    Sure hard slashing can work; in battle that might be what you'd do if you don't have space to grapple or halfsword, but that doesn't mean it's ideal.

    HEMA practitioners accept that the authors of the period sources knew what they were talking about, and they believe there's a good reason there are no sword cut attacks even considered in armored combat manuals.

    I mean, when was the last time a test using sharp weapons ever CUT THROUGH 18-16gauge steel? And if it happened, how often did it happen compared to all the times it didn't actually work?

    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    Next, after all the bitchin' and moanin' about how the SCA is so unrealistic because it doesn't allow strikes to the lower leg or the hands, it seems that no one is bothering to to do so anyway for one reason or another.
    In unarmored sparring it happens all the time in HEMA...I'm not sure why you're saying this. I think the idea is that SCA doesn't COUNT such strikes, no matter how common or rare they might be.

    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    And if plate armor is so proof against sword blades that they would have done no damage, then why not swing away full strength with your blades?
    Because the sword will be damaged, the user will tire out much faster, and the opponent will find a more efficient way of killing you before you bash him to goo. Again, it *can* work, but it's not always efficient to do so--especially in a 1v1. A full power swing can be easily intercepted, grappled, and ultimately result in a takedown and finish on opponent's part.

    Now, with a mace or warhammer on the other hand, GO TO TOWN SCA STYLE!! RAWR.

    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    As far as intent goes, SCA fighters are also trying to do things that would have killed people in armor
    With the same energy, intensity, and force, sure--but my point is simply that the techniques and methology in SCA are not as efficient or as effective if we were to try life/death armored combat for real. And in combat, you want to be as efficient as you can possibly be--your life and family depend on it.

    All in all, what HEMA organizations are trying to do is stick with the texts and trust the masters of the period itself over anything we can come up with today. Where the texts are clear, learn and apply. Where the texts are unclear, experiment.

    If the texts don't show us slashing at plate, we won't expect it to work. We tried, and we've found that it doesn't really work (the ARMA test cutting video page has a few tests on armor). At least not very often--definitely not often enough to warrant common use in a life and death situation.

    Btw, I really appreciate you holding your side almost single-handedly despite almost everyone else hating on SCA.
  9. Ningirsu is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2010 7:35am

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     Style: Longsword, Krav Maga

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    Next, after all the bitchin' and moanin' about how the SCA is so unrealistic because it doesn't allow strikes to the lower leg or the hands, it seems that no one is bothering to to do so anyway for one reason or another.
    Oh hold on, I see what's going on here! There's a misunderstanding going on as a result of different perspectives.

    The HEMA community's logic goes like this:

    SCA does strikes that would be useless against armor like the wrap shot, and those are counted.
    Therefore, SCA must be assuming no armor in its fights.

    If SCA is assuming no armor, then hand strikes and lower leg strikes should be counted. But they are not--therefore SCA combat is not being realistic.

    But if SCA is assuming armor, then most of such strikes would not do anything against plate armor--but such strikes are pretty much the only thing that we see in SCA combat--therefore, SCA is not being realistic either way.
    Last edited by Ningirsu; 7/12/2010 7:44am at . Reason: That is, plate armor.
  10. captainzorikh is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/19/2010 12:18am


     Style: grappling, swordfighting

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsurgeon View Post
    Had I been present at the founding of this group I would have advocated changing Sword to Fighting making the acronym OMFG.

    I liked the vids. While I understand the desire for a hard and fast ruleset to have in mind while watching them, the nature of the verbal exchanges points to an atmosphere of conversation, of attempts to reach a mutual agreement of what just happened. I think this is pretty common once the level of equipment goes up and the safety measures distort things.

    Sometimes it's ok to just go until you both have a clear idea of whose ass is being kicked.
    Good call on the interpretation of what's happening. Well played on the acronym.
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