Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sigh #2

So with 3 solid weeks of filming in front of me, I broke off a chunk of front tooth last night...and the dentist can't get to it for...wait for it...wait for it...3 weeks. Of course. So I'm stuck wearing this cheesy " cosmetic" tooth for the next 3 weeks until the Lord of Dentistry deigns to get me in.

Again, a sigh...

BTW, cool article on sword-fighting, the rediscovery of, so to speak:

Only recently in the last decade or so has this extraordinary and all but forgotten material finally come to be properly examined and studied. Reconstruction of these remarkable teachings offers an unparalleled view into how fighting men prepared and trained themselves for duels, street-fights, and battlefield encounters. Their manner of fighting with swords is not the classical Western style we see today, which is largely a contrived 19th-century gentleman's version of a narrow, aristocratic Baroque style. What the surviving sources show us is wholly different from the familiar pop-culture version, as well as being dramatically distinct from what has gone on for years in assorted reenactments and contrived living-history efforts. Rather, Medieval and Renaissance sword fighting was a hell of a lot more violent, brutal, ferocious, and astonishingly effective. The way in which these swords were held, the way they can be maneuvered, and the postures and motions involved, differ substantially from common presumptions and modern-era fencing styles.

I'd like to note that one of my distant Scots ancestors, Old Donald Bane, wrote one of those texts...he survived into his late 60s, not bad for a sell-sword in the1700s. I only hope I can last that long! LOL!


Matthew said...

Clement is a master but he includes his usual backhanded dismissal of folks with equal training and research that came to different conclusions than he.

More than one former student/protege has been drummed out of ARMA for the heresy of disagreeing with the self-proclaimed master.

Setting aside that though, he's right that Western martial arts give up nothing to any other cultures.

nj_larry said...

Let's see...Jeff Cooper to 2012...what? 50 years? So in half a century we've been able to refine gunfighting quite a bit.

Now lets try the blade. How about 10,000 years of just metal blades ! After a couple of millennium I bet they pretty much had gotten the idea of chopping up and stabbing other folks down to a science. Ya think?

I always laugh when Roman or Greek warfare comes up. Two or three thousand years ago, it is dismissed today as some sort of primitive dodgeball. I can only imagine what a killing machine a Roman or a Spartan solider was. I would put him mano a mano with any solider alive today. Put a blade in his hand and the modern trooper would be done for. Not only was he a war fighter but their mentality on life and death was entirely different. Total war doesn't even begin to describe it.

David said...

Check out the movie "Reclaiming The Blade," if you can find a copy:

Pathfinder said...

Mike Loades (a Brit) has done some fascinating studies on 14th-16th Century fighting manual, and what they are actually telling us. He has demonstrated very clearly just how agile knights could be in full armor before they became "toys" for jousting.

He's also done tactical analyses of everything from Egyptian Pharaonic chariots to 16th Century Italian fencing. Very interesting stuff if you can catch the shows he's done on History Channel.

Anonymous said...

....and with his mighty Claymore..

"I, Donald Bane, fair-complexioned and tall, shall not fail to enter the lists with this bully Andrew. With Heaven's assistance, and as a friend to my country, I will go to meet him, who, unskilled in the art, daringly challenges me to the combat. In a short time, when we have entered upon the fight, brave men admitted to behold us will perhaps see that the pugilist O'Bryan is, as I believe, not so expert a master of the art of fencing. Whether he have a protection or a patron, my weapon will render him an idle capon."

Ken said...

Want to see something hilarious? Try working out (practicing swordfighting) with shinai, and in the middle, kick them in the gut. The look of "no fair" on people's faces as they realize that their other limbs haven't ceased to exist is quite a day maker!

Anonymous said...

From the article
"This article originally appeared on ARMA's website."

With out the context of some of his other writings on his website this article alone makes the writers sound like a pompous, self promoting, A-Hole.
Realizing however that it IS missing context I think I will be looking over some of his other writings.
It's long been known that the "working Knight" was more agile in his armor than most modern people would be in sweats.
Could you jump unaided onto the back of a Clydesdale ?
That was a feat regularly performed by fully armored knights.
Much like a tomahawk toss at a mountain man get together.
There were many other feats of strength and agility performed by fully armored men for fun that would stun the modern observer.
Tom B.
Laconia NH

DamDoc said...

comparing greek/roman warfare to our warriors today?.. hell, we have them squatted just on better nutrition alone.. sub 5 footers against 6'4" giants with p226 mk25.. or m4? or an mk3 blade? no contest..

nj_larry said...


I came back to this thread and happened to see your follow up post. As you know I don't get in shouting matches over let me just say that I think your off base re: ancients. The current education system has erroneously taught several generations total nonsense about folks in the past. First being that they all died when they were 40 years old. Yikes, I can't even begin to handle that today...
The other is that somehow all of the populace was sick dieing or midgets. Again mostly nonsense. Especially when it comes to the elite classes of society like the military. Let me quote from another site the qualifications for a Roman solider. It think you will see that they were a force to contend with (and I explictly didn't compare SIGs to bare hands. Don't know where you got that from)

The Roman Soldier:

De Re Militari, written in the 4th century by Flavius Vegetius Renatus, includes a description of the qualifications of the Roman soldier (from the Stout article): "Let, therefore, the youth who is to be chosen for martial tasks have observant eyes, hold his head up, have a broad chest, muscular shoulders, strong arms, long fingers, not too extended a wait measure, lean hams, and calves and feet not distended with superfluous flesh but hard and knotted with muscles. Whenever you find these marks in the recruit, do not be troubled about his height [Marius had set up 5'10 in Roman measurement as the minimum height]. It is more useful for soldiers to be strong and brave than big."

Roman soldiers had to march at an ordinary pace of 20 Roman miles in 5 summer hours and at a fast military pace of 24 Roman miles in 5 summer hours carrying a 70 pound backpack.