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Eudemic
5/20/2013 2:07am,
So. . . I recently watched the Agilitas.tv 'Sword & Shield' DVD, which draws almost exclusively on MS I.33 as a historical source (the sword and buckler of Hans Talhoffer, Paulus Kal, and Andres Lignitzer are briefly mentioned, but more for the sake of comparing technical differences due to changes in sword type than actually delving into their instruction.)

They spent some time discussing their interpretation of the Priest's stance in I.33, and what they've come up with strongly resembles the sort of stance taken by a modern collegiate wrestler (rear heel up, heavy bend in the knees, leaning forward at the waist. . .); this is explained as a way to supplement the limited reach of the weapons used at the time (apparently averaging 33" blade length) and to mitigate the effects of uberlaufen. They said that, apparently, as swords became longer with narrower blades the stances swashbucklers took became more erect, because their reach was better.

Now, to get to the point of this post, I wanted to ask if anyone else here thinks it would be reasonable to presume a similar "wrestler's" stance would have been used by people when wielding messers for reasons similar to those stated above? They are also single-handed weapons with blades comparable in length to the ones used in I.33, and seem to result in greater emphasis on binding and grappling from a bind than does the sword-and-buckler (I presume the lower, more forward stance should have provided some of the same advantages to the fencers in a bind/clinch that it does to modern wrestlers. . .)

The illustrations I've been able to find have been inconsistant with how erect the stances are in messerfetchen, but I'm starting to get the impression that the fighters are more upright in the later manuals than they were in the earlier. This could just be a case of me finding what I'm looking for, though.

lklawson
5/20/2013 8:05am,
When I look at systems with blades of similar length and reach (such as Cutlass), I very seldom see a weight forward stance and when it does appear (such as in some FMA work), I don't recall the masters relating that it was for the effect of extending reach.

The closest I can think of off the top of my head is Hope's "New Method" which features a smaller sword and a weight-forward stance in a Hanging Guard. My read on it is that the reason is, as with most Hanging Guards, to create a very strong defensive position. The weight forward pulls the lower torso away from thrusts in something which may be similar to uberlaufen in concept.

I admit that I have but small and passing interest in I.33, but I would want to see more evidence for what seems to be an unorthodox interpretation.

http://www.sirwilliamhope.org/Library/Hope/NewMethod/images/HopePoster.jpg

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

Eudemic
5/20/2013 12:56pm,
Considering Uberlaufen when adopting a weight-forward stance like that (in Hope's New Method) would certainly, if nothing else, make the attacks you're having to deal with much more predictable. Particularly so with a weapon geared towards the thrust, I'd guess.


When I look at systems with blades of similar length and reach (such as Cutlass), I very seldom see a weight forward stance and when it does appear (such as in some FMA work), I don't recall the masters relating that it was for the effect of extending reach.

Could you say what you have seen stated as the intended effect?

lklawson
5/20/2013 1:47pm,
Could you say what you have seen stated as the intended effect?To generalize, it tends to be associated with an aggressive, offense-oriented, style of fighting. Less about the length of the weapon and more about putting forward "pressure" on the opponent.

If one must move closer to the opponent due to the length of the weapon, as the original thesis supposes, this means that the opponent's weapon has also moved closer to you. Closer equals less time to react, as Silver reminds us. By default, inverting that equation, attacking rather than defending (the old saw, "The best Defense is a good Offense") presupposes an aggressive style in order to prevent incoming attacks and counter attacks when using such as body-forward positioning.

When described that way, it sounds very "German" (if you take my meaning). ;)

You can see analogs to this concept in various forms of knife fighting and even in some styles of boxing.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

Mordschlag
5/21/2013 10:03am,
Now, to get to the point of this post, I wanted to ask if anyone else here thinks it would be reasonable to presume a similar "wrestler's" stance would have been used by people when wielding messers for reasons similar to those stated above? They are also single-handed weapons with blades comparable in length to the ones used in I.33, and seem to result in greater emphasis on binding and grappling from a bind than does the sword-and-buckler (I presume the lower, more forward stance should have provided some of the same advantages to the fencers in a bind/clinch that it does to modern wrestlers. . .)

