I posted an article on Encased in Steel today discussing the style of longsword fencing that I teach in the Academy of Historical Arts. Do I teach precisely the same style as Johannes Liechtenauer, or am I teaching a derivative system of Farrell's longsword? Or am I doing both while remaining true to the principles of Liechtenauer?
Interesting question Keith, and one which I've enjoyed pondering.
The problem arises that we need to actually ask what it is which defines what we know about Liechtenauer. For example, he didn't write any explanations of his principles, but is only a name attributed to a set of proverbial directives for fighting. In which case, every glosse composed represents an 'interpretation' of that verse, so when we study an historical resource, we 'assume' that the glosse writer understood the verse. Surely, the glosse writer 'perceived' combat, using the verse as a signpost and described how his individual experience of combat can be referenced within the verse. We really have no way of knowing for certain what relationship the glossators had with the elusive Liechtenauer.
So that brings us to modern interpretation: which sources are of most value, and which can be prescribed "authority". Extrapolating a set of combative behaviours from any source is prone to error, especially when the meaning of obscure words is interpreted slightly different by historical masters let-alone modern practitioners.
I'm not sure therefore to what extent our historical 'glossators' interpretations were similar to Liechtenauer's combat system, let alone how ours can be similar to Liechtenauer's when it has been lifted from historical interpretations.