Sunday, February 20, 2011

I caught myslef today.

I was watching the movie "Machete" - if you haven't seen it, do so - and I started thinking about how I should get a decent machete for camping, backpacking, etc. I currently have a nice little tomahawk my father-in-law made me for larger camp tasks, but a machete or billhook would be cool. My train of thought hurtled down the tracks until it came to rest on "machete = messer = machete is a cheap substitute for a messer". I then lamented the fact that I don't study the messer and it's too bad Fiore doesn't deal with the... AH-HA! That's when I caught myself. No, Fiore doesn't deal with the messer, but he does deal with single-handed weapons. So I grabbed my copy of "In St. George's Name", which has an article on Paulus Kal's messerfechten and you know what? Every one of those techniques can be found in Fiore, between the sword in one hand section, the Zogho Stretto, and the horsey sections. I had fallen into the same trap I've watched other practitioners of weapons-based martial arts fall into - focusing too much on their particular type of weapon an not on the fact that the particular weapon can be seen as an archetype. Clear as mud?

I've covered this in other posts but the basic idea is that by training in the comprehensive systems available to us, be it German, Italian, what-have-you, you are essentially training nearly all variations of weapons - unarmed, knives & small sticks, single-hand weapons, two-hand weapons, long pole weapons.

And now I go back to watching "the 13th Warrior"


1 comment:

Sean said...

Agreed that while most arts are optimized for one family of weapons, they should work fine with a wide variety.

Its just a little odd that Fiore pays so little attention to pairs of weapons (spear and shield, sword and shield, sword and buckler, ...) outside the linking section between unarmoured and armoured combat. I guess either his patrons weren't interested, or he wasn't. Although if you really understand both sword and buckler and Fiore, you might be able to make a plausible guess at how he would have used them.