The illustrations I've been able to find have been inconsistant with how erect the stances are in messerfetchen, but I'm starting to get the impression that the fighters are more upright in the later manuals than they were in the earlier. This could just be a case of me finding what I'm looking for, though.

To begin, let me state that I don't dedicate a huge amount of my practice to sword and buckler or the langes messer. I'm also probably biased against a lifted-heel stance, since it has no place in my practice. I only see the heel up as a depiction of transitory movement (as opposed to a stance adopted in the approach). So that being said....

Meyer Dussack Plate
http://www.thearma.org/NewArchive/MeyerDussacken4OL.JPG

Mair Dussack Plate
http://www.hroarr.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/mair-dussack-c93-1550-07.jpg

Talhoffer Messer Plate
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/1p7anaiPo7o/0.jpg

From what I've seen of messer fighting in the fight books, I'd agree that the stances tend to be more upright. If we also look at Meyer's Dussack fighting, we also don't see many heel-up depictions and instead we see more turning off the body (both in legs and torso). I think we see this because both parties in the fight need to be stable and capable of powerful, large steps both to cover distance and defend against the grappling of your opponent. It has been my experience that those large, leaping steps lead to planted heels and a more upright posture, and I feel better prepared to grapple from that as well.

Eudemic
5/21/2013 12:50pm,
To begin, let me state that I don't dedicate a huge amount of my practice to sword and buckler or the langes messer. I'm also probably biased against a lifted-heel stance, since it has no place in my practice. I only see the heel up as a depiction of transitory movement (as opposed to a stance adopted in the approach). So that being said....

Meyer Dussack Plate
http://www.thearma.org/NewArchive/MeyerDussacken4OL.JPG

Mair Dussack Plate
http://www.hroarr.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/mair-dussack-c93-1550-07.jpg

Talhoffer Messer Plate
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/1p7anaiPo7o/0.jpg

From what I've seen of messer fighting in the fight books, I'd agree that the stances tend to be more upright. If we also look at Meyer's Dussack fighting, we also don't see many heel-up depictions and instead we see more turning off the body (both in legs and torso). I think we see this because both parties in the fight need to be stable and capable of powerful, large steps both to cover distance and defend against the grappling of your opponent. It has been my experience that those large, leaping steps lead to planted heels and a more upright posture, and I feel better prepared to grapple from that as well.

I don't think the images in I.33 only describe transitions, given that there are several illustrations of the Priest in various wards/guards and not taking any action yet.

Part of what I was trying to suggest in my OP (which I may not have done very well) was that many later manuals featuring messer/dussack may have displayed a more upright stance because the authors of those manuals placed greater emphasis on the longsword in their practice than on shorter blades. I would guess that this greater emphasis would have influenced messer practice as those masters tended towards postures they were more familiar with. . .

(It's been my understanding that if you are going to move in a direction you have to first shift your weight to the ball of your foot and then press off of that in the intended direction of travel. It's also been my understanding that in most cases an upright stance is going to be more vulnerable a bind or clinch than a lower one, due to the higher center of gravity. . .)

Mordschlag
5/21/2013 8:35pm,
I don't think the images in I.33 only describe transitions, given that there are several illustrations of the Priest in various wards/guards and not taking any action yet.

I see the exact opposite when I read I.33 and examine the plates. I see the priest and student moving around each other and constantly moving about, even if they're aren't transitioning from guards or executing cuts at that precise moment.

Take this image for an example:

http://collections.royalarmouries.org/image.php?i=576245&r=2&t=4&x=9

It's entirely possible that the student is waiting statically in his special long point ward. But I think it's more probable that he is moving, shifting his weight, and\or about to step forward to intercept the incoming cut so that he maintains the Vor. The masters never say to wait and stand still, so I don't see why this book would be the exception. I'd concede that we may never truly know for sure, but I feel safe in making this wager.


