Wednesday, 11 September 2013

German 'Mensur' fencing profile: a student's tale.

I first read about 'Mensur' as a sport in a book about sword fencing: 'By the Sword' by Richard Cohen. I found it a strange practice in that there was no footwork, no body displacement, no closing distances or strategy. To me it seemed just like a whacking match! Two opponents stand almost toe to toe and whack each other with live swords. Nils Hempel explains in the BBC article that it is much more about self-discipline and honour. Here he talks intelligently and openly about why he studies Mensur, although he doesn't mention anything about unprotected sword fighting and the pride of a Mensur scar...

An older video showing a Mensur duel

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