Extraordinary duel in Manchuria

Ακαδημία Ιστορικών Ευρωπαϊκών Πολεμικών Τεχνών

What the newspapers wrote about this duel

During the Russo-Japanese war(8 Feb. 1904- 5 Sept.1905) there was a certain event ,in fact it was a single combat duel,between two officers of opposing sides in front of the eyes of two opposing armies.The duel was actual and real event,but not commonly known.
During that war there was a certain Japanese officer who became famous by provoking Russian officers in single combat duel in front of the eyes of Russian and Japanese soldiers,usually before some major battle in purpose of boosting moral of Japanese soldiers.That Japanese officer was not samurai per se,because after Emperor Meiji reform there was no more classical samurai,but he was,without doubt,trained in weapon and raised in samurai spirit.

It was the year 1905.Russo-Japanese war was at full steam.That wet morning two opposing armies watched each other after countless Japanese wasted charges on Russian positions somewhere in Manchuria front…

View original post 647 more words

The Byzantine fencers of the ‘Menologion of emperor Basil II ’ declares the upper combat guards of Byzantine swordsmanship

Ακαδημία Ιστορικών Ευρωπαϊκών Πολεμικών Τεχνών

The following article introduced by Mr. Dimitrios Skourtelis, icon maker and historical researcher, he is also member of the Hellenic Academy of Historical European Martial Arts ’Leontes’,  and member of the Meyer Freifechter Guild. The book ‘Menologion of emperor Basil II ’ is an illuminated manuscript who has the lives of Greek Orthodox saints. Actually it is a synaxarion published at the end of 10th century and it was a gift for the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire Basil the second of the Macedonian royal family. This is a premier masterpiece of Byzantine art, and it is signed from eight artists, Pantaleonta, Georgios, Michael the young, Michael Vlacherniti, Simeon, Simeon Vlacherniti, Mina and Nestor. This was extremely rare for the Byzantine art. Now this manuscript is at the Vatican library.

In photo. We observe that the high trousers attached with straps in the zone. These would not be visible…

View original post 1,632 more words

The Zettel of Liechtenauer



The Zettel of Liechtenaur

Christian Tobler (Rome Version) & Jeffery Hull (Copenhagen Version) trans.

Source:  Tobler, Christian, and Jeffery Hull. “Johannes Liechtenauer.” Wiktenauer. Ed. Michael Chidester. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2015. <http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Johannes_Liechtenauer&gt;.

Here begins the epitome on the knightly art of combat that was composed and created by Johannes Liechtenauer, who was a great master in the art, God have mercy on him;

first with the longsword, then with the lance and sword on horseback, and then with the half-sword in armoured combat. Because the art belongs to princes and lords, knights and squires, and they should know and learn this art, he has written of this art in hidden and secret words, so that not everyone will grasp and understand it, as you will find described below. And he has done this on account of frivolous fight masters who mistake the art as trivial, so that such masters will not make his art common or open with people who do not hold the art in respect as is its due.

          This is the Prologue

[1] Young knight, learn

to love God and revere women;

thus your honor will grow.

[2] Practice knighthood and learn

the Art that dignifies you,

and brings you honor in wars.

[3] Be a good grappler in wrestling;

lance, spear, sword, and messer

handle manfully,

and foil them in your opponent’s hands.

[4] Strike in and hasten forth;

rush to, let it hit, or go by.

[5] Thus those with wisdom, the ones who

are revered, will envy him.

[6] This you should grasp:

All arts have length and measure.

This is a General Teaching of the Longsword

[7] If you want to behold the art,

See that you go on the left and strike with the right.

[8] And left to right,

is how you strongly want to fight.

[9] He who follows the strokes,

should rejoice little in his art.

[10] Strike close whatever you will,

no Changer will come into your shield.

[11] To the head, to the body

do not shun the Tag-Hits.

[12] Fight with the entire body,

What you powerfully want to do.

[12a] Now mark yet further,

And indeed understand this right-well—

[13] Listen to what is wrong,

do not fight above on the left if you are righthanded;

[14] and if you are left-handed,

on the right you limp as well.

[15] Before and After, these two things,

are to all skill a well-spring.

[16] Weak and Strong,

Always remember the word Instantly.

[17] So you may learn

To work and defend with skill.

[18] If you are easily intimidated,

no fencing should you learn.

[19] Learn five strokes

from the right side against the opposition.

[20] Then we promise

that your arts will be rewarded.

[20a] Thereupon we come to the right grounding

That is the rollicking fighter’s art!

This is the text:

[21] Wrath Stroke, Crooked, Thwart,

Squinter and Scalper,

chasing, overrunning gives strokes,

[22a] Over loping, bind on well;

Stand not still, look what foe could do;

[23] change through, pull,

run through, slice off, press the hands,

[24] hang, wind with the openings;

strike, catch, slash, thrust with jabs.

The Wrath Stroke

[25] Who strikes at you above,

the Wrath stroke threatens him with the point.

[26] If he becomes aware of it,

take it away above without fear.

[27] Be strong against it;

wind, thrust. If he sees that, take it down.

strike, thrust, posture, soft or hard,

[29] Instantly, and Before and After.

Your War should not be in haste.

The War

[30] Who to the War tends above,

gets ashamed below.

[31] In all winding

learn to find stroke, thrust, and slice.

