Category Archives: Duel

Trick Shot: A two-handed thrust backwards into the thigh from the 1630’s

e0e7bd1d854ce2cae68512538c72febfSome 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…

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The unfair advantage: The subtle differences in 19th century French dueling épées

aa3Reduced weight.

Upside-down mounted blades.

A a sneakily set handle.

Early attempts in gaining an unfair advantage with épées de combat.

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Last Blood: The grave of the last German student killed in a thrust duel

Grab_Adolph_Erdmannsdörffer_3.jpg

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.

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Caveat emptor: Things in the mirror are smaller than they appear

pariserOn April 1, 2017, FencingClassics gave the people what they wanted: 

FREE unconditional access to a FREE newly discovered resource. 

What it all worth it?

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“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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Revealed: Alchemia Dimicandi—A Transcription of an Unknown late 17th-ct. German Fencing Text

smallsword rostockBetween the 1940’s and the early 1960’s the Diplom Fechtmeister (licensed fencing master) Karl Lochner discovered a short German text on “fencing in earnest”.

Dating from around the late 1600’s to early 1700’s, the “Alchemia Dimicandi” of a minor German nobleman cuts through the traditional Lektion-Contra-lektion patterns of contemporary fencing pedagogy—and provides a unique glimpse at actual, hands-on dueling practice with the transition rapier or small sword…

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FencingClassics to release “missing link” late 17th-ct. German fencing manuscript!

fool

This recently re-discovered transcript by an anonymous German noble could fill an important gap in the documentation of German fencing approaches between Paschen and Schmidt.

Under the sponsorship of the new Administration, we’re preparing a limited release of the manuscript.

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See You at the 2015 American Smallsword Symposium in Timonium, Md.

SmallswordGranted, it’s been a while since I’ve made it to a Historical Sword-Fighting event…

This time around, I have no excuse not to go: Victor Markland has organized what is shaping up to be a great event right down the road from my club… Continue reading

Big Bang Theory, 1566: The Nerd with the Golden Nose

tycho braheMaybe Cousin Manderup was “in his spot”. Maybe it was Fermat’s Next-to-Last Theorem proving that 2 + 2 = 5 ? Fact is that a squabble among freshman nerds at the theology professor’s house ended in an ugly injury that made one of the geeks almost as famous for his rhinoplasty as for his scientific discoveries… Continue reading

Legends of the Sword: Satan fights a Mensur

The German novelist and poet Wilhelm Hauff (1802—1827) is more famous for his fairy tales than for his novels. Unreasonably so, because his Memoiren des Satan alone are better written and more enjoyable than all the semi-competent writage they throw at German literature students in college these days.

Hauff studied philosophy and theology at Tübingen. In 1826, he wrote Mitteilungen aus den Memoiren des Satan (Memoirs of Beelzebub), in which he works in some of the fencing activities of his brother, a member of the Tübinger Burschenschaft.

For the connoisseur of Gedecktes Hiebfechten, this is a rare monument of armament and strategy of the early Mensur… Continue reading