Kunheit & Klugheit

Or how come that a peasant beats a master?

Fighting, regardless whether it is a serious combat or simply a sportive competition, is at the same time predictable and unpredictable. On the one hand, when there is a large discrepancy in skill level between opponents, we can easily predict that the more skilled will win. On the other hand, even having all odds against him the weaker fighter may still prevail. How is such paradox possible? Especially in fencing, which starting from the late 15th century became referred to more often as ‘Science’ rather than ‘Art’, because of its alleged reliability?

The proposed workshop will follow the teachings of the so-called Döbringer Codex (MS3227a), wherein we are warned that ‘a brave peasant often defeats a master’. We will explore some of the factors other than technical proficiency that are decisive in achieving victory. From the long list of necessary fighter’s virtues, we will concentrate on Courage (Kunheit) and Wisdom (Klugheit). These two qualities are separate, i.e. one does not depend on theother, and contribute immensely to success in combat, each in its unique way. The core of the workshop will comprise of some basic fencing tactics theory, which is applicable to all weapons and situations, and tactical drills aimed at raising fencers’ self-awarness and perception.

The workshop should be limited up to 14 participants (preferrably intermediate and above). Attendees need to have a longsword and a mask. Additional protective gear is optional, but highly recommended – as for that, gambesons are a priority.