Sean Hayes, Northwest Fencing Academy, Eugene OR USA

Stable, Striking and Mutable:  Fighting from the Guards of L’Arte dell’Armizare

Stable, Striking and Mutable: Fighting from the Guards of L’Arte dell’Armizare

“I am the sword and I am lethal against any weapon; lances, axes and dagger are worthless against me. I can become extended or withdrawn; when I get near the opponent I can enter into close play, perform disarms and abrazare. My art is to turn and to bind; I am expert in defense and […]

Memory and Performance: Visual and Rhetorical Strategies of Il Fior di Battaglia

Memory and Performance: Visual and Rhetorical Strategies of Il Fior di Battaglia

(First presented at the Renaissance Society of America’s Venice conference in 2010. Presented also as part of an academic session followed by an armoured combat demonstration, organized by Dr. Regina Pskai, at the American Association for Italian Studies conference at University of Oregon, 2013) This paper is part of a larger study on medieval and Renaissance martial arts manuscripts, […]

Tempo, Vor, Nach & Indes

Quotes from the Von Danzig commentaries are from In Saint George’s Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts, by Christian Tobler, published by Freelance Academy Press. Quotes from Fior di Battaglia are from Fior di Battaglia, 2nd English Edition, by Tom Leoni, published by Freelance Academy Press. Quote from Filippo Vadi from Arte Gladiatoria […]

Tournament Rules

Tournament Rules The following tournament rules are used by Northwest Fencing Academy to train fighters, and for tournament play.  We used these rules successfully for the Accolade Tournament Finals at Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium in February 2013, and we will use them for the upcoming tournament finals at Western Martial Arts Workshop. Tournaments provide a […]

Developing Tactical Skills at Longsword

Strategy differs materially from tactic; the latter belonging only to the mechanical movement of bodies, set in motion by the former.– Charles James, A New and Enlarged Military Dictionary (1810) Before hostile armies or fleets are brought into contact (a word which perhaps better than any other indicates the dividing line between tactics and strategy), […]

Scherma Tradizionale Italiana: Traditional Italian Fencing

Traditional Italian Fencing is the late 19th century practice of the foil (a blunted training weapon), the épeé or spada (the dueling sword), and the sabre (a cutting as well as thrusting weapon).  It is the art from which the modern sport of fencing derives.  Today’s practitioners study the traditional art as a means to […]

German Sword and Buckler – Royal Armouries MS I.33: The World’s Oldest Martial Arts Manual

The earliest martial arts manuscript known is a sword & buckler text from Germany, 1300 AD, known today as Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33. I.33 is a medieval fencing instructional manual that makes key techniques of Europe’s medieval men-at-arms available to us today. The manuscript shows a priest giving combat instruction to a young man – […]

What is Armizare?

L’arte d’Armizare (The Art of Arms) is the medieval Italian term for knightly martial arts that were employed by the aristocratic warrior class of Europe – the knights. During the medieval era, the ruling classes and the upper echelon of the fighting classes were the same people, and they developed sophisticated martial arts systems to […]

Jessica Finley Ringen and Langes Messer Seminar Report

On Saturday July 28, Jessica Finley gave a day-long seminar in Ringen and Messer techniques from the German medieval martial arts tradition. The day started with a three hour Ringen course, for which thirteen people attended. Drawing from the techniques of Master Ott, Jessica skillfully led the group through a series of basic exercises leading […]