Tag Archives: jena

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

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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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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

Weapons: The Ziegenhainer Walking Stick

ImageApart from a few late imports, wooden staves or sticks disappear from the printed instructional record of 18th- and 19th-century German martial arts literature.

There’s only one example of a wooden weapon being used in a more or less organized combative context in the early 19th century:

The Ziegenhainer walking stick. 

And even this leaves something to be desired… Continue reading