It’s Deadly At the Top — The Age Old Tradition of Executing Generals


Military History Now

North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, is cleaning house in the upper echelons of his army. The 29-year-old totalitarian dictator reportedly executed one of his most senior generals this past week for drinking alcohol, according to an article on the Daily Telegraph. The story reports that the Hermit Kingdom is still in a period of mourning following the death of the previous leader, Kim Jong Il. As such, the consumption of booze is prohibited. Astonishingly, the execution was carried out not by a firing squad but by a mortar crew. The disgraced army vice minister was ordered to be “obliterated” by a precision-fired mortar round. North Korea has a history of executing generals (and executing them in bizarre ways). In the late 1990s, a group of DPRK generals who were suspected of treason were doused with gasoline and burned alive before a capacity crowd at Pyongyang’s May Day…

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Johannesburg Heathen & Germanic Studies


Metal Gaia

Johannesburg Heathen & Germanic Studies

A Facebook Source for Heathenry and Germanic Lore

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Meyer’s Longsword – The Wechselhauw or Change Cut


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

The Change Cut is simply to change off before your opponent with your cuts, from one side to another, from above to below, and vice versa, in order to confuse him.

I’m tempted to interpret this as beginning the cut along one line and then changing to a different line midway through the action. This can be done with any sword, but is particularly effective with the longsword because of the extra mobility offered by the two-handed grip. However, I believe that is actually called Fehien or Failing.

So for the time being I’m sticking to what I wrote in Talhoffer 1467 Plate 2 Right. Specifically, this is just a cut used to change lines or guard rather than to attack with.

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Race riots


Great War London

So far, the black history month posts have been fairly positive stories – two young officers of mixed race, and a  successful propaganda speaker. Sadly (if unsurprisingly) it was not all plain sailing where race relations in Great War London were concerned. There were several incidents of race riots.

It was not quite all quiet on the home front. At least two race riots took place in London during the Great War.

In July 1917, the Times reported a ‘disturbance’ on Victoria Dock Road in West Ham. A police sergeant told magistrates that “in consequence of the infatuation of the white girls for the black men in the district, some of the inhabitants are greatly incensed against the coloured men.”

The previous Saturday night, a gang of white youths attacked houses inhabited by black men in Victoria Road causing considerable damage. In response, several black men came out into the…

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DOWNFALL – The story of a german soldier. PREFACE


Meyer’s Longsword – The Blendthauw or Blind Cut


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

This is simply a tip cut to the face. It seems to be more of a harassing move in anticipation for a more definitive strike.

Bind your opponent from your right on his sword; in the bind, wind through below with your hilt or haft toward [your] left side. When your opponent tries to slip after the winding, then nimbly flick the foible, that is the point, at his head from your right at his left with crossed hands. Quickly wind back through, or wrench to your left side with the short edge; thus you have executed the Blind Cut. This Blind Cut is done in many ways; there will be more about it in the section on devices.

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Arguments for the Winding Krumphauw over the Windshield Wiper Krumphauw in Meyer


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

I know of three variants of the Krumphau, which I will refer to as the Pynenberg version, Knight’s version, and the Other version.

Knight uses a window-wiper motion as shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs1fuRl77fQ&list=UUBsDIGcIhlamARsPHYEJkzg&index=1&feature=plcp EDIT: I mistook Knight’s version for a short-edge, window-wiper krump. He uses a long edge window-wiper, which requires changing some of the arguments.

Pynenberg uses a long-edge cut that mutates into a short-edge: http://vimeo.com/49951783

Textual Argument 1

Meyer writes,

This cut is executed thus: stand in the Wrath Guard with your left foot forward; if your opponent cuts at you, then step with your right foot well out from his stroke toward his left side; cut with the long edge and crossed hands against his cut, or across on his hands between his head and blade, and let the blade shoot well over his arm, as can be seen in Image D in the figures on the upper…

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Practice Notes: Why Longsword Fencers should Learn Italian Rapier


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

Take a look at Capoferro plate 11:

image

Imagine C’s right knee on the ground and D’s longsword laying flat and useless on his shoulder. That’s how I was punked last Wednesday.

I’m not saying that you should necessarily learn to throw this strike, it is enough to be aware that exists and works remarkably well with the longsword.

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Practice Notes: Scheitelhau, the Parting Strike, with Broken Steps


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

Scheitelhau, or the Parting Cut, is the last of the five Master Cuts. Like the other master cuts it begins with the Zornhau, which the ancients call the Father Stroke. And like any other cut, it it to be performed with a step.

