Hema training opportunity.

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Kframe, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Thanks for the information on the messer. Apparently im diving down a rabbit hole! This art is vast.

    I want to write more here but not sure what to add as i dont know anything lol.
    Should i consider getting a copy of the Dobringer as well? Is there anything you would recommend me to get reading material wise?
  2. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    http://wiktenauer.com/ is all you need. You'll find essentially everything. Professional commercial translations are available for a lot of manuals as well. They are worth purchasing, especially if it's for a master that particularly interests you. Any translation is by definition an interpretation, so having more than one translation is very helpful.

    Just to be a helpful monkey:


    http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Codex_Danzig_(Cod.44.A.8) (an omnibus which contains the most complete version of Liechtenauer's longsword, Ott's wrestling [very important], and Lignitzer's sword & buckler, among other excellent manuals).

    For German stuff, translations by Christian Tobler are very good. His translation of the Von Danzig is excellent. His Falkner is very good, but not needed for your purposes yet.

    Leckuchner's manual is particularly huge (432 pages). It has literally hundreds of techniques. Printed, the pdf hosted at Hammaborg is nearly three inches thick, with each page detailing a technique or two or three. It would be the equivalent of multiple schools of Japanese swordsmanship as practiced today. You could plumb that manual for the rest of your natural life and not master everything it contains. It is, in my opinion, the great magnum opus of the single-handed sword. It's also free.

    Capoferro is great. One of the best manuals on rapier out there, I've heard. I'm no longer a rapierist, as Liechtenauer/Leckuchner, Ringen, Battojutsu and Judo are more than enough to keep me occupied.

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  3. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Thats great thanks Langenschwert. You have given me a good place to start. It seams the Danzig is something i should get. Should i buy the one from Christian Tobler and print the wiktenauer page as well?

    For now im going to get The CapoFerro book the instructor recommended the one by Leoni. Since he wants that to be my HEMA jumping off point. To which im ok with because i like the rapier as well.

    Thank you for the help. Im actually very impatient for sunday to come. I know it will just be basic drilling of stance and foot work but i want to start.
  4. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Yes. :) I have never been disappointed by a Tobler translation.

    Leoni's translations are very good. I have his Fiore one and it's great.

    No problem, happy to help. Rapier is a fine place to start. Capoferro is a good text to start rapier with, so I think you're in good hands. What's the name of the group?
  5. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Well the part that gives me a bit of pause is the fact that its part of a SCA group. Shadowed Stars is what it is part of, and its the rapier group specifically.

    I have laid it out clearly i do not want to do SCA training and that my only interest is hema and he seemed agreeable to this. I dont know if the hema group will be very big but im ok with that. I know that on the group fb page it says the Capoferro will be a study group so by the sounds of the initial post and my conversations the hema training will be separate.

    The Guy ill be training with is Phillip Selman. Seams a good guy with a enthusiasm for HEMA based on my FB conversations.
  6. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    HEMA within the SCA can be hit or miss. That being said, it was (at least in the U.S.) the SCA that popularized the manuals in the first place. They abandoned their use quite quickly, as the manuals don't fit well with their combat sport overall. Some within the organization are into branching out into HEMA, which is nice. It means more people to fight, which I'm in favour of.

    SCA rapier tends to be pretty decent on average. Some are very good indeed. If you have to pick a HEMA discipline from the SCA, rapier is your best bet for sure. It seems that these guys know their strong points and will play to them. I'm hopeful that you will have a good experience.
  7. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Its the best i can do. This is the only thing even approaching HEMA in my state. Neither Arma or Hema alliance list a training group in my state. The closest is several hours drive to the middle of the next state.

    Looking at the rapier rules i dont see many issues. The plates and pictures i looked at over the last few days describe techniques with in the rules of rapier.

    Their heavy fighting on the other hand makes hema impossible. I have no intention of ever doing it.
  8. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    SCA heavy is kind of silly from a HEMA perspective, but if it's all you can get, it's better than nothing. If you find the culture is getting to you, starting your own group is another good option. A good foundation in one HEMA art such as rapier will help you in others. Besides, even with longsword vs. modern fencing, the blade actions have not changed that much in 500 years. Some of the best modern HEMA tourney fighters have a sport fencing background too. I'm sure you'll have a good time. Classical epee preserved about 80% of rapier anyway, so there's less to worry about in reconstructing the techniques.
  9. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    I intend to sparr and compete in the Rapier as based on my observations of the rules ill be able to try and use most of everything in CapoFerro. Im going to worry about the Liechtenauer as of yet as im a long ways away from doing that. I want to a get a good foundation in Capo first. Ill cross the Liechtenauer sparring problem when that bridge comes.

    Im sure your right, that having a good base in Hema rapier will help, as their are common principals in many arts. I recently read a blog talking about this very thing. It was about how the author Kept his Capoferro training seperate from his Fiore. Here is the link. https://chivalricfighting.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/working-title/
    The thought of starting my own Hema club is daunting. I dont know the first thing about teaching let alone structuring a curriculum.. Though i do know i think it is a worth goal at some point.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  10. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Ok Well i had the class today. I had a good time and the instructor was very nice. He truly seams to know his stuff and i was impressed with his knowledge.

