Medieval martial art?

BrendanF

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This looks fun !

It sure does. I often wonder though - the people involved talk about 'fighting' and seem invested in the idea that they are doing 'medieval fighting'. However, like Kendo, when creating an armoured, sword fighting 'sport' one must necessarily require strikes to be directed at the protected areas - 'men, do, kote (etc)' in kendo.

Similarly with these 'fights' they seem to consist essentially of bashing each other wherever, and imparting as much percussive force in order to cause the opponent to fall - either using one's 'weapon' or simply through tackling. As the fall is the point scoring element that makes sense.. I suppose those interested in trying to learn to actually fight probably also study some form of HEMA, and do their best to re-imagine the essential components of training.
 

Tony Dismukes

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The armored MMA sport is generally referred to as buhurt. Its not any sort of accurate simulation of how armored combatants actually fought on the medieval battlefield. In warfare against heavily armored opponents you either have to target unarmored areas, use weapons capable of inflicting injury through the armor, or take them down so you can access gaps in the armor. (Hint, swords are not for the most part capable of penetrating metal armor.)

That said, buhurt has some historical basis as a tournament sport. There were occasions where heavily armored knights would bash each other around with blunted weapons, with no intention of killing each other, for prizes and prestige, although Id have to do some research to determine how much the actual rules resembled modern buhurt. I suspect its probable that such competition had value for developing toughness and fighting spirit, even if the specific tactics and techniques diverged from battlefield use.

Most HEMA practitioners today are studying arts which were primarily intended for civilian, unarmored usage. (Or military usage in the era when gunpowder had rendered armor mostly obsolete.) That means we can compete relatively safely using the actual historical techniques by using blunted swords and protective gear.

There are people studying historical techniques for fighting in armor (harnischfechten), but it seems like there is a limit to how realistically you could do anything like sparring, because the whole point of the techniques was to defeat the protective gear and kill the person inside.

I guess I should also add that there are technical overlaps in all these systems. Wrestling is important in armored fighting, unarmored fighting, and tournament play. Good footwork, body structure, covering the lines of attack, power generation, and so on, are universal. But there are also important differences.
 

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I really enjoyed the series Knight Fight on History channel. I think I might have been the only person who watched it, because it didn't get renewed. :D
 

lklawson

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Most HEMA practitioners today are studying arts which were primarily intended for civilian, unarmored usage. (Or military usage in the era when gunpowder had rendered armor mostly obsolete.)
A recent interest of mine in Body Armor in WWII led me down some very interesting armor paths in relationship to firearms and personal armor, particularly as it over-lapped with various melee weapons. I looked at reports and tests for personal armor starting back at Emperor Maximillian's armor, Napoleonic Hussar breastplates, various "soft" body armors (often made with silk), on up through WWII's Doron plates.

I even read a fascinating book from just after WWI on the officially sanctioned personal armor of various national militarizes. Seems most of the WWI participants had specifications for personal armor which included the details of the steel metallurgy to be used, plate thicknesses, and what small arms they were supposed to be able to resist at given ranges (resistance to rifle fire was usually at several hundred yards).

These periods overlapped sabers, maces, bayonets, etc. WWI in particular saw the use of lots of "Trench Weapons" including maces, short swords, knives, even "pistol bayonets." Despite being officially sanctioned by most nations for their soldiers and generally effective against melee weapons and handguns, hard armor (almost always steel plate not too unlike the AR500 steel plates used by many modern armies) were generally eschewed by most soldiers (outside of their helmets), most often because of the weight. By WWII, the fiber-glass and epoxy composite Doron Plates began to see a bit of interest but they couldn't be rolled out soon enough to have a major impact. The use of 1/8" thick Doron plates continued into both the Korean Conflict and somewhat into the Vietnam Conflict, where they were reported to be effective against knife attacks, and pistol ammunition, including the high-velocity 7.62x25 fired from the PPSh "burp guns" (which offered a longer barrel and therefore more velocity).

But attempts to cover more than just the torso with armor seem to have mostly died out some time before the Napoleonic period and WWI attempts to revive the practice were hindered by the shortcomings of the armor available in terms of weight and mobility restrictions for the desired protection level (essentially what we would consider NIJ IV today).

I have occasionally thought it would be amusing to re-create the 1/8" Doron Plates and set the mold forms to copy Star Wars Storm Trooper armor, then paint it white. It should be light enough and the design is actually fairly articulate and would roughly approximate NIJ Level II to IIIa while offering a good deal of stab resistance. But it sounds like way more effort than I want to put into something just for lulz.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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caped crusader

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A recent interest of mine in Body Armor in WWII led me down some very interesting armor paths in relationship to firearms and personal armor, particularly as it over-lapped with various melee weapons. I looked at reports and tests for personal armor starting back at Emperor Maximillian's armor, Napoleonic Hussar breastplates, various "soft" body armors (often made with silk), on up through WWII's Doron plates.

