Katanas for combat Kendo

Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art. It is considered elegant and refined in the world of the martial arts. The kendo, or Japanese fencing, arose from the natural evolution of the techniques of using the sword. Those practicing kendo wear combat armor (bogu) and a bamboo sword (shinai), and perform predefined ways or “kata” with a wooden sword or “boken” and rarely fight with a real sword or “katana”.

Bokken for Kendo

Kendo is a training for combat method, using bamboo slats for swords (shinai). This practice seeks to be more than a traditional martial art and more than a competitive sport. A kendo practitioner would define it as a way of life. Besides, its philosophy can face any kind of adversity.

Katana for Kendo

At first, kedo was performed with real swords and unprotected, which made it dangerous, but currently the teams have to use a helmet (consists of an iron grating mask with side skirts, tightly padded and with rigid protection for the neck). The breastplate (do), high hardness, it often has bamboo inside or outside to protect the trunk. A short padded skirt (tare) covers the belly and hips; wrists and hands are protected by padded, thick gloves (kote).

Katana for Kendo

The differences between kendo and fencing are important. In the West, the weapons (swords, foils or sabers) are held with one hand and the body is positioned sideways, to present to the opponent the smallest target possible. In kendo, the sword is held with both hands and the position of both combatants is front so the edge blows have a secondary role. This entails the fewest stroes possible and be able to kill the opponent with one swift, accurate and definitive movement.

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JAPANESE WEAPONS

Medieval decoration ideas

Medieval forging: appliques, lamps, torches … In medieval culture, forging the iron was one of the booming sectors. This manufacturing process gives shape and new properties to metals and alloys to which pressure is applied by large.

Templar decoration
Templar decoration

In the Middle Ages the free forging was common and characterized by the fact that the deformation of the metal is not limited, but free in form or mass. Nowadays, this technique allows to decorate medieval environments like castles, bars, lounges or medieval cellars.

Medieval royal lamp

The fabrics in the Middle Ages Just like today, fashion, necessity and the size of the wallet dictaded the fabrics  people used for both clothing and decorating. It was common to see a house decorated with banners, particularly if the man was a brave soldier in the service of the king.

Templar shield
Templar shield

Banner´s function was to indify or represent a person or group of persons. In markets where people went out to sell the fruits of their land, the stalls were used for sun protection.

Medieval tents and pavilions
Medieval tents and pavilions

Interior decoration Special attention was paid to the decoration of palaces and, in general, of residential houses because of the high costs and complexity of the work. That doesn´t mean that the less afortunate did not adorn their homes, but were more inclined to paintings or tapestries and often using religious motives.

Medieval religious crafts

What we now consider “art”, those days was not the goal of the artist, it had to meet some funtional aspect; it was about creating objects that served to something while catching the eye.

Templar sword

Traces of medieval  There are many cultural associations and recreationists, theater and film directors and collectors that keep the details of that eventful period, wars, inventions, achievements, etc..

Templar knight, sigillum militum xpisti

Not to mention the spectacular castles that now celebrate all kind of events such as weddings or tournaments and both decoration and guests meet the demands of the time they want to revive: MEDIEVAL TIMES.

Medieval shrine

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Arwen Sword, the Lord of the Ring

Arwen Undómiel is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. She appears in his novel, The Lord of the Rings, usually published in three volumes. Arwen is one of the Half-elven who lived during the Third Age.

arwen woman

Arwen first appears in the text of The Lord of the Rings in Rivendell shortly after Frodo awoke in the House of Elrond. She sat beside her father Elrond at the celebratory feast. When the Fellowship of the Ring came to Lothlórien, Aragorn remembered their earlier meeting and paused in reverence on Cerin Amroth.

Arwen Sword.- The Lord of the rings

Arwen Sword of 110 cms. sheathed the Lord of the Rings. Arwen also called Undómiel, evening star, is a fictional character that is part of the legendarium created by British author J. R. R. Tolkien, which appears in his novel The Lord of the Rings.

Arwen sword.- The Lord of the Rings

Arwen was the youngest child of Elrond and Celebrían. Her elder brothers were the twins Elladan and Elrohir. Her name Ar-wen means noble maiden. She bore the sobriquet Evenstar (or Evening Star), as the most beautiful of the last generation of High Elves in Middle-earth.

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Medieval costumes and accessories

Speaking of medieval costumes requires to transport ourselves to the history of the Middle-Ages, to its culture, its people, their habits and beliefs, their socio-economic structure, etc. The Medieval costume includes and represents all these aspects, therefore, it helps to place ourselves in the context of the time. We must see clothing as a part of the historical civilization.

Noble Costume capeline
Noble Costume, capeline
Carlos V Renaissance costume
Carlos V Renaissance costume

From our century, we can enter the IXth to XVth century,  “get into the medieval”, trying to understand the context in which the events happened, customs and costumes of its people .

Medieval dress with brocade
Medieval dress with brocade

Among the medieval costumes for men, women, boys and girls we can also find shirts, coats, gambesones, pants, dresses, surcoats, etc. Currently, most medieval costumes factories follow an exhaustive study, classifying them according to the stage and the medieval feature matching.

Arab woman tunic
Arab woman tunic

Without understanding the way we do nowadays, the concept of “fashion”, the medieval costume used to mark itself as a trend, the width of the sleevs, the lenght of the dresses, the necklines, the materials people used such as cotton, linen, wool, etc. All this was more or less considered, depending on the social class to which they belonged.

