Tampa Area Fechtschule

I’ve gone out to this Tampa WMA group a few times, now, and I’ve had a ton of fun. Each person is at a different level in the different weapons they practice, but everyone seems eager to learn and serious about sticking with the historical art.

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Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 10:09 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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A Good Practice

Yesterday I started what I hope will become a routine, and took two of my friends out to introduce them to English swordsmanship and quarterstaff, with a focus on Swetnam. One of them worked with me in the early days of my Italian rapier work (we were far too influenced by sport fencing), and the other has some sport fencing experience.

This is both a blessing and a curse. They know what a lunge is, have experience manipulating their bodies for an antagonistic purpose, and are comfortable holding a weapon. They also drift into incorrect guards and put far too much weight on their front feet.

Overall, this is exciting, and I plan to use our practice sessions to tie together my bits and pieces into a coherent, cohesive understanding of early 17th century English fencing.

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Videos

Paul Wagner has posted some excellent video on Silver’s swordplay. It should be very useful when considering the context of Swetnam’s work and even, I suspect, Swetnam’s play at the “backe sword,” though I have done little research there, myself.

Also, over on SFI, Martin Janicina has posted a great video of some of Fabris’ rapier plays. The video provides great contrast with Swetnam’s teachings – he would have disapproved of the close measure in which Fabris fights. Swetnam also does not cavazione or disengage in the Italian fashion – instead he uses motions like Silver (try 0:24 into the Silver vid).

Published in: on August 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Exciting News

The Freifechter Guild is sponsoring the first Southeast HEMA Alliance event in Tallahassee, FL.

It sounds as though the event is exclusively focused on German arts, especially those of Meyer, but it should be interesting nevertheless. Mike, who has commented here, will be one of the instructors. He’s worked with folks I know in the past, so I know he’s been part of Florida HEMA for some time. I’m hoping to attend and compare notes, maybe get to meet some of the other folks doing HEMA in the SE.

Check out the site or this SFI thread for details.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 1:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Interesting Blog

Bill Carew of Collegium in Armis has a fairly new blog about “Longstick.”

In this case, “longstick” is just a term for, well, long sticks, generally used with 2 hands for combative purposes. Bill is posting tidbits about a wide range of longstick systems. They’ve been interesting so far – perhaps Swetnam’s staff will get a highlight at some point.

Published in: on August 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Update and Current Projects

So, with my undergraduate thesis complete, where does my Swetnam research stand?

I do have one more illustration from the thesis to post here – if you’re interested, get in touch with me – there’s a lot of information and analysis that goes along with the images – I’d be happy to send you a copy of the thesis.

I’ve been working to expand my understanding of early modern English fencing, mainly by learning Quarterstaff as taught by Silver, Swetnam and Wylde. I’m using a wonderful video from Paul Wagner as the basis of our personal program, and supplementing it with the primary sources.

The staff work has already contributed greatly to my understanding of English fencing – it is the same system as the swordplay, but more clearly deliniated.

I hope to continue deepening my knowledge indefinitely, and I would like to use all of this as the basis of some post-graduate research. I talked with the folks at WMAI about publishing an article based on my Swetnam work, but they felt the article was not practical enough for their publication. I’d still be interested in writing a more practical Swetnam article for them, but we’ll see how that goes. The editor, Scott Baltic, recommended that I instead submit it to the Journal of Western Martial Arts.

JWMA has not updated for almost a year now, however, and I’m not sure yet whether I will submit anything to them. Any thoughts would be welcome.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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