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The Future of Historical European Martial Arts Studies. A discussion

Cultural Studies , ed. by Kuan-Hsing Chen and David Morley (London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 261-74. Jaquet, Daniel, ‘The Researcher Status in Historical European MArtial Arts Communities of Practitioners’, in Martial Arts Studies in Germany - Defining and Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries , ed. by Martin Joh Meyer (Hamburg: Czwalina, 2016), pp. 39-50. Jaquet, Daniel, and Claus Frederik Sorenson, ‘Historical European Martial Art - a Crossroad between Academic Research, Martial Heritage Re-Creation and Martial Sport Practices.’, Acta Periodica Duellatorum , 3

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Historical European Martial Art a crossroad between academic research, martial heritage re-creation and martial sport practices

(Oxford; Oakville: Oxbow Books, 1999), pp. 87–93. Jaquet, Daniel, ‘ Personne ne laisse volontiers son honneur être tranché ’ Les combats singuliers ‘judiciaires’ d’après les livres de combat’, in Armes et jeux militaires dans I’imaginaire (Xlle-XVe siècles), ed. by Catlina Girbea (Paris : Classiques Garnier, forthcoming). Jaquet, Daniel, ‘Experimenting Historical European Martial Arts, a Scientific Method?’, in Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books. A Handbook, ed. by Daniel Jaquet, Karin Verelst, and Timothy Dawson, History of Warfare (Leiden

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A Look Behind the Scenes: Danish Renaissance Martial Arts during the Reign of Christian IV

Abstract

From the 4th – 7th of July 2016, the annual International Medieval Congress was held in Leeds, England. Among the many different sessions two specifically addressed historical European martial arts. The first session discussed and commented upon modern practices and interpretations of historical European martial arts, each paper being based on good practice and the proper criteria for academic research. The second session, in which this paper was presented, went more “behind the scenes”, discussing the importance of thorough analysis of the historical context which remains essential to forming a foundation for solid hypotheses and interpretations.

This article discusses and sheds light upon Danish historical martial art during the reign of the Danish King Christian IV (r.1588 to 1648). At this point in time Europe consisted of many small principalities in addition to a few larger states and kingdoms. Thoughts and ideas could spread as quickly as ripples in water but also be bound by political and religious alliances or enmities, plague, famine and not to mention the role also played by topographical and cultural differences. Thus, at times, vast cultural differences could be seen from region to region.

To this should be added a wide range of social factors, such as the role of relationships and mentalities, and the obeying of unspoken norms and codes which can also affect modern researchers’ interpretations of what is shown or described. Therefore, the aim of this article is to provide a series of “behind the scenes” examples which all have the potential to affect hypotheses, interpretations, and overall understandings of the context of historical European martial arts.

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Prologues, Poetry, Prose and Portrayals: The Purposes of Fifteenth Century Fight Books According to the Diplomatic Evidence

Abstract

Although by far the most popular use of fifteenth century Fight Books in recent years has been their application to the study of Historical European Martial Arts and interpretations of medieval combat, this manner of learning from them was rarely what their creators had in mind. The following paper, relying primarily on the materials produced by Fiore dei Liberi, Filippo Vadi, Hans Talhoffer, and the anonymous author of Le Jeu de la Hache, will address modern practice and its connection to the source material via a study of the diplomatics of fifteenth century Fight Books, that is to say common tropes that are definitive of the genre. This has been done through analysing the roles of three of these; the purposes of introductions, of the use of language relating to the employment of either a prose or poetic structure, and the importance of the relationships between texts and illustrations. Through this application of diplomatics to Fight Books, the paper shall demonstrate how modern claims regarding authenticity are often overstated and in need of moderation.

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Fighting with the Longsword: Modern-day HEMA Practices

Abstract

This article is based on the talk presented on 27th November 2016 in the course of the Journées d’études sur le costume et les simulateurs d’armes dans les pratiques d’arts martiaux anciens. The talk itself involved practical demonstrations and interaction with other presentations given at the event; this article does not purport to be a transcript of the presentation, but elaborates on the key themes of the presentation: The objectives of HEMA as a modern practice, and their relationship to what we know about the historical practice of the European martial arts in the Middle Ages, including physical fitness, fencing techniques and tactical awareness, based on the Fechtbücher extant. A key element of the discussion involved a comparison between the objectives of and drivers behind historical and modern tournament rule-sets.

