Welcome to CFAA’s Newest Member: Swords of Chivalry

CFAA is very pleased to add Scott Farrell of San Diego, CA and his group Swords Of Chivalry* to our ranks. For those of you who might not know Scott, he is best known as the owner of Chivalry Today and its popular podcasts: Swords Of Chivalry teaches several medieval weapon styles taken from the German/Lichtenauer school […]

Frog DNA, Concentric Rings and Old-Fashioned Necromancy: Reconstructing Historical European Swordsmanship

(c) 2014, Gregory D. Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild Most of the modern WMA community is based, not on living tradition, but rather on reconstruction of martial arts long dead. While these arts survive in detailed written and pictorial form, they were recorded for contemporary, not modern audiences. This means that anyone who finds himself acting […]

Wide and Close Play in Armizare, the Martial Tradition of Fiore dei Liberi   

Wide and Close Play in Armizare, the Martial Tradition of Fiore dei Liberi  

Gregory D. Mele, ©2014 [N.B: This article greatly expands and upon an earlier one “Understanding Wide and Close Play in the Martial Tradition of Fiore dei Liberi”, first presented in 2008 and later published with photo interpretations in In the Service of Mars, Proceedings from the Western Martial Arts Workshop (1999 – 2009), Vol. I. In addition to […]

The Role of Filippo Vadi in the dei Liberi Tradition, Pt. II

(c) 2010 Greg Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild While Filippo Vadi’s De arte gladiatoria dimicandi differs in the main very little from the work of Fiore dei Liberi in terms of technique, the assertion that Vadi’s work does not differ in method of communication is simply incorrect. The true originality of the De arte gladiatoria dimicandi stands in the sixteen introductory […]

The Role of Filippo Vadi in the dei Liberi Tradition, Pt. I

(c) 2010 Gregory Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild When I teach at workshops and seminars, I am often told something along the lines of this: I’m surprised that the man who co-authored the reproduction on De arte gladiatoria dimicandi doesn’t work more with the hallmarks of Vadi. It’s a fair question, and suggests that in 2001, when I […]

Italian Rapier Fencing – The Art of the Duel

by Gregory Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild Rapier fencing was the first truly “civilian” system of fencing, maximized for single combat and meant to be used without either any secondary arms (although their use continued for quite some time) or protective armour. Originating in Italy, rapier fencing spread throughout Europe, where it developed into several unique […]

Reconstructing a Martial Lineage; not Resurrecting the Dead

What is the Goal of Historical European Swordsmanship? by Gregory Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild (c) 2012 Historical European Swordsmanship (HES) is a subset of Western martial arts, in most cases referring to reconstructed martial arts (the notable exception being classical fencing).  There is a meme in the HES community that those who practice HES “study Fiore” or “do […]