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"Did People in the Middle Ages Fight as Well..." Topic


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739 hits since 26 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 3:42 p.m. PST

..With Swords as Portrayed in Movies?

Read here….
link


Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 4:31 p.m. PST

Trained fighters in swordplay would make mincemeat out of movie swordsmen.

The resurgence of interest in recreating medieval styles of weapon skills raises an interesting question: would the best "medieval" sword fighters today fare well or come off poorly if pitted against well trained medieval fighters?

I'm thinking that an untrained medieval person would make mincemeat out of a trained stage fighter today, simply because of familiarity with so many swordsmen, a sort of "osmosis" training by lifelong association. But there's no way to test that supposition. :)

The Tin Dictator27 Oct 2017 9:38 p.m. PST

I'd disagree with that theory.
You can watch others use weapons all day but unless you actually train with the weapon, you're not going to be any good with it.

It's the same with today's weapons.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 10:35 p.m. PST

So much of modern combat reenactment seems based on showmanship, theatrics, or mere exercise ("Let's not get anyone hurt") that I have serious doubts that most moderns would come off well against an authentic medieval fighter. This assumes that the weapons are similar; I'm not sure how it's possible to speculate about the mind-set of such a hypothetical confrontation. But melee combat in the old days, in general, I have to believe was more to-the-point (ahem) than we typically think -- no fancy dueling, no wham-wham-wham blade against blade smacking; just a quick and merciless attack designed to get past any defense and cripple or kill the opponent as fast as possible. No time or energy to waste on display or elaborate strategies. I think the screen fighting in old samurai movies is probably a lot closer to the mark than most Western efforts. It's FAST.

I suspect the successful fighters of yore knew that delay could cost you, a mistake could be fatal, knew how to use a shield if they had one (unlike almost all stage fighting where shields are swung away from the body or dropped out of any useful position), and sought to land the first blow and make it count. And stuck as rapidly and repeatedly as possible to gain an advantage.

A true medieval fighter would be better conditioned for the violence of battle as well, probably giving him a certain edge (ahem) in his approach and attitude. Not many folks today live in such a raw and brutal world.

KniazSuvorov28 Oct 2017 4:05 a.m. PST

Not many folks today live in such a raw and brutal world.

Actually… There are hundreds of millions of them. There are possibly more brutalised people living now than there were in the middle ages.

But no, I'm guessing the modern ones don't live anywhere near you. And probably none of them are studying to recreate mediaeval sword techniques.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

Indeed. One must never forget the sheer energy needed to swing an edged weapon over any amount of time.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2017 10:06 a.m. PST

Agree.


Amicalement
Armand

Toaster28 Oct 2017 12:13 p.m. PST

Never mind the stage fighters, check out an SCA tourney where they fight full contact (heavy wooden swords and full plate armour). That sort of environment soon teaches straight forward brutality as the order of the day.

Robert

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

Now someone is going to suggest that full on contact with steel weapons in full plate armor is akin to medieval combat. I don't believe that it is very similar, because blunt edged weapons don't present a real threat to someone cap-a-pie. I've watched quite a few of those eastern European videos of group combat tourneys. The only risk is taking an unseen (undefended) blow to the back of the head. One guy I saw got knocked cold full length on the ground from a blow to the base of the skull. His full helmet did not prevent the sheer impact energy.

But is this anywhere equivalent to training for a real medieval battle? The tactical drill of fighting in groups seems almost entirely lacking. The weapons are seldom used for thrusting at joints, i.e. not sharp means you are not going to do anything to your opponents by thrusting at them. So full swings are the order of the day. And that means open order fighting develops really quickly. That is not medieval combat, it is pit fighting. Gladiators always got their heads handed to them when they went up against real troops. I suspect medieval fighting was no different. A drilled group would win against wildly swinging individuals.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2017 9:13 p.m. PST

" Not many folks today live in such a raw and brutal world.

Actually… There are hundreds of millions of them. There are possibly more brutalised people living now than there were in the middle ages.

But no, I'm guessing the modern ones don't live anywhere near you. And probably none of them are studying to recreate mediaeval sword techniques."

Yes, I was speaking from a European/No. American perspective. As the original post seemed to suggest was the context.

dapeters30 Oct 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

Merlin I think those Eastern European fights are getting real close to what tournaments and melees where like, in whiche people were not "suppose" to die.

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