European Martial Arts

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Jan 20 2007 16 mins   2

Despite the fact there is a more than 2,400-year-old military tradition within Western civilization of close-combat proficiency, few subjects have received as unfortunate neglect by historians and academics than the martial arts of Western Europe. But a growing amount of modern research has centered on the historical methods of using various types of Medieval and Renaissance swords and weaponry in historically accurate and martially sound manners. This emerging study of historical European martial arts involves a fascinating combination of military history, fencing history, literature, art, language, and archaeology.

The history of European arms and armor is itself one of established continuity marked by sudden developments of necessitated innovation. As new tools were devised, so too were new methods for using them. These methods in turn influenced still newer designs. By studying the historical systems for employing such arms and armor, we come to the best possible understanding for how and why they were designed as they were. This further leads to a greater appreciation for the little known martial arts of the age.

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Today's episode was written by John Clements of ARMA

Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine and the International Research and Publishing Corporation