an article on the problem of armour in medieval combat reconstruction

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by brokk, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. brokk

    brokk New Member

  2. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Yep, I liked that one.
    I try and reconstruct Fiori's manual as precicely as possible, so I'm well wandered in the topic of the article :)
    The way we practice is ironically like this:
    When we do the unarmed sparring, we wear armor, so that we can do the cuts and thrusts with realistic power and speed.

    When we do the armed sparring, we don't need the armor, as we don't do much else than halfswording and wresteling :D (Since fiore wresteling is about breaking people's necks by throwing them to the floor, we like to drop the extra 30 pound weight of an armor, so that we can control our opponent suficcically to ensure him a safe landing.

    One interresting point we reacently have encountered, is that heavy armor (padding+chainmail+plate) actually do protect against wresteling to some degree, as it helps bolster the joints. This is particularily true for the elbow-locks.
  3. brokk

    brokk New Member

    I would like to know more about historical fighting methods in Europe, I have never trained in something like this. Unfortunately there are no training groups where I live.

    I look forward to getting the Fiore di Liberi, along with other similar informative materials as much as I can. There is fencing here though, and I've been thinking about joining.

    Interesting point about armour offering some degree of protection from joint locks.

    I've been wondering, how exactly would you train with maces and blunt weapons? Practice swords and lances seem relatively safe to some degree for practicing with another person, for sword and buckler practice for example, but how would you practice with a mace? It seems like a very heavy weapon and making a practice-safe version from... plastic or something like that may not be the best way to realistically train in it.

    Sorry if its a dumb question... I'm just a rookie : P
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2006
  4. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    I live in Norway, and Norway is -if possible- more backwaterish than Argentina :rolleyes: -So I feel with you, and have experienced the same problems; finding somebody that can teach... Therefore I'm going to give you the advise that nobody else do; find yourself a manual, and start trying it out! You should be aware of the downsides of studying from a manual:
    *you could misunderstand things, so you should not drill in anything, just try and make the 2 dimentional pictures and funny subtitles work ;)
    *You need a partner, and you should NOT focus on who's best; rather give good responce/feedback to eachother
    *You'll be doing research, not MA-training!
    *Try and attend some form of MA beside the WMA-training, in order to get a better undestanding of body mechanics and feel for fighting. The body worked the same in feudal japan as in feudal europe, so many of the combat-realistic japaneese ma's (like Old-style-Aikido or Aki-jutsu(?) are not that different from the wresteling-bits of the weastern manuals. -and wresteling seems to be the fundament for the weapons-sections, so even if you want to focus on longsword/spear/etc. learning unarmed wresteling is a must.
    *Try to establish contact with the WMA-groups that have reached some level of understanding of the old manuals; like ARMA. You should allso become a member of, and read the WMA-related discussions and articles that are there.

    Here's a link to the manual I practice:

    You do that, just remember that modern (olympic)fencing is more linear than the fencing they did before. If you think about attending Kendo or Kobudo, that would allso work, just remember that in order to get true understanding of medieval fencing, you have to pick up some wresteling as well (not olympic wresteling, rather the japaneese stuff I mentioned earlier).

    Get the balance as close to the real thing as possible, and use foam/latex on the ends. Wood works as well (remember to do it at 70% speed and to use protection). It's actually easier to make "safe" versions of blunt weapons, as it's easier to duplicate weightratios on theese than on a bladed sword.

    There is no such thing as a dumb question, only dumb answers ;)

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