Eastern European Saber

A forum for Polish and other Eastern European saber systems.
User avatar
Tyler Brandon
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Salem, NJ

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Tyler Brandon » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:00 am

Richard Marsden wrote:We've sparred extensively with the swords with the robust non-17th century guards, and the more authentic guards on the synthetics.The hands and fingers become a sufficient enough target with the more accurate guards that it has changed the way we fight with them. Not a real surprise, but we're putting techniques to the test!

For the brave folk out there with single-sticks or the synthetic broadswords. Take off the shell guard. Fence. Enjoy.

Anyways, this is leading us to dial in one some specific hand strikes, feints, and responses to movements toward the hand. This development lends nicely to our dueling accounts where people lose their fingers, or in some cases their whole hand as in the case of Tomasz Sapieha (1598 – April 1646)... who indeed lost his hand in a duel in 1632. That didn't stop him from carrying on with military duties for Poland.


No surprise really. I have been thinking that the fact that in the late 18th century as Poland was absorbed by its neighbors a lot of Polish sabers start to have more Western style guards and perhaps that the change in guard styles presented a greater impetus to the changes in Polish saber than presently acknowledged comapred with influences from the absorbing powers, integration into their military systems, and the pysical and legal speration of Poles after the collapse of their country.
HEMA Alliance Lifetime Member

Long Live The Vagabond Masters!

James T. Kirk: So what kind of combat training do you have?
Hikaru Sulu: Fencing.

"Sabre is for those who aspire to be heroes" - Matt Easton

User avatar
Richard Marsden
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Contact:

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:28 am

Still waiting on costume stuff for our PDF.

In the meantime, you can see the guards being used in action in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r856t4Ylpyw
42 - High extended
49 - High retracted
50 - Middle, point on (Starzewski describes something similar), also used in a thrust
51 - Middle (More akin to what we see in Highland/Hungarian and in Zablocki)
55 - Low
The guy I'm working with is brand new, and still going through the how-to.

And cuts
1:18- 2:08
You get your forward and reverse moulinets from the wrist
Elbow powered cuts
Shoulder powered moulinets
And its John and I, so we both know what we're doing.

User avatar
Richard Marsden
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Contact:

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:32 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBujeFJO0bE

Latest from the Sieniewski family. They are theatrical fencers who seem to want to get into the HEMA scene. They have an article on Cross-Cutting, and other theatrical presentations.

User avatar
Tyler Brandon
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Salem, NJ

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Tyler Brandon » Thu May 02, 2013 1:12 pm

Richard Marsden wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBujeFJO0bE

Latest from the Sieniewski family. They are theatrical fencers who seem to want to get into the HEMA scene. They have an article on Cross-Cutting, and other theatrical presentations.


That was interesting, and frick'in cool! :ugeek:
HEMA Alliance Lifetime Member

Long Live The Vagabond Masters!

James T. Kirk: So what kind of combat training do you have?
Hikaru Sulu: Fencing.

"Sabre is for those who aspire to be heroes" - Matt Easton

User avatar
Tyler Brandon
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Salem, NJ

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Tyler Brandon » Sun May 26, 2013 12:36 pm

So this is a thread over at SG about Highland broadsword. We have been talking about the leg slip and Angelo Sr's Highland and Hungarian Broadsword. We have been talking about the theory that the leg slip is the Highland part. Now we have been talking about the leg slip showing up in later periods outside Britain. Not hard to explain the appearance in American manuals, but is is also apparent in a Russian manual from 1843.

How did it get there. I noticed some leg slips with most parries in some shasqua videos. One possibuilty that wehave discusses is that Highland and Hungarian draws on the leg slip used in both the East and West and combines elements of the two.

Perhaps a new idea to explore further.

Full details here.
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB3/vi ... 31&t=20130
HEMA Alliance Lifetime Member

Long Live The Vagabond Masters!

James T. Kirk: So what kind of combat training do you have?
Hikaru Sulu: Fencing.

"Sabre is for those who aspire to be heroes" - Matt Easton

User avatar
Richard Marsden
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Contact:

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Sun May 26, 2013 1:42 pm

The leg slip shows up in Fiore longsword and in rapier. I think its a universal.

User avatar
Tyler Brandon
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Salem, NJ

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Tyler Brandon » Sun May 26, 2013 2:49 pm

Richard Marsden wrote:The leg slip shows up in Fiore longsword and in rapier. I think its a universal.


