Johannes Liechtenauer, the father of German martial arts, created a system of combat that was second to none. Later authors wrote books detailing his art, some for earnest combat and others for a sportive version, that have survived to the present day. This book attempts to draw together the writings of various masters of Liechtenauer’s school into a single, comprehensive source detailing the art of fighting in earnest. Not limited to a single author, nor to just the basics of the art, this book attempts to show the full range of Liechtenauer’s art without mixing in any of the more sportive sources from later authors. In addition to the techniques themselves, The Knightly Art of the Longsword includes information on strategic concepts, fundamentals, equipment, finding a school, training, and even how to teach the art. NB: This is the perfect-bound edition.
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By Trevor Clemons
Feb 9, 2010
The Knightly Art of the Longsword is Hugh Knight's most current work on the Longsword. While Mr. Knight has published a previous work on the longsword, it was admitted to be more of a study guide for his Western Martial Art students, rather than a stand-alone book. As one who has been studying Western Martial Arts for some time now, I found his previous work to be a useful adjunct to other works I've seen, particularly because Mr. Knights martial interpretations seemed to work better than others I've read. This has been very illuminating while my friends and I have been doing our "study group", where we try to replicate the moves illustrated in the books in real-life. And in that vein, Mr. Knight really delivers on this book, his "Magnum Opus", if you will. It is considerably larger than his previous longsword book, and while it does add a few techniques that were left out of his previous work, the real reason for this volume's heft is because of all of the... More > explanatory detail that Mr. Knight goes into. In my opinion, where Mr. Knight really sets himself apart from other Western Martial Artists is his extensive background in other martial arts and as a teacher of this one. This gives him an excellent understanding in body mechanics and martial soundness that a mere translator is unable to "bring to the table". As such, this new version is jam-packed with subtleties of technique to help a student, without benefit of a live teacher, *make* those techniques work. Unfortunately, the Medieval fechtbuchen (fight books) often do not go into critical details such as footwork or hand positions, which can make interpretation of these techniques maddening. It is apparent from Mr. Knight's work that he has repeatedly taught these techniques enough to troubleshoot common problems for students. Any modern author of Western Martial Arts will readily admit that their interpretations often change as better understanding/translations come about. In the last ten years, there has, indeed, been a great evolution of understanding of the Western Martial Arts, and a concurrent trend towards more and more agreement among various authors and interpretors. So, with that in mind, I'm going to go out on a limb here: I believe this work of Mr. Knight's will prove to be a classic. While it may have some minor revisions as time goes on, I think that in 20 years time this book will be a staple in the Western Martial Arts community, and a "must have" for any serious student of the Lichtenauer school of Medieval swordsmanship.< Less
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