medieval sword

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My attempt at a photorealistic Ciri. I made some changes to the Ursine armor to make it fit her torso. I think I did a better job here than with Triss. 

If you want this to be a print, tweet CD Projekt Red about it. They have to grant permission or buy it. 

Zelda: Breath of the Wild was amazing – really made me feel the magic of Ocarina of Time again!! I’ve been itching to do this one… had to finish the game first. :)

Based on Edmund Leighton’s “The Accolade”. 

anonymous asked:

Hi Samantha, I would like to ask for a method of practising more on reading the opponent and being slower. I feel like my skill in this is very unstable and escapes me sometimes. I feel like rushing is what I do most of the time, which usually ends up with me being dead.

Thanks for asking! This is a big subject. It is the result of what happens when people wear protective gear and lose fear of the blade, which makes it easy to become reckless when fighting. It is extremely hard to defend against an opponent who is reckless because they don’t hold back, but if you are smart in a real fight, then you will preserve some caution- especially with sharp blades. I don’t think that it’s your skill that varies, just the circumstances that you are learning in.

I think that you need a partner who wants to learn the same way, who is trying to develop the feeling in the blade. If one opponent moves faster then the other will follow so you really need to have someone who can agree to not try to “win” or try to be the fastest during a drill. You have to agree to move at the same speed, keep the bind until you have manipulated the other to a place that is safer for you. The goal is for you to learn together and not by taking advantage of the other in the relative safety of the drill.

This is all in aid of developing ‘fühlen’, or ‘feeling’ in the fight.

(For a good technical breakdown of fühlen within historical German martial arts, see Hugh Knight’s description here.)

Below: Half of the page from manuscript i:33 folio 20v, showing two fencers bound.

What I demonstrate when I teach is all centred on fencing from the bind. The historical treatises largely recommend binding and control, rather than rushing in. However the way that most of the modern sword-combat sports world* are fighting is the opposite, unfortunately. There is very little binding, even though it’s shown all the time in the fight books.

*Just what I mean: the wider international community of medieval sword-centred combat sports fighters, which comes in over a dozen forms and identities.

When fighting, if a person’s goal is to strike the other, they will rush in and be reckless. If their goal is to defend themselves from attack, they will be more conservative and efficient.

I think that part of the problem causing “rushing in” is that in modern competitive sword combat, we generally seek to score points in a hurry to win a bout.

If we changed the rules to be that we started with hit points and had to preserve them, it would make for more careful fencing. There would still need to be motivation for both parties to fight, but the focus would shift and reflect the more cautious approach seen in historical swordsmanship. The key is to still have a healthy fear of the other person’s blade. Then you learn how to be safe against the danger.

It’s the same as working with any hazardous equipment. In my industry, there are so many of these that we use all the time. For example, the table saw is a pretty devastating tool but you don’t replace it with a blunted or plastic version, or wear a lot of protection to work with it. Bulky clothes or thick gloves actually get in the way, and create more of a hazard than working with just a pair of earmuffs and safety glasses.

Instead, you just accept the potentially-fatal dangers of the tool and learn to work with it carefully, in a controlled, precise and mindful way.

Below: Carving polystyrene-foam into organic stone steps as a scenic sculptor for the film industry. I’m wearing chaps because the chainsaw can potentially kick-back, although since this is fine-detail work, the material is much softer than what I usually work with and less of a hazard. Note the fencing stance for stability, and the rotation of my body to agree with the angle of the cut.

I am not advocating an irresponsible approach to training with swords, rather to appreciate the full hazard they present and then learn to handle it.

What I’m talking about refers to historical swordsmanship in the context of self-defence, but there are many, many modern sword combat sports that exist that have already put safety factors in place to protect their athletes.

Not everyone can be good at sword sports. But anyone can be good at at fencing for self-defence.

I have experienced this kind of approach in more than a few sword clubs around the world. To see video examples of it in action you can check out Roland Warzecha/DIMICATOR’s YouTube channel, showing the active practice of swordsmanship using sharp steel and shields that as closely as possibly follow the specifications of museum artifacts.

Lastly, a philosophy that may help prevent rushing in:

You have to control your space, the circle (or sphere) around your body. This is the distance around you that you or your weapon can reach. Anything that is inside it is your space.

(This concept was developed extensively during the Renaissance though Italian and Spanish schools of fencing- the example below is from Sebastien Romagnan’s book on Destreza)

So when your opponent comes into that space, they can be in your control.
You are allowing them in. It’s the same for them- they are allowing you into their space. You just need to help them to make a mistake. Then once they make a mistake you can control them. Unless you also make a mistake, then you are both equal again. The best thing is to be efficient and make fewer mistakes than your opponent.

You can let someone into your space to trick them, or if you already have a better angle and they will struggle to defend. But it needs to be a clear decision to allow them that close to you.

If you practice understanding your circle (with and without a sword), and think about what you allow to come into it, it will give you an advantage when you practice with a partner. However, there is a lot you can do to improve your reflexes and self control for combat, explained in length by many other martial arts practitioners.

