I’ve been doing this for quite awhile and have learned much. Since when I first started this blog I’ve written hundreds of essays, created several training guides, posted dozens of videos, and have started my own club which now boasts four teachers.
So now I think it’s time to start over. I am going to restart my studies of the manuals from the beginning. And this time I’m not going to cheat. I am going to write my gloss on every passage of every page and try to not skip over the boring parts this time.
And now that I have a decent camera and a group of dedicated fencers, I hope to include far more illustrations and videos to augment my written explanations of the text.
What is a Gloss?
For those of you who don’t know what a gloss is, we have to look back to the education system of the middle ages. During that time, it was customary for students to write about the material that they were learning. And by “write about” I don’t mean an essay or two. They had to comment on everything found in the book they were studying. They didn’t have to agree with what was being said, but they had to demonstrate that they understood it well enough to argue that it was right or wrong.
In historic martial arts we see several examples of this as part of the Lichtenauer tradition, but it didn’t stop there. A student would be expected to create a commentary or glossary (collection of glosses) on subjects ranging from the works of Aristotle to the Holy Bible. Many of these still exist, stored in countless universities much like todays schools may store a doctorial thesis.