Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Liechtenauer lineage and related sources (eg. Sigmund Ringeck, Peter von Danzig, Paulus Kal, Hans Talhoffer), interpretation and practice. Open to public view.

Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Thearos » 05 Aug 2011 17:44

Wolfgang, you're right. My interests, however, are a bit more academic. I don't think I'll ever don the sparring mask and wield the nylon waster. For one thing, in the eyes of my family, it would look just a bit too much like further evidence of a mid-life crisis. At most, I think, I can understand where problems and questions lie; and at the least, also to stop trusting a lot of the stuff I read on the web, alas.

Anyway, I conclude that there is a real, philosophical, approach difference between a Lichtenauer-inspired counter-attack, to a Fioreist parry -riposte.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby CaptainAbrecan » 05 Aug 2011 20:13

Wolfgang Ritter wrote:
CaptainAbrecan wrote:
Wolfgang Ritter wrote:He takes illustrations, finds similarities and therefore links different systems together. That's scientificely invalid, if not to say blatantly ignorant - but sadly not umcommon.


Absolutely.

Unless said person believes there was a pan-european martial art. I have noticed that HEMA is prejudiced against people who believe so. Damn shame about that latter lot, but some citizens are shallow and superficial. Can't very well do without them, I suppose.

Hmm, I'm not sure I understand you.
"Pan-european martial art" what does that mean, a generic european fighting systrem, compared to what? Asian, arabic or INdian systems?

I have to confess that I oppose that, I find the similarities of - for example - Fiore and Lichtenauer (being developed in Europe at slightly the same timeframe, originally directed at a homogenous group of practitioners, covering the same weaponry) not enough to state a pan-european system. SImply as there are vital differences between both;

You seem to believe in a pan-european system, what is it, that makes it pan-european?


That's cool bro, sometimes I don't understand myself. I think that theories are judged by the coherence they lend to our natural experience. To me, the theory of a general system used more or less everywhere makes sense. It doesn't necessarily need evidence to be viable to me, because it makes sense against my natural experience. That is how I judge things.

I don't spend a lot of time in italian stuff. When I saw some english translations, I thought the guards are a lot like german guards. I think that the two systems are a different way of looking at the same thing.

I toss aside divisions of martial styles by others as mere grammatical errors so that I don't get confused.

As an example, take the schielhau. I see no reason to believe that, in effect, a fiore guy would not ever do something that is essentially a schielhau, just because it is reserved for the german styles. If that fencer sees that such a maneuver is just what is needed, then there is no reason not to do it. It is a division of language to me.

Take something Sean Hayes said as an example:
"I was recently accused of performing a schielhau in sparring, which is a hell of a thing for an armizare practitioner to have to live down. But I think the video clip is instructive, given that the action seems to actually match the description of the schielhau. The action I took wasn't premeditated, except that in the course of it I percieved that my opponent's blade was on my left and needed to stay there while I hit him.

Bear in mind that people who fight and live to write about it often codify the experiences they have into techniques that illustrate principles, and that this may be true in the Liechtenauer tradition, or true in the case of the schielhau. For example, as a Fiore practitioner I don't really practice the schielhau, but I certainly know what it means to close a line and cut with the false edge. If the Germans hadn't already invented it 600 years ago, I'd be filing a claim."

I think that there are two best practices, one of which is fabricated by me :mrgreen:
1. The original styles have to be reconstructed, in a completely historically accurate manner.
2. Take the experience from all of the styles, all of them, and use what works best to most martially effective.

Limiting the things into groups is a lot like limiting yourself. If you think about it from the perspective of having a goal to actually go kill people with this stuff, then silly things like system divisions create no advantage. I don't expect anyone else to come even within the same universe of having a goal like #2, so I try to not judge them when they get hung up on anything except what you can realistically use to take the life of another human being.

