Thursday, February 19, 2009

Axe lengths

Anyone else notice that the axe lengths in the Getty are shorter on average than those in the PD? The Getty axes appear to be about shoulder height while the PD's appear to be about user height (with the exception of the 4th play). Two things about this, first that it explains a lot about Fiore's axe plays where he holds the axe one-handed. With a user height axe, gripping it the way it says/shows makes it very difficult if not impossible to hold (maybe I just need to train more :p ). The second thing is that it furthers my hypothesis that Fiore shows an earlier form/style of pollaxe play. Comparisons between Fiore, Vadi and the Anonimo Bolognese show a developmental arc in axe-play. The number of poste I think helps show this; 6 in the Getty, 4 in the PD, 4 in Vadi, and 2 in the Anonimo and Le Jeu. The majority of the plays are similar and the basic principles remain the same, but there are some differences which I believe occur because of the differences in axe size. All of Fiore's different axe poste/plays are possible with a longer axe, but some would just work better with a shorter one, for instance the play described in the Getty as coming out of the vera crose-Fiore says vera crose with the axe works just like the first scholar of the Remedy Master of the spada in arme section. That play is essentially a parry with the middle of the haft with a step offline, driving their weapon down and thrusting. This works really well with a shorter axe but is slightly more awkward with a longer axe.

p.s. I was actually impressed with "Bones" tonight. They had a mystery involving medieval re-enactors. One of the ladies is attacked by a guy dressed up as the Black Knight, who half-swords for the fight. Later she describes his fighting as using "the Serpent" and "the Arrowhead". I was impressed with tv for once! I mean "the Arrowhead" is a stretch, but hey it's a start. On the downside, they kept calling it "chainmail" *sigh*

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