This week, we present an article by Hugh Kerrigan. This marks our first guest post by someone from a different group. Hugh is based in Ireland, and trains with the European Historical Combat Guild: http://www.ehcg.net/
Why were people shorter back in medieval times?
NOTE: I am not an anthropologist, historian or dietician. The observations and conclusions below are based on amateur research and summation based on various, often tertiary, sources.
Current demographics in average height around the world show considerable variation.
According to Wikipedia (which, as we all know is never wrong) the average height for men and women ranges from 6’1” and 5’7½” respectively in the Dinaric Alps to 5’2” and 4’10” in Indonesia.
The average in much of Europe seems to be about 5’9” to 5’10”.
Oliver Cromwell is famous primarily for his ascension to the position of Lord Protector of England after spearheading the Roundhead side of the English Civil War and disposing and executing Charles I. As King, he went on to rule the country with an iron fist according to his own Puritan beliefs, even going so far as cancelling Christmas one year, and being held responsible for the mass slaughters of both Drogheda and Wexford. He also disbanded his own Parliament on several occasions when they failed to agree with him. However, this is a very simplistic overview of Cromwell’s reign, deliberately cast in the worst possible light.
In the unarmoured longsword fighting style of Johannes Liechtenauer and the other masters in his tradition, we can find a particularly important set of strikes. These strikes can be used to end a fight before an engagement has even begun, and to break supposedly safe defensive positions and guards taken by an opponent. How do the master strikes break these guards, and why do they work in this fashion?
This last Sunday I had the pleasure of travelling back to Dundee for my first visit since going with the military many years ago. I have been meaning to go and spend time with the Dundee based part of the AHA for a while now, but as they are more longsword focused and that is Keith’s area of expertise it has always made more sense for him to go. As this weekend was a tournament I had the perfect excuse to go and am extremely glad that I did.
Read on to hear about my glorious return to Dundee to referee the 1st Edgbana Tournament.