A video made for the Museum of Cluny, and its “The Sword: Uses, Myths and Symbols” exhibit. It tries to dispel some of the beliefs that are still prevalent today about the weight and mobility of fighters in plate armor and show some of the techniques used in combat against armored opponents
I’m always pleased to see videos like this. It’s as if people won’t believe unless they’re shown (and there are always some who go “ah, yes, well, in aluminium stage armour it’s easy.”)
Well, the Museum Cluny video, like the Royal Armoury demo team, uses real steel armour: those two pictures at the start show the originals; the video uses reproductions because no curator will let someone take two exhibits from his museum and roll them around on flagstones. Mike Loades in the UK has been doing similar armour demonstrations for years, as has Tobias Capwell of the Wallace Collection. Eventually the old “clunky, immobile, in with a wrench, out with a can-opener” image of plate armour will go away – but I won’t hold my breath. (That shade of purple isn’t a good complexion anyway…)
Even the faster demonstrations of these combat techniques are still dialled back to about half speed. Try to visualise how much quicker and more brutal this would be if the two fighters meant business, when the first rule was Do It To Him As Quickly As Possible Before He Does It To You.
Writer and swordsman Guy Windsor writes about doing motion-capture work for a computer game; his completely authentic techniques couldn’t be used because they were so small, fast and economical. The game needed big swashing movements because the real thing looked unrealistic, too insignificant to be effective…
You won’t see a “killing fight” (full speed, full power, full intent) recreated very often, either on documentaries or in museum exhibitions, because it’s very, very dangerous for (when you think about it) obvious reasons. These techniques from 600-year-old fight manuals were how men in armour maimed and killed other men in armour - and since they’re the original material, not a re-interpretation after 600 years of being diluted down to sport-safe levels, the techniques will still maim and kill men in armour. Even a blunt “safe” sword is pointed enough (first demo on the video, 1:54-59) to go into a helmet’s eye-slot and through the skull inside…
But if you’re lucky enough to see a full-speed demo between fighters in real armour using wasters (wooden practice swords), be prepared to pick your jaw up from the floor. It is awesome. And also as scary as hell.
Comments on comments:
"Pretty much proof positive that the people who claim that skimpy female fantasy armor is for increased maneuverability don’t know what they’re talking about."
They know exactly what they’re talking about. They want to see T&A on fantasy game and book covers, and since they don’t have the balls to be honest about it, this is their excuse.
“It amazes me that the old saws about Western armour and techniques are still going about, because surely two minutes’ thought would let you know that of course knights had to be able to get up off the ground… Europeans were wearing armour for centuries, why wouldn’t they develop techniques of fighting in it?”
It’s easier to laugh (do the same people laugh about samurai?) and repeat what “everyone knows about armour" than it is to waste that two minutes thought. Thinking might reveal something to mess with set opinions, and that would be annoying…
“Biggest pet peeve: People commenting on the weight and shape of armour restricting mobility…”
As before - “everybody knows" that European armour is massive and clunky because that’s what "everybody knows.” God forbid they should ever apply the “if it was so useless then why was it used" logic to anything. Because then they might realise that what "everybody knows" is wrong.
I’m going off to (not) hold my breath for a while… :-P
Can you explain why Europeans were much more technologically advanced than the indigenous populations of Africa? I mean, these cultures hadn't even invented sewage systems, which is something the Romans were able to design and implement in 800-735 BC (a long fucking time before "the white man" colonized it)... I mean fuck, without "the white man", they would probably still be in the fucking bronze age.
I don’t really know what kind of history books bigots like you read.
The Great Libraries of Timbuktu? The steel metallurgy of the Haya? Dentistry? Caesarean section? Premature neonatal care? Mathematics, architecture, engineering? I know it’s hard for a racist like you who imagines “technological advancement” to be some kind of end-all-be-all, or proof of some “inherent intelligence”. I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine, but Europeans have been drawing knowledge from everyone around them since the dawn of time. What did you think ended the Dark Ages?
Your magical (read: white supremacist) idea of a purely 'white' Rome never existed.
The Minoan culture on the island of Crete between 1500-1700 B.C.E. had a highly developed waste management system. They had very advanced plumbing and designed places to dispose of organic wastes. Knossos, the capital city, had a central courtyard with baths that were filled and emptied using terra-cotta pipes. This piping system is similar to techniques used today. They had large sewers built of stone.”
In case you needed further clarification, neither the Minoans nor other (later) Greeks were ethnically uniform. They also had the first flush toilets, dating back to 18th century B.C.E. They had flushing toilets, with wooden seats and an overhead reservoir. The Minoan royals were the last group to use flushing toilets until the re-development of that technology in 1596.
Oh, and look the Mayans had indoor plumbing, acqueducts, and pressurized water too. I mean, you can ignore that the area Mayans lived in had little to few rivers, no lakes or standing water, nor other sources of running water, while simultaneously dealing with monsoons and flooding due to one of the heaviest yearly rainfalls in the Americas.
Classic Maya even used household water filters using locally abundant limestone carved into a porous cylinder, made so as to work in a manner strikingly similar to modern ceramic water filters.
Of course, by this time millenia later none of your precious “white people” had developed any methods besides shitting in pots.Continuing, the earliest archaeological record of an advanced system of drainage comes from the Indus Valley Civilization from around 3100 [B.C.E] in what is now Pakistan and North India. By 2500 B.C.E (almost 5,000 years ago), highly developed drainage system where wastewater from each house flowed into the main drain.All houses in the major cities of Harappa and Mohenjo−daro had access to water and drainage facilities. Waste water was directed to covered drains which lined the major streets directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Each home had its own private drinking well and its own private bathroom. The mains that carried wastewater to a cesspit were tall enough for people to walk through. Reservoirs, a central drainage system, fresh water pumped into the homes. Pools. Baths.It was made from bricks smoothened and joined together seamlessly. The expert masonry kept the sewer watertight. Drops at regular intervals acted like an automatic cleaning device.
Filters for solid waste.Sorry, what were the British doing up until like, 200 years ago? Shitting in the streets? Oh yeah.I mean, I could get into how by the Shang Dynasty (roughly 1600 B.C.E.), China had sophisticated plumbing including pressure inverted siphons.
Or into the city of Amarna, Ancient Egypt. Or Persepolis, Persia and the Achaemenids in 600 B.C.E.But, I mean, it sounds like the only one still in the Bronze Age is you.
Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Please submit your gift to this blog! I will post all of them tomorrow. c:
dumb question but do we put the recipients name on it
wHAT THE FUCK
to be fair the baby was evil