Keith Myers wrote:And what we "develop" should follow those manuals as closely as possible in order to remain historic. And the fact is, those manuals just don't put much of an emphasis on ground-fighting.
The "tone" in the last comment wasn't directed at you. I do, however, have to reject your suggestion that the number of times something appears in the manuals determines whether it is important. Would you ever dare apply that same logic to techniques relating to longsword or other distinctly "European" weapons?
There are only a few langenspiess
(lance/pike) techniques in all
of the manuals combined (in fact, there are more groundwork images than pike images), yet we know from written sources that it was a primary European battlefield weapon for two millenia. The same is true for the number of halberd plates. Should we restrict langenspiess and halberd techniques in HEMA events because those weapons only appear in one or two manuals? Of course not.
Why, then, would the same reasoning be permissible with regard to groundwork? IMO, the answer is that, deep down, a lot of HEMAists are either non-grapplers afraid to admit there is a huge hole in the overall skillset (cough cough JC) or more concerned with maintaining outwardly "European" appearances than martial effectiveness/historical accuracy.
Those who have known me for a while will remember that even when I was in ARMA, I had little patience for the institutionalized knee-jerk fear of things that "look too Asian." The same mentality is at play here when guys who are totally opposed to groundfighting argue that it will make Ringen "look too much like MMA/BJJ." The irony is that the very same logic that those people otherwise use to validate
our weapon studies ("The human body only moves in so many ways, so of course there are similarities between HEMA and X") completely defeats the "If we do X, Ringen will look like Y" argument.
In reality, if we take groundwork out of the system, Ringen will just look like Judo/classical Jiu Jitsu/Aikido/whatever
. Yet that scenario seems to be just fine for a lot of people (and I'd be willing to bet that most of them are non-grapplers).
Again, no one is saying that we should turn this into German JJ. We're hardly getting "carried away." We've pointed to about twenty instances of groundwork in the manuals and made a clear case for ground-and-pound, with the addition of some very limited submissions from mount. That's a far cry from turning Ringen into a clone of MMA. I'd say that we're being extremely reasonable, especially given the focus of this thread. The ones who are being extreme are the ones who want to cut those twenty techniques out completely.