Category Archives: Epee

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

aa3Reduced weight.

Upside-down mounted blades.

A 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

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