Skip to content

Thibault – Chapter Three

On The Correct Way of Drawing The Sword and Entering Into Measure

This is the first chapter where Thibault has the student doing something with the sword, and falls neatly into the natural progression of learning. Interestingly this is one of the few places where he talks about making it work on the street – his justification for learning how to draw the sword is so that the student becomes comfortable with the action so that it comes naturally when required.

In addition to explaining the draw, this is the first time where he works through the action as distinct steps linked to particular images, using four images or steps for drawing while moving forward, and for drawing while moving backward.

(Continued)

Thibault – Chapter 2

On Proportions

Having apparently dealt with the circle and proportions of the body completely in Chapter 1, Thibault returns to it in Chapter 2, in what feels to me l like a somewhat defensive inclusion outside his main thrust of teaching.

The chapter starts by restating the argument that the measuring stick for all fencing is the human body, but he then feels the need to defend it:

… seeing that this correspondence is so extremely great … perhaps someone will take occasion to suspect that we have accommodated the aforesaid figure to our fantasy, in order to get the desired proportions, rather than simply following the natural truth …

(Continued)

Thibault – Chapter 1

The Proportions of the Human Body, Related to the Figure of our Circle and to the Proper Length of the Sword

Chapter 1 is very dense, both with theory and the way that the theory is discussed, but has a number of key statements that need to be observed. It’s a pretty good illustration of his habit of stating something once, and expecting the student to remember it.

This chapter begins with a lengthy discussion about the ratios and proportions of the human body, calling back to Pythagoras, Plato, Vitruvius, Pliny, Hippocrates and the Bible as examples of previous proofs. This is a fairly typical way of constructing an argument at his time, where first the prior knowledge is laid out, and then the author’s own assertion posited as though another layer on top of the previous arguments. The truth of the argument can be tested because it has some logical connection to the previous arguments that have been accepted as true.

(Continued)

Thibault – Author’s Note

Since I last wrote, and started searching around, I have found a record of one sale through Christies of a copy that changed hands for around €19,500 in 2009. There’s some interesting details there around that physical copy, including the size, listed as 550 mm x 410 mm, which is roughly the size of an A2 page. As I said last time, this is a big book.

If you are looking to be able to leaf through the images, the National Library of Netherlands has most of the images up on line, and you may care to have a look at the Wiktenauer page for the book for some background.

(Continued)

Thibault – Introduction

I have in recent weeks began re-reading Academie de l’Espee by Gerard Thibault d’Anvers, for a variety of reasons. Sadly my virtually non-existent French means I am reading the 2005 translation by John Michael Greer. To my surprise and delight, re-reading after having left it alone for several years I find it opening up for me, and it makes much more sense than it did the first few times.

(Continued)

On Git Submodules…

Git Submodules. Just Say No. Not Even Once.

Docker and Consul and DNS, oh my

I’m still trying to wrap my head around networking when it comes to Docker and related technologies – I think because a lot of the documentation and examples around are either not quite correct, or are subtly out of date. I’ve noticed too that a lot of the writing out there around setting up Docker and/or Consul hand waves away the trickiness of the networking. Particularly egregious is the blithe insistence on just specifying host networking for all containers, something that the Docker project itself frowns upon.

(Continued)

Lovely Rita Meter Maid…

The saga of the non-functioning SourceLondon / PodPoint units in Woolwich Arsenal continues, with the lightning pace usually associated with continental drift, and the rise and fall of mountain ranges.

(Continued)

SSL Made Easy

Time for a shout-out to DreamHost, who have partnered with LetsEncrypt to make using SSL with this website very, very easy. DreamHost have always aimed to make many actions against the site push-button, with sensible defaults, and clear documentation, and generating and attaching the certificate was a walk in the park.

I was a little surprised to see the certificate expiring so soon, but LetsEncrypt’s rationale is very sound: re-rolling certificates can and should be automated, and limiting the life time of a certificate automatically limits the exposure if the certificate is subverted. It is very much in line with a core idea that they have: the default for HTTP traffic should be across SSL, or in some other way encrypted.

For me, the process was as simple as pushing the buttons on the DreamHost control panel, then do a bulk find-and-replace on my site to update any http links to be https. I will probably have to chase around the interwebs to find where I’ve published the old URL, but I’m pretty sure I’ve found and updated the important ones already.

PropertySource-1.0

Having a little time up my sleeve, and a need to be off my feet for as much as possible… wait, did I mention that? Somewhere in the last six weeks I’ve done something undefined to my feet, which are painfully sore to walk on. I think that I managed to sprain one or more of the muscles that usually wiggle my toes, and as a result walking has felt like I’ve had stones in my shoes. Since I had a few unexpected extra days off, I elected to sit on my butt as much as possible and bang away at a little project that I’ve had hanging around for ages: PropertySource, which is a simple abstraction for finding “properties”. The code and README are there in GitHub, and there’s pointers on use from the README.

(Continued)