It is often said that “the only constant is change,” and the study of historical martial arts does nothing to deny that aphorism. I recently had someone complain that a picture in my book, The Knightly Art of the Longsword (Lulu.com, 2009), shows me doing a displacement differently from how I teach it now, and he was right. But as I wrote in the introduction to that book: “While the art of the longsword is an old one, it is but newly rediscovered and our interpretations are relatively recent. The process of interpreting medieval Fechtbücher is more art than science, and even someone very familiar with the German language can be easily confused by the writings of our fifteenth-century antecedents. Moreover, we’re learning new things and discovering new sources all the time, things that can have a great impact on our understanding of our art.
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