“Fencing treatises were written for bloss fighting. This creates some changes in the mindset: some stress, respect for the opponent, and even fear. Nowadays we use blunt weapons so if we’re about to recreate historical techniques as they are described, we have to create level of stress that is at least similar to these historical situations”, says vice-president of Freifechter Wrocław Piotr Marchlik.
“We need to feel some pressure, so we use only a mask and gloves; possibly some joints protection. We’re doing it since always and I think our fights look a bit different. Such a framework requires a little different mobility, different footwork, different moves. Our first priority is to not get hit – because it’s painful. Then, the second thing is to hit the opponent. Alternatively, we want to balance these two goals: to win a fight but in a secure way”, he adds.
Many fencers – hearing about combat without full protection – are afraid of of possible injuries.
“There is some risk of injury if there is a significant difference between levels of protection. If one fencer is protected by a full gear and the other one has just a mask and gloves, then the first one doesn’t feel any fear and fights in more hardcore way. But everyone participating in our bloss fights has the same level of protection so usually it generates no injuries”, Piotr explains.
Acording to fencers from Freifechter there is a rich tradition of Fechtschulen in the city of Wrocław. These public events were a way of celebration important events by tournaments, show-offs and other forms of weapon-fighting.
“We would like to present everything that happent during historical Fechtschulen: not only longsword, but also messer, rapier, halberd, staff… The only question is: where could we find people training all these things? But I really hope to organize at least messer tournament during FechtFest 2020”, Piotr says.