1389 AD, Germany:
everything is done in the nearest and shortest, simplest and most direct way, as if the cut or thrust of the fencer is guided by a wire pulling on the point or edge of the sword, straight to the openings of the opponent. In this way, the fencer makes their attack in the nearest, shortest and most decisive way they possibly can, and this method will not have the flashy, exaggerated parries, or wide fencing actions which people burden and slow themselves with.
This is exactly how we teach Olympic sabre bladework 600 years later.
It’s fascinating stuff. Go check out this translation by the awesome Harrison Hohenweg at Melbourne Fencing Society of the intro to the original text by Johannes Liechtenauer.
And here’s the original, if you’re that way inclined.
Good to know that there is nothing new under the sun, and that pointless flashy bladework can be added to the list of things that we can’t blame Hollywood for.