Category Archives: Schläger

Saved by the Bell: How Richard Wagner contracted six duels and ended up not fighting a single one!

—by J. Christoph Amberger

In 1831, Richard Wagner enrolled at the Universität Leipzig. He had been acquainted with German student fraternities since the political unrest following the July Revolution of 1830 and managed to get accepted as a Fuchs (pledge) at the Corps Saxonia—just eight days before the Easter vacation began and academic life ground to a hold. 

A duel with bell-guard Schlägers at Leipzig in 1811—21 years before the events in this article, but you see how someone could end up with a debilitating Armfuchser!
Continue reading

Broken water pipe leads to discovery of rusty saber

AR-181018593.jpg&MaxW=505&ImageVersion=default&NCS_modified=20181018091213 Continue reading

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


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.

Continue reading

Silence of the Sticks: Why wooden weapons fell out of favor in 19th-century Germany

stick fightingThe Irish beat each other with shilelaghs, the English drew blood with singlesticks and quarterstaves, the French wielded canne and baton. The Portuguese still play at jogo de pao and the Italians had the bastone. The Germans, however, showed no interest in wooden weapons, at least after the Fechtschul traditions of dussack and assorted staff weapons (most of which with a blade of one kind or another) had disappeared. How come? 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

Kombative Knick-Knacks: Tin Men Mensur

Who’d possibly want a matched set of tin figures staging a Biedermeier-era Mensur?

Err… yes, who indeed. Possibly the same kind of person who has a sextett of Spelter and bronze fencing figurines staring at his desk?

This one we haven’t acquired—yet. But would accept it from our Leibbursch any time. Continue reading

“Only the Coward Retreats”—A mid-19th century Korbschläger

The expansive basket of the Mensur-Korbschläger not only protects head and hand of the fencer. In some cases, it served as a record of Mensuren fought. Like this 1844 weapon… Continue reading

The Cutting Room Floor: Early Movies of European Cut Fencing

Over at Deutsche Hiebfechtkunst, we’re compiling a repository of cinematic evidence regarding the various methods of European Cut Fencing. Check it out—and point out more to us!

Click right here!

“La schiabola e la vostra penna”: The Expansion of the Italian Saber

For non-competition oriented forms of Central European cut fencing, this was the beginning of the end: Starting in the 1870’s, a diaspora of Italian fencing masters managed to displace, and then obliterate, traditional European cut fencing systems.

How, who, and why?

Read on! Continue reading

Viten: Ludwig Caesar Roux

geb. Jena, 27. Juni 1843; gest. Leipzig, 20. Mai 1913

von Oskar Roux

Kaum hatte Ludwig Roux das Zenker’sche Institut in Jena absolviert, so unterrichtete ihn sein Vater in der Führung aller blanken Waffen sowie im Jagdrevierdienste. Am 18. September 1863 wurde er von der Jenenser Universität zum Adjunkten (vorfechter) bei seinem Vater bestellt, allerdings ohne Gehalt und ohne Aussicht auf spätere Anstellung in Jena. Zum 11. März 1865 berief man ihn als Universitätsfechtmeister nach Leipzig. Continue reading