Sickle Study Group

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Jason Taylor
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Sickle Study Group

Postby Jason Taylor » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:32 pm

This will be the thread for the sickle study group. We'll post info here on our progress and what we're up to.

We're working from Paulus Hector Mair's sickle plates using this version: http://www.noorderwind.org/documents/PH ... lation.pdf

We're looking for any previous interpretations to help us out, though I think we can make it work with at least the first two plates (which I've looked at pretty closely now). Here's some youtube material I trust:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmy7OCUI ... re=related (This is the MEMAG interpretation. Cory is on the Curriculum Council).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3NTWUkG ... re=related (I don't know about Dreynschlag, but this looks fairly well detailed).

I have a handful of others, but that's a good start. There isn't a whole lot out there on this, frankly.

And one I'm not sure about yet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5M2x1Zi ... re=related (No idea about this; haven't reviewed it yet, but it is manual based at least).

Equipment
We need some safe trainers, as well. Brian found a non-offset Seymour Grass Hook, which is just a serrated sickle: http://www.amazon.com/Seymour-Mfg-2G-49 ... B0000DI82F
It's the one on the top right. There are two ways do go about this: either use it as a model for a plywood version (ghetto, but probably effective), or blunt it with a grinder, cover the edge with hose, and tape the whole thing so that you've got a safe metal version. I don't know if it could be sufficiently blunted to make it safe without the hose and tape bit; if so, I'd be willing to do that.

Brian--any luck on the plywood sickles this weekend?

Jason
Kron Martial Arts, Orange County
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World-Famous Sickle Authority and General Proponent of all Things Sickle

Brian Frick
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby Brian Frick » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:13 pm

I got a large board that can maybe do ten or more, but we decided to hold off cutting them out until we had a sickle to trace. I couldn't find any at the hardware stores, but my neighbor said the feed/tack/farm supply sold them. So I'll see what they have tomorrow morning. If it's not what I want, I'll just order that sickle online and wait a few extra days.

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James Head
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby James Head » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:04 am

Hi Jason and Brian (and anyone else interested in PHM's Sickle)

I have been working (somewhat independently) on Mair's Sickle material, but I also frequently share notes and collaborate with the guys at MEMAG.

I noticed that one of the videos that Jason linked in his original post was mine, but was attributed to MEMAG. I don't know if they have published any independent videos showing PHM's Sickle, but I would like to submit a link to a video that I produced in partnership with Chuck Wyatt from MEMAG that I think is a better example of how to read the first page.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-cgClKJbGg#t=2m06s

It includes some Peasant Staff plays and then the first page of Mair's Sickle. The link above has been time stamped to begin at the Sickle material.

I was working with a strange translation of the Latin text at the time and only recently had a chance to get a German translation of the first page. Because of the seeming discrepancy between texts I decided to show two 'versions' of the same page, one German and one Latin. Since getting my hands on Noorderwind's awesome Latin translation I have realized that the original translation I was using was goofy at parts, particularly the 4th (last) play. There is some room for interpretation in how to follow Mair's directions (particularly concerning how you grab your opponent's arms and wrists; do you intercept with an up turned or down turned hand? Also, do you hook the opponent's leg from the inside or outside?) At this point I would say that I am still considering different ways to approach the hand interceptions and leg hook, but I am very confident that the last play is performed according to what I had labeled the 'German Version' in the video posted above.

In regards to making trainers, I think that plywood Sickle shapes are a good place to start. That is what the trainers seen in both videos are made from. I cut out two identical sickle shapes (handle included) with a scroll saw. I made the 'blade' thicker than a real Sickle to give it some strength. I gorilla glued some pieces of blue camp foam around the wooden handle area to make it comfortable and then wrapped the whole thing in black tape. I'm not sure how much benefit the tape provided around the wooden 'blade' but I was hoping to reduce any possible splinters or cracking.

I do own a Seymour Grasshook, like the one linked in the OP. It seems to be VERY close to the original wheat sickles depicted in Mair, serrated and ambidextrous, but I think it is a little smaller than the ones we see in the manual. I have also considered grinding down the sharp point and teeth to create a training tool, but even then it might not be safe enough.

So anyhow, I was curious to learn more about your Sickle Study Group. Is it only reserved to those involved in Kron? I would love to participate and swap notes. How can I get involved?

Brian Frick
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby Brian Frick » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:43 pm

Hi James,

We haven't gotten started yet, mostly just being busy with the end of the semester — what you see in this thread is where we are. We got the same Seymour sickles, and Jason is thinking of wrapping the blade up in hose. I'm going to try to cut out some sickles from the plywood at a friend's house tonight and wrap it like yours. As for participation, we are completely open to swapping notes and sharing whatever we have, just post here for now.

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Jason Taylor
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby Jason Taylor » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:35 pm

Hi James,

Not sure how I mixed up the videos. Sorry!