Part of what I was trying to suggest in my OP (which I may not have done very well) was that many later manuals featuring messer/dussack may have displayed a more upright stance because the authors of those manuals placed greater emphasis on the longsword in their practice than on shorter blades. I would guess that this greater emphasis would have influenced messer practice as those masters tended towards postures they were more familiar with. . .

I understood your point but generally the books tell us fighting single handedly is the same as fighting with two hands. So if they are the same, it's because they use the same foundational principles instead of being two separate systems with separate principles. Now it's true that I.33 is the earliest of the book but personally I don't think that it would be radically different from books a mere century or less later. For example:

The Tower fight book is from around the first part of the 1300s. Fiore wrote his books sometime around the turn of the 1400s. So you have at most 100 years of separation and yet....

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8514426f/f58.highres

He too fights single handed in a more upright position. He too greatly utilizes grappling and closing in (as do those in I.33 and in books after his times). Are we to believe that people mostly fought in a forward posture all the way up until the 1400s (due to the long sword) or that people mostly fought upright and continued doing so when the longsword became widespread? I myself think the latter is more probable.


(It's been my understanding that if you are going to move in a direction you have to first shift your weight to the ball of your foot and then press off of that in the intended direction of travel. It's also been my understanding that in most cases an upright stance is going to be more vulnerable a bind or clinch than a lower one, due to the higher center of gravity. . .)

Indeed, you do generally push off on the ball of your foot when stepping (since you need to pivot upon it). But as I stated earlier, I don't think that is means that the books depict people standing on the balls of their feet while in a ward. Instead, as I stated, I think the books depict them in constant motion with them stepping, shifting their feet, and so forth.

Now as to your latter point, we generally don't see combatants in the books beginning from a forward-leaning stance.

Fabian von Auerswald (16th century):
http://wiktenauer.com/images/b/b8/Auerswald_6.jpg

Fiore (14th-15th century)
http://wiktenauer.com/images/3/39/Pisani-Dossi_MS_3r-c.jpg

I suspect that this is for multiple reasons. You're probably not going to want to go too far low in the approach; it will leave you open to getting your face attacked and it is telegraphing. Instead you look to see if he is high or low and you maintain your own balance accordingly. You do see people going low but it is done in the context of Indes; the person countering a throw will drop low in the Waage (see: The Codex Wallerstein for detailed explanation) or he will drop low if he needs to execute a leg pick. So yes we do see people grappling from a low stance, but this is a balanced low stance used in the moment and not from the approach range.

Eudemic
5/21/2013 10:41pm,
I see the exact opposite when I read I.33 and examine the plates. I see the priest and student moving around each other and constantly moving about, even if they're aren't transitioning from guards or executing cuts at that precise moment.

Take this image for an example:

http://collections.royalarmouries.org/image.php?i=576245&r=2&t=4&x=9

It's entirely possible that the student is waiting statically in his special long point ward. But I think it's more probable that he is moving, shifting his weight, and\or about to step forward to intercept the incoming cut so that he maintains the Vor. The masters never say to wait and stand still, so I don't see why this book would be the exception. I'd concede that we may never truly know for sure, but I feel safe in making this wager.

Please bear in mind that it's not unreasonable to assume that whoever illustrated MS I.33 was working with fencers who were posing for the benefit of the production; I say this in-part on the basis of the seemingly random inclusion of "Walpurgis" for the demonstration of a guard that didn't actually require a new person to show. If it is the case they were working off of models then those models likely would not be showing very much action.


I understood your point but generally the books tell us fighting single handedly is the same as fighting with two hands. So if they are the same, it's because they use the same foundational principles instead of being two separate systems with separate principles. Now it's true that I.33 is the earliest of the book but personally I don't think that it would be radically different from books a mere century or less later. For example:

The Tower fight book is from around the first part of the 1300s. Fiore wrote his books sometime around the turn of the 1400s. So you have at most 100 years of separation and yet....

