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[[Image:Cod Wallerstein 10.jpg|thumb|300x300px|The first page of the [[Codex Wallerstein]] shows the typical arms of 15th century [[fencing]]|link=http://media.bibliothek.uni-augsburg.de/file/82640/686792556212.png]]
'''Historical European martial arts ''' is a neologism describing martial arts of European origin, used particularly to refer to arts formerly practised, but having since died out or evolved into very different forms. Modern reconstructions of some of these arts exist and are practiced today. Historical European martial arts are often known as "Western martial arts".
== Antiquity to High Middle Ages (before 1350) ==
There are no known manuals predating the Late Middle Ages (except for fragmentary instructions on Greek wrestling), although Ancient and Medieval literature (e.g. Icelandic sagas and Middle High German epics) record specific martial deeds and military knowledge; in addition, historical artwork depicts combat and weaponry (e.g. the Bayeux tapestry, the Morgan Bible). Some researchers have attempted to reconstruct older fighting methods such as [[Pankration]] and gladiator|gladiatorial combat by reference to these sources and practical experimentation, though such recreations necessarily remain more speculative than those based on actual instructions.
[[Image:MS I33 04v.jpg|thumb|left|300x300px|Fol. 4v of the I.33]]
The so-called [[Liber de Arte Dimicatoria (MS I.33)|MS I.33]] (also known as the Walpurgis or Tower Fechtbuch), dated to between ca. 1290 (by Alphonse Lhotsky) and the early to mid-14th century (by R. Leng, of the University of Würzburg), is the oldest surviving [[fechtbuch]], teaching [[sword]] and [[buckler]] combat.
== Late Middle Ages (1350 to 1500) ==
[[Image:MS 44 A 8 1v.jpg|thumb|300x300px|[[Longsword]] guards (1452 manuscript)]]
The central figure of late Medieval martial arts, at least in Germany, is [[Johannes Liechtenauer]]. Though no manuscript written by him is known to survive, his teachings were first recorded in the late 14th century [[MS 3227a]]. From the 15th century into the 17th, numerous ''Fechtbücher'' (German "fencing-books") were produced, of which some 55 are extant; a great many of these describe methods descended from Liechtenauer's.
Normally, several modes of combat were taught alongside one another, typically unarmed [[grappling]] (''Kampfringen'' or ''abrazare''), [[dagger]] (''Degen'' or ''daga'', often of the [[Rondel (dagger)|rondel]] variety), long knife (''[[grosses messer|Messer]]'') or [[Dussack]], half- or [[quarterstaff]], [[pole arms]], [[longsword]] (''langes Schwert'', ''spada longa'', ''spadone''), and combat in [[plate armour]] (''[[Harnischfechten]]'' or ''armazare''), both on foot and on horseback.  Some ''Fechtbücher'' have sections on dueling shields (''[[Stechschild]]''), special weapons used only in judicial duels. The long sword had a position of honour among these disciplines, and sometimes '''Historical European Swordsmanship''' ('''HES''') is used to refer to swordsmanship techniques specifically.
Important 15th century German fencing masters include [[Sigmund Ringeck]], [[Peter von Danzig]], [[Hans Talhoffer]] and [[Paulus Kal]], all of whom taught the teachings of Liechtenauer. From the late 15th century, there were "brotherhoods" of fencers (''Fechtbruderschaften''), most notably the [[Marx brothers]] (attested 1474) and the [[Federfechter]].
An early Burgundian French treatise is [[Le jeu de la hache]] ("The Play of the Axe") of ca. 1400.
The earliest master to write in the Italian language was [[Fiore dei Liberi]], commissioned by the Marquis di Ferrara. In approximately 1410, he documented comprehensive fighting techniques in a treatise entitled [[Flos Duellatorum]] covering grappling, dagger, arming sword, longsword, pole-weapons, armoured combat and mounted combat. The Italian school is continued by [[Filippo Vadi]] (1482–1487) and [[Pietro Monte]] (1492, Latin with Italian and Spanish terms)
Three early (before [[George Silver|Silver]]) natively English swordplay texts exist, all very obscure and of uncertain date; they are generally thought to belong to the latter half of the [[15th century]].
