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DarkenedSkies t1_j6m3vvs wrote

How to Defend Thyself Against an Interloper Springing Forth from thy Privy Whilst thy Man is abroad in Outremer - 4th edition, paperback


ccReptilelord t1_j6nj08e wrote

But does it describe how to defend oneself from a man wielding fruit?


Old_Red_Alligator t1_j6nxs72 wrote

We did that already, couldnt we try and defend ourselves from soneone attacking with a stick?


ccReptilelord t1_j6o4lti wrote

Pointed stick? Oh, we want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh?


Skurrio t1_j6m3anm wrote

It's not a Fight-Club, it's Trial by Combat when a Woman doesn't have a Champion to fight for her against a Man.


Tankgoboom23 t1_j6mqbga wrote

It's funny that the article was trying to insinuate that it was wife vs husband. Also, imagine getting dragged into the hole that was given to you as a handicap?


BrockManstrong t1_j6nm33d wrote

The article literally calls the man vs wife angle "bullshit". That's a direct quote.

It goes on to say this manual was made 300 years after Man vs Wife combat disappeared from Europe.


Tankgoboom23 t1_j6o5auy wrote

Talking about the original, which this article referenced. Though, looking in retrospect, it does seem like I'm calling this article wrong.


daHob t1_j6myz96 wrote

Yes, commonly wife and husband.


CzebarosIsLife t1_j6o21vr wrote

Hans Talhoffers fencing manual states, that is forbidden that the combatants are closer than a relation in the fifth degree (Item wenn zween mann gesinnt sind biß uff die fünffte sipp oder näher die mügent durch recht nit mit ein ander kempfen und des müssn siben man schwern die die vatter und muotter halb mäge sind - Talhoffer 1459, Page 9 recto) Therefore a fight between wife and husband is not shown in this document and probably illegal.


palomageorge t1_j6osd5f wrote

Doesn’t this only relate to “Sippschaft” meaning being paternal blood relatives? I don’t see why this excludes spouses, a wife would still be considered a part of her own paternal “Sippe”. My Frühneuhochdeutsch is a bit rusty though.


CzebarosIsLife t1_j6oxkbs wrote

I was thinking that a women would be part of heir husbands "sippe" when they marry, but I may be wrong. But independently of that, the text dosen't mention that this is a fight between a wife and a husband.


CzebarosIsLife t1_j6ovn0e wrote

And further If two men are fifth degree or closer in relation they are forbidden by right to fight each other (in a trial by Combat). 7 men from the fathers or mothers side have to swear for this.


bexmex t1_j6nwsnh wrote

The article says it’s not from trial by combat, there were no records of that being used after 1200.

Altho I’m wondering if it’s a theoretical match-up for trial by combat? Like what if Bruce Lee fought Chuck Norris? Who would need the handicap, and how? Just in case it might crop up again with the next plague or what not.


raymaehn t1_j6o3hm9 wrote

> it’s not from trial by combat, there were no records of that being used after 1200.

It's not from trial by combat to settle a dispute between husband and wife.

Trial by combat in general was still around, but it was only invoked in cases of (for example) murder, treason, blasphemy and a few other high-profile accusations.


Thusgirl t1_j6o8iwj wrote

Really let's murderers off the hook if they're good at murdering.


raymaehn t1_j6oahlr wrote

This is a legal system that assumes God exists and is interested in humanity. Werner says that Albrecht killed somebody. Albrecht says that's a lie. Both have three respected members of the community backing them up. Evidence - based rulings and In Dubio Pro Reo aren't really things yet.

So what's the logical consequence? Appeal to the ultimate authority. Give Albrecht and Werner weapons, put them in the arena and let God sort them out. He'll make sure the guy who's in the right wins. It might seem barbaric from a modern perspective but from a medieval mindset it's elegant.


Thusgirl t1_j6od31e wrote


Really let's murderers off the hook if they're good at murdering.


raymaehn t1_j6oday6 wrote

Pretty much, yeah. But only if those murderers have just as many friends as their accusers.


Alarming-Ad1100 t1_j6oki9k wrote

Just wanna say you broke it down really well thanks for expanding my understanding of this a little more. Their perspective in mind it’s understandable and human strangely.