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8514426f/f58.highres

He too fights single handed in a more upright position. He too greatly utilizes grappling and closing in (as do those in I.33 and in books after his times). Are we to believe that people mostly fought in a forward posture all the way up until the 1400s (due to the long sword) or that people mostly fought upright and continued doing so when the longsword became widespread? I myself think the latter is more probable.

I hope you can agree with me that fighting under the same, or similar, principles does not imply technically identical fighting. For example, if you compare most of the stances used with the longsword at later dates they are much more upright than the stance shown in I.33. This is also true of most examples of messer-fighting I've seen, as well as later sword & buckler, when they are also compared to what is shown in I.33. I wasn't trying to suggest that people had completely abandoned a more forward stance when using shorter weapons (which they clearly hadn't) or that the bind/clinch was no longer important, just that the more upright stances shown in later examples of fighting with shorter weapons was the result of habits developed with the longsword.


Indeed, you do generally push off on the ball of your foot when stepping (since you need to pivot upon it). But as I stated earlier, I don't think that is means that the books depict people standing on the balls of their feet while in a ward. Instead, as I stated, I think the books depict them in constant motion with them stepping, shifting their feet, and so forth.

We can agree that working from the bind or from a clinch is important in fighting with either sword & buckler or messer? So why wouldn't a fencer assume a stance which provides some of the benefits of a wrestling stance?

Please allow me to also point out that keeping one's heel raised does not have any more of a significant/noticeable impact on your mobility than turning your toe outwards.


Now as to your latter point, we generally don't see combatants in the books beginning from a forward-leaning stance.

Fabian von Auerswald (16th century):
http://wiktenauer.com/images/b/b8/Auerswald_6.jpg

Fiore (14th-15th century)
http://wiktenauer.com/images/3/39/Pisani-Dossi_MS_3r-c.jpg

I suspect that this is for multiple reasons. You're probably not going to want to go too far low in the approach; it will leave you open to getting your face attacked and it is telegraphing. Instead you look to see if he is high or low and you maintain your own balance accordingly. You do see people going low but it is done in the context of Indes; the person countering a throw will drop low in the Waage (see: The Codex Wallerstein for detailed explanation) or he will drop low if he needs to execute a leg pick. So yes we do see people grappling from a low stance, but this is a balanced low stance used in the moment and not from the approach range.

My response to this is that in MS I.33 the fencer's forward knees are more bent than in later treatises, that their backs are more forward-leaning in relation to their hips, and that their shoulders are more-or-less above their forward knee in many cases. The benefits to this are that it removes your lower body as a target (which additionally makes your opponent's attacks more predictable) and provides you greater stability/power in the bind or the clinch.

These are also important considerations with the messer.

Permalost
5/21/2013 10:55pm,
I am not a historical fencer, but I have some thoughts on the one handed chopper, being a cornerstone of my FMA practice.

On the raised heel: picking up the back heel may limit your ability to do a nice stable fencing lunge, but it can improve mobility and quickness in other ways. For example, from a right lead, you can more easily step through on a 45 degree angle forward and to the left. Or, you could sidestep directly to the left against a thrust as you cut across the torso. Outside of strict forward and backwards a raised heel can be a good starting point.

Eudemic
5/22/2013 4:11pm,
Lateral and triangular footwork were both very important parts of fighting with the messer.

Mordschlag
5/22/2013 10:19pm,
Please bear in mind that it's not unreasonable to assume that whoever illustrated MS I.33 was working with fencers who were posing for the benefit of the production; I say this in-part on the basis of the seemingly random inclusion of "Walpurgis" for the demonstration of a guard that didn't actually require a new person to show. If it is the case they were working off of models then those models likely would not be showing very much action.

I agree that the illustrators were likely having them pose at least to some degree. That's pretty much the way that artists had to work up until more modern times, what with cameras being long in the future when these books were written. The underlying issue here is that frankly we don't know what the masters precisely meant due to the inherent qualities of writing fight books, so it's possible that: the fencers are still, the fencers are not still, the fencers are moving slowly, or all of the above. As an aside, I personally think that Walpurgis is in there to help show that the fighting in I.33 is meant to help monks and nuns defend themselves (as this isn't depicted as a knightly art).

