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The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1403970923
ISBN-10: 1403970920
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About the Author

Jeffrey L. Forgeng is Paul S. Morgan Curator at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Adjunct Associate Professor of History at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition (October 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403970920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403970923
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,921,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This translation is far from perfect, but it's a must for students of the renaissance martial arts. The frustrating flaws with this presentation are that everything is translated, including terms for specific movements and techniques. Students who are used to using the original, specific German terms for certain techniques will be thrown off by the variable, hard to catch, less specific English terms and phrases they are replaced with.

It would have been far better if they could have left technique names and terms in the original language, perhaps italicised, and defined elsewhere in the book or in margins.

Also, the pictures for each section are clustered in the end of each chapter, making one flip back and forth constantly in study.

Aside from all that, the book is one of the best out there. Published in the late prime of true renaissance martial arts culture, many mistake it for a "sportified" version of earlier combative arts. In reality, it is simply presented in more of an established, martial arts school type format, giving yet more perspective on techniques of the same, old tradition. It has quite a variety of weapons, training drills and methods, and principles expounded upon withing it's covers.
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Format: Hardcover
This publication is in reprint, will be available through Purpleheart Armoury in mid-January!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book can be very confusing to read, but then again it was written in the 1500s in German and was recently translated. If you are into historic combat arts, it is very good. It begins with longsword techniqus, then transfers them to dusak (precursor to German Sabre) techniques, then translates them to rapier techniques. If you're only interested in rapier, then you may look elsewhere, because the rapier part only make sense if you've studied the dusak part, which only makes sense if you've studied the longsword part.

I've found it not too difficult to follow, especially with the woodcuts included with the text.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book, and it is a great reference/guide to recreating medieval martial arts.

I would like to point out that there is (finally!) a new edition of this book, so if you want it, go buy it! No need to look through listings for $900 used copies. It is available for around $40. Search Amazon or Google for the ISBN - 978-1848327788
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're practicing historical European martial arts, then you obviously already have this book on your shelf. The only problem I have with it is that it's a text that comes from a period when some of the training is looking similar to what we see in contemporary marital arts: even the fundamentals are described as boatloads of techniques built around special circumstances (i.e. if attacker does A respond with B, if attacker responds with...etc., etc.).

I don't speak German, much less mid-renaissance German, so I can't say anything about the translation. It seems good despite the obstacles presented by the maddeningly ornate language of the time.
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