When I think of medieval battles, I first think of chaotic sword fights where brute force was the only thing that mattered. This might have been true for ordinary people, but what about the nobles in their tanks of metal? No! They fought with different techniques and weapons!

Those who could afford it at that time, used to send their children to fencing schools, which were opened everywhere in Europe – but especially in German, Italian and Spanish areas to teach the young boy the tricks of close combat. He learned how to handle various knightly and sometimes unchivalrous tactics and tricks in order to survive in the battle. And little by little, European fencing with the sword, the foil or saber, which we can see nowadays in the Olympic games was developed. Back to the Middle Ages. With the improvement of the body armor, the young nobleman had to use other swordsmanship in a duel on the battlefield. For example, breaking plate armor was no longer easy by just using a simple strike of a sword. A multitude of complex techniques were needed, now. The best thing was to throw one’s opponent to the ground and to stab through the plate with full strength and body weight.

Other weapons such as war hammer, poleaxe and  similar arms were used furthermore, although they had been previously left to the poor infantry. Also unarmed combat was practiced. What should a knight do when he suddenly loses his sword in battle or was unarmed? Hand and grip techniques and  punches were part of it and were important to extend one’s life on the battlefield. By the way, European Wrestling was developed from this unarmed battle!

The entire knowledge was recorded in books in order to compromise, reproduce and spread it. Unfortunately, many of these books got lost. Today, historians and hobby knights try to reconstruct the historical melee. Ambitions to reproduce the medieval fighting style are presented in tournaments like the   ‘The Battle of Nations’ for instance.

Copyright and source: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historische_Kampfk%C3%BCnste_Europashttp://battleofthenations.ua/