Moorish Costume
Moorish Costume

According to that social class, the clothes could have drawings, embroidery and the finest and elaborate fabrics. The pages belonging to different houses wore the color that represented the name of their master.

Medieval Jester Costume
Medieval Jester Costume

The medieval costume will never go out of fashion, on the contrary, the pass of time plays on its side and makes it more and more valuable and very appreciated. Whether for men, women, girls or boys, we can find different styles as Arab, Goya, Renaissance, Templar, etc.

Medieval dress
Medieval dress

The accessories for medieval costumes such as belts, straps, tahalis or leggings, are manufactured according to the hierarchy and materials typical of the era.

Medieval bag with rivets
Medieval bag with rivets

Among the accessories we can also find bags, bracelets, pads and hats. Leather was one of the prefferd materials for the manufacture of complements because of its durability; formerly, the quality of things used to be measured by the time they lasted.

Swords and daggers belt
Swords and daggers belt

The rings, pendants, earings and brooches complement the beauty of the costumes. The owners of the wealthiest houses shone gemstones, and not only on holidays, and the ladies used to spend many hours in front of the mirror, surrounded by their maids.

Sterling silver Templar ring

The costumes are inspired by medieval characters from kings, queens, maids, troubadours, knights, peasants to beggars. But the most sought after are the Templar Knights costumes. The children of the time weren´t less important, they became the center of attention at the royal parties, especially the girls, that, at a pretty short age behaved like real ladies.

Medieval dress for girls

 The boys were more playful, loved swords, bows, shields and, in general, everything related to fighting. They enjoyed imitating their parents, soldiers or knight to the royal service and took every opportunity to train alongside.

Medieval costume for boys

As for costumes used at medieval parties, we can´t ignore the Renaissance cut. It is ideal for weddings and events and very common in Spain and throughout Europe generally. There are many old castles that have become true medieval palaces, perfectly suited for all kinds of events, tournaments and medieval-themed celebrations.

Medieval Queen´s dress

That is why this type of costumes and accessories are highly demanded. And though occasionally and symbolically, we like to remeber those times, the customs and traditions of the people; it is almost the only thing that binds us.

Medieval keychains

The interest in medieval times crosses borders and it´s the story of great Hollywood film productions and the most successful TV series in box office and audience. It seems that the pass of time makes medieval times more fashionable.

Templar shirt

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Lorica Segmentata

The Lorica was the typical armor of the Roman Legions though they didn´t use this name (lorica) for their armor, in fact, it is unknown how it was called. The name “lorica segmentata” (sectioned armor) is used since the sixteenth century, but the Roman legions used this type of armor since the late first century BC. It allowed greater flexibility than the rigid form of body armor as it consisted of four principal elements or units (one for each shoulder and one for each side of the torso) divided in several metal strips (usually iron) that were arranged on the soldier’s body horizontally, around his chest and back. Were attached inside through vertical leather bands, which were fixed to each of the metal strips. The armor could be opened from the side so that the soldier could remove it. Also consisted of other upright metal strips that were placed on the shoulders and protected them. The arms were unprotected, although this was not of great importance, since in compact formation, the shield is carried in left and gladius, unsheathed on the right, next to the hip, thus being both protected.

Lorica Segmentata

The lorica segmentata was an engineering masterpiece of the legions. Believe it or not, one of its advantages is that easily dismounted by loosening the buckles and leather strips closures. Also, was kept in a small space which helped in transportation. Regarding functionality, is more comfortable than other medieval armor created in later centuries. His cassation came not so much for its effectiveness but because of the decline of the Roman legions.

Metal Lorica Segmentata

TYPES OF LORICA SEGMENTATA

The Kalkriese: This version is based on the archaeological reconstructions of a variety of fragments, focused largely on the breastplate found in Kalkriese (Germany) in 1994, where the Legionaries of Carnuntum camp was located. This type of lorica was used since 20 BC until 50 AD.

Kalkriese Lorica Segmentata
The Kalkriese breastplate (one of the finest examples of abreastplate of any type to survive)

The Corbridge: This style of armor is composed of four basic assemblies – two “collar-shoulder” halves and two “torso-girdle” halves. Note that all the components are connected by leather straps and buckles. This was the first style of lorica segmentata armor and was the most comfortable to wear. It was also more complicated and difficult to assemble, being composed of about 40 separate plates.

The first recorded excavated examples of this type were found in the Carnuntum Waffenmagazin deposit,where a range of parts from both lower and upper units was discovered.

Corbridge Lorica parts
Left Upper Shoulder Guard and Left Rear Shoulder Guard Plate

The Newstead: the type-find itself was discovered in 1905 when James Curle was excavating in the well within the headquarters building at Newstead, though very fragmentary and incomplete. During the second half of the 20th century, finds of segmental armour began to be made north of theDanube; although limited in number, they contained recognisable fragments of Newstead-typearmour.

The Alba Iulia: Apparently it was a variant of the other loricas segmentatas.  This form of the cuirass is known only from the high-relief sculpture found at the legionary base of Alba Iulia in Romania.

Alba Iulia Lorica Segmentata

Due to its particular structure, the construction of the lorica segmentata required more experience of the blacksmith and therefore cost more money. This is due to the fact that between the second and third centuries, due to constant economic crises, this type of armor disappeared and Roman troops would switch to only wear chainmail, or would stop carrying protection, causing greater vulnerability of the army, in a period during which the barbarian invasions were very numerous.

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