Thankfully things have changed but it’s so wild


[deleted] t1_j6omu6w wrote



raymaehn t1_j6oqhxr wrote

Thanks, that's good to hear!

When I'm talking about trials by combat I'm talking about roughly 1400 onward so I can't say much about what happens before that but to my knowledge it wasn't over after the fight was over. In my example, if Albrecht won and Werner survived the fight then Werner was on the hook now. Because if Albrecht won then Werner really did lie. To a judge, under oath. That was a serious crime in and of itself.


nsa_reddit_monitor t1_j6oh8iz wrote

Technically trial by combat is still an option in the US court system. This is because it was legal in Britain when the US declared independence, and the British laws/precedents were mostly kept as-is. Britain outlawed it a few decades later but that didn't change the now seperated laws in the US.

Nobody's ever specifically outlawed trial by combat in the US because only a few people have ever tried to use it, and those people were told to shut up and just pay their traffic tickets.


Powerful_Phrase_9168 t1_j6on4f8 wrote

Is it actually codified anywhere or just implied that it's a legal option?


jmcs t1_j6optb3 wrote

I just found a recent legal article about it:

Still didn't read it but I'll post a TLDR when I finish skimming through it.

TLDR: it's not codified and the claim that the US inherited the full body of English Common Law at the time of the secession (including trial by combat) is generally not accepted. There's no explicit decision of the supreme court but it's very unlikely it's actually legal in the US.


willrms01 t1_j6m4629 wrote

It was how to settle marriage disputes in certain select cases if my memory serves me,the man had to be buried waste deep with one arm tied up and a weaker weapon I believe to make it fair.I get the feeling some wives really liked doing this lol


s0nicboom714 t1_j6nqk63 wrote

If you read the article, it actually claims that the interpretation you mention is hastily made and likely incorrect.


Nurgus t1_j6oy5zn wrote

Why do people comment without reading the bloomin' article?


Undernown t1_j6o3qhr wrote

In modern day this sounds more like a kink than anything else.


tatramatra t1_j6nearb wrote

That's not "mixed-gender fight club" those are pictures of "trial by combat" or in other words, judicial duels where legal disputes were to be settled by duels ordered by the court.

As women were considered to be at the disadvantage in combat, men were to be handicapped in duels with women to make fight more "fair".

Pictures are from a fighting manual supposed to teach people how to fight these trials.


BillHicksScream t1_j6oa95a wrote

LOL. This was centuries before apparently and the article even brings in a historian to dispel such assumptions specifically.

Says so much about reality: we can put words right in front of someone, bit they might ignore them in explaining them.


eedewah t1_j6ok1ed wrote

What? The article explicitly disagrees with you. According to the historians, Talhoffer was covering his historic bases by including them.

> Says so much about reality: we can put words right in front of someone, bit they might ignore them in explaining them.


Bullgrit t1_j6njcl9 wrote

I understand this is trial by combat stuff, woman vs. man, and putting the man in the hole is meant to make the fight more fair. But what about man vs. man (or woman vs. woman) trials where one man is significantly bigger than the other, or more trained (or trained at all vs. completely untrained), or any other disparity between the combatants? What exactly is this concept of "fair"? Why would someone choose a trial by combat if they didn't think they had some [unfair?] advantage over their opponent? If fairness is desired, why not just roll dice and then execute (or beat) the loser? If the decision has to be through combat, and "God's favor" is expected to be the deciding factor, why isn't the larger man's advantage considered to be part of "God's plan"?

I'm asking legitimate questions, here, to hear answers. I'm not asking rhetorical questions to make a point.

Really, what variables were considered still fair, vs. what variables were considered unfair for a trial by combat?


smolDreee t1_j6oufz5 wrote

>trials where one man is significantly bigger than the other, or more trained

"Pick on someone your own size."

"Mess with the bull, get the horns."