But again, the point that I keep repeatedly stressing is that I don't think the plates in any fight book represent a static encounter or anything of the sort; they are merely one second out of time. So even though it is possible that some of them are paused or waiting, I think it is most probable based on the writings that accompany the images that the images depict some sort of movement.


I hope you can agree with me that fighting under the same, or similar, principles does not imply technically identical fighting. For example, if you compare most of the stances used with the longsword at later dates they are much more upright than the stance shown in I.33. This is also true of most examples of messer-fighting I've seen, as well as later sword & buckler, when they are also compared to what is shown in I.33. I wasn't trying to suggest that people had completely abandoned a more forward stance when using shorter weapons (which they clearly hadn't) or that the bind/clinch was no longer important, just that the more upright stances shown in later examples of fighting with shorter weapons was the result of habits developed with the longsword.

Sure, I do agree that it doesn't imply purely identical fighting. Doesn't Meyer say that everyone fights differently, after all? But I still stand by what I said. It requires the least amount of assumptions that people fought generally upright and continued to do so later, rather than they fought mostly forward and then slowly shifted upright due to a single weapon becoming widespread. After all, knives existed before the longsword and knife fighting in the books is also upright. So again this could be that everything slowly changed to sync up with longsword training (as early as Fiore) or it could be what I'm stating which is that the longsword is upright because fighting generally was upright before it.


We can agree that working from the bind or from a clinch is important in fighting with either sword & buckler or messer?

Totally agree. Is it not said that Ringen is the basis of the Art?


So why wouldn't a fencer assume a stance which provides some of the benefits of a wrestling stance?

Here is where I disagree. A forward stance is great when you don't have to worry about being attacked in the approach. If you can only be attacked in der Krieg, then sure! But recall that in Ringen you have to be on guard against strikes and unusual grips, which a forward posture (in my opinion) doesn't guard well against. Additionally consider that fighting with the dagger is identical to fighting without the dagger. Such a forward stance doesn't help much against the rondell and thus we don't see it in all of the rondell dagger plates we have available. So again, consider the amount of assumptions: did they have separate systems of wrestling without the dagger and with the dagger, or was it all one system that were built on the same principles regardless of weapon? What do we see in the books?

What I'm stating, again, is that it's safer to begin upright and then adopt a more forward stance Indes in accordance to an opening of your enemy. This is true of Ringen without daggers and with daggers.


Please allow me to also point out that keeping one's heel raised does not have any more of a significant/noticeable impact on your mobility than turning your toe outwards.

My response to this is that in MS I.33 the fencer's forward knees are more bent than in later treatises, that their backs are more forward-leaning in relation to their hips, and that their shoulders are more-or-less above their forward knee in many cases. The benefits to this are that it removes your lower body as a target (which additionally makes your opponent's attacks more predictable) and provides you greater stability/power in the bind or the clinch.

These are also important considerations with the messer.

Then why do it all, if there is no big difference? Why not stay on your heels, as you do when you walk normally? If it were important, wouldn't one of the masters brought it up in their books? To be clear: I don't do it because of my personal taste and because I don't see it in the books. Maybe I'll change that if I read a fight book that specifically states that one ought to do so, but I think you won't change my mind until that occurs.

Eudemic
5/23/2013 8:59pm,
I agree that the illustrators were likely having them pose at least to some degree. That's pretty much the way that artists had to work up until more modern times, what with cameras being long in the future when these books were written. The underlying issue here is that frankly we don't know what the masters precisely meant due to the inherent qualities of writing fight books, so it's possible that: the fencers are still, the fencers are not still, the fencers are moving slowly, or all of the above. As an aside, I personally think that Walpurgis is in there to help show that the fighting in I.33 is meant to help monks and nuns defend themselves (as this isn't depicted as a knightly art).



