Gladiatoria — Ms. Germ. Quart. 16

This manuscript originally rested in the former royal library in Berlin, but since 1945 was considered a loss of war. In the 1980s, Hans-Peter Hils rediscovered it at the Biblioteka Jagiellonski, in Krakow. Weapon and armaments collector Peter Schlegel limited its date of creation to 1435-1440.

On leaf 55v is found an illustrated piece on fencing with the staff. There are seveal things to note, particularly: 1) Both left foot foward and right foot foward position is is shown. 2) Both “cross grip” (Jp. honte-mochi, left person) and “upper grip” (Jp. gyaku-mochi) are shown. 3) An attack to the head is shown by the right person, while an attack to the foot/leg might be used as a counter by the left person. 4) There are gloves drawn in the upper center of the illustration. This might be taken as a hint to wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). 5) Apparently they are both wearing a tight, padded fencing jacket with a high collar, which also points to personal protective equipment (PPE).

Therefore, while this is just a short text and only one (quite nice) illustration, it actually says a lot. Here follow both text and illustration:

Next, note the posture in the staff, from which one can perform all strikes, and all combat pieces and counters belonging to the staff.

Gladatoria, 55v: “Merkt aber ain stand mit der stangen daraus man alle hew genemen mag vnd alle stück vnd prüch die zu der stangen gehören.”
Source: Wiktenauer.

© 2019, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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