Eastern European Saber

A forum for Polish and other Eastern European saber systems.
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Richard Marsden
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Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:17 am

Image

Enough interest has arisen that I wanted to create an Eastern European Saber thread. This would be for Polish, Hungarian, Cossack and so on systems. These systems are not identical though, and mostly we as a community have been exploring Polish saber and related systems looking at the 17th century. This thread is for everyone to provide videos, pamphlets, and resources.

Below are some videos and links from members of our community on the topic.

There is an online manual on Polish saber that is a guesstimate of what it might have been like. This is Zablocki's (modern guy) view of Starzeweski's 1830 manual, which is trying to re-create 17th century Polish saber.(See below resources for comments on this.)
http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Zablocki.htm

Wojciech Zabłocki was one of the greatest Polish olympic fencers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Zab%C5%82ocki but his works on "historical fencing" are based mostly on his experiences with sports and as such have limited value for serious researchers.

http://www.wrzuc.to/H0gOdm.wt
Book (In Polish)

Rus Mitchell was taught Hungarian/Eastern European saber which uses the pass quite a bit. He responds to email.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGnZMRu-Khk

Hand out by Daria Izdebska on Polish saber, includes an overview of what resources there are and some of the issues with them. (Near bottom of the page, lots of other hand outs too on other systems!) Be sure to read about the Hellish Polish Fourth cut!
http://www.historical-academy.co.uk/lib ... douts.html

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... CC0Q7gEwAA
Polish site that discusses sources.

Video of sparring by the Phoenix Society
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l4VLpBeKvY (Steel)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16dtIgPtuuQ (Foam. Hey, its 20 Euro!)

Video of sparring by Ken P.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhO9SjROTzE&feature=plcp

Video of sparring by Olek F.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VdgX3FrLqo

A father son team (Sieniawski) have the 1800's manual and some German resources they say link up. If you watch their videos you can see how they are based on the 1800's manual. I've corresponded with them a bit. They primarily work in the film industry. They do respond to email.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6IcZnx1flI (Theatrical)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab2atvLjcDo (Teaching in Russia I believe)

An Indian series of systems from the Punjab area. Not Eastern European, but we are all looking at curved blades to see how they might be used on foot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTcVJGMBkQ (1 of 3 videos on the Tulwar)

The above links are my own, and those poached from an equipment thread. Thanks to all the contributors.
Last edited by Richard Marsden on Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.

john h
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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby john h » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:25 am

I hadn’t seen that one by Nadir Singh Nihang, glad to see someone put up some Tulwar and…buckler (can’t remember the proper name.)

To add a few more for you:

Stoccata guys - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgiLTu83Cso
As I recall they can point you in the right direction to get a full copy of Starzewski, drop them a line. He says it’s very enlightening.

Your link on Daria’s group didn’t work for me, I assume you mean these guys. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab2atvLj ... re=related

Krzak - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHP4pSQv ... re=related

Some Shashka for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StucLOl- ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qy7LxBH ... re=related – I like this one better because they show more ‘deflecting’ parries that serve you better when you have no hand protection at all.

As it goes I’ve found the Scholar forum is a better place for Sabre gathering, as Matt is interested in Sabre, he’s put together some of the best resources and most of us gravitate to that forum.

I’ve moved on to actively studying dueling sabre with Holtzman’s book out and being so close to Maestro Sullins, but I’m more interested in a heavier blade. Keep up the work!

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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby KeithFarrell » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:57 am

john h wrote:Your link on Daria’s group didn’t work for me, I assume you mean these guys. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab2atvLj ... re=related


That video clip is of the Sieniawski family, the father and son team. The Academy of Historical Arts link with Daria's handout at the bottom of the page should work, there is no reason for the website to be down.
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Richard Marsden
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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:42 am

I can't use you-tube at my work, so I'll go clean up links on this page when I get home in case I didn't copy-paste correctly.

Edit: Links should be up and running.

Thanks for those sharing and please continue to do so.

Other Goodies

With foam we experimented with what we've called a 'dropped' or 'fallen' guard opposed to the 'high' and 'low' in the 1830 manual. The closest link to a manual would be from some of the Dussack guards of Meyer. We've seen it in film and the Siewieski family uses it often.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G23Ux5Y-LT8&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gRiSOr8Y0c&feature=plcp

Little bit of offline experimentation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVqWt6nHrik&feature=plcp

Now that we have steel we're going to try to focus on using the flat of the blade in the parry. The edges are in good shape so far, but at $450 each, I can't afford to let them get chewed up. We'll also be working on another high guard similar to prima/prime/first and some of our thoughts on that. I think I'll call it 'raised' to fit with the theme of dropped, middle, high- at least until a proper name and documentation is found. We'll do some 'starting out' videos as well to help ourselves and others who are starting off at a base level. I look forward to others doing similar work! And just to warn people- we are doing some guesswork in Phoenix!