[32] Also you should

Apply stroke, thrust, or slice,

[33] in all encounters,

if you want to fool the masters

The Four Openings

[34] Four openings know,

aim: so you hit certainly,

[35] without any danger

without regard for how he acts;

[35a] if you have correctly learned,

he will scarcely manage to strike.

To Counter the Four Openings

[36] If you want to avenge yourself,

break the four openings with skill:

[37] double above,

transmute below correctly.

[38] I say to you truthfully:

no one can defend himself without danger;

[38a] And frighten at no man,

Stand and look at him earnestly;

[39] if you have correctly learned,

he will scarcely manage to strike.

The Crooked Stroke

[40] Crooked on him with nimbleness,

throw the point on the hands.

[41] Who performs the crooked well,

with stepping he hinders many a stroke.

[42] Strike crooked to the flats

of the Masters if you want to weaken them.

[43] When it clashes above,

Then move away, that I will praise.

[44] Don’t do the Crooked, strike short,

Changing through show with this.

[45] Strike crooked to who irritates you,

the Noble War will confuse him,

[46] that he will not know truthfully

where he can be without danger.

The Thwart Stroke

[47] The Thwart Stroke takes

whatever comes from the roof.

[48] Thwart with the strong,

note your work with this.

[49] Thwart to the Plow;

to the Ox hard together.

[50] He who thwarts well

with springing he endangers the head.

[51] Whoever conducts the Failer

from below he hits at his will.

[52] The Reverser enforces the

running through and also brings wrestling.

[53] The elbow take certainly,

spring into his balance.

[54] Double the Failer,

if you hit, also make the slice.

[55] Twice further on,

step to the left and do not be slow.

The Squinting Stroke

[56] The Squinter breaks into

whatever a buffalo strikes or thrusts.

[57] Who threatens to change through,

the Squinter robs him of it.

[58] Squint when he is short against you,

changing through defeats him.

[59] Squint to the point,

and take the throat without fear.

[60] Squint to the head above

if you want to damage the hands.

[60a] So may you stun him well –

Those failures bereave him of art.

The Scalp Cut

[63] The Scalper is a danger to the face,

[64] with its turn,

very dangerous to the breast.

[65] Whatever comes from him,

the Crown will take it.

[66] Slice through the Crown,

thus you will break it hard through.

[67] Press the strokes,

with slices pull them away.

The Four Guards

[68] Four guards alone hold;

and disdain the common.

[69] Ox, Plow, Fool,

From the Roof should not be unknown to you.

The Four Oppositions

[70] Four are the oppositions

that hurt the four guards very much.

[71] Beware of parrying.

If it happens to you, it troubles you greatly.

[72] If you are parried

and when that has happened,

[73] hear what I advise to you:

Tear away and strike quickly with surprise.

[74] Set upon the four ends.

Stay upon them, learn if you want to bring it to an end.


[75] Learn the chasing

twice, or slice into the weapon.

[76] Two outer intentions.

The work after that begins.

[77] And test the attacks

if they are soft or hard.

[78] Learn the feeling.

The word Instantly slices sharply.

[79] Chase twice,

if you hit, do the Ancient Slice as well.


[80] Who wants to strike below,

overrun him, and he will be shamed.

[81] When it clashes above,

then strengthen: this I truly do praise.

[82] Do your work,

or press hard twice.

Setting Aside

[83] Learn to set aside,

To skillfully hinder stroke and thrust.

[84] Who thrusts at you,

your point hits and counters his.

[85] From both sides

hit every time if you want to step.

Changing Through

[86] Learn the changing through

from both sides, thrust with intent.

[87] Whoever binds to you,

changing through will find him indeed.


[88] Step close in binding.

The pulling provides good finds.


[89] Pull – if he meets, pull more.

Find the work that will hurt him.

[90] Pull in all encounters

against the Masters, if you want to fool them.

Running Through

[91] Run through, let hang

with the pommel. Grasp if you want to wrestle.

[92] Who comes strongly at you,

the running through then remember.

Slicing Off

[93] Slice off the hard ones,

from below in both attacks.

[94] Four are the slices:

two below and two above.

Pressing Hands

[95] Turn your edge,

press the hands to the flats.

[95a] And go after, at the man,

Jolt with the cross already,

[95b] Then you will not be stunned

So have you twice-assaulted.

Two Hangings

[95c] Whoever flows too strongly at you—

Hang and beset him high.

[96] There are two hangings

from one side from the ground.

[98]In all attacks

strike, thrust, posture – soft or hard.

The Speaking Window

[98] Do the Speaking Window,

stand blithely and look at his actions.

[99] Strike him until he is defeated.

When he withdraws from you,

[100] I say to you truthfully:

no one protects himself without danger.

[101] If you have learned this,

he can scarcely manage to strike.

This is the Conclusion of the Epitome

[102] Who conducts well and breaks properly

and finally makes it all right

[103] And splits particularly

everything into three wounders

[104] Who properly well hangs

and also executes the windings,

[105] and the eight windings

views in a righteous way,

[106] and each one of

those same winds I consider to be triple

[107]so they are


[108] And count them only, from both sides.

Eight windings learn with stepping.

[109] And test the bind

no more than soft or hard.

[110] Thus ends Master Liechtenauer’s Art of the Long Sword