Timing Nomenclature

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Dave Clarke
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:54 am
Weapons: Pollaxe, Halbschwert, Langenschwert, Dolch, Spiess.

Timing Nomenclature

Post by Dave Clarke » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:07 am

Good day all and sundry,

Regardless of which flavour of European swordsmanship people reserve their appetite for, I'm confident that most, if not all, will have at least a conversational knowledge of Silver's swordsmanship. If people were to write a list of the top five most pertinent points about Silver's system, I'm fairly sure his True Times would be somewhere high on the list- even among those people who know little else about his work. Why is that? It is because it is such a valuable, fundamental and core principle of his art, and a key to truly understanding and mastering many other European arts.

While Silver’s nomenclature for his True and False times is extremely useful for those of us studying systems that utilize them, it must be admitted that over the course of a forum-based conversation the repeated typing of the long-winded terms becomes onerous. It occurred to me, during a typed conversation on swordsmanship, that a simpler set of descriptive terms might make such discussions much easier to understand and faster to type. To that end, I suggest the following shorthand names for each of Silver’s True Times:

Time of the Hand---------------------1st Time
Time of the Hand and Body------------2nd Time
Time of the Hand, Body and Foot------3rd Time
Time of the Hand, Body and Feet------4th Time

I am not suggesting that we abandon the terminology as used by Silver. His terminology adds a certain flavour to his text which is unique and charming to read. The proper names, and their meanings should be learned, known and memorised by students, especially the newer ones. The terms should be learned for a couple of reasons: a student of a sword art, I believe, should know the terms as used by the Master that wrote the source text; and the terms as written by Silver are self referential and self explanatory. In addition to this, we should seek to preserve any connections with the source material that we can.

I have here submitted my suggestion in the hopes it will foster discussion on this idea. I have disseminated this idea across the various HEMA fora because, if a new lexicology is to be adopted, it must be widely known to be understood.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dave
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