The good Juncker von A. called it “Lanzenstechen auf Schusters Rappen”*: The back leg does not begin to straighten until the arm s fully extended. Since this reduces the tip speed to that of the body, it helps when the opponent (a) doesn’t move and (b) doesn’t attendmpt to parry. But we like the follow-up to the mask, even though it is useless in foil fencing.
- this idiomatic expression literally translates as “lance-running on shoemaker’s black horse”; shoemaker’s black horse is, of course, a pair of shoes. Pedestrian jousting, in other words.
Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels. But it’s also one of the great sources of historical irony. The War of 1812 created one such irony, as far as the classical canon of fencing literature is concerned.
This one is quite complex, as indeed anything should be that manages to connect personages as diverse as a prominent member of the Boston Tea Party, Mad King George, the Hessian mercenaries—and the ubiquitous fencing master dynasty of the Angelos in a game that makes the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon look as one-dimensional as a Partridge Family reunion special… Continue reading
Posted in 18th Century, American martial arts, Antiquarian Books, fencing, Foil, Saber, Sword Fighting, Uncategorized
Tagged american swordplay, cavalry saber, henry angelo, military saber
Some modern martialists spend so much time arguing what the martially-minded duelist of yesteryear would have never done, it would seem that European Martial Arts, especially of the 17th and 18th centuries, was something for ultra-cautious, risk-adverse middle-aged veterans wearing leather soles on a freshly waxed floor while carrying a stack of Wedgwood china. And yet, period literature yields interesting indications that things were not what they seem…
Upside-down mounted blades.
A sneakily set handle.
Early attempts in gaining an unfair advantage with épées de combat.
Posted in 19th Century, Duel, Epee, fencing, fencing art, HEMA, smallsword, Sword Fighting
Tagged 19th-century dueling, amberger collection, épée de combat, dueling epees, French dueling swords, j christoph amberger
The last German student to die as a result of a duel using thrusting swords—not unlike the French épée de combat—was the young jurist Adolph Erdmannsdörffer.
Buried in the village cemetery at Wöllnitz, now integrated into the Thuringia town of Jena, his grave marker recalls him as “das letzte Opfer der Stoßmensur” (the last victim of the thrust Mensur).
The worst part: It was his own fault.