• Fencing

    Lichtenauer in context

    I have given this about intent and force some thought, and its about context. The norm in todays HEMA is a dueling situation, its how the manuscripts depict things, its how its easiest to train and its how competitions arranged.

    In that context, not using the space, going on strong, may not always be the obvious choice. But if you put Lichtenauer in another context, in a real battle, it makes much more sense. If you look at the Lichtenauers fechtbuch in the light of being in the ranks on a battle field, than it makes becomes much more clear that you shall strike as soon as you are within distance, and continuing going for openings, even if you miss the first strike. Cause there is no way but forward as you may have a 1000 men in your back pushing on. There is no backing up, and if you are starting to, you will be dead, there is no space. There is most likley no time either, you need to win ground, you need to be ahead of your opponent. And you will come into grappling distance, cause your opponent will not either have space to back up.

    I haven’t studied Meyers longsword that much yet, but it would be interesting to see how it differs. I think I heard that he goes straight to technics and doesnt really go in to the philosophy on the mindset on how to fence. Which also makes sense if its more of a duel fight, you dont need the same mindset as in a battlefield.

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  • Fencing

    Toughts on todays longsword training

    Today at longsword training we had sparring exercises. Im not to fond of the sparring sessions, dont get me wrong, I think sparring is great, but the thing is I really need to work on my technics in longsword. I know the theory and I know in my mind what I want to do, but I dont have it in my body, I need more practice, and then the sparring gets, well, floppy.

    Also in slow sparring I have a hard time doing it correctly, cause I just put up guards and dont really dare to do it properly. So I was slow-sparring with a guy and he was like “well your issue seems opposite to mine, you are not very offensive” and I was like, Im holding back, cause we are slow sparring. So then next exchange I put on some intent, and the poor boy was like “holy hell your fast”.

    And then I got into the usual argument about people thinking Im getting in too close, and grappling and I dont agree on backing up. I agree I should use my feet more, stepping side ways, but not about stepping back (unless in particular situations).

    I can see that some dont understand, cause at the moment I get alot of doubled, and reason is that Im lacking in technic and reaction. But I am of firm belief that if I train that I will be in advantaged, I just needing to learn to block and cut/thrust in same movement. Because when I know it, I can always adjust my tempo, speed, force ect As I am certain its easier to pull it down than if you always train abit defensive and backing, to wamp it up.

     

     

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  • Manuscript

    Walther Marx Jousting Manuscript

    A friend linked to a jousting manuscript I hadn’t seen before and Im so happy he did. I found some things I found hilarious, and also some curious. The manuscript is written by a Walther Marx between 1506 and 1511 and it records Walthers jousting between 1477 and 1489. Apparently its quite unique as Walther was a merchant, and not a noble man, and its rare for a jousting knight.  The manuscript is linked in the library

    I want to see more of these donkey-eared servants? children? on todays event. They look like so much fun!

    This is also apparently something unique for this manuscript. A joust of peasants! Mark their straw armor and no saddles!

     

    And then there is this! A jousting knight with a monkey! Not just with a monkey, a knight falling of his horse with the monkey just sitting chilling. I love it. Its just hilarious!

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  • Horses

    Finally fun to ride

    I cannot believe how much it is to ride now when I have Talhoffer. It so much more I can do. Today we worked on the shoulder in on the serpentines, and then also in canter. It was far from perfect, before I just had to take what I was given, but now I could be like “what if I straighten my leg, in this moment?” or “what if I put my leg on when the back leg steps” and just –  hallelujah moment. Realizing I can experiment! And Talhoffer is just so amazing. He really tries!

    He is also starting to like show himself, being more comfortable, and playful. Which is fun, but not equally fun that he is starting using his teeth more and more. But we get there.

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  • Training

    Rossfechten with non-riders

    I am of the device that if you want something done; you have to do it yourself. And there are very few (read as: none) to train rossfechten with in Gothenburg and the knowledge and understanding of rossfechten among regular fencers are very limited. So I checked with my fencing group if there where any takers on a small practical and theoretical introduction. And 4 people said yes!

