Jun 2007
Seven Western Martial Arts Groups from Europe
Posted in Reclaiming the Blade I by RTB at 5:30 pm | Comments Off

Seven Western Martial Arts groups located in five countries in Europe provide footage for Reclaiming the Blade. The HD footage of these organizations practicing WMA is sure to be a great addition to the film adding great depth to the storyline.

In Sweden, we witness Stockholm’s Historical Fencing Society led by Todd Tornquist with cinematography by Decoy Films. This group is interested in history and martial arts with a goal to revive medieval and renaissance European material arts.

Later in London, we stop in on a session with Schola Gladiatoria led by Matt Easton and arranged by Dr. Gordon Hart. A founding member of HEMAC and a member of British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS), Schola Gladiatoria primarily concentrates on the 15th century Italian text called Fiore de Ilibberi although they study other Italian texts from the same time period as well.

In France, we join de Taille et d’Estoc led by Fabrice Cognot. De Taille et d’Estoc has existed since 2003, although its founders have been studying HEMA since 2000. They mainly work after the teachings of Fiore dei Liberi, and the Liechtenauerian traditions, but also focus on Le Jeu de la Hache, a XVth century manuscript of Burgundian origin. The scope of their interests range from the late XIIIth/early XIVth century (I.33) to the Modern era. De Taille et d’Estoc hosts the annual International European Historical Martial Arts gathering, which has seen its 6th edition in 2007.

Back in the United Kingdom, we featured – Boar’s Tooth Fight School led by David Rawlings. Previously, Rawlings released an instructional DVD, Fencing with the Sword and Buckler, presenting techniques from the oldest known fencing manual, The Lutegerus Manuscripts (I.33).

While still in London, The School of Traditional Medieval Fencing led by Philippe Willaume, provided two very different sessions. One based on the texts of German fencing master Sigmund Ringeck and the other exploring mounted combat (swords on horseback).

Carrying on to Germany, Colin Richards of the Arts of Mars demonstrates astounding cutting procedures. Instead of shooting these quick moving cuts on a standard HD camera, they were captured on Photron RAPXRS cameras traditionally used to film crash test dummies. These cameras capture 300 frames per second compared to 24 or 30 frames per second on a normal DV camera. RTB is excited to unveil the speed and detail of the sword movements that can be captured with these cameras.

Finally, we stop in Poland to gather images of their famed fight schools. The building that now serves as the town hall in Wroclaw was originally built during the 13th century. The outside of the building depicts carvings from the 15th and 16th century similar to the ancient fight manuals. They display scenes including duels on horseback, sword combat, and grappling. RTB also gathered footage from Ringschule Wrocław ARMA-PL led by Tom Maziarz. Tom’s talented group demonstrated unarmed grappling techniques based upon historic European manuals.

Europe represents an extremely rich culture of Western Martial Arts groups. Galatia Films, LLC is proud to be featuring some of the best historical techniques as demonstrated by well trained practitioners and scholars from around the world. The film producers’ made good friends and connections during this the project and strongly desire to support and showcase discovered talent. Rumor has it that director Daniel McNicoll and producer Erica Black intend to return to Europe for a DVD follow up to Reclaiming the Blade: RTB2 (Call to Arms).

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