Polish Saber Curriculum

A forum for Polish and other Eastern European saber systems.
User avatar
Richard Marsden
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 2539
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Contact:

Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:00 pm

This thread is for updates on the HEMA Alliance Polish Saber Curriculum.

If you are interested in this, PM me or comment on this thread
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2347

This one is for the team members and for 'us' to keep track of where we are on the project. My goal is to get approachable curriculum, vendor options, and more out to the community within a reasonable amount of time.

My first email to the team is below with a few clerical edits. (Edited as other members joined)

Welcome,
Polish Saber Reservoir Dogs
Richard Marsden
John Patterson
Keith Farrel
Dave Kelly
Jonathan Hill
Tyler Brandon
Roberto Martinez-Loyo
Daria Izdebska
Olek Frydrych
Jonathan Mayshar

This email is lengthy, and I promise you they won't all be so verbose.

You are now members of the Polish Saber curriculum group, a HEMA Alliance group whose objective is to create curriculum for Polish Saber of the 17th century. Other members have been invited to join us, and if they wish to be involved I'll add them to my list. (We are complete and this battle-station is fully operational)

Purpose
- A: To create curriculum of some sort for Polish Saber of the 17th Century
- B: To document how we came together and created something so we can show it to the HEMA Alliance community in the hopes they do the same.

Example, someone might take our work and come up with something for Bulgarian, Turkish or Russian saber, altering out research and ideas to fit their own needs and that of the community. This would be great!

My Role
Every group needs a leader of some sort to get things done. That's me. I'm the engine that will continually run, so no matter what we'll get something out there. This is good news for you all. Get as involved as you like, but don't worry if real-life gets in the way and keeps you quiet for a bit. The engine will keep running and it will still be running when you come back to us. I'm on the Hema Alliance governing council and on the Curriculum Council.

There are two threads on the HEMA forum which show our progress in the task so far

Starting Feb 23 2012 -Polish Saber Equipment-
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1848

Starting August 15 2012 -Eastern European Saber- (Focusing on Polish for now, but we've come across lots of 'other' stuff along the way)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2347

Your Role in General
Keep your leader in check. If I am leading in the wrong direction, let me know.
Use the techniques we are researching with appropriate trainers.
Write history articles to be used in our curriculum.
Video the techniques we are researching.
Video sparring using the techniques we are researching.
Propose techniques unique to the curved nature of the Polish saber.
Research other saber/single-sword techniques from the 15th-18th century which should help us understand the 17th century.
Research Polish saber techniques of the 17th century. For those new to the discussion, this will be hard. There are none, only later manuals that tried to recreate it.
Find art we can use for re-printing at a later date in the product.
Find experts. Polish Historians. Saber historians. Saber-guys. Single-stick guys. And so on.

Anyone can work on the above and we have some ideas already proposed. These videos are unlisted and not our 'final' work, but our 'work in progress'.

Overview on Guards and Stance = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiX0whE2uX8 (We are considering dropping the high retracted as a guard and putting in a parry category)

Techniques that make use of the curve
Vertical Wrist Cut = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdvzsddmgmY
Horizontal Wrist Cut = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlqmpFIse6U
Counters = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhBVlglbRaw (Tyler Brandon suggested altering this to get better wrist alignment.)

The Forum thread goes into more detail. Please take a look when you have the time. It also includes examples of my group sparring and trying to incorporate techniques.

Specific Roles
Feel free to volunteer to work on any of the general tasks above. Remember that the engine is always running though.

Dave Kelly - Dave has knowledge of the Napoleonic era and will be writing an article about how curved swords (like our Polish sabers) ended up in the wars and what became of them later on in the 19th century.

Olek - Olek is Polish, so he speaks the language! He has linked a manual (in Polish) from a modern practitioner, and has it on drop-box. The manual isn't translated, but has many images. Some may be of use, some may be too modern in their approach. I'll let Olek provide the link if he's comfortable sharing it. Olek will also help us out if we need anything translated. His group spars with appropriate trainers! Olek, you mentioned that Zabloki noted most Polish duels ended with a cut to the hand? Can you get the exact quote, page number, and date of the book so we can cite it. That's valuable stuff for us.

