Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sword training...

This illustration from Jochaim Myer's book shows some fairly standard sword training, and the similarities to what and how I teach the same thing are striking. The panel on the wall shows that the primary purpose of this exercise is about footwork, specifically moving diagonally. Stepping off the line of attack is critical. Here we show defending by stepping back and to the right...the attacker (poor sap) has not bothered to move his feet at all.

The two men in the foreground are the primary part of the move, the two men in the background show a different part of the move...the finish. Lets examine the men in the foreground first.

The man on the right has made a diagonal cut downward towards the left, and has turned his hand around for an upward slash along the same line. This "down and up" or "left then right" is pretty common a style of fighting...you really want to get a combination going, and moving the sword back and forth on the same line is usually effective. The first slash opens up the clothing or breaks the armour, the follow up goes into the slash. Also, the recipient will dodge back away from the first strike, thinking that that is all there is, and rush in to face the second part. (I call this slash a "pendulum cut" for obvious reasons)

The gentleman on the left has stepped back and to the left. We know this because he used to be standing just behind "A" on the floor. See the "A" on the panel on the wall? They are congruent. He has also neatly parried the attack, and his sword in one smooth motion is coming up behind him ready for his turn to attack. He probably didn't even need to parry the sword...just the step back should have been enough to protect him, but a little extra protection is nice to have. Certainly the parry has poured a lot of power into the defender's sword, which is coming back to strike like a snake!

Now the man on the left attacks back. We turn our attention to the men finishing the move in the background. Just after the sword whistles harmlessly past his nose, he steps forward with his right foot, closing the distance between them, and delivers his sword into the arm of the man on the right.

This is a wonderful example of footwork and fencing measure, and is a fine example of the beautiful "dance of the blades".
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Medieval Soldier Database On Line

Medieval soldier database goes online

Tuesday July 21, 2009
The Soldier in Later Medieval England, a research project by Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton and Dr. Adrian Bell of the University of Reading, has produced an online database of soldiers that fought for England against the French from 1369 to 1453. The database, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is free to use and will surely prove invaluable for scholars of military history, economic history, and English and French history, as well as genealogists and anyone curious about the Hundred Years War.

Find out more about the project in articles at BBC News, Media Newswire, the Mirror, or the Telegraph. And, of course, be sure to visit the Soldier in later Medieval England website, where you can browse "Soldier Profiles" of interesting individuals from the database as well as search the database yourself. The site is clean and fast, but be prepared to use your Back Button after a search if you want to explore the site further.

Will you search the database? Who will you look for?

(Original article by Snell, of the BBC news.)

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Jochaim Myer's Dussak poem

Joachim Meyer's Dussack Poem

With this weapon reach wide and long,
Hang over forward after the blow
With your body step far to it,
Send your blows powerfully around and in,
To all four targets let it fly
With comportment, pulling, you can deceive him.
You shall parry in the forte
At the same time injure him with the foible.
Also you shall not come nearer
Than you can reach him with a step.
When he will almost run in at you
Drive him from you with your point,
But if he has run in on you,
With gripping, wrestling, you shall be the first,
Pay heed indeed to forte and foible,
Meanwhile, the openings he makes open,
Also step rightly in the Vor and Nach.
Note diligently the correct time
And do not be quick to be scared.

note....A dussak is a cutlass.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

SFX Trade Show

click on the pictures to enlarge.

The Toronto Science Fiction Expo was a helluva good time...and of course, it was a working trip, not a vacation at all! Janika (above) spent all weekend modeling the sexy armour I had worked so hard to create for the show, and when she was doing other things, we hung it on the manniquins.
Above is the whole display area. Yup...thats pretty much it. eight by eight, on a corner.

My manniquin with the curly red hair.

and the manniquin with the chain mail, modeling the armour which was inspired by the cover of "Savage Hearts". I distributed more than a thousand business cards, and hopefully the emails will become clogged with orders.
Wouldn't THAT be nice!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Joe's armour, finished.

above, side view, tasset is shifted to the bottom a bit. The top fauld lame does not have a point, it does however, have eyelets which match the eyeletted holes in the breastplate.
The points are bent upwards just a smidgeon, to reduce the scratching when the lames ride up. This picture is kind of neat because it shows the faulds spreading out to the side a bit, showing the finished arch in the middle. Normally of course, that arch does not show.

This is the back. Much the same as the front, but without the tassets.

I have made the faulds so that they form a nice rounded cover over the tush. That is to say, it comes in at the bottom a bit. Looks neater that way. This is a feature of the South Tower armour...the originals tended to flare out like a skirt.

Above you can see how the faulds look when they are hanging properly. The gap in the middle closes, and it looks nice. The tassets have the same upward crown as the tassets, and the bottoms are pointed...but not so much that they will stick into his leg.
The only things the client might want at this point is buckles holding the front and back faulds together.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two Piece Armour

sixteen gauge front and back. (darned heavy!) It looks a little like a short jacket at this point. Thats good, since the faulds (skirt part) will be very long. Client may find that he needs to squash it in from the side a bit when he gets it. Or maybe not.

three piece back plate. This is kind of bent over the box to enable me to give it a spray with clear lacquer.

The client is really fit, all chest and no waist, so I made the placquart really flat to show off his physique. Most of my clients like a little more room in the belly though.
No picadills or any frills whatsoever. Just a nice, competent armour.

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