But it is rare in documented broadsword/backsword/saber systems. However, the Russians systems I have observed are passed on from oral tradition as I understand it. Of course there were many such systems in history, unrecorded and lost. So it is most probable you are right.
HEMA Alliance Lifetime Member

Long Live The Vagabond Masters!

James T. Kirk: So what kind of combat training do you have?
Hikaru Sulu: Fencing.

"Sabre is for those who aspire to be heroes" - Matt Easton

User avatar
Richard Marsden
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Contact:

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Sun May 26, 2013 3:15 pm

Yeah, I'm not even sure if its that rare in documented saber systems.

Angelo/Highland for sure.

And check out this single-stick manual which talks about how 'old' the ruse of slipping the leg is. The manual also notes that the rules of many salles were to forgoe leg strikes. So, we may see a bit of culture context as well as martial here.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31214/31214-h/31214-h.htm

If you notice a hungry eye fixed yearningly on your tender calf, let your calf stray ever so little from under the protection of the hanging guard. If this bait takes your friend in, and he comes with a reckless lunge at it, throwing all his heart into the cut, spring up to your full height, heels together, and leg well out of danger, and gently let your avenging rod fall along his spine. This, by the way, is the only occasion, except when you are acknowledging a hit, on which you may be allowed to desert the first position for legs and feet.

But this is a very old ruse, and most players know it: a much better one may be founded upon it. If, for instance, you think you detect any coquettish symptoms in the right leg of your adversary, you may know at once what he is meditating. Oblige him at once. Lunge freely out at his leg, which will of course be at once withdrawn. This, however, you were expecting, and as his leg goes back your hand goes up to the high hanging guard, covering your head from his cut. This cut stopped, he is at your mercy, and you may cut him in halves or crimp his thigh at your leisure.


And you noted the Russian systems.

It may be safer to say it fell out of fashion? Not sure, we'd have to look at more saber systems!

Google found me this pretty fast with Slipping the Leg Saber
http://fencingclassics.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/saber-fencing-italy-c-1890/

User avatar
Tyler Brandon
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Salem, NJ

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Tyler Brandon » Sun May 26, 2013 5:56 pm

Thanks for the links.

Well, my experience is primarily in 18th-20th century Anglo-American saber. Angelo Sr.'s is the only British work to use the leg slip that I had yet seen (or Matt Easton as well, stated in the linked thread). In the U.S. Thomas Stephens in 1843 and Matthew J O'Rourke in 1872 use it. I have not seen it in any other American manual. Keith Myers mention that neither Hope or McBane used it in the Highland Broadsword works.

As I understand it, there were many local variations in technique (however slight) so that some used the slip and other's didn't. Also, at least in Britain, regiments of the army treated the regulation sword exercise differently. Some regiments followed it strictly, others used it as a guideline, others took the attitude of "this is crap, we're not doing this" and did their own thing. Fashion of course could explain alot as well. I can surmise at this point that any or all the below could explain the rarity or perceived raity of the leg slip. The leg slip could be like the off-hand as described in Wayne's 1850 saber manual, in that most of what was once done with the off-hand was then done with blade work making the off-hand old-fashioned and dangerous to use in most cases. The leg-slip would not be dangerous except as a added complictaion I think.

1. Politics- Those best connected and desiring to publish were "anti-slip."

2. Fashion- SInce others didn't use it and fenced well those that did abandoned it or it fell out a favor for some other fickle reason.

3. Complexity- Since you can do without it and fight well many masters and instructors gave it up with or without pressure to streamline military training.

4. Historical chance- As long as the sword was perceived as relavent people used it but it was primarily an oral tradition and not covered in texts, lost when the oral chain broke.
HEMA Alliance Lifetime Member

Long Live The Vagabond Masters!

James T. Kirk: So what kind of combat training do you have?
Hikaru Sulu: Fencing.

"Sabre is for those who aspire to be heroes" - Matt Easton

User avatar
Richard Marsden
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Contact:

Re: Eastern European Saber

Postby Richard Marsden » Sun May 26, 2013 7:21 pm

Hmmm.

It sounds like, though, that you've found it in more than a few saber manuals, from different nations. We saw it in Britain, USA and based on the link I sent, Italy. So, I'm wondering do you think its rare after all?

Engstrom knows his Swedish manuals inside and out, I wonder what he knows.

Edit = At which point is slipping of the leg in saber seen as a technique, rather than as a rare thing? Clearly, its not unheard of. So, now is the debate really just a matter of what is rare, common, uncommon?

Thanks for sharing! I only float on this forum.


Return to “Polish saber”