Roberto Martinez - His group is getting into saber and is willing to spar. We can feed him techniques to try out, and being without fear- he'll give it a go and report back. Roberto, can you film your work?

Brandon Tyler - He's been the most active with me on the forum in finding resources, debating them, and seeing what works. Tyler, do you have an appropriate trainer- IE- a curved saber? Can you get one if needs be, even for video demos of 'how to moulinet' and so on?

John Patterson and I are from the same group and we'll be working on organizing the material as it comes.

Jonathan Mayshar is the President of the HEMA Alliance and interested in how we come together and make something of this.

John H works with broadsword and knows the Highland material of the 1700's.

Kieth Farrel and Daria Izdebska are a team also working on Polish saber. They'll help out as they can to try to guide us to 'authentic'. Combined with Olek's knowledge of the Zabloki and other material- we're in good shape.

The Product

A - PDF simple how-to that people can download.
B - Website page how-to with video clips. I can host the page and we can link it wherever we like. My videos are not pro-level, does anyone have the ability to do them?
C - Book. I have the means (money) for us to do this, but I have two other books and an RPG with Savage Worlds I really should get published first. So I can't get anything out quickly.

My 'gut' tells me to go with option B to start with and then go from there. If anyone has other ideas, let me know.

When we think about product the goal is to make it approachable to readers, so anyone can understand it.
We want to be bold and actually get something done. Many products die on the vine as the creators seek 'perfect'.

THANK YOU
Thank you for giving the time and energy required for this product. I won't bombard you with email, and will ask you to do things in private, or through discussion on the HEMA forum. If you WANT to do something, just ask!

Thanks again,
Richard Marsden

SOURCES WE ARE USING
Polish
17th Century

Pasek's Memoirs
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2525
Zabloki's discussion of period diaries
Olek gave accounts of this.
Artwork depicting Polish stick-fighting
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... n_1697.JPG

18th Century

Daria Izdebska 's overview
http://www.historical-academy.co.uk/rep ... itions.pdf

19th Century

Starzeweski as interpreted by Zablocki
Brief Overviews = http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Zablocki.htm
20th/21st Century
Zabloki's interpretation of Starzeweski

Outside Poland

15th Century
Turkish Duel from 1436
http://fencingclassics.wordpress.com/20 ... urkey-143/

17th Century
Marcelli Rapier (He discusses saber and references Poland as well as other countries)

Heussler 1626 German Rapier manaul with one image. No text yet. Pole vs Turk
http://www.lorica.pl/szermierka-pics/ar ... zabla4.jpg

http://wiktenauer.com/images/6/6c/Heu%C3%9Fler_1-M.jpg (Straight saber. Again no text)

The German manual might be using Italian-esque rapier theory (Huessler's work is much like Fabris and Capo Ferro, both names are on the cover of his book) or it might be showcasing Polish/Turkish style. Unknown!

http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Sebastian_Heu%C3%9Fler (Note his history. He learned in Germany and then traveled in the opposite direction of Poland. Did a Pole come to him? Did he hear second-hand how Turks fought? Is it is idea how one should use a saber unique to him? Dunno!)
Last edited by Richard Marsden on Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:04 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:16 pm

Homework Assignments and Tasks

Olek was asked to read and translate other Polish books on the saber written by modern guys. He looked into the targeting, noting that an account of duels indicated hand-strikes were the predominant 'end' to a duel. Mayshar asked for clarification on the word 'hand', and Olek said there were mentions of wrist and 'loose' fingers. Icky.

Dave Kelly was asked to write up a history of the curved saber's use in the Napoleonic wars and what became of them and why. While we are looking at 17th century techniques, we want to work in history and context.

Olek, myself, and Patterson have curved training blades, meaning we can work on techniques and test them and see how curved blades work opposed to straight.

Roberto and John H have straight sabers and can assist in testing techniques as well. Some of this stuff is 'universal'.

John H wants to ensure basics are covered. He was asked to envision what that would look like.

