I always wondered how medieval swordfighters knew how long to clack their swords together before trying to stab each other
And how come I couldn’t just wear a thick leather glove and grab the other guy’s sword? How come nobody ever did that?
Well, as it turns out:
To borrow a famous line, the problem with most people trying to understanding the true nature of historical sword combat is not that they’re ignorant — it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.
…during the Medieval and Renaissance eras, hundreds of detailed instructional manuals were produced by expert Masters of Defense. These knights and professional instructors in arms wrote and illustrated immense technical treatises and books on their “science of self-defense.” Intended to preserve their secrets or instruct their students and patrons, these little-known works, some in excess of six hundred pages, represent time-capsules of the actual fighting systems and proven combative disciplines used at the time. Focused mostly on swordsmanship, these handbooks and study guides reveal highly sophisticated combat teachings. Further, their content and presentation is unmatched by any martial-arts literature from anywhere in the world. And we have dozens of them.
Sweet. I’m not real likely to take up swordfighting at this late date. And, plus, no audience would ever believe it if you tried this crap on stage. But still: cool.
Just don’t try to grab a lightsaber like that.