But again, the point that I keep repeatedly stressing is that I don't think the plates in any fight book represent a static encounter or anything of the sort; they are merely one second out of time. So even though it is possible that some of them are paused or waiting, I think it is most probable based on the writings that accompany the images that the images depict some sort of movement.

. . .I can agree with pretty much all of the above.


Sure, I do agree that it doesn't imply purely identical fighting. Doesn't Meyer say that everyone fights differently, after all? But I still stand by what I said. It requires the least amount of assumptions that people fought generally upright and continued to do so later, rather than they fought mostly forward and then slowly shifted upright due to a single weapon becoming widespread. After all, knives existed before the longsword and knife fighting in the books is also upright. So again this could be that everything slowly changed to sync up with longsword training (as early as Fiore) or it could be what I'm stating which is that the longsword is upright because fighting generally was upright before it.

I think that the knife/dagger fighting isn't so extremely forward because it doesn't actually provide an advantage with the extremely short weapons; unless you're already clinched or grappling, Uberlaufen would make your hand/arm big, fat targets if you were to try to attack your opponent's lower-body without first establishing some degree of control over them.

The forward stance is also less of an issue with the longsword because uberlaufen is, while still an important principle, of less weight than with shorter weapons.


Totally agree. Is it not said that Ringen is the basis of the Art?

Quite so.


Here is where I disagree. A forward stance is great when you don't have to worry about being attacked in the approach. If you can only be attacked in der Krieg, then sure! But recall that in Ringen you have to be on guard against strikes and unusual grips, which a forward posture (in my opinion) doesn't guard well against. Additionally consider that fighting with the dagger is identical to fighting without the dagger. Such a forward stance doesn't help much against the rondell and thus we don't see it in all of the rondell dagger plates we have available. So again, consider the amount of assumptions: did they have separate systems of wrestling without the dagger and with the dagger, or was it all one system that were built on the same principles regardless of weapon? What do we see in the books?

What I'm stating, again, is that it's safer to begin upright and then adopt a more forward stance Indes in accordance to an opening of your enemy. This is true of Ringen without daggers and with daggers.

Again, identical principles doesn't necessarily mean identical techniques (but we've already agreed on that.)

I would also like to say that you seem to be getting a little distracted by the ringen. . .


Then why do it all, if there is no big difference? Why not stay on your heels, as you do when you walk normally? If it were important, wouldn't one of the masters brought it up in their books? To be clear: I don't do it because of my personal taste and because I don't see it in the books. Maybe I'll change that if I read a fight book that specifically states that one ought to do so, but I think you won't change my mind until that occurs.

Because, while it doesn't significantly impact mobility, it changes where and how much tension is on the lower-body. Think of the Downward-Dog pose in yoga; how much tension do you feel through your calves when your heels are down? How much tension do you feel when they are up? You will be much more relaxed through your legs if your heel is up when you are in the more forward stance.

Also, going back to the illustrations in I.33. . . Virtually all of them show the Priest and his student in the forward stance (with their forward knee bent and their shoulders out above it.) Regardless of their guard, or their attack, they usually will have their rear heel raised. I think that means that stance isn't just the result of a movement related to any singular technique.

Mordschlag
5/27/2013 4:57pm,
I think that the knife/dagger fighting isn't so extremely forward because it doesn't actually provide an advantage with the extremely short weapons; unless you're already clinched or grappling, Uberlaufen would make your hand/arm big, fat targets if you were to try to attack your opponent's lower-body without first establishing some degree of control over them.

The forward stance is also less of an issue with the longsword because uberlaufen is, while still an important principle, of less weight than with shorter weapons.

I agree that fighting forward with those weapons isnít advantageous, since it would expose both your arms and head. I reference the dagger because generally theyíre not much shorter than a Langes Messer. The Messer we use at my ARMA group is about 30-36 inches long. My Rondel is 20 inches. So if Iím going to fight from a more balanced, upright posture using my 20 inch dagger, I donít think Iíll suddenly adopt a more forward one just because my weapon is roughly a foot longer. This is especially so because, generally, dagger combat ends up corps a corps so I know I will need to adopt roughly the same stances as I do when unarmed.



