Wma Website Links....

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Louie, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Mark Lancaster

    Mark Lancaster Valued Member

  2. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

  3. gipoco

    gipoco New Member

  4. Quarterstaff

    Quarterstaff New Member

  5. Medes

    Medes Valued Member

  6. Medes

    Medes Valued Member


    I read your blog, and while well written, I respectfully disagree.

    Firstly, as I have no intention of quoting your entire blog, I suggest others read what you wrote before reading further in this response.

    Secondly, I must point out that I do not believe ( even for a second ) that all or even most all Quarterstaff play is the same. I say "play" meaning "fighting."

    Quarterstaff play is very similar to longsword play, and what style of longsword is employed generally by a longsword practioner will also determine the style of quarterstaff generally. Binds and winds in quarterstaff will be almost always the same as in longsword ( generally.) True and false strikes will be generally the same as in longsword. Guards will generally be the same as with longsword. Attacks to quarters will generally be the same as with longsword. Tosses will be similar also. Grappling will differ ( but even then, some grappling will be the same.)

    As for your comment about 'your' style being English as all people would use styles based on where they hail. I disagree there too, respectfully. I am an American, but the style I employ most of the time is German. I am of Israeli, German, Scots, and Irish extraction, yet I consider myself of the school of Liechtenauer. This being said, do people generally do what is most common in the parts of the world in which they live? Certainly! However, in the case of nations as young as the United States of America, we often do things as our ancestors did them and not so much as our American culture does things. Though, there are exceptions to this rule.

    You may do things with much "Englishness," but I don't do things with " Americaness." I do things usually ( as aforementioned ) the German way.

    Next, If you use understanding and skills which pertain to longsword whilst you practice quarterstaff you will find you can fight with greater power and finesse.

    Lastly, if I may make a suggestion, as you seem to use English methods whether because you are English and you follow what you seem to think is the logical course or because you prefer English methods, may I suggest you research in great depth the " English Schooles of Defense;" and yes, I spelled " schooles" correctly in this context. :)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  7. Quarterstaff

    Quarterstaff New Member

    Hi and thanks for reading my blog.

    Defining ones own martial arts is a deeply personal process and one that can easily turn you into an object of ridicule for some who think differently to you. I define what i do the way i choose to and not without some thought, however i appreciate you may see it differently and so if my POV does not change your opinion then so be it. We can see the world from different places.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with a person changing their mind as they gain experience either. I believe that once i did also think like you, quite passionately. Without meaning to be patronising, i think i have too much experience to think that way now. However, never say never!

    On the subject of historical texts i would say this, that the old European fight books are not styles nor systems to learn and practice. To describe yourself as "of the school of Liechtenauer" would suggest that you are searching for an apple of legitimacy in a tree that does not bear any fruit. Not one fight book is at any level that could be described as comprehensive as a fighting manual, they are snippets and soundbites and nothing more. Nor are there any continuous lines of instruction to justify claiming legitimacy of a school. However they do give us valuable insights and starting points.

    In my opinion some of the old fight books are not most likely not written by "fighters" but by sycophants of fighting. Kinda like the instructional videos you see on youtube in our era.

    Moving from sword to staff is a very hard thing to do and in my experience very few are able to escape from thinking of staffplay as unique from swordplay. It is very different in my experience. However we are all learning.

    Perhaps one day you will be content to just call yourself an American who practices fighting inspired by other nationalities? Without needing to claim your line descends from one? I appreciate that identity is somewhat confusing for people living in former colonies. Especially America where identities are so flippantly branded and desperately searched for. However i would suggest all Americans seek their own identities as "American" and just practice American martial arts.

    No more claiming Japanese, German or Chinese lineages, what's wrong with a little "yeehar", "baseball bat" and a bit of "kick-sum-ass" thuggery? Just write it in a book, 300 years time people will think you were genius's and claim to be from your school:)
  8. Medes

    Medes Valued Member


    I wrote you a long response but lost it. I have company over now, after my company leaves I will re-write it all over again to you.

