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Resources for the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) student, with a particular focus on the ars gladiatoris of Paulus Hector Mair.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Clothing grabs in Von Auerswald

The question of whether there are clothing grabs in Ringen (and if so, whether they are limited to the belt and crotch areas) has come up several times on this blog and various forums.

In an effort to settle the issue once and for all, I have cataloged select illustrations from the Ringer Kunst, written circa 1537 by the German wrestling master Fabien von Auerswald, that unmistakably depict wrestlers gripping each other by the fabric of their doublets at the sleeves (both upper and lower), collars, shoulders and chests, as well as by their belts. This is by no means an exhaustive list; to remove any doubt, I have only chosen images that show fingers gripping scrunched fabric.

It is also worth noting that Von Auerswald's work influenced Mair's own Ringen chapter (a side-by-side comparison is available on the Wiktenauer), a fact that reinforces my long-held position that clothing grabs are integral to his system (but difficult to make out in Breu's color illustrations).

1 comment:

Peter S said...

I've commented on the HEMAAlliance thread at

both clarifying my comment to the previous article (which was unclear, especially when paraphrased without reference to the article it commented on - I don't believe that belt, back of collar and crotch are the only clothing grips, they were just the ones you said proved a gi jacket was a necessity in that article) and on this one.

Here the selection of grips shown provides some evidence for a jacket being needed for moves, but again they are not the grips seen in gi based grappling arts, and are closer to those seen in no-gi grappling arts.