Salvatore Fabris 1st edition for Sale

Salvatore FabrisThe most important figure in the history of Western fencing was the Italian fencing master Salvatore Fabris.

While in the services of King Christian IV of Denmark, he wrote and published his De lo scherzo, overo scienza d’arme in Copenhagen in 1606. 

This is a complete copy of the Italian-laguage first Waltkirch edition.

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See You at the 2015 American Smallsword Symposium in Timonium, Md.

SmallswordGranted, it’s been a while since I’ve made it to a Historical Sword-Fighting event…

This time around, I have no excuse not to go: Victor Markland has organized what is shaping up to be a great event right down the road from my club… Continue reading

Belated Merry Christmas—The Free History of the Sword

Amberger Secret History of the SwordAfter 15 years, I might as well…

The Secret History of the Sword is now available free from this site, on .pdf Continue reading

Just put it on Craig’s List: Hastings Sword doesn’t sell!

_76214770_swordcompPity the fools!

The BBC writes: “A medieval sword possibly taken as a trophy during the Battle of Hastings has failed to sell at auction. The “extremely rare” broadsword belonged to Humphrey De Bohun, a kinsman of William The Conqueror.

Sir Humphrey fought at Hastings in 1066, where Christie’s auctioneers think he could have captured the sword.

It had been hoped the sword would fetch up to £120,000 in the auction house’s Out of the Ordinary sale in South Kensington The weapon has an earlier Viking blade, dating from the mid-11th Century.”

But no—nobody cared!

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The Kriegsbuch of Ludwig von Eyb

Von Eyb KriegsbuchWe may not be up-to-date any more on what old fencing and wrestling manuals are available and accessible by now. But we just found a careful transcription of von Eyb’s fencing and wrestling sections that deserve greater exposure. Here ya go… Continue reading

Shocking New Book: Vic DelFrate’s Weird Trick to Blow Up the Mob


Sometimes a manuscript comes along that you can’t just turn down…

Our publishing parent, Secret Archives Press, LLC, has just announced the release of a powerful new thriller in the Spillane tradition. 

SMT Maxx’s Fratricide: No Good Deed will go public on May 15, 2014. Continue reading

Fencing as a Language (Imre Vass)

Originally posted on The Fencing Coach:

Quarter-finals_Fernandez-Heinzer_Masters_epee_2012_n04 Image from wikimedia.

This excerpt was brought to my attention by reddit user /u/notinsanescientist. It is from Imre Vass’s book Epee Fencing: a Complete System:

“Fencing is like a language. Just like someone trying to listen to a rapid conversation in a foreign tongue, only occasionally can a non-fencer or casual spectator recognize how the individual actions of the fencers are related to one another. And just as, once we grasp the meaning of a sentence, we tend to forget its precise words, so, for the spectator whose eye has registered that a touch has scored, the movements preceding the hit proper tend to dissolve into each other; losing their individual importance. It must be borne in mind, however, that the hit itself is neither more nor less than the period, ending a sentence that has both content and style. The essence and content of fencing are to be found in…

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Now Mandatory: Leading Renaissance Combat Practitioner Launches New Line of HEMA Sparring Gear



One of the foremost researcher-practitioners of Renaissance Martial Arts is supplementing his line of instructional workshops with a new line of combative gear.

It’s MANDATORY as of April 15, 2014—the result of a coup staged by HEMA bigwigs!

We have the inside story!

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New Secret Archives Title: Unnecessary Roughness…

nogooddeed2We’ve fallen deplorably short on fencing and sword stories. To tide us over, here’s a bit of a scuffle taken from a new title, Fratricide: No Good Deed, by SMT Maxx, which was just published by our mothership, Secret Archives Press… Continue reading

Combative celebrity: The 1796 Rules and Regulations

marchant 1796 Rules and RegulationsLeafing through the most recent issue of the Smithsonian magazine, tellingly titled 101 Objects that Changed America, you can admire Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Bell’s telephone, and the titillating  tassels of the Talahassee Tassel Tosser.

(Alright, I made up the last one.)

Unfortunately, no fencer, swordsman, or whatever the appropriate term is that sectarian xiphomachophiliacs apply to their respective niche, made it into the issue. 

Are there artifacts whose provenance can be traced to individual celebrities of bladed combat? Luckily, there are a few things in the Amberger Collection that can make up for that shortcoming… and perhaps, with the help of our readers, we can come up with at least a Dirty Dozen…

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