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Art of Combat (2014) by Joachim Meyer
Art of Combat (2014) by Joachim Meyer

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Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570
by Joachim Meyer
Translated by Jeffrey L. Forgeng

First published in 1570, Joachim Meyer's The Art of Combat is among the most important texts in the rich corpus of German martial arts treatises of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Meyer is unique in offering full recommendations on how to train for various weapons forms. He divides his book into five parts by weapon types: longsword; dusack (a practice weapon analogous to a sabre); rapier; dagger; and staff weapons.

For each weapon, Meyer lays out the principles of its use and the vocabulary of techniques, and then describes a range of specific 'devices', attack combinations for use in combat. This rational approach, along with Meyer's famous and profuse woodcut illustrations, make this a crucial source for understanding the history and techniques of medieval and Renaissance martial arts.

In the first ever English translation of this important work, Jeffrey Forgeng has sought to improve accessibility of the text. His Introduction is the first substantial account to be published in English of the German Fechtbuch corpus, and the Glossary likewise is the first of its kind to be published in English.

"A fascination, too little-known, and vividly illustrated volume, Meyer's Art of Combat is especially remarkable in its attention to fighting with halberds, pikes, and quarterstaffs. Military and cultural historians as well as those interested in stage combat will find it invaluable." - Professor James Shapiro

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  • First ever English translation of this classic 16th century combat treatise.
  • Includes a substantial introduction to the medieval German martial arts tradition and a glossary of technical terms.
  • With more than sixty beautiful woodcut illustrations.

Average Rating: 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 2 Write a review »

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
German Longsword Manual January 29, 2017
Reviewer: Anonymous Person  
Fantastic manual. Really well written/translated and it is laid out in a very logical manner for either learning the basics or improving your skills.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Amazing read January 23, 2017
Reviewer: Raymond Koren from Sparta, MI United States  
I love this book. The translator is very honest and clear with how this translation took place. And of course, a must have for any one wishing to the learn German form or martial arts, or of any form for that matter. Meyer is very concise and mostly clear on the intentions of what he was writing.

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