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Article on Experiments of Georges Dubois
I don't know how many Anglophone reenactors are aware that Georges Dubois worked to recreate gladiatorial combat in France just before the First World War. Dubois marvelously published some articles on his work, so it did not die with him and his students. Phil Crawley has recently posted an English summary of Dubois' articles on combat between Retiarius and at Murmillo

To understand Crawley's article, you will need a background in French classical fencing jargon (numbered cuts and parries etc.; a Dr. William Gaugler's book has a good reputation). Like many later experimenters in prehistoric martial arts, Dubois relied on sparring and on the principles of a living martial arts as sources, and balanced scholarly curiosity with fun and the desire to put on a good show.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
Gaugler's book is indeed interesting and solid, I'd point out that he was firmly in the tradition of the late Italian school though and advocated an Italian grip and seemed to be thoroughly enamoured with the Nadis.

It interesting period in the modern sport overall, however its worth pointing out that the entire classical fencing set were still practising a highly reified form of fighting often far, far, removed from anything like realistic combat and frowned on competition and so on, all in favour in the "beautiful form".

The work, Dubois' included, is invaluable because they displayed a sense of timing and physicality you can only get from years of training. Dubois in particular had a background in full contact Savate and it really shows in some of his ideas on the engagement. Anyway all this needs to mitigate any conclusions we make.

Anyway, great find and I thank you for reminding me of this stuff. I agree, its all very interesting.

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