-introuble2 t1_j6m4p4z wrote

thank you for drawing my attention to this article & successively to the manuscripts!


thisplacemakesmeangr t1_j6mo0aa wrote

Objectively, which of these pictures shows an effective technique for any situation you'd likely experience needing actual self defense? Serious question.


raymaehn t1_j6mq3dw wrote

None, this isn't a self defense situation, this is highly ritualized trial by combat. Treatises for "real" combat or self defense exist as well but obviously they look a bit different. They don't start with one of the combatants in a hole, for example.


daHob t1_j6mz7qb wrote

Yeah, judicial duels were a common thing throughout the middle ages. Many combat manuals and some of the weirder weapons of the time were designed for duels and not general combat.


thisplacemakesmeangr t1_j6mr8jz wrote

I've seen quite a few and my dad made me do martial arts because of my size, that's why I had to ask. It looked more like someone in the 15th was trolling than anything someone would actually do. Like under any circumstance, considering the kinesics and logistics. Extended face down in a hole, in combat? Thought I was having a flashback.


raymaehn t1_j6mw0kq wrote

Well, the guy who wrote the treatise fought judicial duels as a job so I'm not sure if there's a whole lot of trolling going on here. That doesn't mean something like this happened often or regularly but I wouldn't discount it happening at all. It might be a way to even the playing field so to speak. The woman gets the freedom of movement and can play out her range but since the man is standing in a hole his center of gravity is so low he can't be grappled effectively.


thisplacemakesmeangr t1_j6mxfff wrote

The one with the most egregious lack of sense has the woman upside down. I'm also a clinical massage therapist for the last few decades, there's no way I know of to make physical sense of that picture. The lady is looking at a broken neck if the 2 of them so much as squirm wrong let alone fight.


raymaehn t1_j6n2dlq wrote

Maybe it's because I've been reading these treatises and attempting to reconstruct the techniques in them for a long time but it makes sense to me. In that image the man has (somehow) managed to neutralize the woman's weapon (possibly by wrapping it around his mace or arm) and gotten her close enough that he could sweep her off her feet and pull her into the hole where she's defenseless.

Also, yeah, that might result in a broken neck. That was the goal. Judicial duels were fought until one side was either dead or had given up. They were only called when there was a stalemate in a case where the death penalty was on the table, this wasn't something people did for petty grievances. Especially since they believed that God would grant victory to the person who had been telling the truth. That meant the loser hadn't been telling the truth, which means they had been lying under oath. Which could be punishable by death.


thisplacemakesmeangr t1_j6n3bev wrote

Neat! That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks. (From manual I was assuming they were techniques, like teaching a form. Not like circumstances that might occur.)


raymaehn t1_j6n5nlr wrote

It's kinda-sorta both. Most European fighting manuals don't really work with forms as you would know them from Eastern martial arts, it's mostly scenarios. The text says "If your opponent does X then you do Y" in varying degrees of detail and the picture shows what that's supposed to look like.

The problem with Talhoffer is that it's essentially only images and no text which makes it harder to interpret. Also it's still medieval, and medieval art doesn't follow modern rules of depth which doesn't help either.

Talhoffer shows judicial duels because that's what he knew, that's what he was qualified to talk about. Other manuals depict fighting in the context of self defense or a training hall or a duel of honor depending on where the qualifications of the author were and how they wanted to present themselves.


thisplacemakesmeangr t1_j6ncwkr wrote

I noticed out of 7 pictures, 6 of them have direct or implied contact with a genital region. Have you seen the other pictures from this manual, did they just pick salacious ones for the article? And the last has the lady grabbing a boob out of nowhere which I'm having a hard time fitting into context. Any guesses?


raymaehn t1_j6nflj9 wrote

It's this manuscript. You can see contact with genitals not only in this specific setup, it also appears in other areas. Not exactly sure why, maybe it's because the groin is a convenient place to set up a takedown that also hurts when you grab it. AFAIK you get similar situations in folk style wrestling like Turkish oil wrestling or Glima, but I'm not sure. That said, grappling isn't my strong point, I mainly concentrate on the armed stuff.


thisplacemakesmeangr t1_j6nnsx4 wrote

I guess there are a few too many gratuitous sexual inferences that don't fit combat for me not to wonder if other factors are in play. Sex would've garnered extra attention back then like it does now and the format allows some leeway before any reputations would get tarnished. The boob grab with the guy having his hand clasped at his own crotch doesn't seem to have any potential value added from the pose for instance. I'm under no illusion my tangential experience qualifies me for anything other than a layman's opinion though : )


centricgirl t1_j6o5n86 wrote

I have zero fighting experience, but I interpret that last pic as the two combatants swinging their weapons with their dominant arm and protecting their vulnerable areas with their other arm.