    Its a bit weird that it is easier to get fencers who have never been on a horse before to try it, then get non-fencing riders to ride with a sword. Even though swords and lances can be very good tools to improve your “normal” riding, but oh well.

    Said and done, on Sunday we met up in the stable and I tried to convey the concept and how fencing and riding is connected. Since this was a crash course in riding, with people whos experience with riding extended to pony rides as children, I tried to relate it to the fencing, in hope of it to be easier for the fencers to understand.
    Riding wise my main focus was turning, cause that a fast lane to understanding the hip aid, and its also the fundamental in rossfechten. So first task was to ride in an eight around poles, mainly using hip and leg aid, which they managed surprisingly good for being first time and on Mod who is not that happy to move forward at all.
    When body was somewhat tuned into the horse we continued to a swords and also some lancing. The thought was never that to get them good at the various plays, but to get a grasp on how timing, dynamic and distance is very different on horse back but doing so using real plays from the manuscripts. In the very end I got Talhoffer and they got at least to see and get some feel of two horses together.

    All in all it was a fun day. I wanted to show that rossfechten is NOT about rushing towards each others just bashing swords, that real rossfechten is about control and being in-sync with horse, using the horse movement in the fencing. And I think I managed that.
    The guys seemed happy and did not looked to overwhelmed leaving, so hopefully it will be at least four less people I wont be hearing saying things like “You only do cuts from horseback”.

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  • Shows

    Show at Bohus Fästning

    This morning I loaded the trailer with horse and uniform and went the 10 minute ride to Bohus fästning where we were to perform with Bohus Elfsborgs Karoliner at the summer season opening of Bohus fästning.

    Mod was in a really, maybe not bad, but weird mood from the beginning. He did not want to stand still during preparation, and reacting to things he normally will not react to, so I don’t know what was with him. Our first thing was just to walk up to the fortress and then stand for a canon salute. Mod did really well, we hadn’t really practiced that much with canons this spring, but he reacted a little but not that much.

    However, later we were walking up to the fortress, standing in our line and then do our formations drill. Then suddenly he couldn’t stand in a line, he was just backing up. I think maybe he was expecting the canons, but I don’t know. Its like, formations we do all the time, we never have a problem with that, but it only shows, its animals we work with, not machines. But then when we started to walk, it went better.

    The third performance went okay as well, he only fell out one time, once again, when we where standing on a line, but then we went over to coloums on three and then it went fine. We went trough infantry, and that was no problem at all.

    People always look at Mod and says he is so calm and nice, nothing could ever be a problem with him, but the thing he no herd mentality which means that when he think it gets to much, he just barge away from it. So I dont ever want to push him to much, especially with audience, or in a new surrounding, cause if he decides, enough is enough, I cant stop him. And he does find the shots difficult.

    But all in all, it went good. I had a fun day with my friends and horses. Me and Matilda went on a very nice ride around the fortress, really beautiful surroundings and basking sun! Just wished it could been longer!

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  • Shows

    First show of the summer

    Tomorrow is the first if this summers performances. Its the season start for the fortress Bohus Fästning so it will be lots of activites and we will have two shows, one with just formations drills and one battle. Since Mod is not fully gun-proof and we havent trained with firearms at all this spring I said I will participate on the condition on only ride in the drill part.

    I remember last year on the first shows I was a part in. I was so nervous, just not about the show, but going away, just running trough my head time I need to go, things to pack and so on. Now, its totally different, I now time and place to be there, the rest will be figured out when I get there. I had almost forgot it was tomorrow, that is how little thought I give it, the feeling is almost just like its an ordinary training. But I guess its experience, I know whats expected, I know what we are doing, I know the drills.

    That is the good thing about Mod, I know how he behaves. First time Ill be going away with Tallhoffer on a show I will probably be a little more on my toes.

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  • Horses

    Long week and escaping ponies

    This weeks has been long, I dont really know why, but I felt tired. My back hurted really bad for the first time in while this monday. It could be cause I rode Mod on Sunday, so I actually did something I selldom do. I skipped training…

    I went to the dance class, but I skipped the sword training. Although on monday we were to have Ringen training, which I really need, but I also find it abit scary with my bad back. But I really needed that evening off (or evening, I got home at 1930). But I for once got sometime of beeing hously.