Tyler and I have been very active on the forum researching Eastern European sabers. Tyler is on perpetual 'find more video' and threads duty! We've found more and more Cossack-stuff. Not Polish, but worth looking at.

Mayshar is assisting in organization, and he likes saber, so he'll be 'all in' as well. He suggested hosting curriculum on the HEMA website when we get product out and using the forum to keep tabs on how the process works.

We are discussing things on the Eastern European Saber thread and by email.

In the next few days we'll get a consensus on 'basics' and the best way to present it.

I have a few other people I'd like to get involved, but if they agree or not, the show will go on.

Marsden

User avatar
Keith P. Myers
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 1470
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:57 am
Location: Rockville, Maryland

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Keith P. Myers » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:10 am

Very cool! Glad to see you guys working on this.
Keith P. Myers
Lifetime Member HEMA Alliance
Affiliate: Bartitsu Society & Cateran Society
Friend: Meyer Frei Fechter Guild
Rockville, Maryland

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:54 am

It required bribery in the form of '40 sheep, 10 acres of land and a fortress', but Keith Farrell and Daria Izdebska are in. Thus completes my dream team for this project.

Homework for Kieth and Daria is to add input based on their own experiences as to what makes Polish saber, Polish.

Darijan also helped me out in private with materials.

Edit:

We have a large group, which means we won't always reach consensus. There is a reason I declared myself the 'engine' of the team. Bear with as we go through ups and downs and keep our goals in mind. So far, no issues- but I've been on enough large teams in my day-job to know things rarely go smoothly from start to finish.

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:33 pm

The Polish Cultural Center in Phoenix is interested in what we are working on. No idea what will come of it, but I am making friends.

Vast amounts of Polish art and literature was carted off by Swedes in the 1600's. Some clues to swordplay might be found in Sweden. We do have Swedes involved in Saber who might have some insights. Worth checking out!

Edit: Daria, one of our Polish experts, expressed the uniqueness of Poland and what that might mean in terms of swords and swordsmanship. Her desire is to keep us authentic as we can be. Which is good!

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:54 am

Debating on East-West influences and stance. Wide vs Narrow.

Interesting discussion with sources, resources and opinions. I'll provide a sample of our conversation when the involved parties give me the thumbs up. Some are shy, I am, of course, without shame.

EDIT = 2 Week Homework Assignment, DUE - OCTOBER 19th

Video of sparring using a slim and wide stance.

Slim = Similar to an even weighted rapier stance. Like so. Note rear foot.
Image

Wide = More squared, toes sometimes pointed at opponent. Like dussack or messer.
Image

The goal is to try and film both, so we can SEE behavior.

Historically, there is plenty of evidence for either in forms of neighboring cultures, art, and manuals. Personally I've heard arguments for both that are compelling- a good reason why both were used! We'll need to pick one though to continue our own work on Polish saber. I'll get my own work up for others to ponder shortly.

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:20 am

Finding a variety of trainers for Polish saber

Image
450 by Wojciech Szanek, custom made for sparring.
http://www.miecz-sword.com/

Image
450 by Olek , historically accurate in appearance and meant for sparring.
PM Olek!

Image
350 (give or take) by Dave Baker. A little too much on the curve giving it a Persian feel, but the blades can be swapped out for what one likes. Aluminum.
http://www.hollywoodcombatcenter.com/Th ... /Home.html

Image
135 (give or take) Plastic trainer in the works with Purple Heart. Not available yet, but I'm working with Darce to make it happen.
www.woodenswords.com

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Tyler Brandon » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:54 am

Great stuff.

For some reason your pic of the Dave Baker sword does not work. Anyone else having an issue?
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: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Richard Marsden » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:15 pm

Dave Baker thinks he can make my sword more like the others, and wants some more time to get the Polish 'look' down. Go him! New pics when I get or see the sword.

Stances,

As per the homework assignment

Sparring, using three plausible stances for 17th century Polish Saber.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljyovwlORQQ

Explanation as to what was going on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odqq1CSGg8A

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

Re: Polish Saber Curriculum

Postby Tyler Brandon » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Good stuff. I think the Mitchell stance will just take some time to get used to.
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


Return to “Polish saber”