    God's speed! :)
  9. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Whatever rocks your boat, etc, I too totally respect your right to have this wiew, and for all I know you'ra whirlwind of efficient quarterstaff-play that can inspire and guide others in their search for good and efficient quarterstaff-play.

    I allso need to stress that there can be several reasons for doing quarterstaff, and a lot of forum-misunderstanding could have been avoided if people understood the others reason for doing a given art. IMO you can roughly divide quarterstaff'ers into the following categories:

    A: the ones that follows an EMA-living quarterstaff-system
    B: the ones that follows one of the manuals you write off as merely glimpses of a system-perhaps not even written by fighters.
    C: the ones inventing their own systems, either for fighting, for spiritual enlightenment, or for show-displays.

    IMO, if the goal is to become good in quarterstaff, then I guess alternative A is the most efficiant, and if the EMA'ers don't pleace you, I'd go for alternative B. Alternatice C is probably allso feacible, but you'll probably waste a lot of years re-inventing quarterstaff, and most probably end up doing somthing that is only good in your own head.

    If your goal is to re-create weastern combat systems, then alternative B is the only alternative, IMO; perhaps supplemented by some A.

    I have met people that have encountered a guy that claims to do "Viking"-quarterstaff. Firstly, there are no sources to this, so people could just as well claim to do "Neanderthal-tribal rock-juggeling", and be as plausible.

    My point is that for those that really want to re-create medieval european MA, then you cannot ignore the manuals, as they are the only source we have! Yes, they might only be snapshots, glimpses, and -perhaps only written by writers, not figthers (allthough I do believe that Fiore, and most of the germans did know what they were doing; or else so many interpreting their manuals wouldn't be as good as they are; I have med senior Krav-maga-instructors praising Fiores wrestling, for instance); -but still the only source we have.

    If someone approaches me and claims that my WMA is totally wrong, and I should rather listen to him, as he has seen the light, done time-travelling, smoking weed, and seen the light, or consulted the runes (as the viking-dude listed as his source), well, then I'm not bying :hat:

    But I'm not saying that this is the only approach, if Nils Nilsson wants to create his own take on quarterstaff, let him go his own ways, I just don't want thim to claim that he's doing historically correct interpretation of the Mongols machin-gun-drills of 493bc :rolleyes:
  10. Medes

    Medes Valued Member


    Stolenbjorn said it perfectly. I could not have said it better myself.

    It should be noted Quarterstaff that most all of the German fighters of the medieval period learned what they did from Liechtenauer even if only trough tid-bits of info.

    As for the sycophants you mentioned, fighters could easily discover who they are from those who actually know.

    Knowledge= understanding + experience.

    Again, Stolenbjorn said it well.

    Oh, and, I do believe the Germans and the Italians knew there stuff for the most part ( again, Stolenbjorn mentioned this as well.) Bare in mind Quartersatff that
    Germany and Italy were flooded with mercenaries.

    If you'd like I can tell you some mercenary stories of the middle ages and Renaissance periods. Stories of real people and real deeds. Perhaps you'd like best to hear stories about English mercenaries? One of my favorite stories was about an English mercenary named Sir John de Hawkwood. Sir John de Hawkwood's greatest feats ( as said by some, and I'd agree ) were done in Italy between 1364- 1387. Hawkwood had quite the career. Hawkwood whne in his 60s married one of Bernabo Visconti's illegitamate daughters. Hawkwood had been in the employ of Visconti as well some years prior to his marriage. At one point Hawkwood ( while in Visconti's service ) was lent to Pope Gregory XI. Pope Gregory XI only swindled and cheated Hawkwood and his men and Hawkwood told Pope Gregory XI where to go!

    All the men I could tell you true life stories about learned their science and art of arms from not only experienced men at arms but from fighting manuals of Germany and Italy ( primarily.)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  11. Medes

    Medes Valued Member


    A side note, but it is possible that Sir John de Hawkwood and Hochmeister Johannes Liechtenauer may have known each other or at least traveled in some of the same circles.

