Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Happy New Year

May your New Year 2012 be healthy and fulfilling.

May your friends and family prosper… your city thrive… your enemies suffer misfortune.

May your sword be bright… you glass always full… your larder never empty.

May your skills improve and your eye sharpen. May your hand be steady and your blade be sharp. And may the gods smile upon your endeavors! Continue reading

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Rapier Fencing: A Scottish-Italian Duel in Elizabethan London

The old Hammerterz Forum approach to filling quarterly issues with rare and novel accounts of historical swordplay  can be compared to a drag net:

We’d read hundreds of books we suspected of containing worthwhile material, often coming up with a pertinent sentence or a paragraph for every 300 pages perused. Some snippets were academic and boring, others boring and academic, but all seemed catalytical to the progress of research. There also were some that were downright entertaining.

Among the material we mined was this story of a young Highland Scot making a nuisance of himself in Elizabethan London… Continue reading

Book Review: The Art of the Dueling Sabre

Christopher Holzman Art of the Dueling SabreWe’re reprehensibly behind in our reading—and in the writing of reviews. And we apologize for the unhappy circumstance that Christopher Holzman’s recent Art of the Dueling Sabre may have eluded your Christmas list due to our negligence.

That’s why we hasten to make amends… Continue reading

In Memoriam: William Gaugler

FencingClassics bids a fond farewell to an old mentor, friend, and adviser:

On December 10, 2011, one of the great fencing masters, scholars, and authors of the 20th century, Maestro William M. Gaugler, died of  cancer in Sunnyvale, California.

We appreciate what you’ve done for us… Continue reading

Stick Fighting: And a Merry Christmas to you, Padre!

“Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” —Psalm 23

They may’ve been taking scripture a tad too literally. But we bet Friar Tuck and Bishop Odo would’ve been proud of the cassocked cudgelers who put the vir back into Virtue to practice the Christian “Platinum Rule”: “Und willst Du nicht mein Bruder sein, so schlag ich Dir den Schädel ein.”

And what better place for the spiritual Fechtschule than the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem!

We may consider getting religion yet in our old age! Read on…

Words to live by 2

“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

—George Washington


Weapons: Eight Dueling Épées

Among the mountains of scrap metal that have changed hands via eBay in the past couple of years, fencing épées pre-dating the 1920’s were few and far between. Even more rare were dueling épées—true épées, that is, made for the very specific purpose of a French-style duel with thrusting weapons. We’ve picked 8 dueling épées from the Amberger Collection to check out a couple of details… Continue reading

The French Connection: Christmann’s Practical Self-Defence

Readers of The Lazarus Smile will no doubt remember that it was F.C. Christmann, Professor of the Art of Fencing and Member of Several Academies, who started the whole darn mess by handing Ernst Moritz Arndt a stack of classical manuscript scraps. But unlike the Byzantine cascade of events that find their preliminary end in the Sherpur Cantonment Cemetary in Kabul, his self-defence advice is straightforward… Continue reading