Fashion for Fighting

Jesse Finely

"Fashion for Fighting: Fabric Armor in the Latter Middle Ages"  

In this talk, we will discuss some of the types of defensive garments that existed in the 15th century through discussion and analysis of five different extant examples. Modern reconstructed samples of the garments will be available at the talk, which will help inform our exploration of the different construction methods that were used in the period. 

Event information: Fri Nov 17th at The Oakeshott Institute price suggested donation of 10.00. Plans to live stream on Oakeshott Institute Youtube channel.

Jess Finley has been studying the martial arts of medieval Germany for more than twenty years.  

Currently the head instructor at Ritterkunst Turhalle in Lawrence, Kansas, she began training Medieval Swordsmanship under Christian Tobler of Selohaar Fechtschule in February of 2003, and has achieved the rank of provost.

While Jess has experience teaching every weapon in the medieval German arsenal, she is perhaps best known for her knowledge of unarmed combat through her study of medieval German wrestling.  She has published a book on the fifteenth century German Master Ott's wrestling treatise under the title "Medieval Wrestling," and also has a background studying Judo under the tutelage of Arden Cowherd of Topeka Judo Club.

Jess has taught and competed internationally at events like the Western Martial Arts Workshop in Chicago, USA; Paddy Crean International Workshop in Banff, Canada; Swordfish in Gothenburg, Sweden; and Longpoint in Baltimore, USA and has taught intensives at various events and schools, as well as weekend private intensives at her home.

In addition to her scholarly work on medieval martial arts, Jess also researches medieval clothing construction and fabric armor, and has presented her findings at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, and has published an article in Medieval Clothing and Textiles (Boydell and Brewer) on her study of a 15th century quilted armor.

She currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her family. In-between family management and remodeling her house, she writes books and struggles (largely in vain) to get those around her to complete their assigned physical therapy exercises.

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