    Liechtenauer and Hawkwood both traveled all over Europe to various masters and grandmasters to learn the science and art of fence.

    In addition, Hawkwood spent much of his entire career in northern Italy and when the mercenaries of northern Italy found themselves in need of replacements or reinforcements they often asked German mercenaries to fill that need.

    So even though all of Europe did not have some united martial system, the warring states sure did call upon foreign individuals, groups, and even states to defend them or serve their purpose. German, Polish, and French mercenaries ( among others ) were common place in northern Italy. Don't forget that the Welsh, English, Bretons, and Gascons often were found in organized groups and fighting in northern Italy. One organized group of mercenaries was called the " White Company," and in 1364 Hawkwood joined the White Company and was shortly thereafter made its " Captain-General." Hawkwood was exceptional in everyway as far as the free company called the " White Company" was concerned ( and as far as the rulers of northern Italy were concerned. The Black Prince of jolly ole England also had great respect for Hawkwood.)

    Let us also not forget Fiore. In 1389 Liechtenauer wrote a manuscript that was so well loved by those who knew him but was not illustrated to show the techniques described that in 1410 Fiore had finnished his work called " Flower of Battle," that he said was Liechtenauer's work, only illustrated. Of course, Fiore also had included his own thoughts concerning arms and the "Flower of Battle" was not exclusively concerning Liechtenauer's work. Much was Fiore's work, but my point is that Fiore gave Liechtenauer much credit saying Liechtenauer was the inspiration behind the effort, despite Fiore's own opinions which were heavily present. It was in truth Fiore's work, just Liechtenauers work was given do place. In addition, Fiore opted for a low center style in fighting, whilst Liechtenauer didn't, necessarily, always use low center.

    Liechtenauer said one cannot use unarmoured techniques against an armoured foe. Fiore said one can use his ( Fiore's ) unarmoured methods against armoured foes and vice versa.

    Both men were very skilled men and had great knowledge, but they both had their own systems.

    You may also note that the Italian methods didn't make use of throws nor did it make use of false edge attacks. The German tradition does make use of throws and false edge attacks.

    German grappling and Italian grappling was also very different.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  12. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Nobody claims to be "of the school of Liechtenauer" certainly no-one in the UK claims such lineage. The only claim I've heard is that they study Leichtenauer school.
    Some of the manuals are more than soundbites that are the layer on top of basic fencing that turns it into the Liechtenauer or Fiore style. However, I agree they don't contain the fundamentals of fencing.

    The Bear.
  13. Medes

    Medes Valued Member

    I claim to be of the school of Liechtenauer simply as a matter of the philosophy of arms I favor.

    I don't study anything on-line, so I can't comment on the soundbites.

    Being a bookworm, I use manuals instead of on-line material. The place where I train also uses manuals.
  14. Medes

    Medes Valued Member


    Respectfully, I believe you and I use different definitions of "fence."

    "Fence" merely means the science and art of swordplay (sword fighting.)

    Fencing does not refer to the modern notions of fencing as, for example, the United States Fencing Association would use it.
  15. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Nope we don't use difference definitions of Fencing.

    I don't think you can call Liechtenauer a philosophy of arms. It is just a series principles and techiques.

    I only work from one manual. Doebringer. The later manuals like Meyer are full of over complicated and impractical technique. My school relies heavily on sparring and pressure testing of principles so flowery or weak fighting gets beaten out pretty quuckly.

    The Bear.
  16. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    We all have to remember something when reading old manuals. In the norwegian vocabulary, martial arts is translated "fight-sport", and that term actually covers many modern MA's better than the english term, as many modern MA's are "the arts of the roman god of war, adapted to a system where one can determine who's the winner without too much risk of permanent injury" in other words a system "meant for killing and maiming", adapted to "determining a winner without injury".

