Lunge Infographic

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Couple of Things

First, I want to applaud Cotto and Pacquiao for a great fight – I was rooting for Cotto, but Manny earned the win.

Second, some great rapier drill videos from Tom Leoni after the jump.


Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tom Leoni Video

Tom Leoi taught a class at WMAW called “Drill to Fight.” Fortunately for us, video was captured, and you can (should) go see it here.

It’s a great class on learning Italian rapier.

Published in: on October 1, 2009 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Exciting News – Agrippa Book!

Ken Mondeschein has done us all the favor of translating Agrippa’s fencing treatise!

You can buy it here, and anyone who is interested in rapier in any form should buy this book. It is only $20, which is a phenomenal price for an english translation. The Thibault translation is currently selling for about $40, Meyer for more than $50, and Tom Leoni’s fabulous Fabris translation appears to be over a hundred dollars not what it’s out of print – I believe it was about $50 new.

Agrippa’s treatise is shorter, but it is just as important as (in some ways more important than) Fabris’ or Meyer’s works.

Buy it, read it, love it.

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Swetnam’s True Guard

Swetnam's True Guard

Swetnam's True Guard

From Swetnam:

Keepe thy rapier hand so low as the pocket of thy hose at the armes end, without bowing the elbow joint, and keepe the hilt of thy dagger right with thy left cheeke, and the point something stooping towards the right shoulder, and beare him out stiff at the armes end, without bowing thine elbow joint likewise, and the point of thy Rapier two inches within the point of thy dagger, neither higher, not lower; but if the point of thy rapier be two or three inches short of touching thy dagger, it is not matter, but if they join it is good; likewise, keepe both your points so high as you may see your enemie clearly with both your eyes, betwixt your rapier and dagger, and bowing your head something toward the right shoulder, and your body bowing forwards, and both thy shoulders, the one so near thine enemie as the other, and the thombe of thy rapier hand, not upon thy rapier, according unto the usual fashion of the vulgar sort, but upon the naile of thy fore-finger, which will locke thine hand the stronger about the handle of thy rapier, and the heele of thy right foote should ioyne close to the middle ioynt of the great toe of thy left foote, according to this Picture, yet regard chiefly the words rather than the Picture.

Carrie the edge of thy rapier upward, and downward, for then thou shalt defend a blow upon the edge of thy rapier, by bearing thy rapier after the rule of the Backe-sword, for this is the strongest and surest carriage of him.



Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Revised Image List

I’m presenting at Thesis Day tomorrow (i.e. this thing is due!) and I am frantically working to get it all done. I thought I’d take a moment to post the revised list of positions I’m illustrating from Swetnam’s manual (all for rapier).

Swetnam’s True Guard

Stokata Guard

Fore Hand Guard

Crosse Guard

The Lunge

A Passage

A Slippe at Single Rapier (Slippe with cheek cover)

Another Slippe (Disengage to Imbrokata)

A Parry with Both Weapons

Halfsword Parry

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poster, Again

I’ve uploaded the symposium poster to Scribd, and I’m going to see if I can embed it here. Check it out after the jump.


Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Symposium Poster

This is a copy of the poster as presented at the UR Symposium at my Uni.

Symposium Poster

It’s roughly 2ft by 3ft, PDF.

Below is the handout that went along with the poster. It includes several quotes from the original publication, so you can see where I was pulling the illustrations from.

Swetnam handout

Edit: A few people have commented that they cannot open the files. You should be able to see the poster here.


Symposium Abstract

I am submitting my thesis for my university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. This is my abstract:

Fencing in Seventeenth-Century England:

A Visual Study of Joseph Swetnam’s Treatise

In early modern England, there existed a simultaneous eagerness to embrace Italian humanism and a reluctance to abandon England’s own established culture.

A microcosm of this cultural tension can be found in English fencing treatises of the turn of the 17th century, particularly Joseph Swetnam’s “Schoole of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defence,” published in 1617.

My thesis is that Swetnam imitated Italian forms, but applied the imported practices to his English context, resulting in a fundamentally English martial system.

My approach is to provide Swetnam’s manual the additional illustrations he desired, that were so typical of Italian codices of the time. Visually representing Swetnam’s fencing positions allows us to see the Italian flavor more clearly. We can see that visually and statically, Swetnam’s system greatly resembles the Italian methods, although in motion and principle it more greatly resembles the English martial tradition.

Twelve different positions are illustrated to match Swetnam’s descriptions, and they include offensive, defensive, and guard positions.

“Paradoxes of Defence” and “Brief Instructions upon my Paradoxes of Defence” by George Silver (1599) are used as examples of English fencing tradition, and “Lo Schermo, overo Scienza D’Arme” by Salvator Fabris (1606) is used as a benchmark of contemporary Italian tradition.

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 1:13 pm  Comments (2)  
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Direction and Format

I’ve had a meeting with my thesis director, and I now have a better feel for my goal and the format of my thesis.

The working argument is “Joseph Swetnam imitated the Italians, but he applied their style to an English context, and emerged with a fundamentally English system of Defence.”

I am going to illustrate 12 positions that Swetnam describes, starting with guards:

-Swetnam’s True Guard
-Lazie Guard
-Fore-hand Guard
-Crosse Guard
-Stokata Guard

Then parries:

-Parry with sword across the body
-Parry with dagger across the body
-Parry with dagger point down
-Parry with both weapons

And, finally, offensive motions:

-The lunge
-The Passage

Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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