    Then before swording on Tuesday I had to put the horse-time on checking the paddock as they are digging cables and I had to check the ground. And then yesterday we had a dinner for a colluege at work that is leaving, so late evening again.

    Its like I just want to spend time with my horse! And apprently he is getting bored to cause when my help in the stable was there in the afternoon he came trotting into the stable by himself. Leaving intact fence and a bewildered Mod.

    Its like, no, just no…I cant have a fence jumping horse! So before they been given their dinner outside but now they will have it with the other horses indoors. Hopefully that will stop the breaking out tendency…

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  • Training

    Talhoffers first cavalry training

    I just cant believe what golden gem I have! He is unbelievable!

    Sunday is cavalry training, and I brought Talhoffer to participate in the first, beginners, session and my helper Camilla took Mod. First session is only formation in walk, and sometimes trot and maybe canter depending on the horses participating. For most part a totally new horse will not really go close together with the others, but will slowly move closer and closer. When I started with Mod, it took several times until he walked at ease in the middle or in the first row. Granted, I was not as knowledgeable as I am now, but still. Talhoffer, sure he thought it was a bit weird, and he shyed a few times, but in all, he walked in the formation. We could both be on the inside, outside and in a line, and in the end we even did it in trot, and could hold our position fairly well. I am just, speechless!

    What I am also so happy with is that I really worked with his shoulders to calm him down. When he gets nervous he speeds up, and to calm him down I am working on moving his shoulders and crossing his legs, in very small shoulder- in an travers, cause I dont want or need to pull the reins. In the end we really found each other, and I could sit with literally nothing in my hands and still calm him down.

    Second session we had training on the field, where we was practicing a new scenario where we are attacking a tent camp. I let Talhoffer sit out that one, and I rode Mod, and then another had an extra horse, so Camilla got to ride a western horse. It was such a great afternoon. We charged over the field back and forth, and Mod was cantering with the others. Then we got to stab down the tents, and in the end on of the tents was burning! It was just so much fun.
    Unfortunately we will miss that performance as me and Talhoffer is going to Germany then, but it was still great practise!

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  • Horses

    Talhoffer first clinic

    Go big or go home, right?

    So after just one week after I got Talhoffer home we where arranging a weekend clinic with Arne Koets. Since it was arranged at the place we have our cavalry reenactment group, the focus was on horses vs foot people. Trying also to raise some interest among the regular HEMA fencers for rossfechten.

    First day I had one single lesson with Talhoffer, where we just focused on me and him finding each other. He i very flexible in his body and has a very poor posture, and a back that is like a banana at the moment. So lots of shoulder in, and just trying to raise the back and getting him to find the right posture for his body. But it is fun to see the video, cause even though I get a bit flustered with myself, I am constantly grinning. Just looking so happy! In the afternoon we did a triple lesson, where the focus for my part was getting him used to riding with the other horses, riding towards them and then they got to do passades with and without lances, and I was just walking and trotting calmly amidst it.

    Second day we had a group lesson with both horses and foot people. Here I was not asking anything of Talhoffer, other then that he was to follow the other horses and much as possible and then walk around calmly on a distance he felt okay with. He did so good. First time with people running around with sticks, horses cantering all over the place, I could not ask for more than that he was keeping calm.

    In the afternoon we had a single lesson again. It was the last thing of the day, and I really felt that my mind was complety burnt out. I was so mentally tired and had no patience what so ever. Talhoffer started with that he refused to step on lines that had been made from the previous riders garrocha work and I was just, I cant take this right now. But Arne was smart and put out cones for us to ride around and after a while both me and the horse totally forgot about the lines and calmed down. It was not the best lesson, my back was stiff, which you can see in the video I keep falling forward, Im tired, the horse is tired. But we made trough it and even with those circumstances it still felt a whole lot better than most of Mods lessons.

    All in all I was so impressed with Talhoffer. He just moved a week ago, and then he travel again to a new place, with new horses, doing hard work, both for the body and the head, and he never just shuts down, he just goes with it! And sure he jumped a few times, but then he calmed down immidietly. He really is a golden dream horse!

     

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