HammaborgThe group

Hammaborg originates from a training group that was founded in Hamburg in 1999 and dedicates itself to reconstructing and training historical European martial arts. The sources we work with are transcriptions and facsimiles of German manuscripts from the 14th and 15th century: MS I.33 for instance, the oldest known fechtbuch (fightbook) of the world, as well as several manuscripts in the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer, a master of martial arts in the late 14th century.

Unfortunately, no comparable sources exist for the reconstruction of early medieval fighting techniques. Nevertheless we endeavour to draw conclusions about armoured single combat—particularly concerning fighting with the large Viking round shield. For this purpose we compare contemporary iconography and fighting-related literature from later times and complement this with practical experiments with replicas of early medieval arms and armour.

Historical European martial arts are being explored and reconstructed from about the middle of the 1990s on the basis of historical sources. Hammaborg is part of an international network of historical fencing groups and a member of HEMAC (Historical European Martial Arts Coalition). HEMAC is an international association of Europe's leading explorers and instructors.

Johannes Lecküchner PDF

A Falchion / Langes Messer Fencing Treatise by Johannes Lecküchner (1482)


Lecküchner's Langes Messer treatise is freely available as a PDF document for training and research purposes (646 pages, 47 MB). It contains:

  • Part 1 – An introductory section about Lecküchner's Messer fencing, weapons and the author's approach on the manuscripts.
  • Part 2 – The main part of the document features
    • all illustrations from codex Cgm 582,
    • transcription of the text,
    • English translation of the text,
    • plus a transcription and translation of differing contents in Lecküchner's Heidelberg codex Cpg 430 as footnotes.
  • Part 3 – A concordance table of the manuscripts Cgm 582, Cpg 430 and Cod.I.6.4o.3 (Jude Lew), list of figures and bibliography.

About the author

Dr Grzegorz Żabiński (Upper Silesia, PL), historian and archaeologist. Apart from medieval and early Renaissance martial arts, his research interests also include weaponry studies and archaeometallurgy. He is currently employed at the Institute of History of Jan Długosz Academy in Częstochowa, PL.


Russ Mitchell (Texas) is a historian and experimental archaeologist specializing in medieval arms and armor. He holds teaching ranks in several martial arts and has a special focus on Central and Eastern-European weaponry.

Falko Fritz is a historical fencer from Hamburg. Since 2009 he holds the weekly training for Langes Messer at Hammaborg – historischer Schwertkampf e.V.


Gerhard Gohr is instructor for Langes Messer at Der Fechtsaal, Krefeld, and an experienced interpreter of Lecküchner's techniques.

The translation in the PDF document is independent from the partial translation by Falko Fritz found online on this website.

PDF Download

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