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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Joey Nitti » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:21 pm

As per Richard's request, I'll repost the link to a section in Shastarvidya's videos where he talks about the "ox-cutter", a persian hand-and-a-half sabre. Check out all the resemblances to longsword, even halfswording, as well as some messer-like hooks with the long grip/pommel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... Pqw#t=159s
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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby john h » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:32 pm

Regarding the ‘dropped guards’ (I like the name for ironic reasons.) Hutton has a ‘resting medium’ which serves the same purpose, you basically rest your arm on your leg and it leaves you in a position to strike from there. Maestro MacDonald also had another name for the guard, can’t recall right now but the name was close to ‘polish guard’ or something to that effect, showing it was in Baskethilt but it was not a primary guard. That variation had the blade center and facing forward instead of back. It’s also in older baskethilt and target.

Image
MacGregor

By the time we get to the 18th to 19th C the guards have ‘philosophically’ moved from a position to take action from to a position that protects a line. This ‘dropped guard’ would now be the equivalent of guard 3 or 4 (from the target below.) You also tend to ‘engage’ your opponent more commonly and this position is used when you do not want to engage their blade or invite them to attack the high line. Sadly I can't get any of the students to attack when I'm inviting like this anymore.

Good luck on the guards with the flat, it is specifically stated to guard with the edge of the fort I’ll be interested in how it turns out for you. I do understand not wanting to mess up a pretty new blade though. You also seem to be coming to the conclusion many of us are to add in Meyers Dussack work when you get ‘too close.’

Image

by the way what blades did you get/where from?

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Richard Marsden
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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:40 pm

it is specifically stated to guard with the edge

Hello and thanks for commenting and posting useful pictures. In regards to your above quote, is this specific instruction from an Eastern European saber system or from something else? The fellow below has the opposite view in regards to the 1830 text and explains his reasoning. I'm unsure if in the Eastern European texts if it says specifically edge or flat. If it does, please share. This of course goes for everyone!

http://brtdesignportfolio.com/88th/website/Fighting%20with%20the%20Saber.pdf

The Phoenix Society finally did get steel Polish sabers. Our Phoenix Society sparring link at the start of this conversation shows the blades in action and says where you can get them. The equipment thread discusses our loooong journey to get them. http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1848

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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Ken P » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:43 am

moving question to other thread

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Tyler Brandon
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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Tyler Brandon » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:55 am

Richard Marsden wrote:
it is specifically stated to guard with the edge

Hello and thanks for commenting and posting useful pictures. In regards to your above quote, is this specific instruction from an Eastern European saber system or from something else? The fellow below has the opposite view in regards to the 1830 text and explains his reasoning. I'm unsure if in the Eastern European texts if it says specifically edge or flat. If it does, please share. This of course goes for everyone!


The majority of the Anglo-American manuals advise guards/parries with the edge. That way the hand guard protects the hand best if the opponent's strike lands there, and the writst is not oddly bent in a way that could lead to injury. The proper stance/posture alos means that with an edge guard/parry the body can act as a shock absorber from the blow at the sword throught the hnad/wrist/arm to the body. Anthony De Longis discuss's this concept in the Cold Steel DVD, I think there are clips of that section online but I don't have access here.
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Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby john h » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:04 am

Richard Marsden wrote:
it is specifically stated to guard with the edge

In regards to your above quote, is this specific instruction from an Eastern European saber system or from something else?

Just about every English Manual, but I know you are looking for Eastern European:

To be frank the difference in weapon between the heavy sabre’s England was using and the Polish blades are not big enough for Finklesteyn to be correct. The only guard that shows a flat is parry two/inside hanging and notice that it quite deliberately shows the flat. If the guard was supposed to show the flat on the rest of the guards he would have done as he did in parry 2*. Parry 2/inside hanging is naturally hard to get edge alignment with that position and most new students get that guard blown through until they master it, Starzewski’s solution to that is not to try for edge alignment, he extends his arm out even further and just deflects the blade down instead of trying to stop it. Move that guard in closer and use the flat and a cut will beat strait through it and hit you. But don’t just take my word for it, try each guard out, try each with the flat and again with the sharp, don’t forget to try to riposte after each parry. I get a lot of these questions regularly and I just let people do it to see for themselves. I’ll give you a quick warning though, if you do not get good structural alignment on your wrist and you defend a strong cut you will hurt your wrist. So don’t go too far into testing this with the ‘slight shift of the wrist’ action.

In Angelo it recommends sharpening only the last 8-10 inches of the blade. This leaves the fort that you parry with unsharpened and then frankly who cares if it becomes nicked. In your parry you hurt his edge and did not really do much to your blade.

I mostly know the English texts, I’ve gone through Starzewski a bit and don’t give much thought to Finklesteyn’s comments. There are a few guys over at Scholar that are more familiar with Hungarian ones who can comment better.

*had to edit the part, apparently the pictures are Zablocki's not Starzewski's. The Starzewski that is available in Polish has no pics. - http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB3/vi ... 37#p307837

Edit again: here's the video on DeLongis explaining skeletal alignment, he's quite on with it, just don't watch too long or you run into Lynn.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LRwY2dJ ... page#t=65s
Last edited by john h on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:39 am, edited 3 times in total.


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