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Author Topic: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"  (Read 2978 times)

Sir Edward

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"Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« on: 2013-11-25, 15:07:06 »
This raises a good, interesting point, but I think it oversimplifies things:



One of the lectures I attended at WMAW was talking about this subject, but took it a bit further. When we look at something in one of the Liechtenauer lineages, often we'll see something like this:

1. Particular move/technique
2. Counter to that move
3. Counter to the counter.

The lecture was discussing the idea that one possible conclusion we can make is that since the manuscript leads you through those steps, and that it's intended to defeat the "common fencer", only step #3 is probably the "secret" method. Steps 1 & 2 might actually be more well known.

But otherwise I think he's right in this video. The entire Liechtenauer lineage of manuscripts are aimed at the upper classes. Only those who were wealthy enough or of a high enough class were considered eligible to learn it, and it was designed to defeat the lower classes.
« Last Edit: 2013-11-25, 15:07:15 by Sir Edward »
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Sir Brian

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #1 on: 2013-11-25, 16:48:53 »
I’m really quite skeptical of his hypothesis. By what premise is he basing his opinion of ‘common fencers’?

Is it common as in the peasantry class in general or as in a tradesman, merchant, or freeman verses one of nobility? Or is it in regards to encountering brigands who might be down on their luck citizens, soldiers or even a squire? Also were these ‘common fencers’ in the habit of swaggering about town with a longsword hanging off their hips, ready to draw steel in a moment’s notice when waylaid or abruptly provoked into a duel of honor?

My impression of the Lichtenauer traditions where that he was accredited as being the first ‘master’ in which he had simply was the first to compile much of the knowledge and experiences he acquired in his travels to numerous regions and not exclusively consideration to being able to out fence some crude
‘buffalo’ tradesman.  :-\
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Thorsteinn

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #2 on: 2013-11-25, 16:51:16 »
Makes sense.

I got the impression from Foire that he wasn't speaking of a special system but of a solid one for all occasions. Sort of an "Adapt as you will to what you need, but know that I've done, or seen done, everything in here to good effect."

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Sir Vander Linde

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #3 on: 2013-11-25, 22:31:35 »
Having read many sources and practiced the techniques in them, I see how he can come to this conclusion. however I believe it to be the wrong one. you will see many "practitioners" and so called "students" of the long sword traditions who simply have no clue how to uses a sword. they throw names and terms around like they know what it is that they are doing, and in fact can and will beet persons in sparing situations, merely because of imitation. but imitation is not true form. these are the people who say, for example, they studied Liechtenauer, and they have a great understanding of the vocabulary and general body movement, but lack every aspect of any techniques use. This is what I think Liechtenauer addresses in his teachings as do many other masters. The mere sing of a difference in a work is no biases to address it as nonstandard. There were indeed many masters and many schools of fencing, so yes technique varied but to single out a specific teaching is just silly. For example I can not tell you how many different interpretations of the "crooked cut" I've seen, and yet these persons all say they got it from the same source. That is what is being addressed, I'm sure some of you if not all have been in a sparing situation in which some one desperately tries to implement a technique, and fails over and over or keeps repeating basic technique from drills done solo or with a partner. This is not the teachings and is not the source material. That in my opinion is what it is about....  (rant end lol )
« Last Edit: 2013-11-25, 22:32:22 by Sir Vander Linde »

Naythan

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #4 on: 2013-11-27, 20:49:20 »
Does this mean I dont need to train to use one of these?
And didn't everyone use broadswords?
Like in Lotr the only people with Longswords are the dunedain (maybe elves), whilst gondor uses Broadswords very simular to the one I have.
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Sir Edward

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #5 on: 2013-11-28, 15:13:31 »
Liechtenauer is actually a school of combat that encompasses a wide range of weapons, from unarmed, through dagger, single-hand swords, longswords, sword + buckler, staff, spear, poleaxe, horseback, etc.

What this video commentary is saying is that it's designed to beat the well known techniques, and put you at an advantage.
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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #6 on: 2013-11-30, 15:38:27 »
Liechtenauer is actually a school of combat that encompasses a wide range of weapons, from unarmed, through dagger, single-hand swords, longswords, sword + buckler, staff, spear, poleaxe, horseback, etc.

What this video commentary is saying is that it's designed to beat the well known techniques, and put you at an advantage.
Oh.
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Sir Vander Linde

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #7 on: 2013-12-03, 15:58:45 »
Here is his work on messer,  a translated version with other great add-ons such as historical weapon measurements.  Might interest some of you.

http://www.hammaborg.de/pdf/transkriptionen/leckuechner_cgm582/zabinski_mitchell_fritz_leckuchner.pdf

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #8 on: 2016-05-06, 03:05:02 »
I would say that he does mention a good point but I think there some things that were over simplified.

