Longsword Abstract

My Upperclassmen Monroe project investigated the German longsword technique of Johannes Lichtenaur. Master Lichtenaur was a medieval master whose students reproduced and passed down his technique for several hundred years. The style did not fall out of favor in the German lands until the seventeenth century. The preservation of many Fechtbücher, “fight books,” or instructional texts written by Lichtenaur’s students has made his longsword technique of especial interest to modern researchers. Christian Tobler is the most respected authority on the Lichtenaur technique in the U.S., and I worked largely from his book:  Fighting with the German Longsword. The ultimate goal of researching and training in the technique was to present a demonstration thereof to patrons of the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire at Wentzville. The timeline of the project demanded that the demonstration be performed twice each day of the Faire. The Faire runs for four weekends, including Memorial Day, meaning the demonstration was performed eighteen times. The weekend to weekend progression meant that much training was done during the week and that each weekend’s demonstration varied substantially. Patron reactions to the demonstration were equally varied and raised some interesting questions. Following the Faire, I was able to practice further and enhance my research. Hopefully, with training throughout the year, my partner and I will be ready to demonstrate full sparring at next year’s Faire.