The policy is like a back-water Jeet Kune do. Take everything that works, forget the rest. No matter what. From wiki:

"Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the name Bruce Lee gave to his combat system and philosophy. Originally, when Lee began researching various fighting styles, he gave his martial art his own name of Jun Fan Gung Fu. However not wanting to create another style that would share the limitations that all styles have, he instead described the process that he used to create it:

I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves". . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.

— Bruce Lee"
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Motley » 05 Aug 2011 21:42

CaptainAbrecan wrote:...I don't spend a lot of time in italian stuff. ...


Well there we go then. :-)
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 06 Aug 2011 00:07

Okay, I think I see what you mean.
I must say that I have problems with you "not spending a lot of time in italian stuff" - how do you know what's it all about then?
Nevertheless I think I understand your target, that is to collect and use what works best in practice (= fight).
Okay, that's pretty much what Lichtenauer seems to have done, concerning the introduction in the Lichtenauer manuals.
But then, why call that "pan-european"? From your point of view you must also include something martially sound, yet from another continent. Why pan-european, why not "Captain Abrecans practical guide to fighting"?
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Thearos » 06 Aug 2011 10:19

It seems to me that Wolfgang Ritter is right: saying "the JKD approach works best for me when I fight" cannot then entail the statement "therefore, it must have worked best for the Mediaeval fighter".

It further seems to me that there are only two ways of proving the existence of a pan-Europaean MA tradition:

1. Viewing e.g. the differences between fiore and lichtenauer as meaningless-- for instance, the difference btw simultaneous counter-attack and parry/riposte as minor differences, within a broader shared common culture or even more, common system.

2. Looking for, and finding, evidence that on the ground, fighters used the "JKD" approach.

I freely admit I don't know enough to judge if 1 or 2 are the case. Only that "it works for me so it worked for them" cannot be the starting point.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby CaptainAbrecan » 06 Aug 2011 14:41

It gets worse when I try to learn new stuff, and I wonder if I am subconsciously filtering it into the way I want it to be, instead of looking at it face value :?

It might actually be more straightforward to approach the stuff as separate things.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Thearos » 06 Aug 2011 14:56

You must be a pretty good fighter
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Sean M » 07 Aug 2011 05:08

CaptainAbrecan wrote:I think that there are two best practices, one of which is fabricated by me :mrgreen:
1. The original styles have to be reconstructed, in a completely historically accurate manner.
2. Take the experience from all of the styles, all of them, and use what works best to most martially effective.

Limiting the things into groups is a lot like limiting yourself. If you think about it from the perspective of having a goal to actually go kill people with this stuff, then silly things like system divisions create no advantage. I don't expect anyone else to come even within the same universe of having a goal like #2, so I try to not judge them when they get hung up on anything except what you can realistically use to take the life of another human being.

I think a very large fraction of arguments in martial arts come down to people having different focuses (tradition, sport, self defense, duelling, historical curiosity, a violent job). Its just a thought, but I think your #2 is risky for people without a lot of experience of the kind of violence they are preparing for. And that focusing on a subset of the infinite ways to defeat someone (a style, in other words) can make very practical sense.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby CaptainAbrecan » 08 Aug 2011 14:57

Sean M wrote:
CaptainAbrecan wrote:I think that there are two best practices, one of which is fabricated by me :mrgreen:
1. The original styles have to be reconstructed, in a completely historically accurate manner.
2. Take the experience from all of the styles, all of them, and use what works best to most martially effective.

Limiting the things into groups is a lot like limiting yourself. If you think about it from the perspective of having a goal to actually go kill people with this stuff, then silly things like system divisions create no advantage. I don't expect anyone else to come even within the same universe of having a goal like #2, so I try to not judge them when they get hung up on anything except what you can realistically use to take the life of another human being.

I think a very large fraction of arguments in martial arts come down to people having different focuses (tradition, sport, self defense, duelling, historical curiosity, a violent job). Its just a thought, but I think your #2 is risky for people without a lot of experience of the kind of violence they are preparing for. And that focusing on a subset of the infinite ways to defeat someone (a style, in other words) can make very practical sense.


