Let's try broadswords again.

Let's try broadswords again.

Post by Steve Hi » Fri, 12 Aug 1994 05:42:10


>         Gee, the Zen of Computer Newsgroups.  And I can't seem to find a
> Sensei.  What I originally wanted to communicate in my previous
> posting, which vanished into the electronic ether, was that I am
> attempting to find any and all information concerning broadswords or heavy
> sword techniques.  So far I've located some early manuals on saber
> fighting,

Which ones?

> and one book by an English author who was defending the joys of
> broadswords over those sneaky, cowardish French rapier types, but nothing
> of much help.  

Silver? And it's the ITALIANS he was wonked at.

> Oh, and a little manual on the two handed sword that
> suggests you and your opponent just go ahead and beat on each other until
> someone gets tired and dies.  Maybe that's the extent of the skill
> involved, but I really doubt it.

Anon work "The Man that Wol"?

There are some 100 extent manuscripts which were written on the use of the
broadsword prior to or contemporaneous with the first century of
printing.  In the first centuries of printing, there are some books which
cover the 'older style' of fencing (as differentiated from rapier
fencing.)  Most of these are German, some are Italian, English, French
(well knightly axe, but who's counting) Spanish and Portugese.

Most of the above have not be published since they were first written.
Some have been reproduced in facsimile or transcribed IN THE ORIGINAL
LANGUAGE.  These are, in general, pretty obscure as well.

Recently a friend of mine has written his doct***thesis on the use of
the broadsword, using mostly material written in various chanson de geste
and iconography, and using some material from 3 manuals- Talhoffer's
Fechtbuch (facsimile by Hergsell), Fiori dei Liberi's Flos Duellatorum
(facsimile Novati), and the Anonymous Fechtbuch currently in the Tower of
London collection (Smith, Raymond, Use of the Knightly Sword,
Dissertation, Catholic Universtiy 1992-try and get it from University

Published (book) materials are less numerous, because the 'older style'
was being replaced by rapier play ca 1550, so only the first couple of
books cover the topic.

Interestingly enough, the earlier forms generally were complete systems,
covering wrestling (which was wrestling+couterweapon+small
weapons+grappling with large weapons), sword, longsword, staff, hastate
weapons, dagger, clubs, etc., etc..

As far as offering anyone who knows their business, I recommend find a
better stage fencer.  There will be a lecture here at the Smithsonian next
month with the founders of the British,Canadian and American Society of
Fight Directors, as well as Errol Flynn's double for "The Master of

Steve Hick