Category Archives: Epee

Surviving COVID: How our Baltimore fencing club managed to outlast lockdowns and thrive!

As our recollection of the extraordinary events of 2020 begins to fade, here’s a living memory how our Baltimore-area epee group not only made it through social distancing and all, but is now bigger than it was before COVID.

by J. Christoph Amberger

Baltimore’s fencing community was hit hard by COVID-19. The pandemic interrupted all teaching and bouting activities as of March 13, 2020. From one day to the next, venues provided by schools or universities were shut down and students sent home. As the months went by, private clubs, looking at an undetermined period with no revenues, unable to pay the rent, were forced to close.

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The unfair advantage: The subtle differences in 19th century French dueling épées

aa3Reduced weight.

Upside-down mounted blades.

A sneakily set handle.

Early attempts in gaining an unfair advantage with épées de combat.

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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

Sword Skills: Disarming and Throwing the Opponent, according to Roux

He may’ve been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Jena students’ thrust duel with the elongated “wälsche Banditendolch“—the “Frog” bandit dagger, as his colleague from the philosophical faculty, Dr. Scheidler, called the disgraceful French dueling sword.

But F.A.W.L. Roux continued to teach Kreußlerian thrust fencing with the “Rappier” way into the second half of the 19th century—both as a healthy exercise and part of the German Turnkunst, and as a practical martial art for military men.

Included in his repertoire were some disarms and throws that few of his colleagues ever bothered mentioning in print… Continue reading

Fencing Nudes: Duel Naked!

One of the leading search terms that brings novice FencingClassics readers to our site is “topless fencing”.

Who’d’a thunk?

And since we thrive on giving people what they want, we’re happy to oblige… with images of duels between women in various stages of dress and undress… Continue reading

Fencing Art: The Survivor

He managed to escape being turned into shell casings in World War I. Melted down for war reparations during the Weimar Republic. He dodged the Nazi leveling of Breslau in 1945, and the Red Army’s knocking over what was left.

And since he ended up behind the Iron Curtain, in a different country, he even escaped the politically correct B.S. that imprints modern Germany…

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Dueling Tactics: How to scam a break during an épée duel

Based on the historical record, a duel with sharp épées was an unpleasant affair. Chances were that three feet of needle-pointed steel might transport you from the terrain to the Happy Hunting Grounds with considerable pain and suffering.

So who’re you to judge the little “trucs” that might get you a breather during your affair of honor… Continue reading

Current Auction: Another “Transitional”

A few weeks ago, we examined Eight Dueling Épées.

Today, we noticed a variant of one of the older specimens up for auction: A cousin of “The Transitional”… 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