I would also like to say that you seem to be getting a little distracted by the ringen. . .

As I said before, I can admit my own bias. And that is true here as well. But I also want to state that my bias is well founded. It has been said by more than one master that wrestling is the basis of the Art. Hence, I see it being logical for my unarmed posture will be largely the same as my armed posture. The same principles apply in both scenarios, so I train in a way that fosters constancy between my longsword fighting, dagger fighting, spear fighting, and abrazare\Ringen. But just as importantly, armed fighting often turns into wrestling when everyone gets too close to effectively use their weapons. I see it as a natural, logical choice for me to ensure that I donít stray too far from my abrazare\Ringen foundation for that reason as well.

But bringing it back to the original discussion, fighting with sword and buckler and Langes Messer, we do see a fair amount of Ringen in the manuals depicting combat with those weapons. You need to be stable enough to kick, shield-strike, hit with the pommel, arm-trap, and gain a hold of a body part. Frankly I donít feel stable doing those techniques with my heel up, except as a transitory movement between other movements.


Because, while it doesn't significantly impact mobility, it changes where and how much tension is on the lower-body. Think of the Downward-Dog pose in yoga; how much tension do you feel through your calves when your heels are down? How much tension do you feel when they are up? You will be much more relaxed through your legs if your heel is up when you are in the more forward stance.

Iím not sure that I understand your analogy. I donít feel tension in my calves when Iím in a balanced posture. If anything the pressure is in my hamstrings and quadriceps. Honestly I donít feel stable or comfortable with my back heel up, especially since it does make me feel too forward (especially since the lifted heel causes the back leg to bend too much for my taste).


Also, going back to the illustrations in I.33. . . Virtually all of them show the Priest and his student in the forward stance (with their forward knee bent and their shoulders out above it.) Regardless of their guard, or their attack, they usually will have their rear heel raised. I think that means that stance isn't just the result of a movement related to any singular technique.

Thatís fair. Ultimately I canít convince you that Iím right about the plates depicting constant movement and transitory motions, since neither one of us were there and weíre interpreting the drawings of someone commissioned who likely didnít even fight or know much about fighting. Now Iíd hope that I can convince you that Iím right because of what the masters say about constant motion and using comparisons from other manuals, but I largely see this coming down to personal taste and training.

Eudemic
5/27/2013 5:22pm,
Thatís fair. Ultimately I canít convince you that Iím right about the plates depicting constant movement and transitory motions, since neither one of us were there and weíre interpreting the drawings of someone commissioned who likely didnít even fight or know much about fighting. Now Iíd hope that I can convince you that Iím right because of what the masters say about constant motion and using comparisons from other manuals, but I largely see this coming down to personal taste and training.

You have made a lot of good, reasonable points (so don't doubt that I think that) but I agree this does seem to be turning into a discussion of personal tastes.

. . . And that said, your tastes should probably carry more weight than mine given that I don't have regular opportunities to experiment/play/spar and that when I do it's with people that aren't particularly concerned with developing skill or understanding.

Vorschlag
6/16/2013 9:56pm,
"I belive" the stances shown in I33 and other manuals are not static positions, numerous masters make this clear in their treatises when they talk about becoming a set mark, taking the vor etc.
Each Ward or guard is a position you move through, at least in the early (read as: medieval) treatises.

The fronted weighted stance "seems" to have been the preferred starting position for an attack as it allows for a more natural passing/"leaping" motion.
But first you must come into range so the step with the left foot should be your anchor to take that stance.

From what we have used the positions in I33 are designed to show movement hence the feet and the folds in the clothing.

You should find that when you lead with the point of your sword in a cut or a thrust and move in the order of hand body and foot you will find at about 3/4 extension your back foot will naturally go onto the toes before you make a pass/"leap".