Ulrich von L...n wrote:Cutlery Penguin wrote:To my mind sports fencing is the apogee of the former with none of the latter. It is all about the touch. It has been refined time and time again to look at nothing more than the ability to touch your opponent against his will. All gameness, or bottom has been excluded from the competitive side of the art.
Based on my own experience I would say that in sabre fencing - even with Olympic sabres aka fairy swords, car aerials etc. - you could place quite painful cuts on your opponent's body (hand, forearm, shoulder), especially if he uses only standard protection. Coaches discourage hard hitting, people sometimes complain about it, and even refuse to fence with you.
Interestingly enough it was (or still might be) a valid tactical trick. At the weekend I read a newspaper article about Tibor Berczelly, Olympic champion (1912-1990) who was famous for his intimidating "power" cuts.
Thearos wrote:Is Hutton some kind of sportification / salle-ification of military sabre ?
To my confusion, I wasn't aware of there being a form of duelling with sabres to first blood-- I thought that was reserved for small-sword-like implements (apart from variants like German Burschenschaft duels etc). But that form-- sport /duel sabre-- did it not also emerge at some point from the military sabre ? I.e. is it
military sabre ---> sporting sabre ----> sport sabre ?
I.e. soldiers fight with sabres (cav., artillerymen, colonial troops), people develop a version for the salle (that is not based on actually hacking off people's limbs), then people develop a form for duelling out of the salle version, and ultimately those two (salle and duel) produce Olympic sabre ?
dreagan wrote: In my experience, there is a difference between the painful, sometimes even bloody, but superficial welts & raspberries one receives from asshat sabreurs, and the deep tissue/bone bruises & fractures you get from fencing with longswords.
Ulrich von L...n wrote:There is no doubt about it, but from different topics on protecting equipment it seems that everybody wants to have sturdier and more reliable equipment, especially for hand protection. So in the long term there is a trend moving away from serious things (deep tissue/bone bruises, fractures) toward less serious.
Chris Holzman wrote:We really need to look at the Italian sabre of the time, for a clearer answer, to see in general terms what Hutton is talking about.
Cutlery Penguin wrote:I've been thinking a lot on this topic and it seems to me as if we are missing something significant from the discussion.
In pugilistic terms a fighter needs both "science" and "bottom". These are pretty basic concepts, science is technical ability to carry off techniques effectively, and bottom is gameness, or spirit, or the drive to keep fighting even if it hurts like hell.
To my mind sports fencing is the apogee of the former with none of the latter. It is all about the touch. It has been refined time and time again to look at nothing more than the ability to touch your opponent against his will. All gameness, or bottom has been excluded from the competitive side of the art.
In HEMA we still value this concept, we care deeply about the inner strength of a fighter getting up again and fighting one more time even if it hurts. That is why the Franco-Belgian system is such a good one, the King fights again and again. You have to demonstrate science to kill him, and then bottom to be him. That is why the afterblow has become so popular. That is why we brag about the ridiculous bruises we have, that is why we don't see broken hands as too big a deal. We care as much about being "up for it" as we do about being technically able. We want to show the heart of a fighter as well as the pure technical ability.
One day someone will come up with a ruleset that looks at both equally and when they do I suspect it will be widely accepted and finally allow us to start looking at proper rankings in HEMA.
Thearos wrote: But surely, this is of direct interest to a modern sabre fencer ?
Evviva il molinello !
John H wrote:Thearos wrote: But surely, this is of direct interest to a modern sabre fencer ?
Evviva il molinello !
It was to me, but that is why I switched to HEMA...
To give you a better understanding, many of the guys I trained with had absolutely no care in the world what a real blade would do. They were there for competition and the sport not because the liked to play with swords. So really no a good chunk of the people fencing have no interest in duels or historical weapons or any of it.
http://www.fencing.net/gallery/showphot ... ppuser/407
Thearos wrote:Chris Holzman wrote:We really need to look at the Italian sabre of the time, for a clearer answer, to see in general terms what Hutton is talking about.
Very learned and fascinating. Terrifying picture of what sabre combat is for-- inflicting power-cuts with sufficient impact to disable; and of sabre duelling (the money quote is that the losing party should not be able to wield a weapon *ever again*). But surely, this is of direct interest to a modern sabre fencer ?
Evviva il molinello !
Chris Holzman wrote:There was in the Italian dueling codes a sort of dichotomy of intent. On one hand, there was the recognition that the duel was illegal - that the requirements of honor necessitated committing the crime of the duel, and on the other hand there was the understanding that duels for a scratch were really quite silly, and that the authorities were generally blind to the goings on so long as you kept it 'secret' As a result, the sabre duel arising from an atrocious insult (one made with a blow) required the sabre duel 'to the end' - which was the inability to wield a weapon again. This was a nod to the fact that a dueling contract that required death was tantamount to an admission of premeditated murder, and probably wasn't a really good idea. It was felt that the sabre was the least dangerous weapon, because it gave the possibility for someone to sacrifice a limb in order to avoid being killed. I suppose that beats the heck out of standing at 15 paces, motionless, and trading pistol shots (literally all day if necessary) until someone has received a 'serious wound'. There was none of the 'well, we'll go at dawn, fire shots 30 degrees into the air, call it good, and go have breakfast. The penalties for violations of the dueling code were essentially "a moral death, worse than the physical one". What was meant was the exclusion from polite society, which for a gentleman whose income was likely from various business endeavors really was terrible, since such things would definitely be impacted by your exclusion from your social/business circles.
Yes, I read your paper, great stuff. At least, this problematizes any notion of "duelling sabre" as being very different indeed from military sabre. If anything, the sabre seems to "militarize' the duel.
I wonder if C19th Italian literature has good descriptions of the psychology of this kind of duel. (ducks accusations of off-topic post).
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