17thC Polish Sabre

sabre

Brief Summary

From the 16th century to the 18th century, the curved sabre was an important weapon in the arsenal of the Polish nobles. They used it on foot and on horseback, for war and for matters of honour. Even today, it remains a strong cultural image in Poland. Although sadly there are no surviving contemporary treatises about the use of the Polish sabre, there is contextual evidence (memoirs, pictorial evidence, etc.), as well as treatises on related weapons from other countries (particularly dussack is useful here). Most of the Polish literature about this weapon comes from the 19th century or later, which means that the interpretive process has to be careful and sensitive.


Main Sources

- Werner, J.A., Versuch einer theoretischen Anweisung zur Fechtkunst im Hiebe Mit 20 erläuternden Kupfertafeln. (1824)
- Starzewski, M., O Szermierstwie. (1830, published by grandson in 1930s)
- Roux, F.A.W., Anweisung zum Hiebfechten. (1849)
- Sawicki, Z., Palcaty polska sztuka walki. (2005)
- Zabłocki, W., Szable Świata. (2011)
- Izdebska, D.W., "On Customs and Traditions in the Reign of Augustus III" [excerpts] by Jędrzej Kitowicz (1728 - 1804). (2012)


Equipment

To begin practicing this discipline in the Academy of Historical Arts, you will need the following items:

- synthetic arming sword
- fencing mask
- padded gloves

The links will take you to the appropriate pages on the Corsair's Wares website, where you may purchase the necessary equipment. Buying through Corsair's Wares puts money back into the Academy of Historical Arts so that we can further our educational activities.


Protective Gear Minimum Requirements

According to the AHA Health and Safety Policy, these are the current minimum requirements to engage in activities safely for this discipline. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory, items marked in italics are recommended. Most of these items are available through Corsair's Wares; buying through Corsair's Wares puts money back into the Academy of Historical Arts so that we can further our educational activities.

- drilling with wooden/synthetic swords
* Head: CEN level 1 mask
Head: CEN level 2 mask (recommended)
Head: padded mask overlay (recommended)
Head: back of head protection (recommended)
Neck: rigid throat protector (recommended)
Torso: rigid chest protector (recommended)
Torso: padded jacket or gambeson (recommended)
Torso: groin guard (recommended)
Arms: forearm & elbow protection (recommended)
Hands: thin or preferably well padded gloves (recommended)
Legs: knee & shin guards (recommended)

- sparring with wooden/synthetic swords
* Head: CEN level 1 mask
* Hands: well padded gloves
Head: CEN level 2 mask (recommended)
Head: padded mask overlay (recommended)
Head: back of head protection (recommended)
Neck: rigid throat protector (recommended)
Torso: rigid chest protector (recommended)
Torso: padded jacket or gambeson (recommended)
Torso: groin guard (recommended)
Arms: forearm & elbow protection (recommended)
Legs: knee & shin guards (recommended)

- drilling with steel swords
* Head: CEN level 1 mask
Head: CEN level 2 mask (recommended)
Head: padded mask overlay (recommended)
Head: back of head protection (recommended)
Neck: rigid throat protector (recommended)
Torso: rigid chest protector (recommended)
Torso: padded jacket or gambeson (recommended)
Torso: 350N or preferably 800N rated underplastron (recommended)
Torso: groin guard (recommended)
Arms: forearm & elbow protection (recommended)
Hands: thin or preferably well padded gloves (recommended)
Legs: knee & shin guards (recommended)

- sparring with steel swords
* Head: CEN level 1 mask
* Head: back of head protection
* Torso: padded jacket or gambeson
* Hands: well padded gloves
* Legs: knee & shin guards
Head: CEN level 2 mask (recommended)
Head: padded mask overlay (recommended)
Neck: rigid throat protector (recommended)
Torso: rigid chest protector (recommended)
Torso: 350N or preferably 800N rated underplastron (recommended)
Torso: groin guard (recommended)
Arms: forearm & elbow protection (recommended)


We have gone to great lengths to ensure that we do not mandate and price people out of the activity. It should always be possible to participate in training, even if only to a lesser degree of intensity. Obviously the more intense and less safe the activity becomes, the more protective gear is necessary to mitigate the risk of harm. You are always welcome to wear more protective gear than the minimum requirements, we will never tell you to remove protective gear (unless it poses a risk to yourself or other participants, for whatever reason).


Useful Resources

For a comprehensive list of treatises, transcriptions and translations, there is no better resource than the Wiktenauer: http://www.wiktenauer.com/