== Early Modern period (1500 to 1700) ==
[[Image:Fechtende adelige Studenten um 1590.jpg|thumb|250px|Students fencing with rapier and dagger, ca. 1590]]
[[Image:Girard_Thibault_-_Academie_de_l-Espee_1628_Met__museum.jpg|thumb|300px|left|''Academie de l-Espee'' (Girard Thibault, 1628)]]
In the 16th century, compendia of older ''Fechtbücher'' techniques were produced, some of them printed, notably by [[Paulus Hector Mair]] (in the 1540s) and by [[Joachim Meyer]] (in the 1570s).
In the 16th century German fencing had developed sportive tendencies. The treatises of Paulus Hector Mair and Joachim Meyer derived from the teachings of the earlier centuries within the Liechtenauer tradition, but with new and distinctive characteristics. The printed fechtbuch of [[Jacob Sutor]] (1612) is one of the last in the German tradition.
The Italian school is continued by the [[Dardi school]], with masters such as [[Antonio Manciolino]] and [[Achille Marozzo]]. From the late 16th century, Italian [[rapier]] fencing attained considerable popularity all over Europe, notably with the treatise by [[Salvator Fabris]] (1606).
* [[Antonio Manciolino]]  (1531) (Italian)
* [[Achille Marozzo]] (1536) (Italian)
* [[Angelo Viggiani]] (1551) (Italian)
* [[Camillo Agrippa]] (1553) (Italian)
* [[Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza]] (1569) (Spanish)
* [[Giacomo Di Grassi]]  (1570) (Italian)
* [[Giovanni Dall’Agocchie]]  (1572) (Italian)
* [[Henry de Sainct-Didier]]  (1573) (French)
* [[Frederico Ghisliero]]  (1587) (Italian)
* [[Vincentio Saviolo]]  (1590) (Italian)
* [[George Silver]]  (1599) (English)
* [[Luis Pacheco de Narváez]] (1600) (Spanish)
* [[Salvator Fabris]] (1606) (Italian)
* [[Nicoletto Giganti]] (1606) (Italian)
* [[Ridolfo Capo Ferro|Ridolfo Capoferro]] (1610) (Italian)
* [[Joseph Swetnam]]  (1617) (English)
* [[Francesco Alfieri]] (1640) (Italian)
* [[Francesco Antonio Marcelli]] (1686) (Italian)
* [[Bondi' di Mazo]] (1696) (Italian)
== Modern period (1700 to 1918) ==
[[Image:Dendrono - Der fechtende Student.jpg|thumb|300px|Academic fencing (1725 etching)]]
[[Image:Tubinger Mensur 1831.jpg|thumb|300px|left|Academic fencing (1831 painting)]]
[[Image:Muhlberg - Sabelmensur.jpg|thumb|300px|Transition to modern sports fencing: sabre fencing around 1900.]]
The martial arts of the post-Renaissance period can be divided roughly into civilian duelling/self defence, sporting and military applications.  There is considerable overlap between these classifications, however, in that some systems fit into more than one category.
Examples of martial arts practiced primarily by the military during this period include [[bayonet]] fencing, [[sabre]] fencing and the use of the lance by cavalry soldiers.
The duelling and self-defence categories include [[smallsword]] and late styles of rapier fencing, [[walking-stick]] fighting (including Irish [[bata]] or [[shillelagh]], French [[la canne]] and English singlestick or cane) and [[Bartitsu]] (an early hybrid of Eastern and Western schools popularized at the turn of the 20th century).  In regional areas of Europe, two-handed [[stick]] and [[Quarterstaff|staff]] fighting methods had an important self defence purpose, as they had for centuries previously.
European combat sports of the 1700s to early 1900s include [[boxing]], numerous regional forms of [[wrestling]], the French kickboxing art of [[Savate]], quarterstaff and [[singlestick]] fencing as well as two-handed [[longstick]] or [[greatstick]] fighting methods such as [[Jogo do Pau]], [[Juego del Palo]], [[Makila]], [[Bâton français]] and [[Bastone Siciliano]].
