Insights from Historical Artwork

A fascinating illustration on sword training from the Weisskunig ("White King") biography of Maximilian I, von Habsburg, c. 1506. Note the unique the pair of fighting gauntlets on the ground of a rare lobster-like split-finger style. Notice the range of traditional German weapons, including great-sword, short staff, and Messer. Note the carefully watching "instructor" (not a referee or "marshal") with his staff. Note also their practice garb of simple slippers and stockings. The blades appear blunt tipped and the left side fighter seems to prepare a langenort ("long point" or thrust) while the right fighter wields his weapon in a tail or back guard (a stance not included in all Fecthbucher).

MaximillianColor.JPG (81586 bytes)

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