    We talked about my concerns with SCA and why i was hesitant about it. I used the Judo example of techniques being tossed because they are no longer allowed under rules so no one practices them any more. He talked about his many matches and how he enjoys getting wins against all types of swords using historically correct principals.

    He teaches the historically correct material as he was taught it. Apparently their is a small but growing Hema voice inside of SCA. He gave me his SCA rank but i dont know if that is truly something to judge by.

    As for the practice it was as i expected lots of basics. We practiced the stance basic movement in the stance. We also did alot of just practice of the basic guards and some basic thrusting. We had quite a bit of discussion with him telling me the various bits and pieces of the sword, the different zones of it weak/middle/strong. Lots of demonstration on his student of proper places to do the defenses on a blade and the whys of it. Lots of just him generally explaining with demonstration of the concepts he was talking about.

    He designed this day to be full of the things he wants to work with me on over the next few months so i can get a sample. Then as time goes on break it down in to chunks and learn it bit by bit.

    So i didnt get to do any partner drills or plays but thats ok because i barely know how to hold the thing, so were building basics.

    I had always thought that a rapier was light and wispy like the epee i used in college. Turns out im dead wrong. They have weight and it was a chore to hold them up in our positions.

    Ill say this, im pleasantly pleased with this instructor. I laid out exactly how i feel and that my desire is real, no bs no nonsense that only works by exploiting rules. That i wanted to be as historically accurate as possible.

    He explained that he loves the Scholarly side of hema, but he loves the SCA for the culture. I can respect that and maybe in the fullness of time ill find my opinion of it to change. I have to stop being so quick to dismiss and judge. I told him my fear of being called a larp, thanks in large part to my brief time in the Bujinkan and the incessant calls of larping by my mma friends.

    So maybe it will be fun, he said the SCA gatherings are a hoot and a half.

    Over all i think i made a good choice.
  11. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    As an SCA friend of mine once said, "the SCA is a backyard barbecue gone horrible awry", which he meant in the best possible way. :)

    I'm glad you found a good instructor. Rapier is a meaty weapon, and can certainly withstand full force blows from a longsword. It can be quite fatiguing to hold over long periods. When I did rapier, I was a two-fingers over the quillons guy, not the usual one finger. I didn't mind sacrificing a wee bit of reach for a lot of fatigue reduction.
  12. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    I have had 2 classes so far, nearly 3 hours each. His rapier material come straight from Capoferro, i can follow along in the book and see were he is coming from.

    He said he wanted our basic drills to be done so often and so frequently that we dont have to think about them. Then we will be moving on to the actual numbered plays.

    We have been doing a lot of Thrusting from 2nd and 4th. Spent nearly 3 hours just doing back and forth partner drills doing thrusts from 2nd and 4th. I can not believe how seriously tired i was from the practices. Holy smokes, its alot more work then you would think.

    Question, he was demonstrating some higher level stuff and he at one point did this open handed check of the blade. He said that open handed parries and checks were common to Italian rapier. Not doubting him, but i was wondering about the whole sharp blade+open hand parry/deflection/check thing. However i did find a quote in my Capoferro manual saying its better to get a cut on the hand then a mortal wound else were. So maybe im missing something in my thinking.
  13. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    It's actually fairly safe, safer yet with a gloved hand. Flesh is tougher than you think and the contact is very brief. Done this in systems besides rapier as well.
  14. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    As long as the blade isn't in an active cutting or slicing action, it's fine. Remember that in a knife fight, you expect to get cut or stabbed. The stakes in a sword fight are much higher, so a minor cut is nothing compared to getting run through with four feet of steel. It's a more extreme version of eating a punch to get a takedown, but the principle is similar. There are a lot of blade grabs in European sword systems. They are all doable with bare hands, though you might get a cut, perhaps one that needs stitches if you're unlucky. With leather gloves, there's very little danger of taking a serious cut if you do it right.

    You know what else? Under pressure, you're likely to do it anyway. Might as well learn to do it properly.

    Here's some friends of mine grabbing a sharp longsword, both with and without gloves:

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwKZorhBLH4"]April Challenge -Catching Steel- - YouTube[/ame]
  15. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Thank you for the video. I didnt take into account this was for real fighting(back then). So i was operating under the idea that touching the blade is a no no. Thank you for helping me to understand. Especially the analogy of eating a punch to set up a takedown.

    Ill say this, Am i crazy or is there a strange similarity to the capoferro fighting stance and the wing chun fighting stance?? To my eyes they look very similar. Heck my 3rd don Karate friend says it looks like Niko ashi dachi.
  16. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    There appear to be 3 stances, none of which look especially like Wing Chun.
  17. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Yeah, if for some reason people were allowed to start carrying swords as civilian sidearms again, you'd see a lot of rapiers, sabres and smallswords. Maybe some sword & buckler too. The rapier in particular is optimized for unarmoured self-defence. It's hard to beat in that arena. My preference would be the sabre or backsword since I'm a messer guy who would want some added hand protection. :)
  18. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    It is similar to the footwork used with the sue mai gwan.

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