Oh absolutely. I don't advocate street fighting at all. To make a long story short, much drama manifests itself martially to my friends and I. My best friend of 20 years is about 15 years deep into TKD, and the other one is a marine. Between the 3 of us we are a violent group, so my goals are very different. Actually, they aren't even compatible, without a significant jump in discipline on my part, with the goals of HEMA, which is why I haven't joined a group. When we plateau with the longsword, I might wander west and try to join SSG in Boston. Get some real input.

Going back to prejudices though, I hadn't thought that the members of HEMA have different goals than me, as you mentioned the variety of goals. That makes me rethink a lot of what I take from the groups of practitioners. I try not to blatently write-off the opinions I find on all the forums, because I noticed that if I go back and read about it when I have more experience I actually agree with what others said.

I spend a large amount of time looking at the old forums, trying to figure out exactly what the verborgene hau are for instance. It's hard to decipher when the old conversations you guys have are from the standpoint of already having done them :(

But for now, my different experience is really twisting the uptake of KDF and Fiore. The only progress I am really making is in plyometric drilling for the longsword. Even then, the lognsword is only a small part of the weapons set that I can look into. This could very well be a life project for my friends and I. Which brings me back on topic, by saying that we have a vested interest in trying to learn fiore with a german tempo, because it comes to us naturally.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Andrew Shultz » 08 Aug 2011 15:25

At this point no one has experience in the kind of violence we're training for (at least in longsword, the wrestling and dagger portions are not the same). And no one is qualified to say what's martially effective outside of the fishbowl they're doing it in, which doesn't involve killing people with sharps. So I'm a big #1 guy. Which is not to say don't learn different systems, but do them one at a time for themselves not mushed all together. It takes a while to appreciate the subtleties of an individual system, and you won't be able to if you're mixing it with another. Everyone always takes JKD as a model, but Bruce Lee did not learn the things he based it on all mushed together. He learned each one well, which took a lot of time and effort, and _then_ put the pieces together into his own thing.

Also you should come visit sooner rather than later - there's a Boston Sword Gathering on 8/21, but if that doesn't work out I'm sure none of the local groups (there's SSG Boston, Forte, Kunstbruder, and a little farther away Academy of Knightly Arts) would be upset to have visitors.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 08 Aug 2011 15:59

I have to say that I seriously doubt the validity of your approach when it comes to recreating a historical martial art. Actually:
we have a vested interest in trying to learn fiore with a german tempo, because it comes to us naturally.
makes me sort of cringe....
As Andrew Shultz already wrote, there are quite some subtleties in each system you WILL miss if not studying the system first and then compare it to another.
Picking some bits from here and there doesn't work, as you will get an incoherent mash of techniques.
And I'm still not convinced by the idea of a "pan-eutropean" system. What I see here is not a system, it's training a couple of techniques that suit your personal abilities.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Sean M » 10 Aug 2011 04:55

Andrew Shultz wrote:At this point no one has experience in the kind of violence we're training for (at least in longsword, the wrestling and dagger portions are not the same).

I agree that we don't have a good way of knowing how well we are prepared for a medieval battlefield or duel. But the hard one for me to remember is that not everyone who studies Fiore is training for the same thing! You can train to win tournaments or be better at a violent job or out of intellectual curiosity or to spend time with friends doing something physical. My goal is to understand the art, hopefully becoming better at moving and fighting and sparring on the way; but I can't say that the people who focus on tournaments are having hurting wrong fun.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby CaptainAbrecan » 10 Aug 2011 12:39

I don't do any of my own research, out of time restrictions and several language barriers. I rely on the people who have the goal of understanding the art historically.

For example, we started with this by trying to deconstuct a Gesselschaft video, and I don't need to elaborate on how immensely that failed :lol:

Things progress reasonably well as we take in more resources that people publish. I have a 32gb flash stick full to the brim with manuals, videos, articles, worthwhile forum posts in pdf form as reference, reviews, guild contacts, reference images from museums, books, podcasts and marketplace links. I need to get a 64 at the rate we are going.

