Saturday, 17 October 2009

New books

Found a book on fencing in the library and bought another on Medieval Combat.

Unfortunately the fencing book I borrowed 'blind' as I ordered it from another library over the web so didn't see the contents beforehand. This meant I was a little disappointed as what I really needed was a broad overview of the basic foot movements, stances and positions. This is undoubtedly a detailed book but this is for the advanced fencer. I have gleaned some interesting information: prime, seconde, tierce, quarte, quinte, sixte, septime, octave... but on the whole too advanced for me. (Fencing: Essential Skills Training by Ed Rogers)

Medieval Combat by Hans Talhoffer (ed Mark Rector) seems more my thing. I won't be taking any lessons from this into the salle or the dojang (particularly the illustration of trial by ordeal of a man in hole pitted against a woman with a club...!) but it's given me more to get my teeth into.

This book is a reproduction of Hans Talhoffer's fifteenth century treatise on combat and fencing called 'Fechtbuch'. Smashing illustrations showing combat covering wrestling, sword work, pikes, daggers as well as mounted conflict. Very interesting to see the parries, stances and weapon positions used plus plenty of blood with hewing of heads and murder strokes as well as weird 'judicial duels' where the loser would fight in front of his own coffin.

Great insight into medieval justice, fighting techniques and attitudes towards weapons.

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