Category Archives: Antiquarian Books

“Trump voter restricts access to HEMA discovery”: HEMA, punked, blows a gasket!

17553935_10155065127702557_4645226273205536843_n.jpgTwo days ago, we offered our “restricted release” of the Alchemia Dimicandi, a recently discovered 17th-century German text on how to fight in combat to the death.

We made it free to download for those “qualified researchers” who sufficed the Trump Administration’s America First policies pursuant to the Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda of President Donald J. Trump, dated February 24, 2017.

You only had to meet two measly criteria to be a “qualified researcher” under that Order: You had to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. And you had to be a registered Republican.

Is that TOO much to ask??

Well, read on…

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Old School: Four Kreußlerian Foils

kr3From the late 1600’s until the first decade of the 20th century, the Kreußler method of thrust fencing dominated the use of the foil and “Rappier”. Here are four representative varieties of the weapons used…

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Belated Merry Christmas—The Free History of the Sword

Amberger Secret History of the SwordAfter 15 years, I might as well…

The Secret History of the Sword is now available free from this site, on .pdf Continue reading

Gratuitous Violence: The Tough Guy’s Guide to getting things DONE!

mikehammerWorld War II put a temporary dent into the popularity of Asian martial arts in America that “jiu jitsu” had briefly enjoyed in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It wasn’t until the aptly titled “chop sockey” movies out of Hong Kong that Western audiences reconnected with the highly stylized if not artistically choreographed exotics. Until then, the shortest way from Point A to Point B was a straight right to the chops… Continue reading

Preview: The Codex Amberger and its predecessors

After many a year of absolutely nothing, the dining room table is now bending with old and new books, reams of print-outs, photographs, articles, bibliographies: We’ve finally started to work on the definitive monograph to the modest 15-page anonymous manuscript fragment we acquired back in 2005.

To sucker as many experts as we can into doing our work for us, we’ll be presenting some of the preliminary work here on FencingClassics… to elicit qualified response and criticism and, yes, lavish praise.

Let’s kick off the process by presenting Sheet 8r, which may prove to be a key element in properly placing the fragment in its proper lineage… Continue reading

Free Resources: The Wrestling Arts of Medieval Germany

We spare no cost to proselytize the combative arts of Europe to the larger web community.

But we’re also not above letting other people foot the bill. Like those 1%ers at Google, who’ve been scanning in old books like there’s no tomorrow. Today, we bring to you a title we’d have given our eye teeth for, had it been available as an antiquarian book just five years ago:

Dr. Karl Wassmannsdorff’s Die Ringkunst des deutschen MittelaltersContinue reading

Hooked on Phonics: Dr. “Fartin'” Luther and the Gun Wad Bible

This one has absolutely nothing to do with fencing and swords.

It only goes to show what can happen to a historical text if insufficient diligence is applied reading and transcribing it.

As in the following example from a spiffy catalog, sent to me by a reputable seller of expensive-as-sin antiquarian books… Continue reading

Sword Skills: Disarming and Throwing the Opponent, according to Roux

He may’ve been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Jena students’ thrust duel with the elongated “wälsche Banditendolch“—the “Frog” bandit dagger, as his colleague from the philosophical faculty, Dr. Scheidler, called the disgraceful French dueling sword.

But F.A.W.L. Roux continued to teach Kreußlerian thrust fencing with the “Rappier” way into the second half of the 19th century—both as a healthy exercise and part of the German Turnkunst, and as a practical martial art for military men.

Included in his repertoire were some disarms and throws that few of his colleagues ever bothered mentioning in print… Continue reading

Sword Shows: See you at the Timonium Cow Palace

If your idea of fun is spending a morning rifling through 1,000 tables full of antique weapons, we have just the thing for you.

Like every year since 1955, the Maryland Arms and Armor Collectors Association is putting on its sale and trading show on March 17-18, 2012 in Timonium, just north of the Baltimore Belway.

We hope to see you there! Continue reading

Free Resources: Fabris’ German edition

Who’d have thought that university archives would ever change their time-honored policy of keeping non-academic riffraff out of their collections—and even throwing their rara open to the Great Unwashed?

The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where I spent many a semester doing things other than visiting libraries, has recently put a copy of Salvatore Fabris’ “Italiänische Fechtkunst” online… Continue reading