Claus wrote:But remember that Kal/Talhoffer taught nobles. This is well documented in their manuals.
True but that was 150 years later. By 1300 the attidtude towards commoners' martial arts might have been different.
Some more thoughts before I have to go back to work:
I guess we all agree that it is an apparent feature of I.33 that the sword hand is consistently guarded with the buckler in mid-distance (that is weapon reach plus 1 step). In the wards (safe for seventh ward/langort/longpoint = later German 'Alber') and in close distance this is not the case. The latter is true for all systems, right? So we need to inspect positions in relation to distance when comparing systems. At least the Vom-Stain-Talhoffer and Lignitzer (and Ringeck, violator of copyright!) seem to safeguard the hand with the buckler in mid-distance. Problem is that while I.33 consistently depicts this essential moment and measure other illustrated fechtbücher don't.
We may want to take into account that by 1300 fighting without a shield was the absolute exception. Actually, I cannot think of a single depiction of an early fourteenth century fight that would compare to later messer or single sword. With the rise of the longsword and the decay ot the shield it may have become more eminent to mould buckler fighting into the systems that were already established and working for the majority of weapons for single combat. It is better to learn one system for many weapons that one special system per weapon set. Even if the versatile system has weaknesses in details compared to a pure specialist system. As an instructor for fighters I would probably go for the versatile one. In the end I would be left with versatile fighters who know their game.
I would like to consider I.33 a specialist system designed exclusively for unarmoured sword and buckler, maybe even for single combat alone. So I am with you on that one, Matt.
Still, no shield strike sighted anywhere, have you? While the wards depicted in I.33 are said to have been in use by ANY swordsman, the shield strike was not. No trace of it in the later German sources. Well, you could argue that one of the two vom-Stain-plates that deal with sword and buckler shows a counter to a right overbind to prevent a shield strike. But that's it. Why did it fall out of favour later?
Perhaps because you cannot pin down both hands if they are separated all the time? But then again you could still shield strike the weapon hand after the bind and take off the shield hand or cut to the body!
No, the shield strike after a bind remains a cool and safe technique. Where did it go?
All the best,