    Now, the old manuals could allso be this; martial sports! My "mentor" in the WMA-departement have studied Fiore's different manuals for some 10 years now, and he now have the theory that some of the firsrt grappeling-techniques in the beginning of the manuals (that shows grappeling) are counters to common attacks in a german wresteling SPORT system, and that they don't nessecarily work in a life-or-death-setting. So when looking at fiores lethal wrestling, one have to look in the dagger/sword-sections.

    This could be the reason (if we asume Polar-bear's point of wiew is correct) some of the manuals seems over-complex (just as spinning-kicks to the head isn't nessecarily the easisest way to kill somebody).

    If we remember that one can have different aims in their training, then we can divide into the following categories:

    A: the Polar-Bear-approach(You want to be good at fighting life-or-death-style the european medieval way): Then you have to look at WMA-manuals, consult living-present life-or-death-systems, and try to figure it out.
    B: the manual-approach(You want to try to recreate a given manual): Then you look to the WMA-manual in question, but you should allso consult other WMA-manuals, and even compareable EMA-systems for innput.
    C: if you just want to be good at defending yourself, then I guess, WMA is sort of impractical, as there are more established and proven systems alive, with a higher standard on the opposition.
    D: if you just want to be good at looking good (like those staff-demos with that 11year old kid spinning that staff as if he was a Merlin-engine spinning a propeller), then I guess there are places to learn that as well, and I have no problem with people beeing good at what they do, as long as they don't try to presenting it as somthing it is not.

    I still believe that the manuals are the best sources for knowing what fighting in europe in the 13th -18th century looked like. And neither way is just exploring one selves weed or inner warrior, or anything like that. That can very quicly lead to martial masters like this one: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPPj6viIBmU"]‪Star Wars Kid‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  17. Medes

    Medes Valued Member

    Polar Bear,

    You stated that you and your people don't use different definitions of fencing, Doebringer did!

    I call the way Liechtenauer did things a philosophy because the way Liechtenauer did things was his own way, thus his philosophy.

    Hanko Doebringer was a Catholic Priest who studied Liechtenauer's ' philosophy' in depth and much of Liechtenauer's esoteric material was covered by Doebringer.

    Liechtenauer was said ( and still is said ) to be the father of German swordsmanship.

    As for Meyer, his teachings were generally applied in sport, but what he studied wasn't sport. He learned from one fechtmeister or another through-out the years and studied the works of Liechtenauer and others and applied them to his sport. So Meyer did know things, he just applied it differently than past men at arms would have done.

    Lastly, Polar Bear, if you like Doebringer and you use no other material then you are in fact a closet fan of HochMeister Johannes Liechtenauer! ;-)
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  18. Medes

    Medes Valued Member

    I should clarify something.... I said Doebringer used different definitions of fencing. What I should have said was..... Fencing refers only to 'swordsmanship,' or even fighting with hand-held arms in general ( noble hand-held arms, not ignoble hand-held arms) it does not refer to sport swordsmanship. Modern people have given such a definition, but those of old would just refer to fencing as meaning 'swordsmanship,' or combat with noble hand-held arms. Though actually the literal definition ( at least to the Italians anyway ) was ' the art of defense.'

    ' The art of defense' here refers to defense with noble hand-held weapons of the age. It does not refer to defense unarmed. Though, there are plenty of texts that discuss unarmed combat.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  19. Medes

    Medes Valued Member

    Some examples of noble hand-held arms ( oft referred to a 'knightly arms' ) are swords, polearms, daggers, spears ( counted differently from polearms or at least treated differently anyway. The methods are different. )
  20. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Medes, you talk like we don't know all this stuff. I am not a closet fan of anything, I have ran a german swordsmanship school for three years.
    www.glasgowduellists.co.uk. Also you talk conjecture as though it is fact. The truth is we know almost nothing about Liechtenauer. Also the authorship of the doebringer manual is in dispute also. So I don't wander around spouting out other people's opinions as though they are facts. I realise the US HEMA scene is a shambles with more scholars and larpers than martial artists but Europe is a different animal.

    The Bear.

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