Exciting News

The Freifechter Guild is sponsoring the first Southeast HEMA Alliance event in Tallahassee, FL.

It sounds as though the event is exclusively focused on German arts, especially those of Meyer, but it should be interesting nevertheless. Mike, who has commented here, will be one of the instructors. He’s worked with folks I know in the past, so I know he’s been part of Florida HEMA for some time. I’m hoping to attend and compare notes, maybe get to meet some of the other folks doing HEMA in the SE.

Check out the site or this SFI thread for details.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 1:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Interesting Blog

Bill Carew of Collegium in Armis has a fairly new blog about “Longstick.”

In this case, “longstick” is just a term for, well, long sticks, generally used with 2 hands for combative purposes. Bill is posting tidbits about a wide range of longstick systems. They’ve been interesting so far – perhaps Swetnam’s staff will get a highlight at some point.

Published in: on August 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Update and Current Projects

So, with my undergraduate thesis complete, where does my Swetnam research stand?

I do have one more illustration from the thesis to post here – if you’re interested, get in touch with me – there’s a lot of information and analysis that goes along with the images – I’d be happy to send you a copy of the thesis.

I’ve been working to expand my understanding of early modern English fencing, mainly by learning Quarterstaff as taught by Silver, Swetnam and Wylde. I’m using a wonderful video from Paul Wagner as the basis of our personal program, and supplementing it with the primary sources.

The staff work has already contributed greatly to my understanding of English fencing – it is the same system as the swordplay, but more clearly deliniated.

I hope to continue deepening my knowledge indefinitely, and I would like to use all of this as the basis of some post-graduate research. I talked with the folks at WMAI about publishing an article based on my Swetnam work, but they felt the article was not practical enough for their publication. I’d still be interested in writing a more practical Swetnam article for them, but we’ll see how that goes. The editor, Scott Baltic, recommended that I instead submit it to the Journal of Western Martial Arts.

JWMA has not updated for almost a year now, however, and I’m not sure yet whether I will submit anything to them. Any thoughts would be welcome.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Passage

A Passage

A Passage

From Swetnam:

The second opportunity to passe upon your enemie you have, if your enemie to carrie the point so low as your girdle stead, or thereabouts, then you must step in with your left foote, and with your dagger strike awaie the point of his Rapier, and with the same let your Rapier passe unto his bodie, as beforesaid, I meane both at one time.

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Published in: on July 5, 2009 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Another Slippe

Another Slippe

Another Slippe

From Swetnam:

Put your thumbe long wayes, or forward upon the handle of your rapier according unto the natural fashion, and your enemie lying in this guard, ioyne your Rapier according as the Picture, and so soone as you have ioyned, turne the heele of your hand upward, and your point downeward, and so bring your point, compassing under your enemies right elbow; and then with the strength of the thumb, turne it unto his breast: the like you may doe if your enemie offer to close with you at single rapier, for if hee come hastily upon you, you can not drawe out your point whereby to offend him, but by turning it in as before-said, you may hit the skilfullest man that is in his comming in: Now if hee doe defend your point below, you may by a sodaine turning up your point, thrust it him to his right side shoulder or face, whether you will our selfe.

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Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Slippe

A Slippe

A Slippe

From Swetnam:

Now if your enemy doe charge you with a blow, when as you see the blow comming, plucke in your Rapier, and let the blow slippe, and then answer him againe with a thrust, but bee carefull to plucke in your rapier to that cheeke which hee chargeth you at, so that if the blow doe reach home, you may defend him according unto the rule of the backsword.

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Published in: on June 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stokata Guard

Stokata Guard

Stokata Guard

From Swetnam:

Many have had a good opinion of the stokata gard, but (in my minde) It is more wearisome unto the bodie, and not so defensive for the body, As the first gard following the first Picture; my reasons are these, the hilt nd rapier being borne so farre back behind the bodie, it cannot defend a blow, for the blow will light before you can beare out your rapier to beare the blow backsword-way, as it should be done, neither can the rapier defend a false thrust, and a false thrust must be defended with the Rapier onelie: Also the point of the Rapier being borne so lowe as this guard restraineth them, the face and breast lieth open, or else into a single defence which is not sure; therefore keepe two strings to thy bowe, it is safe riding at two anchors a head, but if a man were put it to an extreamitie, then it were better to have a loase then no breade, better to defend it single, then to take it on the skinne, and so I will with words describe this guard, and some other.

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Published in: on June 3, 2009 at 12:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Crosse Parry

Crosse Parry

Crosse Parry

From Swetnam:

…the other high guard is to put your rapier on the out-side of your dagger, and with your dagger make a crosse, as it were, by ioyning him in the middest of your rapier, so high as your breast, and your dagger hilt in his usual place, and to defend the thrust, turne down the point of your rapier suddenly, and force him downe with your dagger, by letting them fall both together: this way you may defend a thrust before it come within three foot of your bodie; and this way defendeth the thrust of a staffe, having onlie a rapier and dagger,

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Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Lunge

The Lunge

The Lunge

From Swetnam:

To observe distance, by which is meant that thou shouldest stand so far of from thine enemy, as thou canst, but reach him when thou dost step forth with thy blow or thrust, and thy foremost foote and hand must goe together, and which distance may be twelve foot with a rapier, or with a sword four foote ling, and yet thy best foote which should be the hindermost foot of a right handed man, should bee mored fast and keepe his standing without moving an inch.

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Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thesis Complete!

So, I have now finished my undergraduate thesis on Swetnam. I may rework it for publication, so I’m not planning on posting the full thing here. I will, however, post the illustrations I’ve made, along with the Swetnam quotes describing the guard or play. I’ve already started, and next up will be the lunge.

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Published in: on May 4, 2009 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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