Some existing forms of European martial arts and combat sports can traced to direct teacher-student lineages from the [[19th century]].  Notable examples include the French [[kickboxing]] art of [[savate]], the methods of [[la canne]] and [[Bâton français]], Portuguese [[Jogo do Pau]], Italian Paranza or Bastone Siciliano and some styles of Canarian [[Juego del Palo]].  In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the greatstick (pau/bâton/bastone) was employed by some Portuguese, French and Italian military academies as a method of exercise, recreation and as preparation for bayonet training.
Direct continuity between the 18th and 19th centuries is often more difficult to establish, but can be assumed by necessity: not least because the terminology of modern [[fencing]] is directly based on that introduced by [[Henry de Sainct-Didier]] in 1573.  Likewise, [[academic fencing]] has a continuous tradition from the 16th century to the present day.
== Reconstruction ==
In the late 19th century, all across Europe, there was an explosion of interest in historical fighting arts. In Germany, Karl Wassmannsdorf conducted research on the German school that is still referred to today and Gustav Hergsell reprinted three of Hans Talhoffer's manuals. In France there was the work of the Academie D'Armes circa 1880-1914.
In England, Egerton Castle and Alfred Hutton wrote pioneering books on the history of swordsmanship, and Cyril Matthey republished Silver's ''Paradoxes of Defence'' and ''Brief Instructions''. All three took an interest in the practical side of interpretation, giving public demonstrations of reconstructed techniques. Italy had Jacopo Gelli and Francesco Novati, who published a facsimile of the "Flos Duellatorum" of [[Fiore dei Liberi]], and Giuseppe Cerri, whose book on the Bastone drew inspiration from the two-handed sword of [[Achille Marozzo]]. Spain had Baron Leguina, whose bibliography of Spanish swordsmanship is still a standard reference today.
Throughout the 20th century a small number of researchers, principally academics with access to some of the sources continued exploring the field of historical European martial arts from a largely academic perspective.  Interest in physically interpreting the texts was largely dormant during the post-war period however due to a number of factors, including limited access to the historical texts, distance and a lack of effective communication.
During the 1970s a number of important things happened that would spark the modern revival of Historical European Martial Arts. The spread of medievalist groups (living-history and re-enactment groups) played a role in spurring interest in researching and recreating medieval fighting methods.
In 1972, James Jackson published a book called ''Three Elizabethan Manuals of Fence''. This work reprinted the works of [[George Silver]], [[Giacomo di Grassi]], and [[Vincentio Saviolo]].  In 1975, Martin Wierschin published a transcription of [[Sigmund Ringeck]]'s Fechtbuch, along with a glossary of terms and a bibliography of German fencing manuals. In turn, this led to the publication of Hans-Peter Hils' seminal work on [[Johannes Liechtenauer]] in 1985.
Across the United States and Europe, small numbers of isolated researchers independently began researching Historical European Martial Arts in earnest. In the 1980s and 1990s, Patri J. Pugliese began making photocopies of historical treatises available to interested parties, greatly spurring on research. 1994 saw the rise of the Hammerterz Forum, a publication devoted entirely to the history of swordsmanship. Hammerterz Forum laid the foundations for a community of interest, and was the means by which many researchers came to know of one another's existence.
The Historical European Martial Art internet revolution also begun during the 1990s. Websites and E-mail lists began to appear on the web, as well as transcriptions and translations of some of the historical texts.  During the late 1990s, translations and interpretations of historical sources began appearing in print, complementing the growing body of content available online.  Finally, the appearance of various internet forums played a key role in creating a global sense of community among researchers and practitioners.