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The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon

Abstract

Though Napoleonic warfare is usually associated with guns and cannons, edged weapons still played an important role on the battlefield. Swords and sabers could dominate battles and this was certainly the case in the hands of experienced cavalrymen. In contrast to gunshot wounds, wounds caused by the saber could be treated quite easily and caused fewer casualties. In 18th and 19th century France, not only manuals about the use of foil and epee were published, but also some important works on the military saber: de Saint Martin, Alexandre Muller… The saber was not only used in individual fights against the enemy, but also as a duelling weapon in the French army.

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Reaching Excellence: Staff Weapon Typologies, Contexts, and Fighting Techniques in the Collectanea of Pietro Monte

Abstract

The sixteenth-century Collectanea of the condottiero Pietro Monte contains some of the most thorough writings that exist pertaining to the use of staff weapons. A detailed study of how these weapons are categorised, contextualised, and used in Monte’s work can, due to their sometimes limited treatment in other fight books, allow for a comparative approach between Monte’s works and those of other fight book authors. Such a study allows for a more complete understanding of how Monte’s work fits in with the wider fight book genre, properly contextualising the Collectanea, and demonstrating to what extent this important but often overlooked text should be considered revolutionary or reflective of contemporary military and martial trends. In this article is discussed Monte’s approach to defining staff weapons, his contextualisation of staff weapons according to military and martial environments, and Monte’s teachings on the use of staff weapons.

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Limits of Understanding in the Study of Lost Martial Arts
Epistemological Reflections on the Mediality of Historical Records of Technique and the Status of Modern (Re-)Constructions

doctorat, Université de Genève, 2013). Jaquet, Daniel, ‘Entre jeux de mains et jeux de mots: faire l'expérience ou expérimenter les gestes d'après les textes techniques. Reproduire ou répliquer les objets…’, in Expérimenter le maniement des armes à la fin du Moyen Age: Experimente zur Waffenhandhabung im Spätmittelalter , ed. by Daniel Jaquet and Nicolas Baptiste, Itinera, 39 (Basel: Schwabe, 2016), 11–18. Jaquet, Daniel, ‘Experimenting Historical European Martial Arts, a Scientific Method?’, in Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books: Transmission and

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The art of fighting under glass: Review of museum exhibitions displaying fight books, 1968-2017

Abstract

A growing body of research on fight books and historical European martial arts has appeared in academic circles over the last fifteen years. It has also broken through the doors of patrimonial institutions. From curiosities in exhibitions about knighthood, to dedicated temporary exhibitions about historical European martial arts, the fight books have received more and more attention from museum professionals. This article attempts to present an exhaustive list of fight books displayed in museum exhibitions over the last fifty years. It then proposes a critical view about how and why they were displayed from the perspective of the curators, based on a review of the exhibition catalogues.

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Constriction – Construction, a short history of specialised wearing apparel for athletic activities from the fourteenth century to nineteenth century

Abstract

During the twentieth century, clothing permits a real freedom of bodily movement. However, when examining past athletic activity, we must take into account the period approach to the body: liberty of movement is at the same time controlled by morality, gestures and clothing. The French term “tenue” initially referred to behaviour, but since the end of the eighteenth century concerns the manner of dressing, and later by extension, the “dignity of conduct”. In the past times concerned with “sporting” activities such as the HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), physical appearance is affected by rules of etiquette imposed by morality and civility. From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, each period offers a different overview of the dress standards in relation to the different approaches to corporal identity, and the constriction first necessary for military activities becomes indivisible from the moral and physical construction. As a practitioner of the 21st century, the question raises about our relationship, not only with our bodies but also with past cultures. As demonstrated by some concrete examples, if it is desired to fully approach the ancient practices, it is therefore necessary to also adopt the garment, in the same way as the accessories.

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