Quote
Liechtenauer is actually a school of combat that encompasses a wide range of weapons, from unarmed, through dagger, single-hand swords, longswords, sword + buckler, staff, spear, poleaxe, horseback, etc.

Exactly, which would make it more as a martial system as opposed to fighting that could only be taught to regular soldiers.  And the point I want to make is that Liechtenauer's primary audience and his disciples in the tradition, their audience were always to the Nobility or the Knightly classes.  So to say that it is not 'regular longsword' is correct to a degree.  However since it was taught to nobility (as in the case also with Fiore and Vadi) there could no way be a possibility for foot soldiers or military lower than the knight to learn anything by Liechtenauer.
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jason77

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #9 on: 2016-07-19, 20:44:02 »
Liechtenauer wasn't common fencing and he asserts as much. His system was meant to be a "hidden" system which he wrote down cryptically. I would assume that common fencing would include less emphasis on binding/winding and more about cuts, thrusts and parrying. This would no doubt have been the common method of sword play for common soldiers and those with minimal sword training as "Masters" like Liechtenauer taught mostly to nobles for a fee. Its a good system and one which has been my own primary system of study but I have recently taken Meyer more seriously. IMO one of the problems I see in modern historical fencing schools is that newbies are run through the basics and then introduced to binding/winding, etc. This makes for fencers who have a difficult time simply fencing in a manner which is based on more fundamental principles of cuts and parry's. Liechtenauer's system depends upon a certain complicity in that you expect your opponent to act and react in a certain manner. This is why many fencers have been successful in high level tournaments such as Swordfish who do not using any techniques other than good timing, distance, parry, etc. techniques.
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Joshua Santana

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #10 on: 2016-07-22, 04:13:36 »
Quote
Liechtenauer wasn't common fencing and he asserts as much. His system was meant to be a "hidden" system which he wrote down cryptically. I would assume that common fencing would include less emphasis on binding/winding and more about cuts, thrusts and parrying. This would no doubt have been the common method of sword play for common soldiers and those with minimal sword training as "Masters" like Liechtenauer taught mostly to nobles for a fee. Its a good system and one which has been my own primary system of study but I have recently taken Meyer more seriously. IMO one of the problems I see in modern historical fencing schools is that newbies are run through the basics and then introduced to binding/winding, etc. This makes for fencers who have a difficult time simply fencing in a manner which is based on more fundamental principles of cuts and parry's. Liechtenauer's system depends upon a certain complicity in that you expect your opponent to act and react in a certain manner. This is why many fencers have been successful in high level tournaments such as Swordfish who do not using any techniques other than good timing, distance, parry, etc. techniques.

Not a bad statement.  Here is how I would respond.  Basic or Commoner fencing would be nothing short of the basics to sword fighting.  Liechtenauer's audience was Knights and Nobility involved in war.  Most of the commentaries by Dobringer, Ringeck, Von Danzig elaborate the martial skill involved in combining certain "Master Strokes", breaks and counters as well as their take on the same Sword Fighting Art. What we see in tournaments today is skill of one against the skill of another.   I have seen nothing but good usage of distance, parry and counter parry to skillful blow.  My interpretation to any technique is to look at the context of the technique and the counters to find the right moment in the fight to pull it off.  Liechtenaur is good to start off with, if you want to get serious, train in Fiore.
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jason77

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #11 on: 2016-07-22, 14:02:28 »
This is where I myself would disagree. Fiore is a good place to begin but liechtenauer is the next progression. Of course IMO one could skip both and just study Meyer. All of the best swordsman (think Axel Peterson as one example) are students of Meyer.
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jason77

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #12 on: 2016-07-22, 14:31:54 »
Here is a good write up on this very topic which takes much into consideration: http://www.encasedinsteel.co.uk/2013/01/25/for-beginners-fiore-or-liechtenauer/

As I said previously I'm actually more inclined towards Meyer and I'm not alone. Meyer has a much more logical and progressive system than the Liechtenauer material and its been proven over and again. But Fiore is a good logical system as well and there are good fencers being produced with Fiore's method.
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Joshua Santana

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Re: "Liechtenauer was not normal medieval longsword"
« Reply #13 on: 2016-07-22, 23:19:37 »
Quote
Here is a good write up on this very topic which takes much into consideration: http://www.encasedinsteel.co.uk/2013/01/25/for-beginners-fiore-or-liechtenauer/

As I said previously I'm actually more inclined towards Meyer and I'm not alone. Meyer has a much more logical and progressive system than the Liechtenauer material and its been proven over and again. But Fiore is a good logical system as well and there are good fencers being produced with Fiore's method.

What works for you go with it.  I have no issue with Meyer per say though I am an advocate of both Liechtenauer and Fiore. 
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