Tag Archives: Saber

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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Massed Assault: The Choreography of Group Instruction

Group class vs. individual lesson?

The armed and police forces of the world had their choices made for them by virtue of the very number of recruits needing instruction.

But how did they get them to look good from a distance…

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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

Saber Combat: Turkey, 1436

Turkish delight

Bear with us as we go back through ancient FencingClassics postings to bring them into a standard usable format.

For some reason, “Skanderbeg” continues to be a popular search term that leads people to this site. The following translation of a 17th-century German text might explain why…

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Data Collection: The Origins of Modern Footwork

At what point did fencing turn into an athletic sport? Could it be that the expansion of the fencing strip had anything to do with it?

FencingClassics is issuing a call for historical strip measurements! Continue reading

Weighty Matters: Italian Saber vs. Broadsword in late Victorian Britain

Despite all efforts to force the history of 19th-century saber fencing into a corset of linear descendancy, it would appear that historical reality is an uncooperative witness.

Like in the controversy if the Italian duelling saber or the good old broadsword were the prime manifestations of fencing’s practicability. Let’s weigh some historians’ views…

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“La schiabola e la vostra penna”: The Expansion of the Italian Saber

For non-competition oriented forms of Central European cut fencing, this was the beginning of the end: Starting in the 1870’s, a diaspora of Italian fencing masters managed to displace, and then obliterate, traditional European cut fencing systems.

How, who, and why?

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Lance practice; Austro-Hungary, c. 1905

Clash of the titans… Continue reading

Military Cut Fencing; Germany, 1925

Boys will be boys… Continue reading

Military saber practice; Belgium, c. 1906


Cavalry Saber Practice of Belgian Lancers

Cavalry Saber Practice of Belgian Lancers

When Italian-style sports sabers had replaced cavalry sabers even in the Belgian cavalry…

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