I even read a fascinating book from just after WWI on the officially sanctioned personal armor of various national militarizes. Seems most of the WWI participants had specifications for personal armor which included the details of the steel metallurgy to be used, plate thicknesses, and what small arms they were supposed to be able to resist at given ranges (resistance to rifle fire was usually at several hundred yards).

These periods overlapped sabers, maces, bayonets, etc. WWI in particular saw the use of lots of "Trench Weapons" including maces, short swords, knives, even "pistol bayonets." Despite being officially sanctioned by most nations for their soldiers and generally effective against melee weapons and handguns, hard armor (almost always steel plate not too unlike the AR500 steel plates used by many modern armies) were generally eschewed by most soldiers (outside of their helmets), most often because of the weight. By WWII, the fiber-glass and epoxy composite Doron Plates began to see a bit of interest but they couldn't be rolled out soon enough to have a major impact. The use of 1/8" thick Doron plates continued into both the Korean Conflict and somewhat into the Vietnam Conflict, where they were reported to be effective against knife attacks, and pistol ammunition, including the high-velocity 7.62x25 fired from the PPSh "burp guns" (which offered a longer barrel and therefore more velocity).

But attempts to cover more than just the torso with armor seem to have mostly died out some time before the Napoleonic period and WWI attempts to revive the practice were hindered by the shortcomings of the armor available in terms of weight and mobility restrictions for the desired protection level (essentially what we would consider NIJ IV today).

I have occasionally thought it would be amusing to re-create the 1/8" Doron Plates and set the mold forms to copy Star Wars Storm Trooper armor, then paint it white. It should be light enough and the design is actually fairly articulate and would roughly approximate NIJ Level II to IIIa while offering a good deal of stab resistance. But it sounds like way more effort than I want to put into something just for lulz.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Good post and even modern soldiers wear plates. I remember we wore a vest(under our combat jacket) in N Ireland with a plate on your back and chest.
I suppose it織s a bit of security, was too young and dumb to really care. The WW1 guys had some inventions too.
 

Steve

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A recent interest of mine in Body Armor in WWII led me down some very interesting armor paths in relationship to firearms and personal armor, particularly as it over-lapped with various melee weapons. I looked at reports and tests for personal armor starting back at Emperor Maximillian's armor, Napoleonic Hussar breastplates, various "soft" body armors (often made with silk), on up through WWII's Doron plates.

I even read a fascinating book from just after WWI on the officially sanctioned personal armor of various national militarizes. Seems most of the WWI participants had specifications for personal armor which included the details of the steel metallurgy to be used, plate thicknesses, and what small arms they were supposed to be able to resist at given ranges (resistance to rifle fire was usually at several hundred yards).

These periods overlapped sabers, maces, bayonets, etc. WWI in particular saw the use of lots of "Trench Weapons" including maces, short swords, knives, even "pistol bayonets." Despite being officially sanctioned by most nations for their soldiers and generally effective against melee weapons and handguns, hard armor (almost always steel plate not too unlike the AR500 steel plates used by many modern armies) were generally eschewed by most soldiers (outside of their helmets), most often because of the weight. By WWII, the fiber-glass and epoxy composite Doron Plates began to see a bit of interest but they couldn't be rolled out soon enough to have a major impact. The use of 1/8" thick Doron plates continued into both the Korean Conflict and somewhat into the Vietnam Conflict, where they were reported to be effective against knife attacks, and pistol ammunition, including the high-velocity 7.62x25 fired from the PPSh "burp guns" (which offered a longer barrel and therefore more velocity).

But attempts to cover more than just the torso with armor seem to have mostly died out some time before the Napoleonic period and WWI attempts to revive the practice were hindered by the shortcomings of the armor available in terms of weight and mobility restrictions for the desired protection level (essentially what we would consider NIJ IV today).

I have occasionally thought it would be amusing to re-create the 1/8" Doron Plates and set the mold forms to copy Star Wars Storm Trooper armor, then paint it white. It should be light enough and the design is actually fairly articulate and would roughly approximate NIJ Level II to IIIa while offering a good deal of stab resistance. But it sounds like way more effort than I want to put into something just for lulz.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
While this is clearly just my opinion, I really, really, really think you need to make some Doron plate stormtrooper armor. I mean... that sounds like both the coolest and nerdiest idea I've heard in a very long time.
 

lklawson

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I even read a fascinating book from just after WWI on the officially sanctioned personal armor of various national militarizes. Seems most of the WWI participants had specifications for personal armor which included the details of the steel metallurgy to be used, plate thicknesses, and what small arms they were supposed to be able to resist at given ranges (resistance to rifle fire was usually at several hundred yards).
Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare by Bashford Dean, Ph.D.
Copyright, 1920, Yale University Press

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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