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It's a useful book for educational purposes but it's a decade old ...
on August 15, 2014
It's a useful book for educational purposes but it's a decade old now and much of this interpretation has since been changed. Wagner and Hand, like many doing I.33 a few years ago, approach it from the perspective of better known, later fighting arts. So anyone familiar with longsword will notice similar footwork and concepts. Their stance is upright and they are quite conservative in using the buckler. Since then most students of this art, including I believe these authors, have been fleshing out the gaps between the panels of the I.33 sketches more accurately. So instead of the upright-posture, side-stepping style of early longsword, we're seeing a much more forward-leaning and dynamic approach that uses the buckler to control the center line and relies on sword rotation for strikes. If anything the buckler has now become the primary "weapon" in I.33, with the sword playing a secondary role rotating around it. The literature for the newer interpretations is still a work in progress, but Roland's work is probably the best one to check out now. Nevertheless I find this book an interesting companion piece in the way it shows how the HEMA interpretation has evolved in the past few years. Just remember not to get too attached to doing things this way, or indeed any one way. Issues as basic as which foot should be forward for various I.33 guards are still being vigorously debated.