And of course you're welcome--nothing in our study groups is closed or exclusive (but thanks for asking).

I felt that the grass hooks are a little to forward-swept for my tastes--the ones we have actually look a little different than the ones linked. The photos don't seem to match the merchandise. Brina--can you snap a photo of those and try to upload it (or I can do it after I get mine from you). The blade end seems to go way forward from the handle, more than I expected. I'm not sure the difference would be meaningful for technique, anyway--what do you think?

More as soon as I get a chance to get back to the computer.

Jason
Kron Martial Arts, Orange County
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World-Famous Sickle Authority and General Proponent of all Things Sickle

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James Head
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby James Head » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:29 pm

Hi Jason,

I would certainly like to eventually see a photo of the serrated hook you got your hands on so I can understand how forward swept the blade is. Generally, for actual field work, it is perfectly normal for the sickle blade to be swept forward since the correct way to mow with a sickle is to pull the straighter end of the blade back toward yourself instead of whipping or cutting in a slicing motion with the wrist.

There is certainly some discrepancy in how the weapon is depicted by Mair's artist. Just check out this page; one of the sickles is forward swept while the other seems to have a deeper curve to the blade.

http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db ... &seite=464

I tend to think that the correct illustration is the blade that is more 'forward' than the other.

By the way, about a year ago I made a big post on the defunct Pendant Forums that lists a bunch of Youtube vids on the sickle that I have found. When I have some more time tomorrow I will repost it here.

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Jason Taylor
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby Jason Taylor » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:18 pm

James Head wrote:Hi Jason,

I would certainly like to eventually see a photo of the serrated hook you got your hands on so I can understand how forward swept the blade is. Generally, for actual field work, it is perfectly normal for the sickle blade to be swept forward since the correct way to mow with a sickle is to pull the straighter end of the blade back toward yourself instead of whipping or cutting in a slicing motion with the wrist.

There is certainly some discrepancy in how the weapon is depicted by Mair's artist. Just check out this page; one of the sickles is forward swept while the other seems to have a deeper curve to the blade.

http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db ... &seite=464

I tend to think that the correct illustration is the blade that is more 'forward' than the other.

By the way, about a year ago I made a big post on the defunct Pendant Forums that lists a bunch of Youtube vids on the sickle that I have found. When I have some more time tomorrow I will repost it here.



I see what you mean about that forward swept shape. I'm getting pretty convince that it's not a problem; it doesn't seem like the techniques will be particularly affected by it.

That repost would be great. I have some, especially the Noorderwind ones, that will be pretty good practice material, but there aren't a whole lot of vids to choose from, really.

As a side point we had our first cutting day today, and I tried out my sickle on some targets. It cuts way better than I thought it would! Water bottles are easy, but the cuts were pretty clean. And it slashed through a gourd with great effectiveness, serrates and all.

Overall, proof that it's a much more lethal weapon than people give it credit for. And that's just cutting with it--not to mention the pulling tears you get out of the leg hook and so forth.

Jason
Kron Martial Arts, Orange County
HEMA Alliance Founding Member
World-Famous Sickle Authority and General Proponent of all Things Sickle

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Myles Cupp
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby Myles Cupp » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:08 pm

Perhaps if we get a better stand we could simulate some of those hooking cuts?
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Jason Taylor
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby Jason Taylor » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:09 am

Potentially. Maybe a full human-sized model made out of cucumbers and watermelons with a pumpkin head?

;)
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James Head
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Re: Sickle Study Group

Postby James Head » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:37 pm

So here's a repost of a video list I had put on Pendant. There are a few more videos that I've found since. I hope to put them up as well soon.

Two Videos taken at Dreynevent 2009 showing a demonstration of some of the core concepts of the Sickle as taught by Paulus Hector Mair. The demo was presented by Martin Enzi of Dreynschlag.

FIRST VIDEO

SECOND VIDEO

Here is a big set of vids about PHM's Sickle pages from Swordfish 2009. It is presented by Reinier van Noort from a Dutch group called "De Orde der Noorderwind"

INTRO

PAGE 1 & 2

PAGE 4 & 13

PAGE 15

PAGE 16

"Noorderwind" has also put up a few quick clips of their own:

SICKLE ONE

SICKLE TWO

... and a deomstration (in Dutch) on why catching your opponent's wrist with an up-turned hand might not be a good idea... DEMONSTRATION

There is a group in Rome, Italy, called Armentica who have been working on lots of material from Mair. Here are two clips demonstrating how to extrapolate follow-up moves to the four exchanges of PHM's first Sickle page.

FIRST VIDEO

SECOND VIDEO

Apparently there is a guy out there named Frank B Hunt (no relation to Brian Hunt) who has been translating and examining PHM's Sickle pages as well. Here is a video of him showing many of Mair's exchanges in a suit!

SICKLE IN A SUIT


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