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
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.