Category Archives: 17th Century

Trick Shot: A two-handed thrust backwards into the thigh from the 1630’s

e0e7bd1d854ce2cae68512538c72febfSome modern martialists spend so much time arguing what the martially-minded duelist of yesteryear would have never done, it would seem that European Martial Arts, especially of the 17th and 18th centuries, was something for ultra-cautious, risk-adverse middle-aged veterans wearing leather soles on a freshly waxed floor while carrying a stack of Wedgwood china. And yet, period literature yields interesting indications that things were not what they seem…

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“Trump voter restricts access to HEMA discovery”: HEMA, punked, blows a gasket!

17553935_10155065127702557_4645226273205536843_n.jpgTwo days ago, we offered our “restricted release” of the Alchemia Dimicandi, a recently discovered 17th-century German text on how to fight in combat to the death.

We made it free to download for those “qualified researchers” who sufficed the Trump Administration’s America First policies pursuant to the Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda of President Donald J. Trump, dated February 24, 2017.

You only had to meet two measly criteria to be a “qualified researcher” under that Order: You had to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. And you had to be a registered Republican.

Is that TOO much to ask??

Well, read on…

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Revealed: Alchemia Dimicandi—A Transcription of an Unknown late 17th-ct. German Fencing Text

smallsword rostockBetween the 1940’s and the early 1960’s the Diplom Fechtmeister (licensed fencing master) Karl Lochner discovered a short German text on “fencing in earnest”.

Dating from around the late 1600’s to early 1700’s, the “Alchemia Dimicandi” of a minor German nobleman cuts through the traditional Lektion-Contra-lektion patterns of contemporary fencing pedagogy—and provides a unique glimpse at actual, hands-on dueling practice with the transition rapier or small sword…

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FencingClassics to release “missing link” late 17th-ct. German fencing manuscript!

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This recently re-discovered transcript by an anonymous German noble could fill an important gap in the documentation of German fencing approaches between Paschen and Schmidt.

Under the sponsorship of the new Administration, we’re preparing a limited release of the manuscript.

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Secret History of the Sword: Dead Poets Society—Rencontre in Hog Lane, 1589

Despite their distinct dislike for things Catholic and South European, Elizabethans were suckers for Italian fencing techniques and concepts of honor and dueling.

Some of the most prominent figures of the cultural elite of the period engaged in Italian-style swordplay. Among them was the poet Christopher Marlowe, whom we’re catching on an Indian summer afternoon on the outskirts of London, sword in hand, and ready to engage in moderate mayhem… Continue reading

Free Resources: Fabris’ German edition

Who’d have thought that university archives would ever change their time-honored policy of keeping non-academic riffraff out of their collections—and even throwing their rara open to the Great Unwashed?

The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where I spent many a semester doing things other than visiting libraries, has recently put a copy of Salvatore Fabris’ “Italiänische Fechtkunst” online… Continue reading

Swords in the News: The Sword of Lalgarh

Nobody tell us we’re Euro-centric.

(Okay, we are, so sue us!)

But that doesn’t keep us from scouring the world for interesting stories relating to the Sword. Like this one from India, where an ancient sword is a living symbol of resistance against outside aggression… Continue reading

Antiquariat: Forget Facebook, get into fencing books!

Still enraged about Facebook’s recent facelift? We say “Get a life!” Even better—get into something that hasn’t changed one bit in 100, 200, 500 years:

FencingClassics announces it has joined forces with actor-fighter-antiquarian Jared Kirby, to make both antiquarian fencing and Historical European Martial Arts resources and bibliophile appraisal services available to practitioners and collectors. Continue reading

Swords of Shakespeare: “Hurt Him in Eleven Places”

How much did Shakespeare know about contemporary Italian rapier fencing?

William Gaugler follows the clues from his plays into the Italian fencing literature of the 16th and 17th century. Continue reading

Teaching Fencing: Curriculum and Diploma

What makes a fencing master? And how is the body of knowledge he (or she) is supposed to transfer to his students to be defined?

Dr. William Gaugler explores the historical background of fencing accreditation and codification… Continue reading