I hope that helps!

thewriterandthestoryteller  asked:

Hey, can you give me some advice on writing a horse ride and a sword fight for my WIP? I have no idea what any of technical terms are!

(Hey there! I certainly can!

Terms and phrases for riding horses (with a fight scene in mind!)

Walk, trot, canter, gallop - paces.

Halt = asking the horse to stop

Aids = instructions given to the horse, by the rider

Mount/Dismount = to get on/off the horse

Vault = to swing onto the horse, generally whilst it is moving

Contact = pressure/’feeling’ on the reins, between the riders hand and horses mouth. (used to direct the horse - see a little more about using the reins in this post - on writing horses in your WIP)

Near side = left side of horse

Off side = right side of horse

Hindquarters = horses rump/back end

Lame = A limping horse

Sound = a horse that isn’t lame 

Rein back = asking the horse to step backwards

Half -Halt =when the rider asks the horse to pay attention a little

Transition = When the gait changes, (walk to halt, trot to canter, etc)

Rear = When a horse goes up on its hind legs

Buck = when a hors eputs its head between its front legs, and throws its hind legs up

Baulk = When a horse hesitates, or refuses to go forward

Spook = When a horse shies at something, and jumps

Haute Ecole = an ancient method of training horses for war

Barding = Armour used on horses. (It’s old timey knight stuff, but it might be what you want. More about that here)

Sword fighting terminology

(!!! I’m the first to admit I know next to nothing about swordfighting, only what I’ve researched for my own WIP. This terminology is from here, the brilliant Lisa Shea.)

Advance - a short forward movement.

Blade - the length of metal that is used for attacking or defending (i.e. the entire metal length beyond the guard).

Boar’s Tooth - a guard where the sword is before your front right leg.

Deflect - actively change the incoming sword’s speed or angle by hitting it with your own sword (or foot etc)

Diagonal - Moving forward diagonally forward - right.

Edge
- the sharp side of the blade. Japanese blades were typically single edged, while Medieval swords could have both sides sharpened.

Empty Fade - Leaping backwards as if to fade but immediately leaping forwards again.

Fade
- Leaping backwards while leaving the feet in the same orientation.

False Edge - the back / trailing edge of the sword, usually the one you do NOT intend to cut with.

Front Guard - a guard where the sword is held vertically in front of your face.

Full Iron Gate Guard - a guard where the sword is halfway between your right and left legs, angled right.

Fuller
- a groove running down the length of the blade. I have some books which claim this is a “blood groove” to help blood flow out of an enemy but other books which seem more reliable say it’s to help the sword come out of a body without being caught (it breaks the suction).

Grip
- the part of the hilt you grip with your hand for control.

Guard - a cross-piece on the hilt that keeps your hands safe from your opponent’s weapon sliding down the length of your blade. Also called a cross-guard.

Guard
- (meaning #2) - a position of safety, a pose where you can defend yourself from attack.

Guard of the Woman - a guard where the sword is over your right shoulder, behind your back.

Half Iron Gate Guard - a guard where the sword is held before your left leg.

Hilt - the generic name for the entire part of the sword near your hands, the part that is not the blade.

Long Point - a guard where the sword is straight out from your chest, with your arms extended.

Lunge - leaping forwards while leaving the feet in the same orientation.

Pass Back - Taking a step backwards by moving your front foot into the rear position.

Pass Forward - Taking a step forwards by moving your rear foot into the front position.

Pivot - Rotating 180 degrees while keeping the front foot stationary.

Pommel
- the knobby end of the hilt, used by the second hand for a ball-in-socket pivot point in many moves, or merely as a counterweight in one handed attacks.

Posta - the Italian word for guard, as in a position of safety.

Posta drill - a series of movements from guard to guard, to help you learn the guards.

Retreat - a short movement backwards.

Shed - to allow a sword to slide away off your sword without trying to impede / change it, so you are then free to attack or move.

Short Guard - a guard where the hilt is at your hip and the sword is pointing up and forward.

Slope - moving diagonally backwards back and left.

Stance
- the position your body is in to be ready for an attack or defense.

Step Across
- Rotating 180 degrees by crossing the front foot across the back foot and then turning in place.f
Tail Guard - a guard where the hilt is at your hip and the sword is pointing behind you.

Tip - the pointy end of the blade.

True Edge
- the front / leading edge of the sword, usually the one you intend to cut with.

Two Horn Guard
- a guard where the sword pommel is at your chest with the sword pointing out.

Window Guard - a guard where the hilt is at your ear and the sword points forwards.

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I hope this is helpful to you!

If anybody has any writing related questions, as always feel free to message me, Aoife @writingguardian

(Also, I’m having a 1000 followers give away! Check it out!)

5

Someone in Some Future Time, completed for VCU’s comic anthology, Emanata.

I’m so proud to have completed this, and so honored to have made it into the final publication. Feel free to send me asks about this comic or these characters!

(commissions are open)