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The history and symbol of SEBU

A certain expression of our mission is the symbol of a rampant lynx bearing a sword in its paw. The original inspiration for this symbol comes from the Kladno coat of arms on which in the left half is the eagle from the heraldry of the Zdars of Zdar and in the other a lynx, which is leaning against the eagle. In 1988 the current Condottiere of SEBU, Mr. Milan Babuka, founded a mediaeval fencing group called The Knights of Kladno, and because he was trying for the utmost historical correctness, he asked Mr. Zdirad Cech (a Kladno graphic designer and heraldist) to design a standard. Based on the aforementioned inspiration, Mr. Cech designed a standard on which a golden lynx with red weapons and markings is set against a blue background. The lynx is in a fighting stance. This standard served the aforementioned mediaeval fencing group before becoming the standard for The Society of European Martial Arts. After the founding of SEBU, the symbol, in the black and white form of a lynx bearing a sword in its right paw (once again with the help of Mr. Zdirad Cech) was added to SEBU’s printed matter.

It is on these devices that our motto first appears: "In nocte videre". Roughly translated, this means 'seeing at night' or also 'seeing through dark designs' or 'dark times'.

This motto encourages members of the Society to remember their Warrior’s Code, as by inversing this code we get the expressions 'dark times' or 'dark designs', which are mentioned in the motto. It is worth mentioning the salutation of SEBU members, used at the roll call that commences training (seminars, The Spring Gathering, public displays) or at its conclusion. The salutation is derived from the motto "In nocte videre" by calling the word "Videns" (I see) and the response "Videntes" (seeing).

A little bit more of history

European fighting styles have a long tradition, even longer than most people believe. The first schools of defence may be found in Roman times, but let us concentrate on the middle ages and the subsequent Renaissance. The oldest written documents come from the 11th century (a typical example is the German manuscript i.33); however, the best material available comes from Italy, from authors such as Marozzo, Agripa, di Grassi and many others. Each described the fencing of his day and tried to add something of his own that he might find a place in the history of fencing. From their knowledge and experience, fencing evolved to perfection, from older types of weapon to the more modern rapiers.

Because SEBU is a society of civilians, we focus on practical fencing styles and increasing our knowledge. We are creating a new style, which combines many centuries of work and knowledge.

Under current conditions we are able to unite individual techniques - knife throwing, wrestling, archery, and hand weapons - into a single whole. The important thing is the firm base, which was left us by the old masters and it is up to us what we achieve with their legacy.