The trick here is that step is broken. Meyer writes,

Thirdly there are the broken or stolen steps, which are done thus: act as if you intend to step forward with the one foot, and before you set it down, step backwards with it behind the other foot. Since these properly belong in the rapier I swill save it for there.

I have to admit I discovered this by accident. As I started my Zornhau I thought, “Ha! You’ve over-reached and I can void your pitiful cut by aborting my step.” While I focused on that, my Zornhau was left to its own devices. Without my body…

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The Rose 2: Meyer’s techniques for the Longsword


From Drills to Free Play: Putting Practice into Practice (Part II)


Bill Grandy, Director of Historical Swordsmanship at the Virginia Academy of Fencing

In Part I of this article we explored a few variations of drills to help develop both tactical proficiency as well as fluidity between actions under pressure. Those drills allowed more dynamism than static drills, and yet they are still a step apart from full out free play.

When engaging in free play, one has to accept that it is less of a learning exercise and more of a test of one’s abilities under fire. While learning occurs, the moment your brain goes into competitive mode it is spending less time analyzing previous maneuvers and more time adapting to the present and future maneuvers. Because of this, in order to gain the most out of your free play, you should consider variations that limit you and force you to adapt certain tactics.

Here we will look at some…

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Why Fight? The Objectives of Liechtenauer’s Fencing


Meyer’s Longsword – The Sturtzhauw or Plunging Strike


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

This is a high cut with the short edge of the sword. It is used to attack over an obstacle such as a sword in Ochs or a shield. In the SCA this is known as a Scorpion or Sky Hook.

Although this cut is a High Cut, and so considered because there is not much difference between the two, yet this is called the Plunge Cut because in cutting through, it always plunges over above, so that the point comes against the opponent’s face in the Ox; and it is most used in the Approach or Onset.

If you want to skip ahead, you can see an example on page 36 of using the Sturtzhauw to transition into Ochs and from break your opponents Ochs.

http://www.schielhau.org/Meyer.p36.html

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Girard Thibault – Chapter 1, Figures A thru E: More on Selecting a Sword


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

Thibault appears to come from an era where stupidly long swords were fashionable. I cannot think of any other reason why he is so determined to instruct his students to use shorter blades.

Figure A

This shows how a proper gentleman hangs his sword as to not offend or annoy those around him. Note that the sword is vertical, possibly so that those behind him do not trip over it.

image

Figure B

This figure demonstrates our fencer grasping the scabbard just prior to drawing the sword. Note that it rests at a continent height so that one does not need to bend in order to reach it.

image

Figure C

The next figure actually draws the sword. The right foot must be raised to make this possible, and even then we are seeing the longest possible sword that one may draw without much inconvenience. Believe it or not, this is considered…

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The new victims of WW1


Some WW1 Photographs...

This post is dedicated to the new victims of the Great War: our families. My wife and my (now 9-year old) daughter are obliged to live with our passion, which means that our home is full with dusty books, photographs, military maps, and even uniforms (which were for a while in our closet).

This means too that a good part of the vacation time is dedicated to the visit of battlefields and war cemeteries. We almost never go in a new place by chance, as there’s always a link with the Great War. They know that our journeys can be marked by several stops, if some monuments are spotted.

This means that a (good) part of the home budget is dedicated to this passion and that we in fact don’t live in 2012, but some time between 1914 and 1918. But they accept it because they love us and they…

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Spitfire pilot poet dies at 99


Letter From Britain

Flight Lieutenant William Walker – the oldest surviving Battle of Britain pilot – has died at the age of 99.

The airman was shot down in his spitfire on August 26, 1940, ambushed by a Messerschmidt, and bailed out over the English Channel. He was part of No 616 (South Yorkshire) Auxiliary Squadron.

In later life he wrote poetry in honour of his colleagues who lost their lives in one of Britain’s darkest hours.

He was a supporter of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and wrote his most famous poem, Our Wall,which was inscribed alongside the 2,937 names of those who died in the Battle, at the memorial on the White Cliffs of Dover at Capel-Le-Ferne.

 

You can read more about Flight Lieutenant Walker’s life here

, at The Telegraph.

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Girard Thibault – Selecting a Sword


Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

Determining the proper length of the sword in Thibault’s system is easy:

Therefore the measure of the sword is such that the length of the blade from the point to the quillons is equal to the half-diameter, that is, if the point is set on the ground between the hollows of the two feet, the quillons come exactly to the height of the navel, as may be seen in circle 1.

image

For me this would be a 42” blade. By contrast, Capoferro would have me use a weapon that is 54” long (blade+hilt).

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