Today there are strong and flourishing Historical European Martial Arts communities throughout Europe, North America, many parts of Asia and Australasia.  Since 1999 a number of these groups have held the [[Western Martial arts Workshop (WMAW)]] in the United States.  In 2000 The [[Association for Renaissance Martial Arts]] (ARMA) held the Inaugural Swordplay Symposium International conference. The [[Higgins Armory Museum]]is a major center of research and teaching in HEMA. In 2001 the [[Historical European Martial arts Coalition]] (HEMAC) was created to act as an umbrella organization for groups in Europe.  Since 2002, HEMAC has organized the annual ''[[International Historical European Martial arts Gathering]]'' in [[Dijon]], [[France]].  In 2003, the [[Australian Historical Swordplay Federation]] became the umbrella organization for groups in Australia, and an annual Australian Historical Swordplay Convention has been hosted and attended by diverse Australian groups since 1999.  In the United States, the [[Historical European Martial Arts Alliance]] (HEMAA) is the largest martial arts federation dedicated to the study of Historical European Martial Arts. Comprised of dozens of independent martial arts schools and clubs throughout the world, the Alliance provides its affiliates with liability insurance, curriculum assistance, educational accreditation, and other services.
The number of Historical European Martial Arts schools and study groups continues to grow each year, as does the number of publications, translations and interpretive material. 
== Literature ==
*Anglo, Sydney. ''The Martial arts of Renaissance Europe''. Yale University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-300-08352-1
*Terry Brown, ''English Martial arts'' (2002) Anglo-Saxon Books, ISBN 1-898281-29-7
*John Clements, ''Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated Methods and Techniques''. Paladin Press, 1998). ISBN 1-58160-004-6
*John Clements, ''Renaissance Swordsmanship : The Illustrated Book Of Rapiers And Cut And Thrust Swords And Their Use''. Paladin Press, 1997. ISBN 0-87364-919-2
*John Clements, et al. ''Masters of Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts: Rediscovering The Western Combat Heritage''.  Paladin Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-58160-668-3
*Gaugler, William. ''The History of Fencing : Foundations of Modern European Fencing''. Laureate Press, 1997. ISBN 1-884528-16-3
*Hans Heim & Alex Kiermayer, ''The Longsword of Johannes Liechtenauer'', Part I (DVD), ISBN 1-891448-20-X
*Tommaso Leoni, ''The Art of Dueling''  (2005), ISBN 1-891448-23-4
*David James Knight and Brian Hunt, ''Polearms of Paulus Hector Mair'', Paladin Press (2008), ISBN 978-1-58160-644-7.
*David Lindholm & Peter Svärd, ''Sigmund Ringeck's Knightly Art of the Longsword'', Paladin Press (2003), ISBN 1-58160-410-6
*David Lindholm & Peter Svärd. ''Knightly Arts of Combat - Sigmund Ringeck's Sword and Buckler Fighting, Wrestling, and Fighting in Armor''. Paladin Press, 2006. ISBN 1-58160-499-8
*David Lindholm, ''Fighting with the Quarterstaff'', (2006), ISBN 1-891448-36-6
*Brian R. Price, ed. ''Teaching & Interpreting Historical Swordsmanship'' (2005), ISBN 1-891448-46-3
*Christopher Thompson, ''Lannaireachd: Gaelic Swordsmanship'' (2001), ISBN 1-59109-236-1
*Christian Henry Tobler, ''Secrets of German Medieval Swordsmanship''  (2001), ISBN 1-891448-07-2
*Christian Henry Tobler, ''Fighting with the German Longsword''  (2004), ISBN 1-891448-24-2
*Jason Vail, ''Medieval and Renaissance Dagger Combat'' (2006) Paladin Press
*Guy Windsor,  ''The Swordsman's Companion: A Modern Training Manual for Medieval Longsword'' (2004), ISBN 1-891448-41-2
*Grzegorz Żabiński and Bartlomiej Walczak. ''The Codex Wallerstein : A Medieval Fighting Book from the Fifteenth Century on the Longsword, Falchion, Dagger, and Wrestling''. Paladin Press, 2002. ISBN 1-58160-339-8
== See also ==
*[[German school of swordsmanship]]
*[[Italian school of swordsmanship]]
*[[English school of swordsmanship]]
*[[Spanish school of swordsmanship]]
[[Category:General Information]]

Latest revision as of 22:29, 12 September 2016