Thatparkjobin7A t1_j6na0fc wrote

Are there any medieval self defence manuscripts that depict kicking your attacker in the groin?


raymaehn t1_j6nawwm wrote

Yup. There's a treatise associated with Albrecht Dürer (yes, that Albrecht Dürer) where groins get kicked, knees get stomped, arms get broken and eyes get gouged.


creg67 t1_j6ngvwi wrote

Watch the video at the end of the article. There is a modern day demonstration of what is depicted in the manual with explanations.


mangalore-x_x t1_j6ndtaf wrote

This is assumed a specific kind of duel to settle a dispute by commoners/town people where a woman was defending her rights.

The hallmark of duels was that they were intentionally designed to equalize the combat so "God's will" was not distorted by something like one guy being a trained swordsman. Another was that (particularly if not of the knightly class) you actually wanted a lot of duels not to be to the death but until one side yields. Obviously depended on what this was about.

For that reason specific, weird looking fencing shields were common, too. Easy to defend, awkward to handle.


EMPwarriorn00b t1_j6mkca7 wrote

Reminds me of the historical fencing group I'm in, with both guys and girls obviously.


PlayedUOonBaja t1_j6nkdvl wrote

One of those British History shows that did an entire episode on this trying to recreate the techniques in the illustrations. Took me a second, but I found it. They also recreate some of the siege engines and other inventions from the manual.


Rawesome16 t1_j6nuqj1 wrote

IIRC the man stands in a shallow pit while the woman stands. I think it had to do with divorce or a scorned woman


nith_wct t1_j6ophcb wrote

It seems like the article is actually directly contradicting that.


Rawesome16 t1_j6oq04f wrote

I'm going to trust the sources I've read my info from more than this one that I've never heard of.

That and a quick Google search of "middle ages divorce by combat" sites multiple sources with that exact picture claiming what I said to be the accurate one


nith_wct t1_j6or93e wrote

Did you read the article? This manuscript was made after divorce by combat stopped.


Rawesome16 t1_j6ouuzb wrote

So how am I wrong? It's the same style of fight, from the same rules. I said originally it was a divorce method, your said no its not, now are saying it's based on it? Why are we even talking? If I were not being paid for this is not worth my time


grambell789 t1_j6ogizd wrote

this just makes me wonder how sword centric society was back then. it reminds me of how every problem looks like a nail if you have a hammer. solving civil law problems with swords seems so strange. I wonder how much of it was to just discourage people from using the process.


raymaehn t1_j6ojso9 wrote

Less than you'd expect but more than today. A trial by combat was very much the exception, not the norm.

But swords and the ability to fight were status symbols, they expressed power, authority and privilege. First and foremost of nobles and knights but also of other social classes and authority figures.

That has to do with the feudal class system. Generally, in the very broad strokes, serfs didn't have the right to wear swords, but they also didn't have the duty to join the army in case of a war. Free people could be drafted but they had the right to wear swords. That was very important to the craftspeople and merchants in the big cities, especially since there wasn't such a thing as the police yet so knowing how to defend yourself was sometimes a good idea and sometimes legally required. Wearing a sword meant "Look at me, I'm free and proud of it. I can afford a sword and I can and will use it on you if you give me a reason to."


lochlainn t1_j6outry wrote

Not much at all. Swords were tools. The single most common one was the falchion, aka machete, owned by probably every farmer in Europe in one form or another. It was also the most common battlefield sword, used by nobility as well.

Generally, other than a belt knife, the wearing of weapons when not "under arms" as a watchman was limited to travel, and even then not always, depending on the size of your traveling party. The medieval world wasn't nearly as violent as most people think; a simple walking stick or staff was usually more than enough. The idea that everybody was armed and armored constantly is a modern invention.


Powerful_Phrase_9168 t1_j6omqop wrote

These images are great! Also, I never knew of the concept of divorce by combat. Is this something well documented? What areas is this said to have occured in?


WanttobeWannabe t1_j6p7weh wrote

Never heard of this. But completely fascinating. I wonder how many forms of martial combat have been and gone. The good ones just evolved I suppose.