Insights from Historical Artwork

Fascinating glimpse of a late 1600's fencing room at Lieden University by William Swanenburgh. The figures train in great-sword/two-hander, musket, arming sword, foiled (blunt tipped) rapiers (both in and out of safe distance), and gymnastics (on the "horse").  The walls are lined with many weapons including Dussacken and staffs.  On one side gentlemen sit and observe and on the other some stand by.  Only one figure (perhaps an instructor) stands by with a staff on the lower right.   Center on the floor is a familiar training device from many schools and styles, a Segno diagram showing lines of stepping and attacking --not necessarily a "mysterious circle".  Notice the combined practice of military and civilian methods (despite the martial obsolescence of the two-hander/great-sword by this time).  Looking closely at the action of the great-swords on the back left it can be seen by their cross guard positions that the left figure is clearly striking with his edge against the right side figure's flat, and not performing an edge-on edge block.

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