I think I should change course and take a look at Guy Windsors stuff. I downloaded a lot of PDF's he published while I was at work yesterday, and they focus on Fiore. I might start with "A Swordsman's Introduction to Fior di Battaglia".
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Motley » 10 Aug 2011 15:03

CaptainAbrecan wrote:I don't do any of my own research, out of time restrictions and several language barriers. I rely on the people who have the goal of understanding the art historically.

For example, we started with this by trying to deconstuct a Gesselschaft video, and I don't need to elaborate on how immensely that failed :lol:

Things progress reasonably well as we take in more resources that people publish. I have a 32gb flash stick full to the brim with manuals, videos, articles, worthwhile forum posts in pdf form as reference, reviews, guild contacts, reference images from museums, books, podcasts and marketplace links. I need to get a 64 at the rate we are going.

I think I should change course and take a look at Guy Windsors stuff. I downloaded a lot of PDF's he published while I was at work yesterday, and they focus on Fiore. I might start with "A Swordsman's Introduction to Fior di Battaglia".


He has just released a wiki project with some videos on http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showth ... eo-project
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Thearos » 11 Aug 2011 16:48

Are these the same guys who are based in Finland ?
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Motley » 11 Aug 2011 18:15

yeah
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Ran Pleasant » 30 Aug 2011 18:45

Thearos wrote:I think (and again I'm hope I'm not offending the author by posting this) I meant this page:

http://www.thehaca.com/essays/LeignitzerSandB.htm

Which uses Liegnitzer, Lichtenauer and I.33 a bit interchangeably

I must agree with others that this article is very outdated and should not be followed. The only thing I like about the article is that the author translates Krucke as “crook" rather than as "crutch" as Jeffrey L. Forgeng did in his I.33 book.

I really wish the ARMA web site would clearly divide the outdate articles from the newer ones.

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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Michael Chidester » 30 Aug 2011 20:43

Wolfgang Ritter wrote:Regarding the importance and/or influence of Lichtenauer:
He may be reference for a lot of the surviving manuscripts.
But that's exactly the problem: the surviving manuscripts or surviving data-records.
We are talking about a period of something like at least 300 years were we know that fencing schools and fenciong systematisations existed. We have no real evidence if not other contemporary masters were more prominent than Lichtenauer and his strange posse of 16 Interpreters......take Fiore or the italian masters in genreal: why do we have ONLY Fiore for quite an amount of time? Was there nothing else but his works until Vadi made his effort?
Waht about Spain, Portugal? AFAIK the oldest known manuals date to the 16th century (IIRC there is something about riding from around the 1440ies, but I don't think it contains actual fencing techniques). Were all the contemporaary portuguese or spanish fencing teachers either Lichtenauer or Fiore?
Lichtenauer - besides Talhofer - may now be the best known master's name, but we can't prove that around the active time of Lichtenauer or shortly after his death - we are talking about the 14th century, probably the second half - the majority of fencers in the Holy Roman Empire praised someoine else.

To the best of my knowledge. there are currently about 90 extant HEMA manuscripts, mostly written before 1550 and in the German language. However, we also have records of dozens of manuscripts that existed at one time and have since been lost. Most of these are Italian and Iberian manuscripts from the 15th century, and if we had them there wouldn't be nearly as much of an inequality. In other words, the reason why the German material seems dominant is simply because more of them were lucky enough to survive the centuries.

As for whether there were other traditions that existed alongside Liberi and Liechtenauer, the answer is almost certainly "yes". Evidence for this is fragmentary but real. The Walpurgis Fechtbuch, le Jeu de la Hache, the Nuremberg Group, the Gladiatoria Group, the English longsword manuals--these and other manual threads came from somewhere, and they all have qualities that distinguish them from "pure" Liechtenauer. For that matter, Johannes Lecküchner and his messer tradition are not nearly as similar to Liechtenauer's as some dismissive researchers have asserted. At most, both masters drew upon the same much earlier oral tradition. And of course, it's easy to forget that the seventeen masters of the Geselschaft Liechtenauers all came from a fairly small region of the western Holy Roman Empire--we have little idea of what was going on in the rest of Europe.

However, on the other side it's worth remembering that not every swordsman in the Medieval period was an expert fencer any more than every contemporary firearm owner (or soldier) is an expert marksman. There are some marksmen out there who can do amazing things with their weapons, but the average soldier works hard just to be able to consistently hit a man-sized target at 100 meters. Likewise, there's no reason to assume that there were hundreds of masters of Liechtenauer's stature that we've never heard of. The reality is probably closer to dozens.

Wolfgang Ritter wrote:Some are a bit more tricky to find, for example L. himself doesn't mention the Wechsel, same with the Aufstreichen. But both are mentioned to some extant in Ringeck - who happens to have the 6 s&b plays word by word; he just names himself the author whereas it can be doubted...anyway he explains both in his lngsword teachings, this can be transferred to the s&b peices to make them work rather closely fitting into the Lichtenauer system.

Ringeck is only mentioned once in the Dresden manuscript, in the third person at the beginning of the Bloszfechten section. Attaching his name to the material further on is a modern error, not a period one.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Thearos » 30 Aug 2011 22:34

I've read a very good earlier thread in this forum called "Italian vs. German school", vel sim. Probably more than a few years old, but very illuminating. I wish it were archived somewhere easy to access.
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Re: Counter attack vs parry/riposte - moved from Fiore

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 31 Aug 2011 11:17

Michael Chidester wrote:
Wolfgang Ritter wrote:Some are a bit more tricky to find, for example L. himself doesn't mention the Wechsel, same with the Aufstreichen. But both are mentioned to some extant in Ringeck - who happens to have the 6 s&b plays word by word; he just names himself the author whereas it can be doubted...anyway he explains both in his lngsword teachings, this can be transferred to the s&b peices to make them work rather closely fitting into the Lichtenauer system.

Ringeck is only mentioned once in the Dresden manuscript, in the third person at the beginning of the Bloszfechten section. Attaching his name to the material further on is a modern error, not a period one.

@Michael: sorry, I don't get your point. Ringeck is mentioned as the author - or better commentator on Lichtenauers "secret teachings" in folio 10v and 11r
10v
Hie hept sich an die vßlegu~g der zedel

in der geschriben stett die Ritterlich kunst des langes schwerts Die gedicht vnd gemacht hat Johannes lichtenawer der ain grosser maiste~ in der kunst gewesen ist dem gott genedig sÿ der hatt die zedel laußen schrÿbe~ mitt verborgen vñ verdeckte~ worten Daru~b dz die kunst nitt gemain solt werde~ Vnd die selbige~ v°borgneñ vñ verdeckte wort hatt maister
11r
Sigmund ain ringeck der zÿt des hochgeborne~ fürsten vñ herreñ herñ aulbrecht pfalczgrauen bÿ Rin vñ herczog in baÿern schirmaiste~ Glosieret vñ außgelegt alß hie in disem biechlin her nach geschrÿben stät dz sÿ ain ÿede~ fechter wol verömen vnd vestan mag der da ande~st fechten kan ~


Ringeck is not explicitly mentioned apart from the long sword section in 10v, but neither any other author except master Lichtenauer himself as founder of the secret teachings. If it's an error to think Ringeck was the author/interpreter of all the sections, it would have been an error now and then.

Apart from that: the part I wanted to clarify in my posting about the 3rd play for sword and buckler and the term "streichen" (sweeping?) relates in my opinion clearly with the section about fencing from "Nebenhuten" (minor guards) in the manuscript from folio 49r onwards. if it's a comment by RIngeck or any iother master, it's not mentioned in the Lichtenauer verses, but we can surely link both RIngeck as well as other authors to Lichtenauer as being his "society"; therefore the play - even if the terms do not stem from the original verses - surely represent Lichtenauer principles and understandings.
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